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.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

At long last, Chris Comer loses appeal

The National Center for Science Education's website says,

In a decision issued on July 2, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a lower court's decision that the Texas Education Agency's policy requiring "neutrality" of its employees when "talking about evolution and creationism" is not unconstitutional. The case, Comer v. Scott, was filed by Chris Comer, the former director of the Texas Education Agency, who was forced to resign from her post in November 2007 after she forwarded a note announcing a talk by Barbara Forrest

This blog has several articles about the Comer case, in a post-label group listed in the side-bar of the homepage.

The appeals court decision has been almost unnoticed because Comer has such a weak case.

Here are my points about the case:
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1. The subject of "evolution and creationism" is especially sensitive because many people claim that any criticism of evolution is creationism. Also, the question of which criticisms of evolution should be considered creationism is a subject of debate.

2. In some circumstances, it is OK for government agencies to follow policies of neutrality or silence even when such policies interfere with the enforcement of laws or constitutions. For example, the US Census Bureau is prohibited by law from sharing personal census information with anyone outside the bureau, including law enforcement agencies.

3. Constitutional issues are entitled to the same neutrality policy as all other issues.

4. Comer essentially took it upon herself to appoint Barbara Forrest as a spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency.

5. The TEA's neutrality policy is a general policy covering all issues under consideration by the state board of education and was not aimed specifically at the evolution issue. Hence, any constitutional violation is unintentional and incidental.

6. If Comer thought that the neutrality policy was unconstitutional, she should have tried to change the policy through the proper channels. Instead she took it upon herself to violate the policy.

7. The play "A Man for All Seasons" has the following exchange about interpreting silence:

Thomas More: The maxim of the law is, "Silence gives consent." If, therefore, you wish to construe
what my silence betokened... .. you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.

Master Secretary: Is that in fact what the world construes from it? Do you pretend that is what you wish the world to construe from it?

Thomas More: The world must construe according to its wits. This court must construe according to the law.


8. Basically, Comer's claim that the TEA's neutrality policy is an "endorsement" of teaching creationism is absurd.

However, I feel that forcing Comer to resign was a mistake because it has turned her into a Darwinist martyr. I think it would have been better just to make her TEA job miserable.

The court decisions in Comer v. Scott are sort of victories for critics of Darwinism. The courts are now showing that there is a limit to how far they are willing to go in enforcing the so-called "separation of church and state" in "monkey trials." The Darwinists can no longer brag that they have won every court case since the Scopes trial.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

CORRECTION:

The NCSE article erroneously calls Comer "the former director of the Texas Education Agency." She is the former science director of the Texas Education Agency.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Comer forwarded an e-mail, announcing an anti-ID and pro-Darwinist talk by Barbara Forrest, who is a devout believer in the materialist/atheist faith, and is an equally dogmatic advocate of faith in Darwinism.

The talk was to take place at the misnamed "Center for Inquiry," which is a materialist outfit. It's actually a sort of First Church of Darwinism, Materialism and Atheism.

Suppose Comer had, very equivalently, sent an e-mail recommending an anti-Darwinist talk by Ken Ham or some other creationist, to take place at a fundamentalist church? One can imagine the howls from the NCSE.

Thursday, July 08, 2010 2:40:00 PM  
Blogger Rupert said...

ah, sock-puppet talks to glove-puppet!

Monday, July 12, 2010 12:08:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Rupert barfed,
>>>>>ah, sock-puppet talks to glove-puppet!<<<<<<

I don't need sock-puppets here, bozo. I have not received a single comment attempting to counter my arguments here -- that speaks for itself.

And I don't know what in hell a "glove-puppet" is.

Monday, July 12, 2010 6:45:00 AM  
Blogger Rupert said...

http://www.google.com.au/images?q=glove+puppet&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=uZk7TPjeHdCrccmUwfoO&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CC8QsAQwAA

Monday, July 12, 2010 3:41:00 PM  

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