An open letter to the 600 NCSE Steves,
My dearest, my darlings, you little stinkers! In all of my 25 plus years as a professional something or other, (and believe me, I've done a lot of stuff for money!) nothing makes me prouder than to have been involved in what became known internationally as Project Steve. Oh, poo to project lead on one of BellSouth's largest re-engineering software projects of the late 90s, GE Financial Services first venture into the World Wide Web and Bechtel Engineering's Web Initiative Plan what'cha'ma'call'it. Project Steve beat the pants off all of them.
From the moment that Matt Inlay first pondered the vastness of Steves (individually or collectively, only Matt himself knows), Glenn and I fell giggling onto the floor of the NCSE office munching Twinkies and causing the Darwinian-Only Terror herself, Dr. Eugenie Scott, to come from her lair and roar, “C'mon guys, what's so funny,” we knew we were on to something.
At first we thought it just too outrageous to even contemplate. After all, who were these so-called Steves? Botanists, geologists, paleontologists, biologists, tobacconists? Would they answer our call? Well, my boys, you did answer. With all the courage and conviction of someone who would send an email to a colleague stating, “Hey Steve, did you get one of these? Are the clowns at NCSE serious about this?” you charged to the front trenches defending quality science education.
Check out The Battle Over Evolution: How Geoscientists Can Help by Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education.
Casey Luskin writes in the Discovery Institute's Evolution News and Views blog concerning the widespread perception that "intelligent design" invokes supernatural explanation. Luskin says that critics of ID have misled the public on this issue, and that all becomes clear when one examines what ID advocates have to say on the matter. Luskin goes on at length concerning his conjectures of the structure of misinformation about ID; it's a relatively amusing read. But don't expect much in the way of empirical support for the claims.
NCSE's Anj Petto will be on "Conversations with Kathleen Dunn" on Wisconsin Public Radio on Thursday, August 25, 2005. The segment begins at 10 AM CDT. Yesterday, the Kathleen Dunn show interviewed Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Michael Behe.
To call in to the program, use 1-800-486-8655 or 227-2050 in Milwaukee.
This is a new install of CMS software to run the AE site upon. I'm getting a feel for things and one thing I'm certain of is that this provides a good basis for a collaborative website.
Unfortunately, one side effect of going public early is that I now am also dealing with early cracking attempts. Someone at IP address 184.108.40.206 spent a good chunk of the evening trying to get to various administration pages without authentication. One typical item from the log:
Type access denied Date Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 00:31 User Anonymous Location /cs/admin/system/modules
Over on his weblog, William Dembski has a post making reference to an article on a means of "fingerprinting" textured surfaces, like paper. It is an interesting article. But look what Dembski has to say about it:
The Logic of Fingerprinting
Check out the following article in the July 28th, 2005 issue of Nature, which clearly indicates how improbability arguments can be used to eliminate randomness and infer design: “‘Fingerprinting’ documents and packaging: Unique surface imperfections serve as an easily identifiable feature in the fight against fraud.” I run through the logic here in the first two chapters of The Design Inference.
Well, it is a little troubling how to proceed from this point. Did Dembski fail to read the article? Is Dembski simply spouting something that ID cheerleaders can nod sagely about without regard to whether it happens to accord with reality? Whatever excuse might be given, the plain fact of the matter is that the procedure and principles referred to in the short PDF Dembski cites have nothing whatever to do with Dembski's "design inference", and cannot be forced into the framework Dembski claims.
Please send me email (email@example.com) to request a user account here at AE.
I've been involved in online discussions of evolution and SciCre since the mid-80's in various fora. I'm a longtime participant on talk.origins (since 1992), and the founder of the FidoNet Evolution Echo. I've contributed to the TalkOrigins Archive and am the current president of the TalkOrigins Foundation.
My major motivation in participation has been the issue of whether we will continue to teach science and only science in the science classroom.
In 1986, I attended a lecture given on YEC by a geologist. Not having much familiarity with geology, many of his arguments sounded not just plausible, but conclusive. After the lecture, I talked with the speaker, who gave me a copy of Henry Morris' "The Scientific Case for Creation". As I read that book, I started highlighting things that were pretty obviously contrafactual. I think that there are perhaps five pages total without highlighter in the book now. I also learned that many if not most of the arguments given by the original lecturer were also bogus. This helped spur me to investigate the topic further and get involved in the discussions.