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Dr.GH



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2007,22:14   

I just got back from giving a talk about intelligent design creationism at a local Borders Book store.  The talk was fairly well advertised and the idea was to do some pro-science PR and to sell a few books.  I was presenting as a contributing author to Matt Young, Taner Edis (Editors), 2004  Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism Rutgers University Press, but I also promoted other anti-IDC books, for example  Barbara Carroll Forrest, Paul R. Gross 2004 Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design Oxford University Press.

I had about 20 people show: 15 sat and stayed the whole hour, and 6 would stand in the back for 5 minutes or so and the wander off, and then return for another 5 or 10 minutes.  I was mostly "preaching to the choir" as far as the questions went even though I had sent emails to some of the local IDC and other creationist qroups.

I mainly focused on a short history of science v. religion, starting with the Bible.  It is a very effective visual to hold the few pages of Genesis 1 - 12, the creation through the end of the Noah myth (it is about 5 printed pages in most Bibles) and point out that creationists insist that if these 3 pieces of paper are removed, or merely not interpreted in an absurd manner, then the entire remaining 600 to 700 printed pages are meaningless.  Then I read the observations of Thomas Aquinas, c.a. 1225 - 1274, and the Christian father, Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430) about the proper relation of science and religion.  

I jam through Luther and Calvin, bounce on Ussher, Hume, and Paley and then shift over to the USA in the early to middle1800s: the Millerites and then Ellen G. White.  With the Seventh-day Adventests lined up, I then mentioned Darwin for the first time in the talk.

Why were the Adventists more worried about geology than biology?  Back to the 1700s for a brief review of canal and road construction and the end of "Deluvianism."  Return to Ellen White and her "trances" recounted in her 1868 book that fixed the Adventist dogma of young earth, and flood geology.  Next George McCready Price and Adventist geology up until Whitcomb, John C., Henry M. Morris 1961 The Genesis Flood  Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, which basically created "scientific creationism."  Law suits banning teaching creationism in public schools leads to a massive (and botched) rewrite of "Creation Biology" ultimately published as "Of Pandas and People."  This was the real birth of creationism a la Intelligent Design Creationism.  

Mention Johnson, Behe, and Dembski.  Promoted "Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design" and "Why Intelligent Design Fails." Read parts of the Dover transcript (the last of  Behe's cross-examination Day 12 which featured my chapter in WIDF) and part of Judge Jones's decision that mentioned that part of Behe's crossX.

Signed about 10 books, went home.  It was fun.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,13:17   

My reason for posting was to point out that we can all do a lot more than post internet items. I do think that the internet is a valid and important communication tool. But, face-to-face in a public setting is something that the creationists have excelled at for too long.

Book stores are absolute natural places to give talks. The entire evo/creato conflict is in books. The visual impact of holding up a Bible by the three pages that hold Genesis 1-11 and asking the audience "Why do creationists insist on throwing away the rest of this book if we don't like their literalist interpretation of these three pages?" is great! You can see people's eyes focus on the Bible hanging there and almost hear them thinking "Creationists are idiots!"

In addition to the ten copies of WIDF we sold, two people bought copies of Barbara Carroll Forrest, Paul R. Gross
2004 Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design Oxford University Press

Book stores are all about selling books. If you give them a list of pro-science books they carry and offer to give a talk on evo/creavo that will sell books, they will set you up. Make a list of the creationist books they sell and mention them as well.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,13:47   

*Doffs cap*

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Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,15:45   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 21 2007,13:17)
My reason for posting was to point out that we can all do a lot more than post internet items. I do think that the internet is a valid and important communication tool. But, face-to-face in a public setting is something that the creationists have excelled at for too long.

Book stores are absolute natural places to give talks. The entire evo/creato conflict is in books. The visual impact of holding up a Bible by the three pages that hold Genesis 1-11 and asking the audience "Why do creationists insist on throwing away the rest of this book if we don't like their literalist interpretation of these three pages?" is great! You can see people's eyes focus on the Bible hanging there and almost hear them thinking "Creationists are idiots!"

In addition to the ten copies of WIDF we sold, two people bought copies of Barbara Carroll Forrest, Paul R. Gross
2004 Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design Oxford University Press

Book stores are all about selling books. If you give them a list of pro-science books they carry and offer to give a talk on evo/creavo that will sell books, they will set you up. Make a list of the creationist books they sell and mention them as well.

I think that ID is dead and the need to fight hard against it has gone.

Let me explain what I mean by that. ID was a threat to science education a while ago. There was the possibility that it could creep into a biology class. I think that has largely gone.

ID will continue though but in a shadow of it's previous self. I think ID will join astrology and crystal healing as a threat to science education. Some people will believe and buy books but it will not be taught as mainstream science.

Oh, the main proponents will continue to try but I doubt they will make progress. The evidence aginst them (mostly gifted by those idiots) is too strong.

We should remain observant. However, the panic is over. They lost big time.

UD is a good example. All anyone need to do is to point out a controvesy is what they claim they want to how they behave.

CLAIM: We want all P'sOV taught.
REAL LIFE: We permit no descent.

Those people are so stupid it (almost) defies belief.

The reason we should remain observant is because ID will try to do a "phoenix" type trick in a few years with a different name. That is my prediction. Secondary prediction: They will use the same arguments and be easily linked.

They are that stupid. Lenny has completely won me over. You can tell those fools the outline of their own strategic folly and they will still do it. F'Kin Eejits! And who wants to send their kid to a school run by those?

EDIT: Sorry DR.GH I forgot to say that I do not dissaprove of you attacking ID. I aplaud you sir. I think it is good to atack it, I just don't consider it as neccessary as it was a couple of years ago (or more).

ID is/was a rather nasty movement. But they managed to about defeat themselves through stupidity.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,16:49   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 21 2007,15:45)
I think that ID is dead and the need to fight hard against it has gone.

Sorry, but that is utter nonsense.  If a single court case even at the Supreme Court could have stopped creationism, we never would have had IDC. Dover no more "killed" creationism than Epperson v. Arkansas (1968), or Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) killed creationism.

Total ignorance is reborn with every baby.  The only way we can counter total ignorance is by constantly teaching.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,17:50   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 21 2007,16:49)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 21 2007,15:45)
I think that ID is dead and the need to fight hard against it has gone.

Sorry, but that is utter nonsense.  If a single court case even at the Supreme Court could have stopped creationism, we never would have had IDC. Dover no more "killed" creationism than Epperson v. Arkansas (1968), or Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) killed creationism.

Total ignorance is reborn with every baby.  The only way we can counter total ignorance is by constantly teaching.

Creationism *IS* dead.  That's what made ID necessary.

ID is now equally dead.  That is what necessitates some new scam.  Look for it in about 5-10 years.  (My suspicion remains that the fundies will abandon anti-evolutionism completely, and move into some sort of "Privileged Planet" ID-style attacks on cosmology instead.)

But, it should be noted, the ONLY thing that allowed the creationuts (under whatever name) to have any sort of successful movement was the simple fact that, beginning with the Reaganites in the 1980's, the Republicrat Party embraced the lunatic right (including the fundies) as political allies.  Were it not for that situation, we would be no more concerned about creationists than we are about flat-earthers or moon-landing-was-faked-ers or Bigfoot-ers or any of the other dozens of lunatic-fringe nutters out there.  (shrug)

That situation exists no longer.  The Republicrats themselves have realized that the fundie agenda is a liability for them, not an asset (which is why they made no attempt whatever to actually PASS any of it, despite six years of virtual one-party rule where they could quite literally pass whatever they wanted to).  And now they are running as far from the fundies as they can get.  The anti-evolution-ers are, once again, just another lunatic-fringe group of nutters.

Indeed, the Republicrat Party (the party of the "angry white man") itself is approaching a period of crisis.  By the middle of this century, white people themselves will be a minority within the US -- it will be ethnics who will decide elections, and they are not friendly to the Republicrats (and vice versa).  The white male Republicrats can jump up and down and wave their arms angrily all they want -- they won't be able to win elections.  No one supports their agenda.

Without the active political support of the Republicrat Party, the fundies are a nonentity.  As an effective political movement (and all ID/creationism ever WAS, was a political movement), it is dead.  Dead, dead, dead.

Like all extremists everywhere, the fundies have shot their load and found that people don't actually support any of it.

Game over.

Will ignorance continue?  Of course it will.  Creationism will never go away, any more than pyramid-power or crystal-healing or alien abduction or the Lost Continent of Atlantis will.  But without active political power, the nutters are just . . . well . . .  nutters.  It's all just talk.  They'll sell books, make speeches to the faithful, and even make lots of money from it.  But they can't actually DO jack-shit.  

The anti-evolution-ers passed their peak of power over a decade ago. Like the Discovery Institute today, all they'll be able to do is write a continual stream of whiny "press releases" complaining about how everyone ignores them.  And everyone will . . . well . . . continue to ignore them.  They will remain ignorant and anti-science and anti-knowledge and all that.  But they will also be utterly impotent.

And as long as they are politically impotent, I don't care if they preach to their fellow foolish every day from now until Jesus comes back.  (shrug)

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Dr.GH



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,18:13   

Lenny, there have been many low points in the history of creationism, but to declare "We Win!" is foolish.  In my talk the other day I spent nearly the entire time tracing the "evolution" of intelligent design creationism from its 19th century (and 17th century, and 12th century and 5th century) origins.

When the ICR is gone, and AiG's 25 million dollar museum is gone, there will still be creationists and they will still try to dominate politically and they will win if we stupidly think "Creationism *IS* dead."

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,18:37   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 21 2007,18:13)
Lenny, there have been many low points in the history of creationism, but to declare "We Win!" is foolish.  In my talk the other day I spent nearly the entire time tracing the "evolution" of intelligent design creationism from its 19th century (and 17th century, and 12th century and 5th century) origins.

When the ICR is gone, and AiG's 25 million dollar museum is gone, there will still be creationists and they will still try to dominate politically and they will win if we stupidly think "Creationism *IS* dead."

I will repeat once more:


Will ignorance continue?  Of course it will.  Creationism will never go away, any more than pyramid-power or crystal-healing or alien abduction or the Lost Continent of Atlantis will.  But without active political power, the nutters are just . . . well . . .  nutters.  It's all just talk.  They'll sell books, make speeches to the faithful, and even make lots of money from it.  But they can't actually DO jack-shit.  


ICR?  AIG?  Has-beens.  Twenty years ago, they could write bills, introduce them to Congress, and GET THEM PASSED --something the IDers were never able to do.

Now, ICR and AIG can't even get a meeting with a congressional staffer.  

The mighty have fallen.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,19:15   

Yep. It'll continue on in a different guise. Mutatis mutandis and all that.

Let me know when you get to the Pasadena store, Hurd -- I'll stop in and bring you a beverage of your choice. H###, I'll bring a few for me, too :p

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,19:25   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 21 2007,19:15)
Yep. It'll continue on in a different guise.

Not without political support from the Republicrats, it won't.

;)

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,19:50   

That's a relevant point about political power...the problem is to convince the *non-fanatics* to vote against those that pander to fanatics in sheep's clothing.
These guys are getting really good at disguising their agenda.

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
Dr.GH



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,19:51   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Jan. 21 2007,19:25)
Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 21 2007,19:15)
Yep. It'll continue on in a different guise.

Not without political support from the Republicrats, it won't.

;)

Or the New Age twits.  Steve Fuller is a good example of anti-science lefty.  The "libertarians" are enemies of public education, and had promoted anti-science crap like global warming denial and HIV denial.

They are all bad guys in my book.  I agree Lenny that the Republican's currently wear the blackest hats.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Dr.GH



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,20:04   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 21 2007,19:15)
Let me know when you get to the Pasadena store, Hurd -- I'll stop in and bring you a beverage of your choice. H###, I'll bring a few for me, too :p

Wowowowow

Now yer talkin'

We should meet before the talk so that it will be more fun.

GH :D

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,20:28   

Excellent! Name your poison when you find out about the Pasadena talk and it's a deal -- there's some nice jazz joints in Old Town and a few places nearby that ain't too bad. Icthyic (marine biologist) is nearby and I suspect his arm can be twisted to hoist a ...er...libation or three. Cheers!

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
Dr.GH



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,20:51   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 21 2007,20:28)
Excellent! Name your poison when you find out about the Pasadena talk and it's a deal -- there's some nice jazz joints in Old Town and a few places nearby that ain't too bad. Icthyic (marine biologist) is nearby and I suspect his arm can be twisted to hoist a ...er...libation or three. Cheers!

All right!

I try to push for next month.

The regional sales manager is a good guy.  He did feel he needed to run this to his national HQ, so I wrote up a mini-proposal with a long list of books that I would mention.  Since the first one exceeded expectation we should do at least a few more.  He works 22 stores in SoCal, but no way I will go to all of them.  

I am totally pissed at how cheap Rutgers UniPress is, but I will be happy to drive to Pasadena to meet and drink.

Give me the address of the store nearest to where you want to meet.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,21:44   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 21 2007,19:50)
That's a relevant point about political power...the problem is to convince the *non-fanatics* to vote against those that pander to fanatics in sheep's clothing.
These guys are getting really good at disguising their agenda.

No, they CAN'T hide their agenda.

That's why they keep losing court cases, one after the other.   ;)

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www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,22:53   

You doing Chicago, GH?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Dr.GH



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2007,23:04   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 21 2007,22:53)
You doing Chicago, GH?

Sorry, not if there is any way I can avoid it.
:)

I have been in Chi 3 times; twice I was briefly in the train station, and I once spent 3 days at a hotel.  All three times it was snowing so I did not have a good impression.

The "Blues Brothers" was very endearing, so I am sure that there are three or four days a year that Chicago is very pleasent.   :p  Here in Dana Point, California we have so many perfect days that we are happy when there is finally a day too hot (+90), or too cold (below 40) merely because of the welcomed contrast with perfection.

If you come to Dana Point AKA "Eden" I am in the phone book, and only three blocks from the harbor.   :D

PS: I forgot to mention that we are rooting for Chicago in the superbowl.  That must count for something?

PPS: I had three professors that came out of the University of Chicago.  One had also done time Joliet penitentiary before his graduate work. Well, that is where he graduated from high school too.  His second "visit" was when he started college.  My other prof with a UniChi doctorate had just finished 4 years at Levenworth federal pen.  So on that basis I am all for Chicago.

Edited by Dr.GH on Jan. 21 2007,23:16

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
bfish



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,00:43   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 21 2007,19:15)
Let me know when you get to the Pasadena store

Does Vromans still exist? I haven't been home in a while. Back in the day, it kind of sucked when Borders and Barnes & Noble moved into town. (Of course, back in the day, Old Town was nothing but thrift shops and adult book stores). Anyway, if Vromans is still there, that'd be a good venue, too. You could do a Pasedena twofer.

  
Dr.GH



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,01:46   

Quote (bfish @ Jan. 22 2007,00:43)
Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 21 2007,19:15)
Let me know when you get to the Pasadena store

Does Vromans still exist? I haven't been home in a while. Back in the day, it kind of sucked when Borders and Barnes & Noble moved into town. (Of course, back in the day, Old Town was nothing but thrift shops and adult book stores). Anyway, if Vromans is still there, that'd be a good venue, too. You could do a Pasedena twofer.

Good here.  The more the merrier

Would that count as a literary three-way?   :O

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Altabin



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,01:59   

I'm somewhere in the middle on the "ID is dead" argument.

I think they *are* making efforts to regroup and rethink and, eventually, start making political mischief again.

But they're led by people who are not only incompetent but, fatally, have no political instincts whatsoever.  Dembski - absolutely zero.  Keeping UD going is by itself evidence of political tone-deafness.

There are only so many iterations of anti-evolution that can be played out.  I do feel that, with ID, the most "sciencey" sounding of them, they've played their last card there.  It will be all but impossible to come up with another way of putting lipstick on that particular pig.

As far as intellectual direction goes (and I use the word "intellectual" loosely), I would put money on the tards giving up on evolution and shifting their attention to psychology.

First, there's the "argument from personal incredulity," which is stronger here than anywhere else.  Even I find it difficult really to believe that my personality and conciousness is an emergent property of material processes - a fortiori for even a moderately religious person.  There is also a respectable philosophical tradition of dualism, which still pokes its head above the parapet from time to time.  I expect them to evoke this tradition, and to be able to find plenty of respectable, contemporary philosophers to offer support - not just Plantinga this time.

Secondly, they have been making noises in that direction for some time.  (I've been googling for the following posts, but haven't been able to find them - maybe someone else recalls them?) Some time ago, Dembski actually replied to commenter in a thread he started.  The commenter said that for Dembski really to succeed in his anti-evolution campaign, he would have to undermine the material basis of consciousness.  Dembski replied, very tersely, that that was his long-term goal.  Then we had DT, quite recently, talking about "some research" which shows that brains do not do the thinking themselves, but act as radio receivers, picking up signals from an immaterial consciousness "outside."  Odds on that this is DI/super-secret-ID-mailing-list stuff.  Finally, Church Lady is about to come out with her godawful book on this very subject.

Lenny, it may be the case that the demographics of the US are changing, but so are the ethnic groups themselves.  In particular, in the Latino community fundevangelicalism is the single fastest growing religion - and it is growing faster in that group than anywhere else.  We fret about the midwestern white kids being sent off to Jesus camp - but we also need to worry about the enormous political and cultural shift happening in the Latino community.  I think this alone will ensure the survival both of the Republicans and the fundamentalist movement in the States.

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Dr.GH



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,02:18   

Quote (Altabin @ Jan. 22 2007,01:59)
There are only so many iterations of anti-evolution that can be played out.  I do feel that, with ID, the most "sciencey" sounding of them, they've played their last card there.  It will be all but impossible to come up with another way of putting lipstick on that particular pig.

Lenny does not like to admit that Kent Hovind has (even in jail) a huge following.  Ken Ham stole the foundation of Answers in Genesis out from under the other jerks, and controls a multi-million dollar foundation to promote YEC.  The Discovery Institute will not lose money because of Dover.

Quote
Lenny, it may be the case that the demographics of the US are changing, but so are the ethnic groups themselves.  In particular, in the Latino community fundevangelicalism is the single fastest growing religion - and it is growing faster in that group than anywhere else.
That is the bloody truth!  I live in a largely Mexican neighborhood (home owners- Angelo, at least 8 to 1 renters- Mexican), and the Seveth-day Adventists and the Mormons are out in force nearly EVERY DAY!  It is not just the Sabbath variously defined.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,02:34   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 21 2007,16:49)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 21 2007,15:45)
I think that ID is dead and the need to fight hard against it has gone.

Sorry, but that is utter nonsense.  If a single court case even at the Supreme Court could have stopped creationism, we never would have had IDC. Dover no more "killed" creationism than Epperson v. Arkansas (1968), or Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) killed creationism.

Total ignorance is reborn with every baby.  The only way we can counter total ignorance is by constantly teaching.

I don't think that what I claimed is utter nonsense. Perhaps we are talking past each other. I am not claiming that giving an anti ID talk is wrong rather the opposite, it is good.

I just don't think that ID is anywhere near as likely to be appearing in science classrooms as it looked a year or two ago. That is what I meant when saying ID is dead i.e. The wedge stategy has failed.

You are almost certainly correct that the type of people who produced the wedge strategy will try again in the future. But "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance".

  
Dr.GH



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,03:34   

My intent with this thread was to encourage people to get off the stinking internet mutualmasturbationboards and go present evo/creato out in the face-to-face world.

It is easy, and it is fun!

And, in spite of Lenny or Steve, it is needed.

This is a very good time to hit the road; there have been some good electoral victories, and some good courtroom victories.  By announcing and pronouncing, we set up the next time we need to pull ourseves together.

There will be a "next time" and it would be a real shame if we pissed off the opening we have by self congratulations, and "ID is dead" bull shit.  They won't just go away.

Edited by Dr.GH on Jan. 22 2007,03:36

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,07:11   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 22 2007,03:34)
There will be a "next time" and it would be a real shame if we pissed off the opening we have by self congratulations, and "ID is dead" bull shit.  They won't just go away.

I will simply repeat, once more:

Will ignorance continue?  Of course it will.  Creationism will never go away, any more than pyramid-power or crystal-healing or alien abduction or the Lost Continent of Atlantis will.  But without active political power, the nutters are just . . . well . . .  nutters.  It's all just talk.  They'll sell books, make speeches to the faithful, and even make lots of money from it.  But they can't actually DO jack-shit.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,07:19   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Jan. 22 2007,03:34)
This is a very good time to hit the road; there have been some good electoral victories, and some good courtroom victories.  By announcing and pronouncing, we set up the next time we need to pull ourseves together.

No one is disagreeing with you, Doc.  (shrug)  We're simply pointing out that ID is dead, the Wedge Strategy has failed utterly, and the fundies are, as of now, a political nonentity.  Those who want to rush out and fight the IDers now, are too late.  That fight is already over.  It ended in Kansas and Dover.

A far more useful thing to do would be to go on the political offensive, and actively eliminate the fundie's ability to influence school boards in the future.

A proposal I first made here almost two years ago:


(Permalink)   Posted: Feb. 07 2005,20:09    
I posted this on t.o this past summer. I'm re-posting it
because I think the creationist loss in Georgia and their soon-to-be loss in Pennsylvania has increased its relevance and made it even more necessary that we begin taking the fight TO the creationists.


Over on another email list, I am having a discussion about a proposal of mine for an anti-creationist campaign that will, I think, cut away the creationist support in local school
districts and will, I think, pound the final nail into their coffin.

My proposal is this:

Most states in the US have, in the past years, either
srengthened or added in their state curriculum standards a
requirement that evolution be taught as a part of a good
science education. While some states have very strong
detailed standards and others have brief ambiguous ones,
the fact remaisn that they have decided that evolution is an
important part of biology and must be taught as part of any
good science education.

Creationist, on the other hand, have still been able to
intimidate many local schools into dropping mention of
evolution as "too controversial", and this local base of
support is the only thing holding the creationists up right
now.

So I propose we kill it.

I propose we find a state which has very strong detailed
standards requiring evolution, find a district within that state which is NOT teaching evolution (either because the local school board "doesn't believe in it" or because they "don't want to offend parents" or because the subject is "too controversial"), and then sue them on the grounds that they are not meeting the state's educational standards and are therefore, by the state's own definition, providing a sub-standard science education to its students.

Here is why I think it's a good tactic to take:

(1) we can't lose. The district has no defense to offer ----
they must meet the state standards, and they are not. Case closed.

(2) It will accomplish what we all have said for years that we want -- it will get evolution into all our schools and
textbooks, and it will make it impossible for creationists to
intimidate or pressure anyone into keeping it out.

(3) it will establish the legal precedent that evolution is
standard part of any good science education and that any
school which does not teach evolution (for whatever reason)
is not meeting its obligation to teach good science

(4) it will negate the fundie's power in local school board
elections by making those elections irrelevant to the issue -- state school standards apply to every school in the state,
and those districts MUST comply, no matter WHAT their
local school board wants to do. Even if the fundies capture
the entire local school board and they ALL vote to drop
evolution, they can't do it -- they *must* comply with the
state education standards.

(5) Winning in one district will establish the legal precedent, and force every school district in the state to comply. It will also send the message to all the other districts in other states, sicne they will all be equally vulnerable to such a lawsuit. At that point, the fundies will have a choice; they can either choose to contest us in each and every state, which will lead into a long drawn out legal fight for them which will drain their resources and disrupt their own plans, all for a fight that they cannot possibly win anyway; or they can choose to not waste their resources and to cede the field to us, giving up their influence in local districts. Either choice makes me happy. We win either way, they lose either way.

(6) such a strategy disrupts the fundies' coherent national
strategy. For too long, the fundies have been calling all the
shots, free to pick and choose fights when and where they
want, and the anti-creationist movement has just been
following behind them, reacting to what they do. It's time we stop being defensive with them and go on the attack, forcing them to react to *us*.

As I noted before, the fundies are in retreat everywhere.
The local school board is their last remaining power base.
So let's take that power base away from them.


BTW, my book, "Deception by Design: The Intelligent Design Movement in America", will be available in another month or two.  ;)

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Mike PSS



Posts: 428
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,08:36   

Thank you Lenny.  One bit of personal criticism.  Why didn't you draft this reply when you first countered Dr. GH point?

It seems that your saying the fight against ID/Creationism political power is over.  But you have just indicated a glaring hole in your own argument by posting this.

Yes, I agree the legal framework is in place to hold everyone accountable that tries to undermine science education.  But just like speeding, the law is only as good as the people who enforce the law.  Using the government analogy, the fight is over in the legislative but we have far to go with the judicial (and the executive at the present).  

If you look at a book store presentation as one more datum in the education of the masses then awareness of the issues serves the purposes of what you propose as well.

Mike PSS

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,08:46   

Congratulations, Lenny. I've seen lots of short-term strategies for combatting the fundamentalist push for power, but yours is the first I've seen that strikes at *their* focus itself -- the long-term indoctrination of new adherents via the school system.

Yeah, we're kind of talking past each other in the above posts due to different emphases/perspectives. We can all agree that religious fanaticism isn't going away soon.

I believe it will increase globally as successive waves of disaster strike in the future...Jared Diamond lays out a list of things such as terrorism, environmental degradation, emergent diseases, resource depletion, etc. all of which increase anxiety/fear, the handmaiden of fanaticism. BUT -- at least locally (nationally) -- efforts can be made to erect barriers against the inevitable power-grabs the nutcases will make.

And at the same time, grassroots efforts to stem the tide of absolutist fundamentalist literalism and promote scientific literacy and political awareness are both helpful and needed.

It's all part of the continuum, both are needed since it is true that the legislative/legal strategy you've outlined COULD be undermined at any time in the future, should vigilance be dropped.

At any rate, good job. In discussing these very issues with friends, the questions of what to DO inevitably arise --  how to attack the larger problem. But you laid it out nicely.

edit: yep, bfish, Vromans is still around, and Borders Books and um, Barnes and Noble. A VERY few used book shops are left...I think there's 3 or 4 still...the Barnes and Noble-ish Walmart-style marketing/cheap production costs has killed a lot of book stores.

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,09:03   

Quote
My intent with this thread was to encourage people to get off the stinking internet mutualmasturbationboards and go present evo/creato out in the face-to-face world.


I am. I am also of very similar mind to you on this one. It's fun online, it's where I learned a few things, but the real world is more fun.

I'm giving a talk in about 4 weeks on a broader (but very much related) topic. IDC features prominently. I'll email/pm details to interested parties.

Like Dr GH I am a strong advocate of actually doing something about IDC and antiscience, and I'm damned well doing it.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,09:05   

I should add this -- fundamentalists seem to be using a guerrilla-style set of tactics at the moment, where they retreat quickly ( as in the recent California example) while biding their time, waiting for the opportune political moment. Therefore grassroots efforts are of paramount importance, since they may not actually accede to a direct confrontation soon.

"They" have plenty of economic and ideological reasons to do insane shit like goading Islam into a major conflict...additionally, IF global warming holds, there's a major  migration coming up, and that can achieve the same thing in terms of conflict, particularly in Eurasia. If that were to happen, all bets are off, so...

--------------
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,10:24   

Congratulation Doc.  Wish I could do the same, but job worries  hold me back. My kids and wife have gotten spoiled, and they expect food on a regular basis, which takes money.   Not to mention a terrible stage fright...   If my employer knew of my REAL thoughts about Evo, DI etc, I would be unemployed.   (That's why the generic name BTW).

Good luck to you on future talks, and even if Lenny is 100% right, and I am not totally convinced, I think we should do everything we can to battle the DaveScots and Dembskis of the world.

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,17:27   

Quote (Mike PSS @ Jan. 22 2007,08:36)
It seems that your saying the fight against ID/Creationism political power is over.

ID/creationists HAVE no political power, as of now.

I'd like to keep it that way.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Mike PSS



Posts: 428
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2007,18:21   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Jan. 22 2007,18:27)
Quote (Mike PSS @ Jan. 22 2007,08:36)
It seems that your saying the fight against ID/Creationism political power is over.

ID/creationists HAVE no political power, as of now.

I'd like to keep it that way.

I would say the ID/creationists have no FEDERAL legislative power but what we see across the country is like a hangover of power.  There are enough people in government, local and state also, that are ID/C friendly that can hide/suppress their support for ID/C while at the same time restrict the actual enforcement of the laws that are on the books.

The school board fight is a natural next step, but I think the state governments will be as important to consider.  For your idea to move to other states then those states must have enforcable statewide cirriculum standards as strong as the state with the court case.  This may require legislative change in numerous states.  I think we'll find this battle long and drawn out as each state house tries to come to terms with definitions and statutes that are muddied in terminology by the likes of the DI or AFDave.

The FEDERAL political fight is over but the states political fights are just beginning.

Unless you want to support a federal cirriculum standard enforced by the Department of Education  ;)  ???  :O  :angry:  (not sure which smiley to put here)

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2007,16:14   

Gary: There's a Borders Books at 475 S Lake Ave Pasadena, CA 626-304-9773 , right near CalTech, but in  their schedule for Feb., they look pretty full (it's one of their busier stores, I imagine). Let me know what happens. Cheers!

--------------
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2007,18:29   

Quote (Mike PSS @ Jan. 22 2007,18:21)
The FEDERAL political fight is over but the states political fights are just beginning.



Nah, they're dead there too.  Over the past few years, they tried to introduce scads of ID-friendly laws in state legislatures all over the country.  Not a one of them passed.  Most of them never even made it out of committee.

-edit-    In any case, Federal law and Federal court decisions supercede any state law or court decisions -- no state legislature can pass any law that conflicts with Federal law or Federal court decisions.  So once the IDers lost at the Federal level, that loses the entire game for them.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2007,18:32   

Quote (Mike PSS @ Jan. 22 2007,18:21)
There are enough people in government, local and state also, that are ID/C friendly that can hide/suppress their support for ID/C while at the same time restrict the actual enforcement of the laws that are on the books.

That is OUR fault (collectively) for not sueing the bastards.

The law is on our side.  It's nobody's fault but our own if we don't actually USE it when necessary.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2007,19:34   

Quote
If my employer knew of my REAL thoughts about Evo, DI etc, I would be unemployed.

That sounds to me like illegal discrimination.  You could own the SOBs.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2007,19:38   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Jan. 23 2007,16:14)
Gary: There's a Borders Books at 475 S Lake Ave Pasadena, CA 626-304-9773 , right near CalTech, but in  their schedule for Feb., they look pretty full (it's one of their busier stores, I imagine). Let me know what happens. Cheers!

Cool.  I'll see when we can schedule a talk.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Mike PSS



Posts: 428
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2007,20:30   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Jan. 23 2007,19:29)
Quote (Mike PSS @ Jan. 22 2007,18:21)
The FEDERAL political fight is over but the states political fights are just beginning.



Nah, they're dead there too.  Over the past few years, they tried to introduce scads of ID-friendly laws in state legislatures all over the country.  Not a one of them passed.  Most of them never even made it out of committee.

-edit-    In any case, Federal law and Federal court decisions supercede any state law or court decisions -- no state legislature can pass any law that conflicts with Federal law or Federal court decisions.  So once the IDers lost at the Federal level, that loses the entire game for them.

I think your missing my point.  It's not that the state legislatures will draft ID/C friendly bills.  They will NOT draft bills that support a better treatment for evolution teaching.

Stagnation is their best friend right now.  A defensive holding of the status quo.

  
Fross



Posts: 71
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2007,21:31   

ID is dead at a political level, but on a cultural level it is not.  My father, (a now retired biology teacher) had to constantly deal with parents who felt justified to cause all sorts of havoc on him and his school because they read some creationist/ID misinformation.  Public schools all over the US are purposely bipassing teaching evolution and even old earth geology in an attempt to make the school year go more smoothly.  Science education is still suffering big time.

Countering that misinformation is going to be a fulltime task and if you only educate one parent somewhere, that's one less parent a public school teacher has to deal with.

Kudos on your bookstore talk!!!

--------------
"For everything else, there's Mastertard"

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2007,22:27   

>>ID is dead at a political level, but on a cultural level it is not.


Well heck, a far higher proportion of the US population believes in ESP and alien abductions than believes in creationism.  (shrug)  But as long as they have no political power to enforce their nuttiness onto others, it remains pretty much harmless.

If being stupid were a crime, most of the US would be in jail.  

As for creationists, they can preach their crap in church every Sunday from now until Jesus comes back, and I couldn't care less.    But if they try again to use political power to force their crap into public schools, I will fight them with every weapon at my disposal.



>> My father, (a now retired biology teacher) had to constantly deal with parents who felt justified to cause all sorts of havoc on him and his school because they read some creationist/ID misinformation.



About once a month or so, I get emails through my website from teachers who ask me "I have creationist students/parents pestering me -- what should I do?"  My advice is always the same --- call them into your office, sit them down, look them straight in the eye, and tell them that it is illegal to teach creationism, or to water down the teaching of evolution out of deference to their religious opinions.  Illegal.  Against the law.  Period.  Full stop.  End of discussion.  Then hand them a complete copy of the Maclean, Aguillard and Kitzmiller decisions.  And if they still want to gripe, then hand them the phone number of a local lawyer and invite them to take up the matter with the Supreme Court if they want.  Then show them the door.  

Repeat as necessary.

And if the local administrators object to that, then use that local lawyer's number and call him yourself, then sue the bastards.


>>  Public schools all over the US are purposely bipassing teaching evolution and even old earth geology in an attempt to make the school year go more smoothly.



That is OUR fault, collectively, for not sueing the crap out of them.  It is illegal to either teach creationism, or to water down or remove evolution in deference to people's religious opinions.  And if they are getting away with it, it's OUR fault for not stopping them.  The law is on our side.  All we have to do is use it.


>Science education is suffering bigtime.


ALL American education is suffering bigtime.  That's why most Americans still think Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks, why most Americans can't name more than one or two of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights, and why many Americans can't even find the United States on a world map.

We are a nation of uneducated uninformed pig-ignorant buffoons.  Why the heck the rest of the world trusts us with weapons of mass destruction, I have no idea at all.

But then, our education system isn't designed to actually EDUCATE anybody.  It's purpose is to keep producing enough minimum-wage service-sector employees to keep our economy from utterly collapsing.  Despite all our high-sounding talk, as a society, our actions demonstrate that we're not really interested in producing people who can make informed thoughtful decisions (and we're CERTAINLY not interested in PAYING for it).  We're only interested in producing the next generation of cheeseburger-flippers.

To change that will mean making political, social and economic changes that we, as a society, simply don't want to make.

So it won't change.  (shrug)

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2007,07:31   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Jan. 23 2007,22:27)
 Why the heck the rest of the world trusts us with weapons of mass destruction, I have no idea at all.

They don't

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
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