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By David MacMillan. 3. You don’t evolve, your species does. Creationists often conceptualize evolution as something which is purely vertical: successive changes from parent to child to grandchild to great-grandchild accumulating over time. They can hardly be faulted for this misconception, because this view seems to be shared by the general public and even reinforced by the sometimes-imprecise explanations and depictions of evolution by museums and science educators. Evolutionary adaptation, however, does not happen in... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
The economist Paul Krugman has come to the “somewhat surprising conclusion” that global warming denial is not mainly about vested economic interests but rather asks us to think about global warming from the point of view of someone who grew up taking Ayn Rand seriously, believing that the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest is always good and that government is always the problem, never the solution. Along come some scientists declaring that unrestricted pursuit of self-interest... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Anas cyanoptera – cinnamon teal, Walden Ponds, Boulder, Colorado.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
The Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Board of Education has filed its Brief in Opposition to Freshwater’s petition for a writ of certiori with the Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS). Recall that Freshwater asked SCOTUS to overturn his firing on the ground that it violated his First Amendment rights, and that prohibiting his teaching the “scientific strengths and weaknesse of biological evolution” also violates the First Amendment. I haven’t found an online version of the Brief... Richard B. Hoppe
The paperback edition of Stephen Meyer’s book Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design has just been published. It has a new chapter responding to critics of the book – Donald Prothero, Charles Marshall, and yours truly, the blogger the ID guys were dismissing for a year based on the fact that I wrote the review quickly. The largest section of the new chapter responds to me. The... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
By David MacMillan 2. Variation and adaptation The majority of modern creation science freely admits the existence of biological variation, adaptation, and speciation. Indeed, the recent-creation model – particularly the belief that all extant life descended from a small group of “kinds” present on Noah’s Ark which diversified into all families on Earth after a global flood – requires enormous adaptive variation and near-constant speciation. Creationists estimate that fewer than 10,000 pairs of land-dwelling, air-breathing... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Kodak Precision Enlarger, Model 1. Note added June 16 at approximately 1:10 CST: Submission period extended 1 week to June 23. Polish your lenses, oil your tripods, search your archives – the sixth Panda’s Thumb photography contest, begins – now! We will accept entries from 12:00 CST, June 2, through 12:00 CST, June 16 June 23. The theme of the contest is History of Evolution, by which we mean photographs of fruit flies, barnacles,... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
In this short series, David MacMillan explains how misinformation and misconceptions allow creationists to maintain their beliefs even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. A former creationist blogger and writer, Mr. MacMillan earned his BS degree in physics from the University of North Alabama and now works as a technical writer when he isn’t frequenting the PT comment boards. Since leaving creationism, he has written several columns discussing the public dialogue between... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Photograph by Andrew Freeman. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Geum aleppicum – yellow avens, Pearl Lake, Colorado.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
The National Center for Science Education will host a webinar, “Debunking and confronting science denial,” Wednesday, May 28, 4 PM EDT/1 PM PDT. Josh Rosenau of NCSE will moderate a panel that includes Shauna Theel from the climate and energy project at Media Matters for America, John Cook of SkepticalScience.com and the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute, and be moderated by NCSE’s Josh Rosenau. Shauna will discuss her work addressing media misstatements and how... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Kentucky geologist Daniel Phelps yesterday sent us a press release noting that AIG’s Allosaurus fossil will go on display this weekend; see the AP release by Dylan Lovan here. Mr. Lovan quotes Mr. Phelps to this effect: Daniel Phelps, president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society, said in a release Thursday that the Creation Museum “has decided, without doing research, that the dinosaur fossil is evidence of Noah’s flood.” What Mr. Lovan left out is far... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Apparently not at Bryan College (yes, that Bryan) in Dayton, Tennessee (yes, that Dayton), according to an article in yesterday’s Times. The college, founded in 1930, requires faculty to sign a statement agreeing to certain reactionary views on creation and evolution, including, “The origin of man was by fiat of God,” according to the article by Alan Blinder. Several months ago, the college added a “clarification” to the effect that Adam and Eve “are historical... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Photograph by Matthew Opel. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Sarracenia purpurea ssp. purpurea – purple pitcher plant, growing in a floating sphagnum bog in Tolland County, Connecticut.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
… June 2. That is, we will accept entries from noon, June 2, to noon, June 16, where noon is defined by the Panda’s Thumb server, which thinks it is still in Central Standard Time, or UTC(GMT) – 5 h. The rules will be essentially the same as last year’s. We have not chosen categories yet, but please be assured that they will be all-inclusive. So grease your shutters and be ready! Update, May 31: The theme of... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
By Gert Korthof. “It is a very, very hard problem. Getting all the pieces to work means re-engineering 3.5 billion years of evolution. It’s so ambitious.” These are the words of a scientist 14 years ago . He was talking about the project of inventing new bases to include in DNA and let the new DNA function in a living cell. Now an important milestone has been reached towards that goal. Scientists have succeeded in... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Listen Now. On this episode of ID the Future Casey Luskin continues his interview of Doug Ell on his new book, Counting to God: A Personal Journey Through Science to Belief. Ell discusses the scientific evidence that led him...
Listen Now. On this episode of ID the Future, hear more from Dr. Jonathan Wells on his recently published paper, "Membrane Patterns Carry Ontogenetic Information That Is Specified Independently of DNA." Dr. Wells explains how information is carried in...
Listen Now. On this episode of ID the Future, hear the first in a series of podcasts that takes a critical look at the new Cosmos TV series. Listen in as Casey Luskin examines the stated agenda of Cosmos...
Listen Now. On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin talks with Doug Ell about his book, titled Counting to God: A Personal Journey Through Science to Belief. Ell discusses his personal story about how he lost his...
Listen Now. On this episode of ID the Future, Jonathan Wells continues his conversation with Casey Luskin about his most recently published peer-reviewed article, "Membrane Patterns Carry Ontogenetic Information That Is Specified Independently of DNA." Listen in as Dr....
Antievolutionists Say the Darndest Things
Antievolutionists often express outrage over alleged incivility from those who oppose their efforts to evade the establishment clause of the First Amendment. But they have no difficulty in dishing out the abuse themselves. Here is a sample from the Invidious Comparisons thread that documents egregious behavior on the part of the religious antievolution advocates.
One thing that Jack Krebs and I agree with is that Pratt can be likened to an outpost under siege in a cultural war.
My wife and I just returned from a trip to Belgium. We visited Bastogne where a few brave Americans of the 101st Airborne Division were surrounded by the German Army during the battle of the bulge. The German attack was led by a crack SS unit that took no prisoners.
What were we fighting against in Bastogne? We were fighting against a Nazi regime that used the philosophy of Naturalism to justify a eugenics program of terrifying proportions. Naturalism is the belief that all phenomena result only from the laws of chemistry and physics and that teleological or design explanations are not valid. Naturalism is not science. It is a belief system.
In the same manner, the defenders in Pratt are fighting against Naturalism, although they may not realize it. Rather than fighting against science, they are actually fighting for science. They are fighting for science that is driven by logic and critical thinking rather than by a philosophy that teaches to the exclusion of all other teachings that we are the products of only chance and necessity. They are fighting for science that is driven by the scientific method rather than science that is driven by a philosophy of Naturalism.
Rather than using logic and good science to support its assault on the brave contingent in Pratt, the KCFS is using tactics one would expect from those that besieged Bastogne: scare tactics, misinformation and no substantive discussion of the real issues.
So, we are back looking at Pratt as the bombs fall. The question is whether the Board and the Community will be supported by the rest of us as they have had the guts that General McAullife and the other brave Americans had that cold winter day in Bastogne 54 years ago. McAullife's reply was very simple when asked to surrender: "Nuts!" McAullife and the 101st were subsequently relieved by elements of Patton's Third Army. In the same way we all need to rise up and put our hands together for the Pratt Board and Pratt Citizens that have just characterized the outrageous censorship by the science establishment as "Nuts!"