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.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Evolution is religion

Larry Moran's Sandwalk blog has the following excerpt from a talk given by Darwinist cafeteria Christian Francis Collins:

Here's a video of a talk he gave last October at The Veritas Forum in California. All of it is really interesting but the punchline comes at 50 minutes when he gives a short summary of his beliefs.

[First Slide] Almighty God, who is not limited in space and time, created a universe 13.7 billion years ago with its parameters precisely tuned to allow the development of complexity over long periods of time.

[Second Slide] God's plan included the mechanism of evolution to create the marvelous diversity of living things on our planet. Most especially, that plan included human beings.

[Third Slide] After evolution, in the fullness of time, had prepared a sufficiently advanced neurological "house" (the brain), God gifted humanity with free will and with a soul. Thus humans received a special status, "made in God's image."

[Fourth Slide] We humans used our free will to disobey God, leading to our realization of being in violation of the Moral Law. Thus we were estranged from God. For Christians, Jesus is the solution to that estrangement.

That's it. A very simple but, I think, entirely compatible view that does no violence either to faith or to science. And puts them in a harmonious position ...

So Collins leaves no question that evolution is part of his religious beliefs. Furthermore, he appears to be arguing that evolution must be true because it is the method that God chose for creating living things. In contrast, most or many advocates of Intelligent Design are very careful to avoid religious arguments. So, why is teaching Intelligent Design in public schools a violation of the "separation of church and state" whereas teaching Collins' evolution is not? The answer, of course, will be that evolution can be taught without mention of religious beliefs, but the same is true of ID. William Jennings Bryan said, "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?"

This jerko Collins is a darling of the hypocritical accommodationist National Center for Science Education, one of the biggest opponents of teaching criticisms of evolution in the public schools. Furthermore, this jerko Collins was appointed by Pres. Obama to be head of the National Institute of Health, probably a political appointment based on Collins' beliefs about evolution.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jerko teacher wants to teach program on Darwin and Lincoln!

A news article about a teacher in Connnecticut said,

Mark Tangarone, who teaches third, fourth, and fifth grade students in the Talented and Gifted (TAG) program at Weston Intermediate School, said he is retiring at the end of the current school year because of a clash with the school administration over the teaching of evolution.

“Under normal circumstances, I would have retired in two more years. However, I feel that because of an unacceptable administrative action, I can no longer continue teaching in Weston,” Mr. Tangarone said.

Mr. Tangarone, a 17-year veteran of the Weston school system, claims that a program he wanted to teach about Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln was rejected by the school administration because it involved teaching evolution — the scientific theory that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor.

To me, the big problem is not about teaching evolution -- it is about teaching about Darwin and Lincoln in the same program! The only thing that the two men have in common is that they share the same putative birthdate -- and we are not even sure about Lincoln's birthdate because he was born on the frontier, where people tended to lose track of dates.

Fatheaded Ed Brayton also has an article about this.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The clueless National Center for Science Education

A news article by the National Center for Science Education says,

A section describing survey results about the American public's beliefs about evolution and the Big Bang was removed from the 2010 edition of Science and Engineering Indicators. According to a post on the AAAS's Science Insider blog (April 8, 2010) and a subsequent report in Science (April 9, 2010; subscription required), although survey results about evolution and the Big Bang have regularly appeared in the National Science Board's Science and Engineering Indicators, its biennial compilation of global data about science, engineering, and technology, they were absent from the 2010 edition.

NCSE's Joshua Rosenau decried the decision, saying, "Discussing American science literacy without mentioning evolution is intellectual malpractice ... It downplays the controversy." . . .

. . . . . Officials at the National Science Board defended the decision. Louis Lanzerrotti, chair of the board's Science and Engineering Indicators committee, told Science that the questions were "flawed indicators of science knowledge because the responses conflated knowledge and beliefs."

"Responses conflated knowledge and belief"? "Belief" probably refers to religious belief. Another commenter said,

George Bishop, a political scientist at the University of Cincinnati who is familiar with the difficulties of polling about evolution, regarded that position as defensible, explaining, "Because of biblical traditions in American culture, that question is really a measure of belief, not knowledge."

Many people have the misconception that "belief" is defined as being religious only.

If the survey had only partly concerned the evolution v. religion issue, the survey probably would not have been deleted from the report, because the title of the report is very general, "Science and Engineering Indicators." Those who decided to delete the survey from the report probably assumed that the survey was only about religion (that's still not a good reason to delete it, but I am only trying to guess these people's thinking). And guess who is one of the biggest promoters of the idea that all opposition to evolution is religious? The NCSE. NCSE's Director Eugenie Scott said, "antievolutionism is uniformly the product of religious opposition," and NCSE "Faith Project Director" Peter Hess even went so far as to call opposition to evolution "blasphemous."



Wednesday, April 07, 2010

"Friend of Hitler" award was stroke of genius

The exposure of the asininity of the National Center for Science Education's "Friend of Darwin" award produced a tremendous response. It was a great spoof, among other things.



Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Don McLeroy's "Friend of Jefferson" Award

I got a whole bunch of comments today, mainly as a result of Fatheaded Ed Brayton posting an article about my "Friend of Hitler" and "Friend of Jefferson" awards, so rather than go through them all, I decided to just post them all indiscriminately, starting with the last unreviewed comment.

Several of these comments were critical of my giving the "Friend of Jefferson" award to Don McLeroy, considering that he helped remove Jefferson from the Texas state standards for education. McLeroy received the award because of his efforts against censorship of criticism of evolution in the public schools. That is a priority with me because the courts have been censoring that criticism. No jackass judge has tried to censor the study of Jefferson in the public schools, so I decided to overlook McLeroy's efforts to remove Jefferson from the Texas state standards.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

NCSE's Eugenie Scott said, "antievolutionism is uniformly the product of religious opposition"

No, this is not an April Fools Day joke. Here is the quote in context:

To some Americans, teaching evolution is offensive to their religion, so they try to get it removed from the curriculum, or “balanced” with some form of creationism, or denigrate it as something not to be taken seriously (“theory, not fact”). To other Americans, doing any of these things promotes a sectarian religious view, and should be avoided. Courts universally have sided with the latter, properly, in my opinion, since antievolutionism is uniformly the product of religious opposition.