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  Topic: Media Theistic Blunder, Its moments like these.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Fractatious



Posts: 103
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,05:34   

I read an article today and could not help but laugh. As follows:

Evolution, religion comments put heat on department spokesman

By Sophia Maines (Contact)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Normally, a government spokesman helps deliver news.

But David Awbrey, the mouthpiece for the Kansas State Department of Education, is making the news following his comments about science, evolution and religion at a recent public forum.

The controversy may drive him out of the job.

“I haven’t been house-trained in public relations,” Awbrey said Thursday, adding, “I’m going to have to spend some time during the next week or two thinking about where I’m going to go with my career.”

Awbrey is a Kansas University graduate and former newspaperman who once was editorial page editor for the Wichita Eagle.

At a Kansas City Press Club forum earlier this month, Awbrey argued that evolution proponents are practicing a religion. Supporting evolution, he said, is metaphysical speculation.

“Anyone see the origin?” he said. “Anyone see the Big Bang? Anyone see the dinosaurs? These are metaphysical speculations.”

Sue Gamble, a moderate Republican member of the state board who attended the forum, said she emphatically disagreed with the tone and content of Awbrey’s statements.

Janet Waugh, also a Democrat and board member, had similar sentiments.

“When he is doing his job as public information officer, he should not have an opinion,” said Waugh, who did not attend the forum. “When he is speaking for the board, he should represent the entire board. I think it was totally inappropriate.”

Conservative board member Kathy Martin, who did not attend the event, said she was unfamiliar with the issue, but said if she were a spokeswoman, she would make clear when she was speaking for herself and when she was speaking for the organization she represented.

Awbrey was hired in November by new state education Commissioner Bob Corkins to take the post of director of communications.

Having left the newspaper trade, he was planning on working as a school teacher, when Corkins tapped him for the communications director post.

Awbrey said his appearance at the forum was not on work time and he did not charge the state department for his mileage. He said he believed he was there to speak as a journalist and thought some people would know him from his former life — as a journalist and not a spokesman for the state department. But he also said that his boss, Bob Corkins, told him to go to the event.

“He was the one who sent me,” Awbrey said. “He told me to go.”

State Board Chairman Steve Abrams vouched for Awbrey.

“We were there as individuals and were speaking for ourselves,” he said.

Jack Krebs, of Kansas Citizens for Science, attended the event and posted audio recordings of the proceedings on the organization’s Web site, www.kcfs.org.

“They just didn’t invite him because he was an interesting journalist,” Krebs said. “He introduced himself as David Awbrey, director of communications.”

Awbrey’s statements provoked a Kansas resident to pen a letter to the editor that appeared in The Topeka Capital-Journal newspaper.

“Mr. Awbrey’s starting salary at the KSDE is $76,000 per year,” wrote Cheryl Shepherd-Adams, of Hays. “He knows less about science than a beginning science teacher who will have to work for about 10 years to earn just half of Mr. Awbrey’s paycheck. Why is he telling that same teacher how science should be taught?”

Awbrey then wrote a reply.

“I think we should be humble and avoid claiming absolute knowledge of things that could well be beyond our intellectual or moral abilities to comprehend,” Awbrey wrote, signing the letter with his communications director title.

A self-described “theistic evolutionist,” Awbrey said Thursday he believes that both sides of the evolution debate are unyielding and both are engaged in metaphysical speculation.

“Both sides are practicing what I would say is a form of religion,” he said. “I think we need a little humility on both sides. I think we need to recognize that human knowledge is perhaps limited.”

Lawerence Journal World - source of article.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,07:50   

Quote

“Anyone see the origin?” he said. “Anyone see the Big Bang? Anyone see the dinosaurs? These are metaphysical speculations.”
Anyone seen your brain? No? Then it's just a metaphysical speculation.

   
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,08:50   

Quote (stevestory @ May 26 2006,12:50)
Quote

“Anyone see the origin?” he said. “Anyone see the Big Bang? Anyone see the dinosaurs? These are metaphysical speculations.”
Anyone seen your brain? No? Then it's just a metaphysical speculation.

Your example is inappropriate, since obviously, his brain is not a scientific reality.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,12:37   

So... does this latest bit tell us that Kansas is still going backwards?

I did recall it was hard to control the lever on the time machine once it was pulled.

Predictions on how far back Kansas will go before the time machine finally stops?

I'm guessing somewhere around 1850.

  
Paul Flocken



Posts: 290
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,13:07   

Quote (Fractatious @ May 26 2006,10:34)
Awbrey then wrote a reply.

“I think we should be humble and avoid claiming absolute knowledge of things that could well be beyond our intellectual or moral abilities to comprehend,” Awbrey wrote, signing the letter with his communications director title.

Warning overload..., Warning overload..., Warning overload...,
BLAMMMMM! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Noooooo, that was my very first irony meter.
Who could possibly be less humble about claiming absolute knowledge than the fundies in this country?
And what lack of moral ability is it exactly that prevents us from doing and learning science?

--------------
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."-John F. Kennedy

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,13:10   

Paul, your post, along with the thousands of others documenting rampant destruction of irony meters around the globe, are clearly indicitative of the economic cost of fundamentalists.

Surely fundies are the reason gas prices are so high...

I personally think they should have to compensate the rest of us for the drag on the economy they are causing.

...and that's only half a joke, really.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,15:55   

Do Fundamentalist writers have lots of stock in companies that make irony meters, I wonder? ;)

Henry

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,16:05   

well, they do place a lot of stock in things that don't exist...

By Jove! I think you're onto somehting there!

  
Fractatious



Posts: 103
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,16:32   

Quote
At a Kansas City Press Club forum earlier this month, Awbrey argued that evolution proponents are practicing a religion. Supporting evolution, he said, is metaphysical speculation.


This reminded me of Ghost of Paley's comments on the AFDave thread. Basically if one can't lift religious ideology up to compete with science, then do whatever one can to reduce science to religious ideology.

"The cow jumped over the moon, which was a light giving source. This revolved around Earth doing its best to avoid a collosion with the sun, which was also revolving around the Earth. The little human laughed, to see such fun - however, God was not amused."

  
Fractatious



Posts: 103
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,16:41   

In keeping with Theistic Blunders, may I present a selection of comments by Doctor Kent Hovind:

Hovind attributes this: "Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless." to Professor Louis Bounoure, supposedly the former president of the Biological Society of 'Strasbourg'. A creationist web site actually gives a reference: The Advocate, March 8, 1984, p. 17

Hovind: "All animals (and people) were vegetarians before and during the Flood according to Gen. 1:20-30 with Gen. 9:3."

Hovind: "The pre-Flood people were probably much smarter and more advanced than people today."

Hovind: "The Bible says that the highest mountains were covered by 15 cubits of water. This is half the height of the ark. The ark was safe from scraping bottom at all times."

Hovind: "The continents were not separated until 100-300 years after the Flood (Gen. 10:25). The people and animals had time to migrate anywhere on earth by then."

Hovind: "Should we continue to use outdated, disproved, questionable, or inconclusive evidences to support the theory of evolution because we don't have a suitable substitute (Piltdown man, recapitulation theory, Archaeopteryx, Lucy, Java Man, Neanderthal Man, etc.)?"

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,16:51   

why do i always feel i need to put up a ward against evil every time i see something from Hovind?

Hovind makes a great case on point in support of the thesis of extreme fundamentalism being a form of child abuse.

ever see one of his lectures to kids, Fractatious?

*shudder*

btw, as someone with some background in the field, would you consider this:

Quote
"Should we continue to use outdated, disproved, questionable, or inconclusive evidences to support the theory of evolution because we don't have a suitable substitute


to be a good example of classic projection?

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,16:54   



--------------
"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

  
Fractatious



Posts: 103
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,20:01   

Hello, Sir Toejam.

Quote
ever see one of his lectures to kids, Fractatious?

Thankfully, no *twitches*

Quote
Quote
"Should we continue to use outdated, disproved, questionable, or inconclusive evidences to support the theory of evolution because we don't have a suitable substitute
 
to be a good example of classic projection?


Possibly, but when you go through his other material it is blatantly obvious that he has very little knowledge on the topics he tries to discuss. In a conversation with him I asked him what an "allele" was and he could not answer. I think his bravado compensates for this.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,20:14   

Quote
Thankfully, no *twitches*


hmm, I may have to torture you with one if i can find the one I'm thinking of.

In it, he instructs young children how to respond to their teachers by saying:

"Were you there?"

EDIT:

I found the actual text of the line he speaks in the video, but haven't found the video itself:

Quote
 Now kids, here is what you need to do, when you are in school and some teacher says, "Millions of years ago," just say, "Excuse me teacher, were you there?" They will say, "No, of course I wasn’t there millions of years ago." And say, "Teacher, do you know the earth is millions of years old or do you believe the earth is millions of years old?" See, that is not something you can know. You cannot test it, demonstrate it, prove it; you can only believe it. That is part of your religion, not part of a science. The earth cannot be billions of years old, in spite of all the propaganda to the contrary, it can only be a few thousand years old which we will cover here in just a minute.


and gets the kids to repeat it back with him.

If i find it, make sure you haven't eaten anything, and are not holding any sharp objects when you watch it.

anybody else have the link to that one?

  
Fractatious



Posts: 103
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,20:18   

I would love to see him teach academic writing.

a) Be repititious.

b) Add less chapters than you claim to confuse your superiors.

c) Forget to discuss things you said you would.

d) Discuss things that have nothing to do with anything.

f) Get a crayola and scribble PHD across it.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 26 2006,20:25   

Quote
f) Get a crayola and scribble PHD across it.


lol.

The thread on indoctrination and child abuse has me thinking about working on characterizing Hovind's children's seminars as a case study in child abuse.

  
Fractatious



Posts: 103
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 27 2006,01:01   

Quote
Now kids, here is what you need to do, when you are in school and some teacher says, "Millions of years ago," just say, "Excuse me teacher, were you there?" They will say, "No, of course I wasn’t there millions of years ago." And say, "Teacher, do you know the earth is millions of years old or do you believe the earth is millions of years old?" See, that is not something you can know. You cannot test it, demonstrate it, prove it; you can only believe it. That is part of your religion, not part of a science. The earth cannot be billions of years old, in spite of all the propaganda to the contrary, it can only be a few thousand years old which we will cover here in just a minute.


I took awhile over this one, mainly to gauge the various angles it can take. So bear with me as I try and give structure to this from a psychological perspective.

"Now kids, here is what you need to do, when you are in school and some teacher says.. "

This is probably the most telling sentence, in the entire passage/paragraph. This is intent and purpose to achieve a goal and/or desire involving children. But let me step back for a second.. learning, and especially education has three stages which are: encoding, storage, and retrieval. It is Learning and Memory Stages, 3 to be precise. When this process is tampered with, its interference (aptly named). In Hovind's case its retroactive interference. Retroactive Inteference is "the disruption of memory by learning of other material during the retention interval" (Eysenck, 2004). Closely associated to "forgetting theories" this is actually used and or applied by abused people. I think what I am getting out is manipulation of the mind/indoctrination but in Hovind's case its premeditated. So yes, you possibly have a very, very good chance of presenting his videos to psychologists in America and have a standing case - I'm surprised it has not been done already.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 27 2006,09:00   

*rubs hands together like monty burns*

eeexxccelllenntt...

lol.

Thanks, that's quite helpful.  I'm barely scratching the surface here, but I still would guess that somebody HAS tried this angle before.  It's so rare that a truly new legal argument of this nature appears.

do you have the full reference to Eysenck, 2004?

also do you have other source materials you would recommend I check out to get a better background in this area?

I'm an ichthyologist/behavioral ecologist; my background in psych is pretty much limited to a one year undergrad course, and those bits and pieces directly related to classic ethology.

thanks

I sent you a PM; check your inbox.

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 27 2006,09:38   

PM MY ASS!

As you know, Sir Nastyness-Of-The-Lower-Appendages, I have a vested interest in this conversation.

Air it out on the abuse thread, if you would be so kind.

Thanks.

:D

Seriously though, this definitely deserves mention over there.  And I'm really surprised there's not more conversation going on in that thread.  Maybe I dun skared 'em all off!

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
sir_toejam



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Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 27 2006,10:09   

your last name wouldn't be Ferrigno, by any chance Lou?

;)

chill; the subject was OT from this discussion, hence the PM.

this too is OT, so I'll move further discussion back to the other thread momentarily; I just wanted to catch up on the other threads first.

and..

Quote
And I'm really surprised there's not more conversation going on in that thread.  Maybe I dun skared 'em all off!


nawww.  it's just that most folks here would rather lampoon the AFDaves than try to figure out other ways of marginalizing them.

it's far simpler and way more fun.

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 27 2006,10:30   

'tsall good, STJ.  

I assumed that anything relevent to that conversation would make it over there.  I'm just goofin' to blow off some steam, interjecting annoyances wherever I can, just to crack myself up.  This can freely be sent to TBW.  In fact, I don't believe I've ever been sent there.  Not once.  Hey, you're not somebody 'til you've been sent there.  Even Inspector Clouser's been sent there like a million times.  I've dreamt of saying something that gets sent there.  I'm obsessing.  I'm up at night.  I read TBW to get pointers on how to get there indirectly.  (Am I there yet?) (If not, what can I do better?) Lenny goes there all the time, and he even says stuff that makes sense.  Of course, it's OT cause he's responding to some nutjob who says something OT and they need a good verbal smackdown, but still.

How about:

Hey, if birds came from tyranosauruses, how come we still...

shoot.

:D

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 27 2006,10:34   

the bathroom wall is the repository of OT crap from the 'thumb, not from here.

if you want to get a post tossed there, you have to post some ridiculous OT stuff over on PT.

You can also just post there directly, as i think you already have?

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 27 2006,10:43   

Yeah, but it's not the same as getting tossed there.  It's like cheating.  And I thought OT stuff from here got sent there, too.  There's probably a rule like Oldham's, too, where it doesn't work if you do it on purpose.

crap.

As far as "were you there?" arguments like Hovind's go, that's just dumb.  I wasn't there when men landed on the moon, but only an idiot  would suggest... oh wait.  Point taken.

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 27 2006,11:39   

i think the best refutation of the idiotic 'were you there' claim, is to connect it to something emotional. Many fundies I know are still bitter that OJ Simpson got off. So ask them about the simpson murders, "Were you theeeeerrrrrrre?".

   
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 27 2006,11:47   

stevestory:
Quote
i think the best refutation of the idiotic 'were you there' claim, is to connect it to something emotional. Many fundies I know are still bitter that OJ Simpson got off. So ask them about the simpson murders, "Were you theeeeerrrrrrre?".

My model must be going well, or perhaps it's the long weekend.....but I think Steve has a point here. In fact, I've used that same objection. This particular argument needs a funeral - the more Viking, the better.

--------------
Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 27 2006,16:06   



"Were you theeeeerrrrrrre?".

*sigh* too bad Hovind isn't on that boat.

  
Fractatious



Posts: 103
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 28 2006,00:37   

Step up to the plate President George Bush Junior.

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." —Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream." —LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

"Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?" —Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

"The world is more peaceful and more free under my leadership." George W Bush, White House, Oct. 28, 2003

  
Fractatious



Posts: 103
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 28 2006,01:33   

Quote (sir_toejam @ May 28 2006,07:00)
do you have the full reference to Eysenck, 2004?E

Eysenck, Michael W. (2004). An international perspective. New York: Psychology Press Ltd. (ISBN: 1-84169-361-8).

Chapter 9 - Human Memory (Theories of Forgetting).

Interference Theory

Interference theory can be traced back to Hugo Munsterberg in the nineteenth century. For many years, he kept his pocket watch in one particular pocket. When he started keeping it in a different pocket, he often fumbled about in confusion when asked for the time. He had learned an association between the stimulus, "What time is it, Hugo?", and the response of removing the watch from his pocket. Later on, the stimulus remained the same but a different response was now associated with it.

According to interference theory, our ability to remember what we are currently learning can be disrupted (or interfered with) either by what we have previously learned or by subsequent learning. When previous learning interferes with our memory of later learning, we have proactive interference (as shown in the case of Munsterberg and his pocket watch). When later learning disrupts memory for earlier learning, there is retroactive interference. Proactive and retroactive interference are both maximal when two different responses have been associated with the same stimulus; intermediate when two stimulus reponses have been associated with the same stimulus; and minimal when two different stimulus are involved (Underwood & Postman, 1960). (p. 306).

The role of conceptual recoding in reducing children's retroactive interference.

Howe ML.

Lakehead University, Department of Psychology, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada. mark.howe@lakeheadu.ca

Reductions in children's retroactive interference were examined with conceptual recoding. Children learned two 10-item lists of toys; items on the 2nd list could also be classified as vehicles. Some children were not told about this 2nd category, whereas others were told either at the end of acquisition or just prior to the retention test 24 hr later. The results showed that (a) children benefited from the recoding instruction, (b) younger but not older children failed to benefit from the recoding manipulation when it occurred just prior to the retention test, and © recoding reduced retroactive interference primarily through affecting storage processes. These results provide new evidence concerning the importance of making information distinctive in storage in children's retention. (© 2004 APA, all rights reserved) (Source)

I'm just currently reading through my Clinical Child Psychology (Walker and Roberts) book (3 inches thick) yay me.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2006,20:01   

ahh, thanks.

good luck reading that fatty; sounds like good bedtime reading ;)

let us know if anything interesting pops up relevant to the other thread on religious indoctrination.

  
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