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Date: 2005/11/21 22:41:13, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
John Calvert is upset because Kansas University is teaching ID the way it should be taught; as religion

Quote
Creationism and intelligent design are slated to be the subjects of a Kansas University class next semester — but as mythology, not science.

“The KU faculty has had enough,” said Paul Mirecki, chairman of KU’s religious studies department. He said he planned to teach “Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies” next semester.

Mirecki’s plans angered some of the state’s religious conservatives, who earlier this month successfully pushed changes in state science standards that critique evolution. And one intelligent design proponent questioned Mirecki’s science credentials.

“I would predict that (Mirecki’s) effort will go down in history as one of the laughingstocks of the century,” said John Calvert, an attorney and managing director of the Intelligent Design Network in Johnson County.


Read it here.

Date: 2005/11/22 23:13:10, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Some more news

Quote
Provost tries to put class in context; conservatives threaten to attack funding for higher education

By Sophia Maines (Contact)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Kansas University official tried Tuesday to calm critics of a new religion class that labels intelligent design as “mythology,” but conservatives said they might take aim at the university’s funding.

“It is unfortunate that the course title’s reference to ‘mythologies’ has been misconstrued,” Provost David Shulenburger said in a written statement released Tuesday afternoon. “The terms ‘myth’ and ‘mythology’ are common in the academic study of religion and not an affront. A myth refers to the common use of stories or rituals to symbolize in a meaningful manner the core beliefs of a religion; it does not refer to any religion as a whole.”

But some conservatives, such as Sen. Kay O’Connor, R-Olathe, were unmoved.

“Why poke a stick in somebody’s eye if you don’t have to?” she said. “If you’re going to have an intelligent design course and call it mythology, I think in the very least it’s a slap in the face to every Judeo-Christian religion that’s out there.”

And John Altevogt, a conservative columnist and activist in Kansas City, said Tuesday that state officials should require the university to change the name of the Department of Religious Studies to the “Department of Religious Intolerance.”

“If we can’t do that,” Altevogt said, “maybe we settle for some cuts in spending.”

Date: 2005/11/25 04:42:58, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
From today's Chicago Tribune:

Quote
Campus clubs set up to defend concept

By Lisa Anderson
Tribune national correspondent
Published November 25, 2005

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Dappled with autumn leaves, the manicured campus of an Ivy League university in upstate New York may seem far from the cornfields of Kansas or the rural towns of central Pennsylvania, but it represents the newest of these battlefields in the growing culture war over the teaching of evolution.

The national spotlight recently has focused on school boards in Kansas, Pennsylvania and elsewhere that are grappling with calls for including intelligent design, a concept critical of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, in science curricula. But a significant new front in this cultural conflict is opening in the halls of American higher education, spearheaded by science students skeptical of evolution and intrigued by intelligent design.

One of them is Hannah Maxson. A math and chemistry major at Cornell University, she founded an Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Club here this fall.


Read it here.

Date: 2005/11/27 03:18:27, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By Sophia Maines (Contact)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Intelligent design — already the planned subject of a controversial Kansas University seminar this spring — will make its way into a second KU classroom in the fall, this time labeled as a “pseudoscience.”

In addition to intelligent design, the class Archaeological Myths and Realities will cover such topics as UFOs, crop circles, extrasensory perception and the ancient pyramids.

John Hoopes, associate professor of anthropology, said the course focused on critical thinking and taught how to differentiate science and “pseudoscience.” Intelligent design belongs in the second category, he said, because it cannot be tested and proven false.

“I think this is very important for students to be articulate about — they need to be able to define and recognize pseudoscience,” Hoopes said.


Read it here.

Date: 2005/12/03 22:02:32, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: December 4, 2005

TO read the headlines, intelligent design as a challenge to evolution seems to be building momentum.

In Kansas last month, the board of education voted that students should be exposed to critiques of evolution like intelligent design. At a trial of the Dover, Pa., school board that ended last month, two of the movement's leading academics presented their ideas to a courtroom filled with spectators and reporters from around the world. President Bush endorsed teaching "both sides" of the debate - a position that polls show is popular. And Pope Benedict XVI weighed in recently, declaring the universe an "intelligent project."

Intelligent design posits that the complexity of biological life is itself evidence of a higher being at work. As a political cause, the idea has gained currency, and for good reason. The movement was intended to be a "big tent" that would attract everyone from biblical creationists who regard the Book of Genesis as literal truth to academics who believe that secular universities are hostile to faith. The slogan, "Teach the controversy," has simple appeal in a democracy.

Behind the headlines, however, intelligent design as a field of inquiry is failing to gain the traction its supporters had hoped for. It has gained little support among the academics who should have been its natural allies. And if the intelligent design proponents lose the case in Dover, there could be serious consequences for the movement's credibility.


Read it here.

Date: 2005/12/16 21:09:53, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
So now we know what an ID lesson plan might look like:

Quote
By Douglas Baynton

Saturday, December 17, 2005; Page A23

School boards across the country are facing pressure to teach "intelligent design" in science classes, but what would such courses look like? Thankfully, we need not tax our imaginations. All we have to do is look inside some 19th-century textbooks.

The one science course routinely taught in elementary schools back then was geography. Textbooks such as James Monteith's "Physical and Intermediate Geography" (1866), Arnold Guyot's "Physical Geography" (1873) and John Brocklesby's "Elements of Physical Geography" (1868) were compendiums of knowledge intended to teach children a little of everything about Earth and its inhabitants.

These textbooks seem also to have been intended to provide solace for the existentially anxious. All of them offered in one form or another the reassurance that "Geography teaches us about the earth which was made to be our home." Earth by itself "could not be the abode of man," advised one. "Therefore, two indispensable agents are provided -- the sun and atmosphere." The entire vast history of the planet was summed up as the "gradual formation by which it was made ready for the reception of mankind." The lay of the land had been thoughtfully arranged for our benefit: "As the torrid regions of the earth require the greatest amount of rain, there are the loftiest mountains, which act as huge condensers of the clouds." Because the breezes that blew down mountainsides cooled the inhabitants below, the highest were located in the hottest parts of the world "for the same reason that you put a piece of ice into a pitcher of water in summer, rather than in winter."


Read it here.

Date: 2005/12/17 17:11:11, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
The United States is, by any standards, the leading scientific nation in the history of the world. Yet this unprecedented powerhouse of scientific achievement is being dragged down in derision, in the eyes of the entire educated world, by the preposterous antics on display at the Kansas Board of Education and threatening other boondocks of local democracy. A second-rate mathematician, a mediocre biochemist, a born-again retired lawyer and a Moonie have somehow succeeded in elevating themselves, in the eyes of influential but ignorant politicians, rich benefactors and duped laymen, to near parity with the entire National Academy. How has it been allowed to happen? When will this great country come to its senses and rejoin the civilized world?


Read it here.

Date: 2005/12/18 00:56:56, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
From today's York Daily Record, Judge's ruling in Dover case nears:

Quote
Judge John E. Jones III's response to six weeks of testimony, encompassing everything from the Big Bang theory and the bacterial flagellum to the Cambrian Explosion, is expected early this week. Plaintiffs' lawyers and scientists say the ruling will likely be Tuesday.


The Panda's Thumb also gets a mention:

Quote
The outcome of the case is also being watched closely by the science community. Pandasthumb.org, an online discussion group of scientists monitoring the evolutionary debate, had followed the trial closely under the heading "Waterloo in Dover."

Last week, a flurry of giddy posts speculated on the trial's outcome. The debate wasn't about whether Jones would rule in favor of Dover, but whether, as Buell fears, he will rule against intelligent design.

As one person wrote Thursday, "It's an early Christmas gift for us. All that remains to be seen is, will it be a little puppy or a big pony?"

Date: 2005/12/18 01:04:17, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Also, the NY Times has a profile on Judge Jones, Evolution Trial in Hands of Willing Judge, which contains this tidbit:

Quote
Legal experts said the big question was whether Judge Jones would rule narrowly or more broadly on the merits of teaching intelligent design as science. Proponents of the theory argue that living organisms are so complex that the best explanation is that a higher intelligence designed them.

One of his clerks hinted last week that the decision was long.


Make of that what you will.

Date: 2006/01/04 00:04:15, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Film explores intelligent design-evolution ‘circus’

By Scott Rothschild (Contact)

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Kansas and an extinct bird share top billing in a new documentary film called “Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus.”

The 84-minute movie, portions of which were filmed in Lawrence, is slated for upcoming preview screenings at Harvard University and other prestigious venues.

The movie explores the science controversy in Kansas and Dover, Pa., which pitted mainstream scientists against proponents of intelligent design. It focuses on tactics and which side is winning or losing the public relations battle.

Randy Olson, the former Kansas University student, marine biologist and filmmaker behind the documentary, said Tuesday that mainstream science was losing the fight for public opinion because most scientists aren’t adept at public relations.


Read it here.

Watch the movie trailer here.

Date: 2006/01/05 23:12:31, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Theory has a place in Texas schools, he says; most rivals disagree

By W. Gardner Selby
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Friday, January 06, 2006

Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican who has made outreach to Christian conservatives a theme of his gubernatorial portfolio, thinks Texas public school students should be taught intelligent design along with evolutionary theory, his office said Thursday.

Three Democratic challengers for governor this year and independent hopeful Kinky Friedman disagreed. Independent candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn had no immediate comment, and a little-known Democratic hopeful sided with Perry. . . .

. . .Texas mandates the teaching of evolution, both its strengths and weaknesses, in science classes.

Perry "supports the teaching of the theory of intelligent design," spokeswoman Kathy Walt said. "Texas schools teach the theory of evolution; intelligent design is a valid scientific theory, and he believes it should be taught as well."

She said elements of creationism are consistent with intelligent design and that teaching different theories is part of developing students' critical thinking skills.


Read it here.

(get a login & password here.)

Date: 2006/01/23 23:22:30, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Speaker stands behind theory

By Sophia Maines (Contact)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Intelligent design proponent William Dembski stood on an empty stage Monday at the Lied Center.

Organizers of the event had tried in advance to get a science professor to spar with him, but all who were asked declined.

Dembski, a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., expounded on the theory and criticized evolution before a nearly packed auditorium.

“I hope that tonight shows that there is substance to this science,” said Mark Brown, director of Campus Crusade, which invited Dembski to campus. “Real science should pursue the truth. Truth is the friend of science and religion equally.”

Dembski’s statements were met with both applause and heckles.

To Jack Krebs, president of Kansas Citizens for Science, a group critical of intelligent design, Dembski was floundering in a substanceless middle ground somewhere between science and religion.

“It was not science and it was not religion,” Krebs said. “Therefore it was fairly uneventful in my mind.”


Read it here.

Date: 2006/01/25 01:05:43, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By Charles C. Haynes

Have Darwin's foes become their own worst enemy?

Consider the school board in the El Tejon Unified School District in rural California. On New Year's Day they approved a month-long course called "Philosophy of Design," a thinly disguised attempt to challenge evolution by promoting intelligent design and creationism.

This week — facing a lawsuit by 11 parents supported by lawyers with Americans United for Separation of Church and State — the district announced it would end the course early and never offer it again.

This latest setback for opponents of evolution comes less than a month after a federal judge in Pennsylvania struck down as unconstitutional the Dover school district's inclusion of intelligent design in the curriculum as a scientific alternative to Darwin's theory. Although proponents insist that intelligent design is not religiously based (ID holds that the complexity of life points to design by an intelligent force), the judge ruled that it is.

In the wake of the Dover defeat, even many supporters of ID now acknowledge that the Dover approach was a failed strategy — especially given the transparent religious purpose of the school board members who advocated the policy. Whatever one thinks about the ultimate fate of the claims for intelligent design as science, it seems clear that today's courts are unlikely to allow public schools to teach ID as a scientific alternative to evolution.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/01/30 00:14:28, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Found this commentary at Human Events Online.  Grab a barf bag

Quote
by Allan H. Ryskind
Posted Jan 30, 2006

The two scariest words in the English language? Intelligent Design! That phrase tends to produce a nasty rash and night sweats among our elitist class.

Should some impressionable teenager ever hear those words from a public school teacher, we are led to believe, that student may embrace a secular heresy: that some intelligent force or energy, maybe even a god, rather than Darwinian blind chance, has been responsible for the gazillions of magnificently designed life forms that populate our privileged planet.

You don’t have to be a liberal to be spooked. Two of our nation’s most illustrious conservative elitists—Charles Krauthammer and George Will—have become terrified by the doubts about Darwinism. Krauthammer’s argument boils down to this: ID is just a “tarted up version of creationism”—and such a “religious” view has no business entering a classroom dealing with a really holy subject such as Darwin. Even if a student is inexorably led by the science to believe that ID is a possibility, according to Krauthammer’s logic, neither the student nor his teacher should be allowed to blurt out something so inappropriate in a biology class.

Missing Truth

Will has nothing but scorn for the lower human life forms who think ID should be mentioned, even if just shyly whispered, in a public school setting. When the Kansas State Board of Education decided to allow—but not require—ID discussions in science classes, Will raged that the board “is controlled by the kind of conservatives who make conservatism repulsive to temperate people.” (Are these the words of a “temperate” man?) Those repugnant conservatives had the audacity to proclaim that evolution is not a fact— “But it is,” Will sniffed.

Really? Well, let’s just see if only dimwitted (and repulsive) conservatives think the case for Darwinian theory is weak. Literally hundreds of geneticists, biologists, paleontologists, chemists, mathematicians and other scientists—whose religious views vary from agnostic to evangelical—say the theory is not a fact. Among them: Lev. V. Beloussov and Vladimir L. Voelkov, two prominent Russian biologists from Moscow State University; Dr. Richard Sternberg, an evolutionary biologist at the Smithsonian Institution; and Dr. David Berlinski, a mathematician with post-doctoral training in molecular biology. (Berlinksi’s scholarly article in the February issue of Commentary will prove an unpleasant read for evolutionists.)

The Discovery Institute recently produced a list of over 400 scientists of varying faith and non-faith—including those from such prestigious institutions as Princeton, MIT and Cornell—who signed onto a statement stressing they were “skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life.”

Date: 2006/01/30 01:20:38, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote (guthrie @ Jan. 30 2006,06:39)
Anyone know what "Commentary" is for?  IS it a real journal of something?


I think it is a political opinion magazine, judging from its website.

Date: 2006/01/30 16:25:43, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Darwinism has had it all its own way for too long, Warwick's controversial sociologist tells Zoë Corbyn

Tuesday January 31, 2006
The Guardian

In 1981, in a courtroom in Little Rock, Arkansas, Michael Ruse testified that "creation science", the faith-based explanation of life's beginnings, was not science at all. "In my opinion," Ruse told the court, "creation science is religion." It was the first time in America's fraught struggle over evolution that a philosopher of science had taken the stand and his words made a big impression on Steve Fuller, then a 22-year-old PhD student. "It set a precedent because, up to that point, the only people allowed to testify on the nature of science were professional scientists," Fuller recalls.

These days, Fuller is a professor of sociology at Warwick University. Last October, in Dover, Pennsylvania, he too found himself giving evidence in court. But unlike Ruse, a champion of Darwinian evolution, Fuller took the stand as an expert witness in support of intelligent design. Fuller argued that ID - the idea that some systems are so complex they must have been designed by an intelligent agent - should be added to the science curriculum. He lost. The Dover judgment concluded ID was the progeny of creationism and couldn't be taught as science. "The judge in the Dover case went back to the old standard of what the experts say," says Fuller.

Fuller claims he doesn't personally favour ID, but feels that it should have a "fair run for its money". His view on evolutionary theory is that the jury is out, though he acknowledges that Darwinism does have the most evidence on its side. He describes himself as "very sympathetic to Christian ideas", although he doesn't go to church or belong to any particular denomination. "I don't see that there is a point at which one needs to make some radical decision between being a Christian or a secularist," he says.

When pushed, he labels himself a "secular humanist", admitting he does so partly to provoke a response. "Typically, people who call themselves secular humanists think of themselves as Darwinists," he says. His own version puts "human beings at the centre of reality, creating God in their image and likeness" and "taking control of evolution".

He criticises Richard Dawkins, professor of public understanding of science at Oxford University, who recently made two films for Channel 4 attacking religious belief. "My guess is that Dawkins just doesn't know enough about the history of secular humanism to realise that Darwin killed off man at the same time as he killed off God," says Fuller, who featured in a BBC2 documentary, The War on Science, last Thursday.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/02/03 20:55:03, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
From today's NY Times.

Quote
The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé says he was an intern in the "war room" of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. A 2003 journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he was also the public-affairs officer who sought more control over Dr. Hansen's public statements.

In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word "theory" needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion," Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

It continued: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."

The memo also noted that The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual specified the phrasing "Big Bang theory." Mr. Acosta, Mr. Deutsch's boss, said in an interview yesterday that for that reason, it should be used in all NASA documents.

The Deutsch memo was provided by an official at NASA headquarters who said he was upset with the effort to justify changes to descriptions of science by referring to politically charged issues like intelligent design. Senior NASA officials did not dispute the message's authenticity.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/02/04 04:38:00, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Religious critics of evolution are wrong about its flaws. But are they right that it threatens belief in a loving God?

By Shankar Vedantam

Sunday, February 5, 2006; Page W08

Ricky Nguyen and Mariama Lowe never really believed in evolution to begin with. But as they took their seats in Room CC-121 at Northern Virginia Community College on November 2, they fully expected to hear what students usually hear in any Biology 101 class: that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was true.

As professor Caroline Crocker took the lectern, Nguyen sat in the back of the class of 60 students, Lowe in the front. Crocker, who wore a light brown sweater and slacks, flashed a slide showing a cartoon of a cheerful monkey eating a banana. An arrow led from the monkey to a photograph of an exceptionally unattractive man sitting in his underwear on a couch. Above the arrow was a question mark.

Crocker was about to establish a small beachhead for an insurgency that ultimately aims to topple Darwin's view that humans and apes are distant cousins. The lecture she was to deliver had caused her to lose a job at a previous university, she told me earlier, and she was taking a risk by delivering it again. As a nontenured professor, she had little institutional protection. But this highly trained biologist wanted students to know what she herself deeply believed: that the scientific establishment was perpetrating fraud, hunting down critics of evolution to ruin them and disguising an atheistic view of life in the garb of science.

It took a while for Nguyen, Lowe and the other students to realize what they were hearing. Some took notes; others doodled distractedly. Crocker brought up a new slide. She told the students there were two kinds of evolution: microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution is easily seen in any microbiology lab. Grow bacteria in a petri dish; destroy half with penicillin; and allow the remainder to repopulate the dish. The new generation of bacteria, descendants of survivors, will better withstand the drug the next time. That's because they are likely to have the chance mutations that allow some bacteria to defend themselves against penicillin. Over multiple cycles, increasingly resistant strains can become impervious to the drug, and the mutations can become standard issue throughout the bacterial population. A new, resistant strain of bacteria would have evolved. While such small changes are well established, Crocker said, they are quite different from macroevolution. No one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat in a laboratory.


Read it here.

Crocker's students might want to ask for their money back.

Date: 2006/02/11 01:28:12, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
# Those who believe in creationism -- children and adults -- are being taught to challenge evolution's tenets in an in-your-face way.

By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer

WAYNE, N.J. — Evangelist Ken Ham smiled at the 2,300 elementary students packed into pews, their faces rapt. With dinosaur puppets and silly cartoons, he was training them to reject much of geology, paleontology and evolutionary biology as a sinister tangle of lies.

"Boys and girls," Ham said. If a teacher so much as mentions evolution, or the Big Bang, or an era when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, "you put your hand up and you say, 'Excuse me, were you there?' Can you remember that?"

The children roared their assent.

"Sometimes people will answer, 'No, but you weren't there either,' " Ham told them. "Then you say, 'No, I wasn't, but I know someone who was, and I have his book about the history of the world.' " He waved his Bible in the air.

"Who's the only one who's always been there?" Ham asked.

"God!" the boys and girls shouted.

"Who's the only one who knows everything?"

"God!"

"So who should you always trust, God or the scientists?"

The children answered with a thundering: "God!"


Read it here.

Date: 2006/02/14 04:38:13, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Guidelines violate church-state separation, association believes

By Scott Rothschild (Contact)
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Topeka — Kansas science teachers have struck a defiant stance against the science standards adopted by the State Board of Education.

The Kansas Association of Teachers of Science believe the science standards violate the separation of religion and government by promoting the teaching in public school science classes of intelligent design, an idea that science shows the existence of a creator.

“By redefining science in the Kansas Science Education Standards, the KSBE is promoting intelligent design tenets that purport supernatural explanations as valid scientific theories,” the association said Monday.

In November, the State Board of Education voted 6-4 for science standards that criticize evolution. The decision came after months of often contentious debate.

The association urges science teachers to continue to “not attribute natural phenomena to supernatural causation” and to teach students about the evidence for evolutionary theory and refute the “so-called evidence against evolution.”


Read it here.

The Kansas Association of Teachers of Science position statement on the new standards is here.

Date: 2006/02/20 16:10:13, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
The NY Times has a story on the DI's "Dissent from Darwinism" petition.

Quote
By KENNETH CHANG
Published: February 21, 2006

In the recent skirmishes over evolution, advocates who have pushed to dilute its teaching have regularly pointed to a petition signed by 514 scientists and engineers.

The petition, they say, is proof that scientific doubt over evolution persists. But random interviews with 20 people who signed the petition and a review of the public statements of more than a dozen others suggest that many are evangelical Christians, whose doubts about evolution grew out of their religious beliefs. And even the petition's sponsor, the Discovery Institute in Seattle, says that only a quarter of the signers are biologists, whose field is most directly concerned with evolution. The other signers include 76 chemists, 75 engineers, 63 physicists and 24 professors of medicine.

The petition was started in 2001 by the institute, which champions intelligent design as an alternative theory to evolution and supports a "teach the controversy" approach, like the one scuttled by the state Board of Education in Ohio last week.

Institute officials said that 41 people added their names to the petition after a federal judge ruled in December against the Dover, Pa., school district's attempt to present intelligent design as an alternative to evolution.


(login & password for the NY Times site is available here.)

Date: 2006/02/20 22:41:01, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote (guthrie @ Feb. 21 2006,04:04)
I thought project Steve was only biologists, and if I am correct, they need to do some more research.

Project Steve isn't limited to biologists.  For example, Stephen Hawking (no biologist he) signed the Project Steve petition.

Date: 2006/02/21 22:52:29, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By LAURI LEBO and MICHELLE STARR
Daily Record/Sunday News

Feb 22, 2006 — The Dover Area school board voted Tuesday night to pay $1 million in legal fees to the attorneys that successfully sued the district over its intelligent-design policy.

In addition, each of the 11 plaintiffs will also receive $1 in nominal damages.

Eight of the nine board members voted in favor while Bryan Rehm, who is also a plaintiff, abstained.

The vote somewhat puts an end to one of the district's most contentious chapters, and, as plaintiff Cyndi Sneath said "lets us catch our breath and move on."

After board members voted, Beth Eveland, one of the parents who sued the district, told the board that she and other plaintiffs at the meeting considered it a fair offer.

However, she said they were dismayed that the taxpayers and children were left with the bill and believed the old board members should be held accountable. The smallest amount of accountability is an apology, she said.

"It's the end of the legal drama, but there is no closure," she said.

Heather Geesey, the only remaining member from the previous board, said after the meeting that she took offense to Eveland's remarks.

"I don't think I have anything to apologize for," she said.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/02/22 14:45:11, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Tom Blackwell, National Post
Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A handful of Canadian scientists are speaking out against evolution as an explanation for all of life as we know it, saying the complexity of living things simply cannot be attributed to biological chance.

Nine university professors and others with science or engineering PhDs have added their names to an American petition that voices skepticism about the theory of evolution. The list was posted on the Internet this week.

At least two of the scientists teach at Christian universities, while another runs an organization dedicated to the links between Islam and science.

Some of those contacted yesterday acknowledged their doubts about Darwinism coincide with their religious beliefs, and espoused the controversial idea of "intelligent design" -- that some guiding hand was behind life on Earth. But one molecular biologist said he is convinced that science is stuck in an evolutionary "rut" and must seek better explanations for the existence of elaborate biological structures.

"I look at biology as being a very complicated computer code," said Stephen Cheesman, a geophysics PhD and software developer who compares genetic systems to languages created by humans.

"There is no way I could create a code like this..... In the DNA, you have a novel, a long novel, spelled out, which produces us."

The scientists' public positions against evolution mark perhaps the first time the issue has arisen recently in Canada, despite a raging debate in the United States over the teaching of evolution in public schools.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/02/27 01:56:28, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By: BRADLEY J. FIKES - Staff Writer

ESCONDIDO ---- He taught physics at some of the world's most prestigious universities, wrote 300 scientific papers and performed research on superconductivity for IBM and Arco Solar. He survived a Soviet labor camp and emigrated to Israel when it wasn't easy. But 12 years after his retirement from teaching physics, Mark Perakh, 81, is enjoying his greatest fame.

Perakh has become known as one of the most well-known writers on the boundaries between science, religion and pseudoscience. That's due in large part to the Web. Perakh helped create the Talk Reason site, www.talkreason.net, where he writes about science and religion. He regularly contributes on the popular Panda's Thumb Web site (www.pandasthumb.org).

Perakh staunchly defends evolutionary theory against intelligent design creationism, the claim that life is so complicated that it must have a supernatural origin. He published a book on the subject in 2004, "Unintelligent Design."

Research in ashes

Right now, Perakh's biggest concern is getting his life back in order. His home in northern Escondido was destroyed by a fire in January, along with its belongings. He's now renting a nearby house off of Mountain Meadow Road.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/02/28 23:20:04, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Amendment could lead to students learning intelligent design, critics say

Updated: 9:17 p.m. ET Feb. 28, 2006

CARSON CITY, Nev. - A proposed constitutional amendment would require Nevada teachers to instruct students that there are many questions about evolution — a method viewed by critics as an opening to teach intelligent design.

Las Vegas masonry contractor Steve Brown filed his initiative petition with the secretary of state's office, and must collect 83,184 signatures by June 20 to get the plan on the November ballot. To amend the Nevada Constitution, he'd have to win voter approval this year and again in the 2008 elections.

Brown said Tuesday that he hopes that volunteers will help him collect the signatures, but at this point has no name-gathering organization set up. A Democrat and member of a nondenominational church, he said he hoped for broad support from people who share his views.

"I just want them to start telling the truth about evolution," Brown said. "Evolution has occurred, but parts of it are flat-out unproven theories. They're not telling students that in school."

Brown, who has three school-age children, said he's been interested in evolution for years. He added that if people take time to read his proposal "how can this not pass?"

The petition says students must be informed before the end of the 10th grade that "although most scientists agree that Darwin's theory of evolution is well supported, a small minority of scientists do not agree."

The plan says several "areas of disagreement" would have to be covered by teachers, including the view by some scientists that "it is mathematically impossible for the first cell to have evolved by itself."

Students also would have to be told some scientists argue "that nowhere in the fossil record is there an indisputable skeleton of a transitional species, or a 'missing link,'" the proposal says.

Also, the proposal says students "must be informed that the origin of sex, or sex drive, is one of biology's mysteries" and that some scientists contend that sexual reproduction "would require an unbelievable series of chance events that would have had to occur in the evolutionary theory."


Read it here.

Date: 2006/03/03 00:24:10, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Evolution a theory, father says:   Files Truth in Science initiative petition to change teaching ways

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By SEAN WHALEY
REVIEW-JOURNAL CAPITAL BUREAU

CARSON CITY -- Longtime Las Vegan Steve Brown does not oppose the teaching of evolutionary theory in the public schools. Nor does he support teaching alternative views such as intelligent design or creationism.

But Brown, a masonry contractor who has lived in Las Vegas for more than 30 years, does want the schools to teach the theory of evolution in what he calls the right way, which means acknowledging that much of the theory is just that -- theory.

To get the attention of public schoolteachers, textbook writers and adherents of Darwinian theory, Brown has filed the Truth in Science initiative petition with the secretary of state's office to amend the constitution to require a broader approach to teaching evolution in public schools. The petition was filed Friday.

Brown must collect 83,184 signatures by June 20 to get the proposal on the November ballot.

"I just don't like the way they are teaching it," Brown said in a telephone interview Monday. "I've looked at a middle school textbook that says that all elements of evolutionary theory are proven science. That's not so.

"Evolution has occurred, there's no way to argue that," he said. "Some parts have been proven, but some is just theory."

Brown has three school-age children.

His petition would require that students be informed that there are scientists who are skeptical that natural selection or chemistry alone can explain the origins of life.

Students would be taught about the complexity of DNA and that some scientists insist that evolution can only speculate how DNA came into existence. Students also would be taught that some scientists argue that evolution cannot explain the existence of some complex biological systems.

And students would be taught that the fossil record contains no indisputable evidence of a transitional species, or so-called "missing link."

Brown said his intent is not to open the door to advocates of intelligent design, even if at a later date some group might build on his proposal to try to make a case for the argument.

"Does intelligent design have some validity?" he said. "Sure. But it's not going to be taught in the classroom. Until the folks promoting intelligent design get more evidence, they are not going to win."

Date: 2006/03/09 21:31:06, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Out of curiousity, is it possible to install Windows on one of them new Intel Macs, like the MacBook Pro?

Date: 2006/03/09 23:37:48, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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By Alvin Plantinga
(March 7, 2006)

Judge John Jones’ 139-page opinion in Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District raises questions that go far beyond the legalities of this specific case. I won’t offer an opinion on whether the judge’s decision is correct — although apparently he’s never met an objection to intelligent design he doesn’t like and some of his “findings” seem vastly more sweeping than is appropriate.

First, a general question: What sorts of issues can a judge decide just by fiat?

Jones rules, among other things, that:

   * ID is just warmed-over creation science
   * ID tries to change the very definition of science
   * The scientific community has refuted the criticisms of evolution brought by the IDers
   * ID involves a kind of dualism and that this dualism is doomed.

But how can one hope to settle these matters just by a judicial declaration?

Consider, for example, the claim that ID is just creation science in drag, as it were. That ruling is relevant in that previous court decisions have gone against creation science. But the kind of creation science those decisions had gone against is characterized by the claim that the world is a mere 6,000 to 100,000 years old, rather than the currently favored age of 4 billion or so years old.

Second, those creationists reject evolution in favor of the idea that the major kinds of plants and animals were created in pretty much their present form. ID, as such, doesn’t involve either of these two things. What it does involve, as you might guess, is that many biological phenomena are intelligently designed — indicated by their “specifiable complexity” or “irreducible complexity” — and that one can come to see this by virtue of scientific investigation.

Indeed, Michael Behe, a paradigmatic IDer and the star witness for the defense, has repeatedly said that he accepts evolution. What he and his colleagues reject is not evolution as such. What they reject is unguided evolution. They reject the idea that life in all its various forms has come to be by way of the mechanisms favored by contemporary evolutionary theory — unguided, unorchestrated and undirected by God or any other intelligent being.

Anyway, isn’t this question — whether ID is just rewarmed creation science — a question for philosophical or logical analysis? Can one settle a question of that sort by a judicial ruling? Isn’t that like legislating that the value of pi is 1/3 rather than that inconvenient and hard to remember 3.14?


Read it here.

Date: 2006/04/09 13:04:18, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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JOHN P.KRILL, JR. and ANTHONY R.HOLTZMAN

Apr 9, 2006 — In a recent speech, the federal judge in the Dover Area School District intelligent design case defended the correctness of his decision banning the teaching of ID in biology classes. The Honorable John E. Jones III said that "to have ruled in favor of the school board in this case based on the facts that I had before me at the conclusion of the trial, I would have had to overlook precedents entirely and, thus, impress upon the facts of the case my sense or the sense of the public concerning what the law should be - and not what it is."

Judge Jones properly rejected the notion that a judge should not decide cases based on partisan politics, opinion polls, or anything other than the facts and the law. He is on shaky ground, though, in defending the correctness of his decision. In our view, Judge Jones made at least two significant errors that would likely have caused his ruling to be overturned, if the issues had been appealed. Although the Dover school board did not appeal, Judge Jones is now appealing to the court of public opinion. An opposing argument should therefore be heard.

The Dover ID policy was facially neutral toward religion. It did not overtly promote the belief that a divine intelligence created life, nor did it reject the Darwinian view. Instead, it offered alternatives for study. Nevertheless, Judge Jones concluded that the ID policy violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He reached this conclusion primarily by considering the purpose of the ID policy.

Judge Jones' consideration of purpose was not inappropriate in and of itself. A judge is required to consider the purpose of an official policy when seeking to determine whether it violates the establishment clause. However, Judge Jones inappropriately extracted the purpose of the ID policy from the personal motives of certain individual members of the Dover school board rather than from other sources, such as the plain words of the policy. These board members might have voted for the ID policy because it was consistent with their religious beliefs. This is irrelevant to whether the policy was constitutional.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/04/14 20:41:38, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Firstly, Joseph Farah gives us his take on Tiktaalik:

Another fishy missking link

Then Ted Byfield lumps theistic evolutionists in with IDers:

Rebutting Darwinists

Date: 2006/04/21 20:25:37, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Creationist descends on Britain to take debate on evolution into the classroom

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By Sarah Cassidy, Education Correspondent
Published: 21 April 2006

A leading creationist who claims to use science to prove the Bible's version of how the Earth was made begins a controversial tour of Britain today.

John Mackay, an Australian geologist who believes he has uncovered fossil evidence which dismisses evolution and proves that Noah's flood really did happen will speak at several state schools and universities during his eight-week visit to the UK.

His visit has provoked anger among educationalists who are concerned about what they see as an increasing focus by evangelists on children.

They fear creationism - which rejects Darwin's theory of natural selection and insists that God created the world in six days - is becoming an increasingly accepted view in Britain's classrooms and lecture halls.

Mr Mackay will address meetings at St Andrews, Bangor and Northampton universities and plans to give presentations at a number of secondary schools, including most controversially one on the Fylde coast in Lancashire where he will give a series of talks over three days.

The visits have already sparked controversy with teaching unions, scientists and secular groups rushing to condemn the exposure of a captive audience of children to his views.

Date: 2006/04/22 21:41:49, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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The 'anything goes' academic left is coming to the support of the 'God did it' religious right

Peter McKnight
Vancouver Sun

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The religious right has a new ally, and it's none other than its erstwhile arch-enemy -- the academic left.

The latest evidence of this unholy alliance comes from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which recently rejected a research proposal aimed at studying the impact of popularizing intelligent design, the theory that the complexity and supposed design in nature reveal that there must have been a designer.

The proposal, by McGill University's Brian Alters, was titled Detrimental Effects of Popularizing Anti-Evolution's "Intelligent Design Theory" on Canadian Students, Teachers, Parents, Administrators and Policymakers, and that title alone was enough give the SSHRC's review panel the willies.

In its terse rejection letter, the SSHRC said "the proposal did not adequately substantiate the premise that the popularizing of Intelligent Design Theory had detrimental effects" and there was inadequate "justification for the assumption in the proposal that the theory of Evolution, and not Intelligent Design Theory, was correct."

Now those reasons would be laughable if they weren't so pathetic. First, Alters's reference to the detrimental effects of popularizing intelligent design isn't a premise, but a hypothesis. This is what the study was designed to test, so it's a bit much to expect Alters to have the evidence in hand prior to conducting the study. Indeed, were he already in possession of the evidence, there'd be no need to conduct the research.

But as it turns out, the panel's second reason for rejecting funding provided exactly the evidence Alters was looking for. That a committee of "experts" could suggest that ID and evolution are equally plausible theories reveals just how great the detrimental effects of popularizing ID have been.


Read it here.

Printer friendly version here.

Date: 2006/05/19 10:59:03, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Last updated May 19 2006 04:26 PM EDT
CBC News

Teachers in some northern Quebec communities say they are being told not to talk about the theory of human evolution because it offends some Inuit people.

Alexandre April, a teacher in Salluit, Que., said his school principal had told teachers not to discuss the issue.

However, when students asked questions, April said Thursday he answered them as a teacher and biologist, telling them about Darwin's theory.

April said that's when he got the complaint.

"A mother called, and she said that I'd told her daughter that she was a monkey. It's not the way I presented it. Not at all. So I've been told not to do it again," April said.

April said he believes his students in the tiny Inuit community on Hudson Strait have the right to learn about evolution, just like all other Canadian students.

"We are able to talk about evolution of animals, but nothing about the origin of man," April said, adding the school threatened him with disciplinary action.

'They don't want to hear this kind of stuff'

The Kativik school board says it's just being sensitive to local beliefs.

"There are some beliefs where they don't want to hear this kind of stuff. You know, it's kind of like any other religion. They have their beliefs, and we have to respect that," said Gaston Pelletier of the Kativik school board.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/05/25 11:00:34, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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More hearings to be held on controversial textbook stickers

By BILL RANKIN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 05/25/06

The federal appeals court in Atlanta today threw out a ruling that found unconstitutional an evolution disclaimer affixed to almost 35,000 science textbooks in Cobb County.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals directed the trial judge who ordered the stickers removed from the school books to hold more evidentiary hearings on the issue.

The ruling stopped short of deciding the constitutionality of the stickers.

In January 2005, U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper ordered the removal of the evolution disclaimers after finding they conveyed an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. The county complied, but then appealed that ruling.

In a 43-page decision published today, the 11th Circuit said whether it upholds or rejects Cooper's ruling depends on what evidence was before Cooper -- but the appeals court cannot tell what that evidence was.


Read it here.

The appeal court's decision is here.

Date: 2006/06/14 16:44:12, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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To Criticize Darwinism is to Preserve the Faith says Toronto Priest and Seminary Prof.

By Hilary White

TORONTO, June 14, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pure materialistic Darwinism is a theory that “denies…important Christian teaching about man and his origins,” says Toronto priest, Fr. Martin Hilbert in the most recent edition of Touchstone magazine.

The problem in the debate over the origins of life, says Hilbert, is that barring a few who contend that their theory “does not banish God from the picture,” most adherents of the Darwinian theory are, “whether they know it or not, crass materialists.” Those who adhere religiously to the theory start out with an established prejudice against the possibility that anything other than pure random chance could have created life or its many complexities.

The debate has become hot again last year in the US with proponents of the theory called Intelligent Design and the atheistic Darwinian scientific establishment fighting over the use of their respective theories in public schools. Then a prominent Vatican theologian, Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, added fuel when he wrote in the New York Times correcting the media-generated myth that the late Pope John Paul II had judged the Darwinian theory as acceptable for Catholics.


Read it here.

Read Hilbert's essay here.

Gotta chuckle at the phrase "atheistic Darwinian scientific establishment".  If I didn't know it was Lifesite I would've thought it was The Colbert Report.

Date: 2006/06/30 19:37:49, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Posted: July 1, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Tom Flannery
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

What happens to a society when its children are taught they evolved from the slime of some prebiotic soup through random chemical reactions in a chaotic, completely unsupervised universe that emerged from a chance explosion?

After decades of indoctrination into Darwin's theory of evolution, this question is no longer an academic one. The fruits of this experiment are evident everywhere we look, from staggering increases in the homicide and suicide rates among young people to a total disdain for human life.

Evolution is not only junk science, it is a pernicious social doctrine which produces a bitter harvest in the hearts and minds of its adherents. When children are taught this theory as fact (as most are today), it affects their entire belief system and outlook on life. The implications are devastating for individuals as well as for society at large.

The first implication of accepting evolution as fact is hopelessness.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/07/13 01:08:57, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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On evolution.

By John Derbyshire

I seem to have got myself elected to the post of NR’s designated point man against Creationists.* Indignant anti-Creationist readers have urged me to make a response to George Gilder’s long essay “Evolution and Me” in the current (7/17/06) National Review.

Well, I’ll give it a shot. I had better say up front that I am only familiar with George’s work — he has written several books, none of which I have read, I am ashamed to say, since I know he has read one of mine — in a sketchy and secondhand way, so what follows is only a response to the aforementioned article “Evolution and Me.” It is possible that George has already dealt with my points in some other of his writings. If so, I hope readers will direct me to the right place.

I’ll also say that I write the following with some reluctance. It’s a wearying business, arguing with Creationists. Basically, it is a game of Whack-a-Mole. They make an argument, you whack it down. They make a second, you whack it down. They make a third, you whack it down. So they make the first argument again. This is why most biologists just can’t be bothered with Creationism at all, even for the fun of it. It isn’t actually any fun. Creationists just chase you round in circles. It’s boring.

It would be less boring if they’d come up with a new argument once in a while, but they never do. I’ve been engaging with Creationists for a couple of years now, and I have yet to hear an argument younger than I am. (I am not young.) All Creationist arguments have been whacked down a thousand times, but they keep popping up again. Nowadays I just refer argumentative e-mailers to the TalkOrigins website, where any argument you are ever going to hear from a Creationist is whacked down several times over. Don’t think it’ll stop ’em, though.**


Read it here.

Date: 2006/07/17 22:28:49, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Park owner pleads not guilty to tax fraud

Evangelist says he's owned by God

Michael Stewart
@PensacolaNewsJournal.com

Pensacola evangelist Kent Hovind pleaded not guilty Monday to a 58-count federal indictment after saying he did not recognize the government's right to try him on tax-fraud charges.

Hovind, who calls himself "Dr. Dino," owns Dinosaur Adventure Land at 5800 N. Palafox St., Pensacola, a creationist theme park dedicated to debunking evolution.

For years, he has claimed that he is employed by God and has no income or property because everything he owns belongs to God. He believes man and dinosaurs inhabited the earth together and has offered a $250,000 reward to anyone who can offer him satisfactory proof of evolution.

Hovind's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Kafahni Nkrumah, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Miles Davis at a hearing Monday that his client did not want to enter a plea because he does not believe the United States, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Attorney's Office "have jurisdiction in this matter."

When pressed by Davis to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty, Hovind said he wished to enter a plea of "subornation of false muster."

"Subornation," according to Webster's Dictionary, means instigating another to do something illegal. "Muster" is an assembly, often for inspection or roll call.

When pressed by Davis, Hovind said he was entering a not guilty plea "under duress."

Hovind's wife, Jo, who is charged in 44 counts along with her husband, also pleaded not guilty. Her co-appointed attorney, Ken Ridlehoover, said he had just met her 15 minutes before the hearing so hadn't had time to discuss the case with her.

When asked where he lived, Kent Hovind replied, "I live in the church of Jesus Christ, which is located all over the world. I have no residence."


Read it here.

Date: 2006/07/26 19:52:57, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Posted: July 27, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jonathan Witt
© 2006

As a doctoral student at the University of Kansas in the '90s, I found that my professors came in all stripes, and that lazy ideas didn't get off easy. If some professor wanted to preach the virtues of communism after it had failed miserably in the Soviet Union, he was free to do so, but students were also free to hear from other professors who critically analyzed that position.

Conversely, students who believed capitalism and democracy were the great engines of human progress had to grapple with the best arguments against that view, meaning that in the end, they were better able to defend their beliefs.

Such a free marketplace of ideas is crucial to a solid education, and it's what the current Kansas science standards promote. These standards, like those adopted in other states and supported by a three-to-one margin among U.S. voters, don't call for teaching intelligent design. They call for schools to equip students to critically analyze modern evolutionary theory by teaching the evidence both for and against it.

The standards are good for students and good for science.

Some want to protect Darwinism from the competitive marketplace by overturning the critical-analysis standards. My hope is that these efforts will merely lead students to ask, What's the evidence they don't want us to see?

Under the new standards, they'll get an answer. For starters, many high-school biology textbooks have presented Haeckel's 19th century embryo drawings, the four-winged fruit fly, peppered moths hidden on tree trunks and the evolving beak of the Galapagos finch as knockdown evidence for Darwinian evolution. What they don't tell students is that these icons of evolution have been discredited, not by Christian fundamentalists but by mainstream evolutionists.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/07/31 11:31:16, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
H.L. Mencken once responded to a question asked by many of his readers: "If you find so much that is unworthy of reverence in the United States, then why do you live here?" His answer was, "Why do men go to zoos?" Sadly, Mencken is not here to ogle the newest creature in the American Zoo: the Bleached Flamingo, otherwise known as Ann Coulter. This beast draws crowds by its frequent, raucous calls, eerily resembling a human voice, and its unearthly appearance, scrawny and pallid. (Wikipedia notes that "a white or pale flamingo ... is usually unhealthy or suffering from a lack of food.") The etiolated Coulter issued a piercing squawk this spring with her now-notorious book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism. Its thesis, harebrained even by her standards, is that liberals are an atheistic lot who have devised a substitute religion, replete with the sacraments of abortion, feminism, coddling of criminals, and--you guessed it--bestiality. Liberals also have their god, who, like Coulter's, is bearded and imposing. He is none other than Charles Darwin. But the left-wing god is malevolent, for Coulter sees Darwin as the root cause of every ill afflicting our society, not to mention being responsible for the historical atrocities of Hitler and Stalin.

The furor caused by her vicious remarks about the 9/11 widows ("I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much.") has distracted people from the main topic of her book: evolutionary biology, or rather the pathetic pseudoscientific arguments of its modern fundamentalist challenger, Intelligent Design (ID). This occupies four of Coulter's eleven chapters. Enamored of ID, and unable to fathom a scientific reason why biologists don't buy it, Coulter suggests that scientists are an evil sub-cabal of atheist liberals, a group so addicted to godlessness that they must hide at all costs the awful "truth" that evolution didn't happen. She accuses evolutionists of brainwashing children with phony fossils and made-up "evidence," turning the kids into "Darwiniacs" stripped of all moral (i.e., biblical) grounding and prone to become beasts and genocidal lunatics. To Coulter, biologists are folks who, when not playing with test tubes or warping children's minds, encourage people to have sex with dogs. (I am not making this up.)


Read it here.

(Login and password here.)

Date: 2006/08/03 01:22:40, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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Dishonest Darwinists — coming to a state near you.

By David Klinghoffer

State school-board elections don’t normally receive much national media attention. Yet the school-board primary race in Kansas on Tuesday, representing a key front in the Darwin wars, was an exception.

Will Darwinism be taught as unquestionable dogma? That’s the question that voters decided. In Kansas, it seems it will.

Kansas has been one of five states with biology curricula that include instruction about the evidence both for and against neo-Darwinism, requiring that students learn about the “critical analysis” of evolutionary theory. Darwin advocates worked hard to defeat the majority on the education board and eliminate this requirement. On Tuesday they succeeded in this first objective, and the second will follow in due course.

The current “controversial” Kansas Science Standards very clearly do not mandate that students learn about intelligent design. On the contrary, as the board explained, “We also emphasize that the Science Curriculum Standards do not include Intelligent Design.”

Can’t get much clearer than, can you? Yet an outfit called Kansas Citizens for Science argued exactly the reverse — that the Kansas Science Standards do indeed mandate instruction about ID. It ended up convincing the voters. Or rather, deceiving them.

It was all part of a campaign, on behalf of liberal candidates for the education board that included other bold falsehoods. For example, the Darwin faction scared Kansas educators with the prospect of being sued on the basis of the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover decision in Pennsylvania. In fact, Kitzmiller is irrelevant to a curriculum in Kansas that does not advocate teaching about ID.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/08/06 18:48:11, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
The headline was positively gleeful. On the website of the left-wing group DefCon this week, we read: “Science Wins the Day in Kansas.”

In fact, just the opposite happened. Science lost in Kansas to zealots who want to keep kids in the dark about the scientific controversy over evolution.

In last week’s school board primary election in Kansas, two conservatives who support teaching the evidence both for and against evolution lost to candidates who oppose such teaching. These losses mean Kansas will now have an anti-science majority: members who want to slam the door on free academic inquiry.

One can hardly blame the citizens of Kansas for not knowing what they were voting for. The press attacked as “anti-science” those who support a more comprehensive teaching of evolution. They were aided and abetted by an outfit called Kansas Citizens for Science, which told blatant lies about the current science standards. For example, it claimed the standards mandated instruction about intelligent design—even though they do not. It accused conservative school board candidates of being “intellectually challenged” and “religiously motivated.” In reality, conservative board members back science standards written by people who hold doctoral degrees in the life sciences.

Unfortunately, the smear tactics worked. And the question I have is, who paid for this massive campaign? That’s something we ought to find out.

But for now it’s censorship. Students will not be allowed to learn, for example, about Dr. Michael Behe’s theory of irreducible complexity. They will not be told that the teachings of origins is controversial because really it is not science, but about the philosophy of naturalism. There is no verifiable science about how life began—something students will not be told.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/08/11 19:23:00, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Bonnie Alba
August 11, 2006

Recently I posed two questions to my husband, a retired middle-school science teacher:

1) What scientist and field of science relies on and solely depends on Darwin's theory of evolution for any advances in human progress?

2) What advances in modern medicine, technology and products were derived solely from relying on Darwin's theory of evolution?

There was Silence. He had to think about it.

Colin Patterson, respected paleontologist at London's Natural History Museum, once asked the following question: Can anyone tell me, "anything you know about evolution, any one thing, any one thing that you think is true?" From the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History, their response: Silence. When he asked the same question of members attending an Evolutionary Morphology Seminar, University of Chicago: Silence.

After 150 years of men dedicating their lives to seeking the Holy Grail which would confirm and validate Darwin's theory on origin of species, what do we have? The same finches on the Galapagos Islands where Darwin observed them 150 years ago. No new species. Millions of bones and not one factual missing link. There's geological formations with embedded fossils like the Cambrian Explosion which do not fit nicely into Darwin's theory of gradual evolution over time. Most of the purported evidence (still published in many school textbooks) has been revealed as hoaxes and fakes, or just plain "want to believe so much, that any piece that fits the theory must be true for the theory." Ignore the rest.

The contention here is what has Darwin's theory of "Survival of the Fittest" produced in the progression of human history? Did evolution produce gas-powered mowers, sticky notes, aluminum foil, zip-lock bags, war and peace, medicines, mammogram machines, vaccines, zippers, microwaves, coffee machines, etc.?

Name another inventive species on planet Earth? Name any species so inventive that they manufacture mass destructive devices and then try to control them to keep mankind from becoming extinct? Any other species who desires and explores the reaches of the furthermost points in the universe down to the invisible quarks and other quantum-level unknowns? Name another species who seeks immortality and at the same time wars and aborts their young, while continually seeking peace?

Without belief in Darwin's overall theory, would scientists still have discovered the wonders of the genetic code? Would they have embarked on exploring the universe, developing complex mathematical equations, discovered black holes and other anomalies? How has evolutionary theory contributed to discoveries of the building blocks, atoms and molecules?


Read it here.

Date: 2006/08/11 20:30:06, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By Mike Pflanz in Nairobi

(Filed: 12/08/2006)

Powerful evangelical churches are pressing Kenya's national museum to sideline its world-famous collection of hominid bones pointing to man's evolution from ape to human.

Leaders of the country's six-million-strong Pentecostal congregation want Dr Richard Leakey's ground-breaking finds relegated to a back room instead of being given their usual prime billing.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/08/12 16:14:56, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
But that is neither here nor there; the point of this essay is to illustrate the connection between ID and Panspermia. Darwinian defenders (like the Panda`s Rectum crowd) turn purple whenever the topic of Intelligent Design is raised, and immediately try to shout down the opposition, yet they have been strangely silent about a corollary proposition-one advocated by such men as Francis Crick and Fred Hoyle. Panspermia is the theory that life on Earth came from elsewhere. It either drifted here by accident via comets or somesuch or it was intentionally engineered. (The latter was advocated by Francis Crick, who realized that life on Earth could not have evolved in the fashion Darwin believed.) Directed Panspermia argues that some alien intelligence seeded the Earth (and probably other places) with specially tailored genetic packages to produce a biological explosion. This fits with what we know about the development of life on Earth; there seems to have been a sudden explosion of life during the Pre-Cambrian (which is at odds with the view of Natural Selection, which says life should have been steadily evolving.) The Pan-Spermers (to coin a phrase) would argue that this point in time is when the seed-ship arrived. As Robert Zubrin has pointed out in his book The Case for Mars, astronauts have actually carried bacteria to the Moon and back-and the bacteria was fine! Evolution argues that developing new characteristics requires mutations while organisms retain old characteristics in their genetic makeup, and these Earthly organisms seem well adapted to space travel. Suggestive, no?


Read it here.

Date: 2006/08/14 10:35:44, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
by Phyllis Schlafly
Posted Aug 14, 2006

The liberal press is reporting that the seesaw battle for control of the Kansas Board of Education just teetered back to pro-evolutionists for the second time in five years. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of the movement to allow criticism of evolution are grossly exaggerated.

In its zeal to portray evolution critics in Kansas as dumb, rural fundamentalists, a New York Times Page 1 story misquoted Steve Abrams (the school board president who had steered Kansas toward allowing criticism of evolution) on a basic principle of science. The newspaper had to correct its error.

The issue in the Kansas controversy was not intelligent design and certainly not creationism. The current Kansas standards state: "To promote good science, good pedagogy and a curriculum that is secular, neutral and non-ideological, school districts are urged to follow the advice provided by the House and Senate Conferees in enacting the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001."

This "advice," which the Kansas standards quote, is: "The Conferees recognize that quality science education should prepare students to distinguish the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society."


Read it here.

Date: 2006/08/14 10:50:44, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
My favourite part of Schlafly's rant:

Quote
Fortunately, judges and politicians cannot control public debate about evolution. Ann Coulter's new book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism" (Crown Forum, $28), has enjoyed weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.

Despite bitter denunciations by liberals, funny thing, there has been a thundering silence about the one-third of her book in which she deconstructs Darwinism. She calls it the cosmology of the Church of Liberalism.


Hmmmm, well there was this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this.

Thundering silence?  Schlafly needs her hearing checked.

Date: 2006/08/14 21:50:16, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
How to Make Sure Children Are Scientifically Illiterate

By LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS
Published: August 15, 2006

Voters in Kansas ensured this month that noncreationist moderates will once again have a majority (6 to 4) on the state school board, keeping new standards inspired by intelligent design from taking effect.

This is a victory for public education and sends a message nationwide about the public’s ability to see through efforts by groups like the Discovery Institute to misrepresent science in the schools. But for those of us who are interested in improving science education, any celebration should be muted.

This is not the first turnaround in recent Kansas history. In 2000, after a creationist board had removed evolution from the state science curriculum, a public outcry led to wholesale removal of creationist board members up for re-election and a reinstatement of evolution in the curriculum.

In a later election, creationists once again won enough seats to get a 6-to-4 majority. With their changing political tactics, creationists are an excellent example of evolution at work. Creation science evolved into intelligent design, which morphed into “teaching the controversy,” and after its recent court loss in Dover, Pa., and political defeats in Ohio and Kansas, it will no doubt change again. The most recent campaign slogan I have heard is “creative evolution.”


Read it here.

(login & password here.)

Date: 2006/08/18 20:33:36, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Holocaust was fallout of evolution theory, says new production

Posted: August 19, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

Charles Darwin should share with Hitler the blame for the 11 million or more lives lost in the Holocaust, a new television special explains. And, the program says, the more than 45 million American lives lost to abortion also can be blamed on that famous founder of evolutionary theory.

"This show basically is about the social effects of Darwinism, and shows this idea, which is scientifically bankrupt, has probably been responsible for more bloodshed than anything else in the history of humanity," Jerry Newcomb, one of two co-producers, told WorldNetDaily.

Author and Christian broadcaster D. James Kennedy said the new "Darwin’s Deadly Legacy," is a ground-breaking inquiry into Darwin’s "chilling" social impact, and it will air nationwide on Aug. 26-27 on "The Coral Ridge Hour." . . .

. . .Coulter is among the experts who appear in the special. Others are Weikart, Lee Strobel, author of "The Case for a Creator," Jonathan Wells, author of "Icons of Evolution," and Human Genome Project Director Francis Collins.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/08/21 19:51:01, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Bloggers try to discredit experts on evolution's connection to bloodshed

Posted: August 22, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

A new television program linking Darwin to Hitler and the contemporary abortion industry isn't even on the air yet, and already the attacks have begun on those who appear in it.

Author and Christian broadcaster D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries said the new "Darwin’s Deadly Legacy" is a ground-breaking inquiry into Darwin’s "chilling" social impact, and it will air nationwide on Aug. 26-27 on "The Coral Ridge Hour."

But yesterday comments appeared on the Pharyngula website, among others, offering stinging criticism of those on the show,

One of those targeted was Human Genome Project Director Francis Collins, whose book, "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief," was published only a few months ago.

"I have no idea what role Collins is going to play in this dishonest piece of trash, but I hope he is properly ashamed of being associated with it," one critic said. "Unfortunately, we're going to have to watch it to find out."

Collins explained that he had been interviewed by Coral Ridge about his book, and the taping was inserted into the program without his advance knowledge.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/08/22 23:22:16, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
If you have faith in God as the Creator, you can’t embrace Darwinism too, despite what some scientists claim.

By David Klinghoffer

Life would be less stressful if we didn’t have to make so many tough choices. For example, you love eating pizza, but you also value keeping your arteries unblocked. You must choose--though lots of us refuse to do so, the result being arteriosclerosis.

Sometimes the choice is between beliefs. When it comes to Darwinian evolution and the challenge it presents to belief in God, a lot of thoughtful men and women seem intent on not facing up to a tough but necessary choice, between Darwin and God.

Thus, over on The New York Times bestseller list is The Language of God, a book by evangelical Christian and genome scientist Francis Collins. He cheers for Darwin, both in his book and in an interview with Beliefnet, while recounting sticky-sweet memories of how he accepted Jesus on a nature hike.

Meanwhile, here at Beliefnet, Rabbi Natan Slifkin, author of "The Challenge of Creation: Judaism’s Encounter with Science," singles me out for criticism. Slifkin finds “profoundly problematic” what I have written about Darwinism -- namely that it would render Judaism’s claims about God null and void.

The key point is whether, across hundreds of millions of years, the development of life was guided or not. On one side of this chasm between worldviews are Darwinists, whose belief system asserts that life, through a material mechanism, in effect designed itself. On the other side are theories like intelligent design (ID) which argue that no such purely material mechanism could write the software in the cell, called DNA.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/09/05 20:20:18, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Posted: September 6, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Last week I talked about the "forced conversions" that will soon be taking place in California's schools – not just public, mind you, but private and religious, too.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a new law that effectively tosses out all sexual moral conduct codes at colleges, private and Christian schools, daycare centers and other so-called educational facilities across the state. In effect, we have a situation in the Golden State in which a form of paganism has become the de facto official religion of the state.

I called this the end of religious freedom in California – and I do not think I overstate the case.

But, in a less obvious way, we see a similar enforcement of state religion in most schools in most states. I refer to the teaching of evolution as scientific fact.

Now, you may believe in evolution. You may believe in the miracle of abiogenesis – the idea that life sprang spontaneously from non-life by random chance. You may believe sincerely in those ideas. You may even believe scientific facts back up your notions.

But, let's be honest. When you get right down to the bottom line, you can't prove your ideas any more than the creationist can. You look at the world and you find facts that you believe seem to bolster your case. The creationist does the same and finds facts that seem to bolster his case.

Ultimately, in both cases, it comes down to belief. It comes down to faith. It comes down to religion.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/09/09 22:44:36, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
A creationist theme park promotes the idea that the Earth is 6,000 years old. The scientific community puts the age of Earth at 4.5 billion years.

BY ALEXANDRA ALTER

PENSACOLA - The hand-painted sign outside the parking lot promised a Darwin-free dinosaur encounter: ``Where Dinosaurs and the Bible meet!''

Inside Dinosaur Adventure Land, a creationist theme park that sits behind a string of car dealerships on a busy commercial strip in Pensacola, a group of 50 home-schooled children romped in the muggy afternoon heat.

Some played on the Long Neck Liftasaurus swing seat, while others dug for fossils or tossed water balloons at a T-Rex and stegosaurus zip-lined down the Pterodactyl Glide while learning ``the truth about dinosaurs.''

''Dinosaurs were big lizards who lived with Adam and Eve,'' park founder Kent Hovind told children and their parents during a presentation on dinosaurs and the book of Genesis.

Hovind, an evangelist and former earth-science teacher, launched the amusement park in 2001 to promote young earth creationism -- the belief that God created the Earth and all of its inhabitants in six days 6,000 years ago. Most scientists estimate that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old.

''The goal is to start thousands of these,'' he said.


Read it here.

(get a login & password here.)

Date: 2006/09/20 15:50:32, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos says he thinks Michigan’s science curriculum should include a discussion about intelligent design.

He says teaching intelligent design along with evolution would help students discern the facts among different theories. He’d like to see local school districts be able to teach intelligent design if they choose to, although he wouldn’t require that it be taught in science classes.

“I would like to see the ideas of intelligent design that many scientists are now suggesting is a very viable alternative theory,” DeVos told the Associated Press this week during an interview on education. “That theory and others that would be considered credible would expose our students to more ideas, not less.”


Read it here.

Date: 2006/09/26 20:25:30, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Posted: September 27, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jonathan Wells, Ph.D.

Harvard evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote in 1977: "Biology took away our status as paragons created in the image of God." Darwinism teaches that we are accidental byproducts of purposeless natural processes that had no need for God, and this anti-religious dogma enjoys a taxpayer-funded monopoly in America's public schools and universities. Teachers who dare to question it openly have in many cases lost their jobs.

The issue here is not "evolution" – a broad term that can mean simply change within existing species (which no one doubts). The issue is Darwinism – which claims that all living things are descended from a common ancestor, modified by natural selection acting on random genetic mutations.

According to Darwinists, there is such overwhelming evidence for their view that it should be considered a fact. Yet to the Darwinists' dismay, at least three-quarters of the American people – citizens of the most scientifically advanced country in history – reject it.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/10/14 20:47:19, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Sat Oct 14, 11:00 AM ET

WARSAW (AFP) - Poland's deputy education minister called for the influential evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin not to be taught in the country's schools, branding them "lies."

"The theory of evolution is a lie, an error that we have legalised as a common truth," Miroslaw Orzechowski, the deputy minister in the country's right-wing coalition government, was quoted as saying by the Gazeta Wyborcza daily Saturday.

Orzechowski said the theory was "a feeble idea of an aged non-believer," who had come up with it "perhaps because he was a vegetarian and lacked fire inside him."


Read it here.

Well, there you have it.  It's the fault of vegetarianism!   :O

Date: 2006/10/14 20:52:01, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
The deputy minister is a member of a Catholic far-right political group, the League of Polish Families. The league's head, Roman Giertych, is education minister in the conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Giertych's father Maciej, who represents the league in the European Parliament, organised a discussion there last week on Darwinism. He described the theory as "not supported by proof" and called for it be removed from school books.


Maciej Giertych is affiliated with AiG, or at least they host one of his essays on their site.

Date: 2006/10/23 23:43:47, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
David Rogers; with files from Joanne Laucius, National Post; CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2006

OTTAWA - The Quebec Ministry of Education has told unlicensed Christian evangelical schools that they must teach Darwin's theory of evolution and sex education or close their doors after a school board in the Outaouais region complained the provincial curriculum was not being followed.

"Quebec children are legally required to follow the provincial curriculum ... but these evangelical schools teach their own courses on creationism and sexuality that don't follow the Quebec curriculum," said Pierre Daoust, director-general of the Commission Scolaire au Coeur-des-Vallees in Thurso, Que.

Mr. Daoust's complaint sparked the province-wide investigation.

Quebec law requires school boards to assure the Ministry of Education that every child between the ages six of and 16, with the exception of home-schooled children, receives an adequate education, he said.

But the 20 elementary and high school students who attend a school operated by Eglise Evangelique near Saint-Andre-Avellin, Que., are being educated according to a Bible-based curriculum and their high school diplomas will not be recognized anywhere in Canada, he said.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/10/24 16:30:37, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Funny, just last month Ham was more  optimistic:

Quote
Although the opening of the museum is still many months away, Ham says AiG and its Creation Museum have had such an enthusiastic response from potential visitors that it has been necessary to make a larger parking lot, a larger lobby, and a larger café. "Statistics indicate we're going to get hundreds of thousands of people a year, and everyone recognized that we needed more parking and so on," he notes.

All this has increased the museum's construction budget a little bit, the creationist points out. "It's now something like a $27 million budget," he says, "but of the $25 million that we set out to raise for the original budget, we raised $23 million. So there's only two million to go for the original budget, and then about two million for the expansion that we've had to do before we open."

That expansion, while not in the original plan, was welcome news to Ham, who observes that it's "really good when you've got to expand before you open." He says AiG's ultimate goal is to open the museum debt-free, and he believes things are looking very positive for an auspicious opening in the spring of next year.


Did AiG hire Enron's accountants or something?

Date: 2006/10/26 01:56:09, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Cornelia Dean, New York Times

Thursday, October 26, 2006

In an unusual foray into electoral politics, 75 science professors at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland have signed a letter endorsing a candidate for the Ohio Board of Education.

The professors' favored candidate is Tom Sawyer, a former representative and onetime mayor of Akron. They hope Sawyer, a Democrat, will oust Deborah Owens Fink, a leading advocate of curriculum standards that encourage students to challenge the theory of evolution.

Elsewhere in Ohio, scientists also have been campaigning for candidates who support the teaching of evolution and have recruited at least one biologist from out of state to help.

Dr. Lawrence Krauss, a physicist at Case Western Reserve and the organizer of the letter effort, said almost 90 percent of the science faculty on campus this semester had signed it. The signers are anthropologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, physicists and psychologists.

The letter says Owens Fink has "attempted to cast controversy on biological evolution in favor of an ill-defined notion called Intelligent Design that courts have ruled is religion, not science."


Read it here.

Date: 2006/10/27 15:27:55, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
GOVERNOR: Palin is only candidate to suggest it should be discussed in schools.

By TOM KIZZIA
Anchorage Daily News

Published: October 27, 2006
Last Modified: October 27, 2006 at 03:05 PM

The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor's race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state's public classrooms.

Palin was answering a question from the moderator near the conclusion of Wednesday night's televised debate on KAKM Channel 7 when she said, "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."

Her main opponents, Democrat Tony Knowles and Independent Andrew Halcro, said such alternatives to evolution should be kept out of science classrooms. Halcro called such lessons "religious-based" and said the place for them might be a philosophy or sociology class.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/11/04 21:42:16, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
If you think the creationists are bad in the US, check out Turkey.

by Matt Mossman  • Posted November 4, 2006 12:30 AM

To find the front lines of a culture war in Turkey, walk into a kebab shop in the Uskudar district of Istanbul. Meat sizzles on metal skewers, and Persian carpets adorn the walls. Look closely and you'll find a portrait of Charles Darwin—framed in dripping blood.

This is a "creation museum," the brainchild of Adnan Oktar. He's the 50-year-old founder of Bilim Araştirma Vakfi ("Scientific Research Foundation"), a creationist organization mounting one of the most potent offensives against evolution outside of the United States.

In its latest campaign, BAV has opened more than 80 "museums" in restaurants, malls, and city halls across Turkey, each stocked with fossils, posters, and eager volunteers. Oktar's disciples use tactics cribbed from US organizations like California's Institute for Creation Research, instructing passersby that evolution cannot explain biology's complexity and is against the word of God.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/11/06 15:06:31, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By SEKAI NIPPO

TOKYO -- The Intelligent Design (ID) theory that advocates the involvement of an intelligent designer in the origin and evolution of the universe and life is gaining popularity in the United States. This is an indication that an increasing number of people, including scientists, have become aware of the shaky ground on which Darwin’s evolutionary theory stands.

There have been quite a few books critiquing Darwin’s evolution theory. But it was “Icons of Evolution – Science or Myth?” —authored by American biologist Jonathan Wells and published in 2000—that perhaps has had the greatest impact on the debate.  In it, Wells reveals the widespread distortions in biology textbooks explaining evolution.. . .

. . .“My goal,” says Wells, “is to bring about the collapse of Darwin’s evolution theory by 2009, the 150th anniversary of publication of Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” in 1859.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/11/14 03:33:48, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
by John G. West
Posted Nov 14, 2006

The debate over Darwinian evolution is typically framed by the news media as a clash between “right” and “left.” Conservatives are presumed to be critical of Darwin’s theory, while liberals are presumed to be supportive of it.

As in most cases, reality is more complicated.

There always have been liberal critics of Darwin. In the early 20th Century, progressive reformer William Jennings Bryan fought for women’s suffrage, world peace—and against Darwinism. More recently, left-wing novelist Kurt Vonnegut, a self-described “secular humanist,” has called our human bodies “miracles of design” and faulted scientists for “pretending they have the answer as how we got this way when natural selection couldn’t possibly have produced such machines.”

Evolution to the Rescue?

Just as there have been critics of Darwin on the left, there continue to be champions of Darwinism on the right. In the last few years, pundits such as George Will, Charles Krauthammer and John Derbyshire, along with social scientist James Q. Wilson and political theorist Larry Arnhart, have stoutly defended Darwin’s theory and denounced Darwin’s critics.


And he doesn't like PZ none too much either. . .

 
Quote
These efforts to purge the scientific community of any critics of Darwin are fueled by increasingly vehement rhetoric on the part of some evolutionists. In many states, it has become routine to apply the label of “Taliban” to anyone who supports teaching students about scientific criticisms of Darwinian theory.

Biology professor P. Z. Myers at the University of Minnesota, Morris, has demanded “the public firing and humiliation of some teachers” who express their doubts about Darwin. He further says, “It’s time for scientists to break out the steel-toed boots and brass knuckles, and get out there and hammer on the lunatics and idiots.”

Whatever one’s personal view of Darwinism, the current atmosphere of intolerance is unhealthy for science, and it’s unhealthy for a free society.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/11/26 20:33:50, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
PR packs spread controversial theory

James Randerson, science correspondent
Monday November 27, 2006
The Guardian

Dozens of schools are using creationist teaching materials condemned by the government as "not appropriate to support the science curriculum", the Guardian has learned.

The packs promote the creationist alternative to Darwinian evolution called intelligent design and the group behind them said 59 schools are using the information as "a useful classroom resource".

A teacher at one of the schools said it intended to use the DVDs to present intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinism. Nick Cowan, head of chemistry at Bluecoat school, in Liverpool, said: "Just because it takes a negative look at Darwinism doesn't mean it is not science. I think to critique Darwinism is quite appropriate."

But the government has made it clear that "neither intelligent design nor creationism are recognised scientific theories". The chairman of the parliamentary science and technology select committee, the Lib Dem MP Phil Willis, said he was horrified that the packs were being used in schools.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/11/29 16:03:12, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Dr. Kent Hovind Sits in Jail While Child Molester Sits at Home!

Date: 2006/11/30 20:57:35, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Darwin as theory now parish policy

Officials say vote gives freedom to teachers
By Barbara Leader

A policy regarding the teaching of Darwin's Theory of Evolution in Ouachita Parish classrooms that the School Board passed Wednesday does not need state Department of Education approval.

"Local policies do not need state approval," said DOE's Meg Casper.

In a board room full of interested residents, the Ouachita Parish School Board approved what has been called a "landmark" proposal allowing teachers "academic freedom" when teaching topics that might generate controversy, including evolution.

Retired Judge Darrell White of the Louisiana Family Forum called the board's move "courageous."

Assistant Superintendent Frank Hoffmann presented a document to the board that states: "The district understands that the teaching of some scientific subjects such as biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning, can cause controversy and that some teachers may be unsure of the district's expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects."


Read it here.

The policy adopted by the board can be read here.

Date: 2006/12/01 18:36:51, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
N.La. board policy "next wave of attack by anti-evolution forces":

Quote
12/1/2006, 3:42 p.m. CT
The Associated Press

MONROE, LA. (AP) — The new science policy for public schools in one north Louisiana parish is "an underhanded way to undercut the theory of evolution" now that courts have barred both creationism and intelligent design from school courses, says the head of a national group.

"This is, I think, the next wave of attack by anti-evolution forces to get their materials into public schools," Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said Friday.

The policy adopted Wednesday night for Ouachita Parish was enthusiastically backed by officials with the Louisiana Family Forum, which gives its mission as "to persuasively present biblical principles in the centers of influence on issues affecting the family through research, communication and networking."

Date: 2006/12/02 03:43:55, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By Laura Hancock
Deseret Morning News
     
OREM — Intelligent design is not yet a solid scientific theory, but it soon may gain legitimacy as an explanation of how Earth and its inhabitants came to be, one of the country's foremost proponents of the alternative to the theory of evolution said.
     
Intelligent design is slowly making inroads in the mainstream science community. Evolutionary scientists are increasingly arguing against ID in reputable journals such as Science and Nature, biological philosopher Paul Nelson of the Discovery Institute said Friday.
     
Nelson was one of four experts on a panel at Utah Valley State College's Religion and the Humanities Conference, "Intelligent Design: Toward an Intelligent Discussion." He was the only member of the panel to defend ID.
     
ID is a theory that organisms are so complex they must have been created by a higher intelligence or god. Nelson used as an example a comparison of a robotic dog with a golden retriever. If a robodog is created by human intelligence; it's possible that the retriever also was created by an intelligence, he said.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/12/06 06:22:25, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
If last month's school board elections in Ohio weren't enough, then this should put the final nail in the coffin. . .

Quote
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. Bob Taft said the four people he appoints to the state school board before he leaves office will support science lessons that focus on evolution and not intelligent design.

“I want people who are really committed to teaching good science in school, and I think that intelligent design does not play a role in the science curriculum,” he told The Columbus Dispatch for a story Wednesday.

Intelligent design argues that DNA and other aspects of life are so complex that they’re best explained as the intervention of a higher power.

The Ohio Board of Education voted in October to end its debate over whether students should be taught to challenge evolution, but the topic was revived as a campaign issue. In November, voters picked five of the board’s 11 elected seats.

The governor appoints eight members of the 19-person board. The terms of four members expire Dec. 31; Taft leaves office Jan. 7.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/12/07 01:56:34, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
· Schools will be told not to use special pack
· Intelligent design group asks for meeting

James Randerson, science correspondent
Thursday December 7, 2006
The Guardian

The government is to write to schools telling them that controversial teaching materials promoting creationism should not be used in science lessons.

The packs include DVDs and written materials promoting intelligent design, a creationist alternative to Darwinism, that were sent to every school in the country by the privately-funded group Truth in Science. Advocates of the theory argue that some features of the universe and nature are so complex that they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Last week, the Guardian revealed that 59 schools had told Truth in Science the materials were a "useful classroom resource".

The government has already stated that the Truth in Science materials should not be used in science lessons. On November 1, the education minister, Jim Knight, wrote: "Neither intelligent design nor creationism are recognised scientific theories and they are not included in the science curriculum. The Truth in Science information pack is therefore not an appropriate resource to support the science curriculum." The Department for Education said it was working with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the public body that oversees the national curriculum, to communicate this message directly to schools.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/12/14 03:44:25, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
But is it just a public relations exercise?

Quote
Intelligent design: The God Lab

16 December 2006
Celeste Biever Redmond

PAY a visit to the Biologic Institute and you are liable to get a chilly reception. "We only see people with appointments," states the man who finally responds to my persistent knocks. Then he slams the door on me.

I am standing on the ground floor of an office building in Redmond, Washington, the Seattle suburb best known as home town to Microsoft. What I'm trying to find out is whether the 1-year-old institute is the new face of another industry that has sprung up in the area - the one that has set out to try to prove evolution is wrong.

This is my second attempt to engage in person with scientists at Biologic. At the institute's other facility in nearby Fremont, researchers work at benches lined with fume hoods, incubators and microscopes - a typical scene in this up-and-coming biotech hub. Most of them there proved just as reluctant to speak with a New Scientist reporter.

The reticence cloaks an unorthodox agenda. "We are the first ones doing what we might call lab science in intelligent design," says George Weber, the only one of Biologic's four directors who would speak openly with me. "The objective is to challenge the scientific community on naturalism." Weber is not a scientist but a retired professor of business and administration at the Presbyterian Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. He heads the Spokane chapter of Reasonstobelieve.org, a Christian organisation that seeks to challenge Darwinism.

The anti-evolution movement's latest response to Darwin is intelligent design (ID). Its fundamental premise is that certain features of living organisms are too complex to have evolved without the direct intervention of an intelligent designer. In ID literature that designer remains cautiously anonymous, but for many proponents he corresponds closely with the God of the Christian Bible. Over the past few years the movement's media-savvy public face has been the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, which has championed intelligent design, claiming it to be a legitimate scientific theory, and supported its key architects. It was Discovery that provided the funding to get the Biologic Institute up and running.


Read it here.

Date: 2006/12/30 19:21:52, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Christopher Morgan and Abul Taher

THE government has cleared the way for a form of creationism to be taught in Britain’s schools as part of the religious syllabus.

Lord Adonis, an education minister, is to issue guidelines within two months for the teaching of “intelligent design” (ID), a theory being promoted by the religious right in America.

Until now the government has not approved the teaching of the controversial theory, which contradicts Darwinian evolutionary theory, the basis of modern biology.

Adonis said in a parliamentary answer: “Intelligent design can be explored in religious education as part of developing an understanding of different beliefs.”

He announced that the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) is to hold discussions with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the assessment regulator, and said local advisory councils would decide whether particular schools should teach the theory.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/01/07 06:22:47, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Nick Matzke, in the evolutionist's corner, faces each new challenge the creationists bring

Quote
There are no microscopes at the National Center for Science Education in Oakland. They don't look at the small picture. They are watching the big one -- the ongoing war between evolutionists and creationists. Nick Matzke, 30, is both foot soldier and tactician.

On the organization

We are the only nonprofit that focuses on the creation-evolution debate in the U.S. We oppose efforts to teach creationism and various other attempts to suppress or weaken the teaching of evolution.

On creationist theory

The key issue is supernatural intervention in the history of life. Creationists are attempting to legitimate that as a scientific view.

Date: 2007/01/09 02:40:54, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
But, whatever the limitations of Darwinism, isn't the intelligent design alternative an "intellectual dead end"? No. If true, ID is a profound insight into the natural world and a motivator to scientific inquiry. The pioneers of modern science, who were convinced that nature is designed, consequently held that it could be understood by human intellects. This confidence helped to drive the scientific revolution. More recently, proponents of ID predicted that some "junk" DNA must have a function well before this view became mainstream among Darwinists.

But, according to Randerson, ID is not a science because "there is no evidence that could in principle disprove ID". Remind me, what is claimed of Darwinism? If, as an explanation for organised complexity, Darwinism had a more convincing evidential basis, then many of us would give up on ID.

Finally, Randerson claims that ID is "pure religion". In fact, ID is a logical inference, based on data gathered from the natural world, and hence it is firmly in the realm of science. It does not rely upon the Bible, the Qur'an, or any religious authority or tradition - only on scientific evidence. When a religious person advocates teaching ID in science without identification of the designer, there is no dishonesty or "Trojan horse", just realism about the limitations of the scientific method. If certain Darwinists also had the intellectual honesty to distinguish between science and their religious beliefs, the public understanding of science would be much enhanced.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/01/27 02:13:23, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Posted: January 27, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

One of my favorite early Steve Martin routines went something like this: "Would you like to make a million dollars and pay no taxes? OK. First, make a million dollars. Now, just don't pay any taxes; and if somebody from the IRS asks you about it, just say … 'I forgot!'"

Nonsense? Sure. But funny, especially as Steve delivered it? You bet.

But there's some absurd nonsense, not especially funny, being taught our school kids every day, in almost every school in America.

Darwin's theory of evolution.

"But it's science," you say. No, not really. Certainly, not yet, if it ever will be. It's a theory, an extremely farfetched, unproven theory and – at its base, its fundamental core – terribly unscientific!

To me (and I'll explain, so stay with me) this theory is exactly like Steve Martin's joke. It starts with a wish, a desire, proceeds through a ludicrous construction or process, and leads to a preposterous conclusion.

But this unfunny joke has been taken very seriously by a host of scientists, and now most educators, and it has been universally accepted as "fact" by most universities and school systems. And woe to the teacher, from grade school through college, who dares to question this improbable, unproven theory. If he or she dares to suggest or present the alternative theory of Intelligent Design – the vastly more plausible notion that this incredible universe and all living things point logically to a Creator with an intelligence far beyond our feeble comprehension (no matter how many Ph.D. degrees we might have among us) – lawsuits and intimidation will surely follow that teacher.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/01/28 04:47:03, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Kazmer Ujvarosy
January 27, 2007

Critics of Intelligent Design (ID), in their utter impotence to refute the theory’s basic logic that the existence of complex systems in nature implies the existence of an intelligent cause or designer, are doing their best to divert attention from the real issue by notoriously bringing up lame and demonstrably false arguments.

First of all, they allege that ID theorists failed to name the designer. The fundamental problem with this criticism is that intelligence in fact has been named as the designer--after all, the theory itself is called Intelligent Design. Thus the designer is intelligence. And because there is absolutely no demonstrable evidence that an intelligence above and beyond human intelligence exists, by default the credit for design in nature goes to human intelligence.

If ID critics want me to be even more specific, Christ identified himself as that intelligence which created the universe to make reproductions of himself in the form of human beings. In other words we find design in nature because Christ constitutes the seed of the universe, or the cosmic system’s input and output. As he disclosed it in Revelation 22:13, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

In essence Jesus is telling us that he constitutes the beginning and the end of the cosmic system, similarly as a seed constitutes the beginning and the end of a plant system.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/01/28 04:54:37, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
My favourite part, Christ is the universal common ancestor.  But remember, ID has nothing to do with religion!

Quote
Third, critics of Intelligent Design eagerly promote the fabrication that the theory completely lacks predictive power. Of course, nothing can be further from the truth. Because we know that human intelligence in Christ’s person is the seed, creator or designer of the universe, we are in the position to predict with unparalleled confidence that Christ is the universal common ancestor of all things created. Also we predict that universal common descent has its source in Jesus Christ.

Overwhelming evidence for the relation of all creatures to Christ by universal common descent has been provided by paleontology, comparative anatomy, biogeography, embryology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, and other scientific disciplines. Whereas evolutionists stick to Darwin’s invention tenaciously--namely to the supernatural entity misleadingly named “natural selection”--, we predict that universal common descent’s mechanism is epigenesis. Thus the process of development from Christ’s genotype to the mature universe for the production of progeny in Christ’s image is epigenetic.

All of these predictions are falsifiable, provided ID critics can demonstrate that instead of Christ the universal common ancestor is a minimal life form, and ultimately zero intelligence; that universal common descent is not a fact; or that epigenesis is not a viable mechanism for development from the seed of the universe.

Date: 2007/01/29 03:38:29, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
As Jonathan Dudley pointed out in his recent column (“Evolution Sunday not so benign,” 1/24), hundreds of Christian churches across America will celebrate Darwin’s theory on Feb. 11.

Why will they do this? A little background is helpful here.

Evolution can mean many things. Broadly speaking, it means simply change over time, something no sane person doubts. In biblical interpretation, it can mean that God created the world over a long period of time rather than in six 24-hour days. In biology, it can mean minor changes within existing species, which we see happening before our eyes.

But Darwin’s theory claims much more — namely, that all living things are descended from a common ancestor and that their present differences are due to unguided natural processes such as random variations and survival of the fittest. It is not evolution in general, but Darwin’s particular theory (Darwinism) that Evolution Sunday celebrates. That’s why it is timed to coincide with Charles Darwin’s birthday.

The idea originated with University of Wisconsin evolutionary biologist Michael Zimmerman after a Wisconsin school board adopted the following policy in 2004: “Students are expected to analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information. Students shall be able to explain the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory. This policy does not call for the teaching of Creationism or Intelligent Design.”

Zimmerman called the policy a decision “to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance.”

But experiments have consistently failed to support the hypothesis that variations (including those produced by genetic mutation) and selection (natural or artificial) can produce new species, organs and body plans. And what may have once looked like solid evidence for universal common ancestry (fossils, embryos and molecular comparisons) is now plagued by growing inconsistencies. It is actually the Darwinists who brush aside these awkward facts who “embrace scientific ignorance.”


Read it here.

Date: 2007/02/03 01:41:41, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
In his wonderful book, "Darwin's Black Box," author Michael Behe details the current "biochemical challenge to evolution." As true science has developed and modern technology is ever more able to peer deeply into the whirling universe of subatomic particles, the concept that life marched forward, mutation by mutation, from "simple" cell to complex organism has been knocked into the proverbial cocked hat. There is no "simple" cell, and never has been. Behe describes, even depicts, the "irreducible complexity" of the most microscopic living cell, which is in itself enormously complex and populated by intricate subsystems – all necessary for cell function.

The more powerful and probing our microscopes become, the more diverse and dizzyingly complicated the simplest building blocks become; each is a tiny pulsing universe in itself!

Consider this. In 1925, in the infamous Scopes "Monkey Trial," ACLU attorney Clarence Darrow took the position that it was bigotry to teach just one view of human origins! He was defending the right of the science teacher to offer the theory of evolution as an alternative to the long-accepted account of creation. And now, that same ACLU is instituting lawsuits all over America wherever anybody dares to offer Intelligent Design or any other alternative to the theory of evolution! What blatant hypocrisy!

Here's one more pertinent consideration, never reported by the most devoted Darwinian: Charles Darwin's own statements, especially as he approached his own demise. Earlier in his life, he openly acknowledged "the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe … as the result of blind chance or necessity." His subsequent disciples evidently dismiss that thought. Doesn't fit the "theory."

But in a fascinating book, John Myers' "Voices from the Edge of Eternity," we find the detailed personal account of Lady Hope, of Northfield, England, who visited the aging scientist often at his bedside during his last days. It's too long to recount well here, but she tells of the Bible he was reading constantly and of the worship services that took place regularly in the summerhouse in his garden. She says that when she brought up the controversy still raging between believers in the Genesis account of creation and the growing group of scientists and teachers dismissing that account in favor of his "The Origin of Species" and related theories, he seemed distressed. And "a look of agony came over his face as he said 'I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time about everything. To my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them.'"

Exactly.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/02/03 06:35:35, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Judge John Jones once told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he became a judge hoping that someday he would have a chance “to rule in matters of great importance.”

Well, last year he got his chance. He ruled on Kitzmiller v. Dover, holding that you could not teach intelligent design in public schools. But given what’s leaked out about his decision, Judge Jones is not likely to be remembered as “an outstanding thinker,” as Time magazine called him. Instead, we might remember him as the judge who let a litigant write his opinion.

Maybe I am an idealist, but going back to law school, I have always respected judges. I believe they take seriously their oath to uphold the laws and the Constitution and to rule impartially. Sad to say, this judge apparently did not.

Maybe I should not have been surprised because, two months before the case was heard, the judge said in a newspaper interview that he was going to go see Inherit the Wind, the old film about the Scopes trial, hopelessly biased toward the evolutionists’ view. He said he wanted to do it to get a context for hearing the Dover case. I wrote him and explained that it is historically inaccurate; he never replied.

Now it turns out that even as the media was praising Judge Jones for his brilliant insights, the Discovery Institute found that ACLU attorneys had actually written key sections of the ruling. In the section on intelligent design, more than 90 percent “was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU’s proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law’,” so says the Discovery Institute.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/02/08 02:36:13, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By Chuck Colson
Christian Post Guest Columnist
Wed, Feb. 07 2007 11:51 AM ET

A couple of years ago on this program, I had this to say of the book Doubts about Darwin by my friend Thomas Woodward: “The motivation for [the] . . . founders of the [intelligent] design movement to instigate this ‘reformation within science’ is a passion for intellectual truth-telling.”

Woodward displays this passion for truth-telling yet again in his marvelous new book, Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design. What Woodward wrote about just a few years ago is even truer today. Amid a firestorm of criticism and abuse from committed Darwinists, the intelligent design movement continues to press forward, gaining scientific credibility and even grudging respect from some evolutionists. But as Woodward shows, there’s still a long way to go.

Because the more respect intelligent design gains, the more alarmed the Darwinists become. Their thinking goes something like this: It’s one thing for those religious people to talk about a creator God—that’s religion; but now they are talking about science—so, they figure, “Let’s label it religion.” Woodward writes, “These sentiments were echoed in public declarations, verbally and in print, by Darwinian defenders, warning . . . that Intelligent Design is religion, not science . . . This statement,” Woodward continues, “emerged as the number-one talking point for Intelligent Design opponents [over the last few years].”


Read it here.

Date: 2007/02/12 01:24:27, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Research: God did speak world into existence
Student's scientific documentation offers evidence of biblical account

Posted: February 11, 2007
9:35 p.m. Eastern

© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

A science student in Kentucky says when the Bible records God spoke, and things were created, that's just what happened, and he can support that with scientific experiments.

"If God spoke everything into existence as the Genesis record proposes, then we should be able to scientifically prove that the construction of everything in the universe begins with a) the Holy Spirit (magnetic field); b) Light (an electric field); and c) that Light can be created by a sonic influence or sound," Samuel J. Hunt writes on his website.

"There are several documented and currently taught laboratory experiments that accurately portray the events in Genesis in sequential order, the most important being that of sonoluminescence," he wrote.

That, he described to WND, is the circumstance in which sending a sonic signal into bubbles in a fluid causes the bubbles to collapse and they release photons, or create light.

That aligns with one of the earlier descriptions of the creation by God, when, in Genesis 1:1-3, the Holy Spirit moved upon the face of the deep, which generally is considered water, and said "Let there be light," he explained.

God was sending a sonic influence into the waters, and basically creating light, Hunt said. He's documented his theory, and the experiments he believes back it up, in his "Episteme Scientia, the Law of All That Is."


Read it here.

Date: 2007/02/13 02:37:29, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
There is scant reporting on the anti-religious zeal with which many atheists promote Darwinism.

By John G. West

February 12 used to be known in classrooms across the nation as Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. But over the last decade, an increasing number of schools and community groups have decided to celebrate the birthday of the father of evolution instead.

The movement to establish February 12 as “Darwin Day” seems to be spreading, promoted by a evangelistic non-profit group with its own website (www.darwinday.org) and an ambitious agenda to create a “global celebration in 2009, the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origins of Species.”

Darwin Day celebrations provide an eye-opening glimpse into the world of grassroots Darwinian fundamentalism, an alternate reality where atheism is the conventional wisdom and where traditional religious believers are viewed with suspicion if not paranoia.

Promoters of Darwin Day deny that their activities are anti-religious, but their denial is hard to square with reality.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/02/13 02:53:07, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
And West isn't done, he's got a bone to pick with the Kansas school board too:

Quote
ID backer knocks Tuskegee deletion from Kansas standards

JOHN HANNA
Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. - A debate over how evolution is taught in Kansas also has become a debate over what students should hear in science classes about the Nazis, forced sterilization and an infamous study of syphilis in black men.

A brief passage about history in science standards for the state's public schools became an issue Monday, as the State Board of Education prepared to vote on a new set of guidelines. Seeking to rewrite anti-evolution standards adopted in 2005, the board targeted for deletion a passage about historic abuses of science citing the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

John West, a senior fellow at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, which supports intelligent design research and didn't want the standards rewritten, called the deletion "a travesty" and wrote an angry letter to board members. Among other things, he noted, the deletion would occur during Black History Month.

"The board's plan to whitewash the history of science is shameful," he wrote.

But the passage had drawn criticism from scientists who note that only abuses perceived as linked to evolution were mentioned.

"That was never in the science standards until the intelligent designers inserted it," said Steve Case, associate director of the Center for Science Education at the University of Kansas. "Introducing that was just a way to get at their attack, 'Scientific knowledge is bad.'"

Date: 2007/02/15 02:43:37, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
In late December 2006, the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform issued an unflattering report on the state of affairs at one of the nation's more cherished institutions.

One day students might study this report – damningly titled "Intolerance and the Politicization of Science at the Smithsonian" – as a turning point in the history of science. For the time being, however, the report and the scandal at the heart of it attract very close to no attention in the media, let alone in the nation's schools.

Says Dr. Richard Sternberg, the Galileo of the Smithsonian scandal, "The press has not wanted to touch [the report]. Things like this aren't supposed to happen."

What did happen to Dr. Sternberg is shocking even by Washington standards. The damage done to his career is real, irreversible and symptomatic of the lengths the science establishment will go to suppress challenges to the most vulnerable of its paradigms, namely Darwinism and its derivatives.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/02/17 02:28:38, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Friday, February 16, 2007

By Cara Bailey - Jefferson Bureau

CHARLES TOWN - A Harpers Ferry man who says he has discovered "the missing link" claims the Jefferson County Board of Education "restricts the teaching of pertinent scientific and historical knowledge to all student in its jurisdiction."

Kenneth Smith filed a complaint Feb. 2 in Jefferson Circuit Court. He claims the board should be teaching genetic facts, and that "the genetic normal human species, which all humans descended from, did in fact exist," the complaint says.

Smith said he worked at Central Reference Laboratory in Anaheim, Calif., where he was given the task of centrifuging and processing blood samples along with cultural specimens for testing. During these studies, he said he decided to extend his work.

"On impulse, I furthered my studies into a feasible theory of the 'genetic normal,' which is also the missing link between man and ape," Smith said in his complaint. "After much research, it became a billion to one shot that came true."

Smith also states the Board of Education must think about removing all of its evolutionary exhibits and declare that an American has discovered the genetic "normal." Smith said he has a large manuscript that denounces the Human Genome Project while acknowledging a greater creator.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/02/27 02:26:57, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By TOM HUMPHREY,

NASHVILLE - Sen. Raymond Finney proposes to use the legislative process to get an answer to the question of whether the universe was created by a "Supreme Being."

Under Senate Resolution 17, introduced by the Maryville Republican, the answer would come from state Education Commissioner Lana Seivers "in report form" no later than Jan. 15, 2008.

Finney, a retired physician, said Monday that his objective is to formally prod the Department of Education into a dialogue about the teaching of evolution in school science classes without also teaching the alternative of "creationism," or "intelligent design."

The move would thus renew a debate that has raged off and on in the Tennessee Legislature since at least 1925, when the 64th General Assembly enacted a law forbidding the teaching of evolution - setting the stage for the famous John Scopes "monkey trial" in Dayton, Tenn., later that year.

Finney said there is no doubt in his own mind that everything in the universe, including human beings, was created by a Supreme Being.

"There has never been any proof offered that Darwin's theory of evolution is correct," he said.

"I'm not demanding that she (Seivers) to do anything," he said, "just asking, 'Are you sure we're doing the right thing?' "

He said the resolution is "giving her the opportunity to say, 'You're wrong. There is no creationism.' "

As the resolution is written, if Seivers does answer no to the first question - stating that the universe was not created by a Supreme Being - she would be offered "the General Assembly's admiration for being able to decide conclusively a question that has long perplexed and occupied the attention of scientists, philosophers, theologians, educators and others."

But if she answers yes, or states that the answer to the creation of the universe is uncertain, then there is a follow-up question that must also be answered: Why is creationism not being taught in Tennessee schools?


Read it here.

The text of Senate Resolution 17 is here.

Date: 2007/02/27 02:30:03, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
For the PDF challenged, here is the text of Resolution 17:

Quote
SR0017
00380013
-1-
Filed for intro on 02/21/2007
SENATE RESOLUTION 17
By Finney R.
A RESOLUTION to request the commissioner of education to
provide answers to questions concerning
creationism and public school curriculums in
Tennessee.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE ONE HUNDRED FIFTH GENERAL
ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, that the commissioner of the department of
education, in consultation with any other persons whether within or without state government, is
hereby respectfully requested by this body to respond to the following questions:
(1) Is the Universe and all that is within it, including human beings, created through
purposeful, intelligent design by a Supreme Being, that is a Creator?
Understand that this question does not ask that the Creator be given a name. To
name the Creator is a matter of faith. The question simply asks whether the Universe
has been created or has merely happened by random, unplanned, and purposeless
occurrences.
Further understand that this question asks that the latest advances in multiple
scientific disciplines –such as physics, astronomy, molecular biology, DNA studies,
physiology, paleontology, mathematics, and statistics – be considered, rather than
relying solely on descriptive and hypothetical suppositions.
If the answer to Question 1 is “Yes,” please answer Question 2:
(2) Since the Universe, including human beings, is created by a Supreme Being (a
Creator), why is creationism not taught in Tennessee public schools?
If the answer to Question 1 is “This question cannot be proved or disproved,” please
answer Question 3:

(3) Since it cannot be determined whether the Universe, including human beings, is
created by a Supreme Being (a Creator), why is creationism not taught as an
alternative concept, explanation, or theory, along with the theory of evolution in
Tennessee public schools?
If the answer to Question 1 is “No” please accept the General Assembly’s admiration for
being able to decide conclusively a question that has long perplexed and occupied the
attention of scientists, philosophers, theologians, educators, and others.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the commissioner of education is requested to
deliver her response to this request in report form to the Speaker of the Senate before January
15, 2008.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that an appropriate copy of this resolution be prepared
and sent to the commissioner of education.

Date: 2007/03/03 01:31:07, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Charles Darwin had no understanding of molecular biology. That's why he was free to speculate that if an animal flapped its arms long enough they might someday turn into wings – wings he could leave to his offspring. But today we know that's not the way molecular biology works.

Also, back in the days of Darwin, he was free to speculate that certain apes began using tools and became dominant over other apes. The survival of the fittest led to a new breed of apes – tool-using apes.

But the problem with that is you're still dealing with apes. How does the species transition into a new species? How does that happen? Where has that ever happened? How could it without one species dying out first?

Evolutionists don't have answers to these questions.

The DNA of that chimp doesn't change when he starts throwing a spear. The DNA of his descendant doesn't change either. You can go right down the line and the DNA of his grandchimps and great-grandchimps is still going to be the stuff of chimp DNA. It's not going to be another species. Behavior doesn't change molecular biology.

So what do you have after, say, 50 generations of spear-chucking chimps?

Maybe chimps that have perfected the art of spear-making and spear-chucking. But I guaranty for sure they are still chimps. Nothing has happened that could possibly affect their molecular structure – the very essence of what makes them chimps.

In fact, I'll go further. Let the evolutionists isolate these chimps and do whatever they want to them, change their environment, let them watch "Tarzan" movies, allow them to listen to self-empowerment CDs, permit them to interact with people. Do this for generations. You know what you will have when you're all done? Chimps.

You can teach them to ride bicycles. You can dress them up. You can even teach them to use some simple tools. But, at the end of the day, they're still going to be chimps. Their DNA will be no different, their molecular biology unaffected.

And, after that experiment, the people who believe in evolution are probably still going to believe in evolution. But, no matter what they believe, they can't change the fact that they, too, are made in the image of God.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/03/03 04:27:29, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By: William Mulgrew
Issue date: 3/2/07 Section: Ed-Op
Originally published: 3/2/07 at 10:25 AM EST
Last update: 3/2/07 at 10:25 AM EST

Intelligent design opponents chalk it up to what's commonly called the god of the gaps fallacy. In the past, when humans observed natural phenomena they couldn't explain, they attributed it to a supernatural cause or an unseen force. For instance, we once didn't understand what thunder was or where it came from, so some attributed it to the deities Zeus or Thor and the like.

Besides the fact that science deals with unseen forces, like gravity, but nonetheless infers its existence through evidence, there's a huge problem for Darwinists. ID doesn't fall under the god of the gaps fallacy, but Darwinism does.

ID doesn't invoke a supernatural cause. It invokes an intelligent cause. What's the difference, you wonder? Everything. Science is the search for causes, and causes can be intelligent or natural.

Excluding intelligent causes from the realm of science throws out more than just ID. It gets rid of archaeology, cryptology, criminal and accident forensics, biotechnology and genetic engineering from the category of science - all are scientific disciplines that deal with intelligent causes or both intelligent and natural.

ID relies on observation and repetition. It is falsifiable - the discovery of a new natural law might prove a naturalistic life origin. That's more than what Darwinism can boast. By ruling out intelligent agency in advance, natural agency is the only game in town with nothing to falsify it.

Natural science devotes itself solely to natural causes, but is not the only form of science. It is empirical. Empirical sciences study present regularities in order to understand how they work. Forensic science studies singularities of the past for uniformity in order to understand whether agency is intelligent or natural.

When Darwinists rule out ID as science, they rule themselves out as well. Scientific theories rely on observation, replication and experimentation. Francisco Ayala said no one observed the origin of life or the evolution of species, "nor have these events been replicated in the laboratory or by experiment." No naturalistic life origin theory exists, only unproved conjectures. Life origins are forensic, not empirical. At worst, they shouldn't be exclusively empirical, but interdisciplinary, like environmental science.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/03/06 06:51:52, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Billy Gerchick never hesitated before assigning his English students a pair of short stories last week by Ernest Hemingway — “Soldier’s Home” and “Hills Like White Elephants” — despite their controversial themes.

But a bill being sponsored by a powerful East Valley lawmaker could give Gerchick, a teacher at Scottsdale’s Coronado High School, reason to pause in the future. It could keep him from assigning the classic works because of their subjects: war and abortion, respectively.

Senate Majority Leader Thayer Verschoor, R-Gilbert, is the driving force behind a proposal that seeks to quiet teachers who openly endorse or champion political and social issues in the classroom.

Verschoor said the proposal is a reaction from constituents who describe a culture in which teachers are often not fair or impartial when it comes to expressing political viewpoints.

The bill gives students the power to speak out against outspoken teachers, he said. And it holds teachers, who are paid with state tax dollars, accountable for what they say.

But teachers, students and other critics fear the measure would suppress free speech in the classroom. Likewise, they worry the measure would drive teachers out of Arizona — or out of the profession — for fear of being punished.

The bill, SB1542, would forbid teachers working in their official capacity from endorsing or opposing political candidates or expressing opinions about social issues. Teachers could face a $500 fine or lose their jobs if found guilty.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/03/06 07:01:23, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
The text of the bill is here.

The part of the bill that would apply to ID/creationism would be:

Quote
A teacher who is acting as an agent of or who is working in an official instructional capacity for a school district or charter school shall not:. . .

. . .4.  Advocate one side of a social, political or cultural issue that is a matter of partisan controversy.


Oh, and this would apply to professors at state universities too:

Quote
An instructor at a university under the jurisdiction of the Arizona board of regents or at a community college under the jurisdiction of a community college district who is acting as an agent of or who is working in an official instructional capacity for a university or community college shall not:. . .

. . .4.  Advocate one side of a social, political or cultural issue that is a matter of partisan controversy.

Date: 2007/03/08 02:37:09, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
A Ventura County Board of Education member sparks the debate over evolution and creationism

~ By MATTHEW SINGER ~

A vote on whether to introduce a science textbook to Ventura County seventh graders has been postponed over one board of education member’s objections to its framing of evolution as a proven fact.

Ron Matthews, a self-described born-again Christian, complained at a public board meeting Feb. 26 that the language of Focus on California Life Science takes evolution “out of the realm of theory” and presents it as scientific law. He also protested the book’s lack of discussion about creationism as another idea on how life began.

“Evolution is a theory proliferated all over the world,” Matthews said later in a phone interview. “Students have to have an understanding of what’s being perpetrated on an unsuspecting, unknowing world, but [schools] also have to present the truth — the truth being Biblical creation.”

Focus on California Life Science would be used by seventh graders attending Gateway School in Camarillo and at its satellite campus in Ventura. While it refers to evolution as a theory, it also implies that certain aspects of evolution are accepted facts, Matthews said.

But for Matthews, whose father served on the Oxnard Union High School District Board of Trustees for 19 years, the larger issue here is the decline of Christian values in America overall. Because their parents went through “the Godless public school system,” children today are not attending church like they used to, he said. Consequently, kids are not learning about creationism away from school and are instead “being taught they are nothing but animals with animal instincts and are not accountable to a possible creator that created them for a purpose,” Matthews said.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/03/08 02:41:06, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
At the Feb. 26 meeting, Matthews requested to review the four other state-approved books rejected by the local committee of teachers and school administrators responsible for recommending texts to the board, to see if any offer a “more balanced” overview of origin theories and do not “teach dogmatically the theory of evolution.” Should he find one, he plans on bringing it to the board for a vote, he said.


He might try Of Pandas & People.  The Dover school board has a few dozen copies of that doorstopper gathering dust in their library.  Perhaps they can ship them to Matthews.   :D

Date: 2007/03/10 01:41:55, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Kevin Myers, who writes for the Irish Independent newspaper, seems to have swallowed Harun Yahya's BS hook, line, and sinker.  Maybe it was the flashy pictures.  Anyways, the result is a two part column about why he thinks evolution is wrong.  But really he just repeats the usual creationist stuff about proteins and probability, the Galapagos finches, etc.

Quote
Talk about an evolution . . . why Darwin must be cast into primordial and proverbial soup

Thursday March 8th 2007

ONE of the professional consequences of being a columnist is that one is sent books one would never dream of buying. Thus I recently received Volume One of Harum Yahya's Atlas of Creation.

It is easily the most extraordinary book in my possession. It is nearly 800 pages long, employs the kind of extravagant colours one might expect in a religious publication from Salt Lake City of a Hindu religious shrine, and quotes copiously from the Koran in a systematic assault upon the theory of evolution.

Now, I have not read the Koran, but - like the Bible or the Torah - I would have thought it an improbable document upon which to base an assault on Darwin's theories about the origins of species.

However, the author, who is a Muslim, is also a scientist: and it is in the scientific realm that his arguments against Darwinism are, for me anyway, most telling.

And there can be no more fragile base for the entire house of cards that is Darwinism than the creation of the building blocks of life.

This is where evolutionists abandon science and start speaking Old High Tibetan - because, quite simply, the random accidents of life which form the creative tension to the theory of evolution do not and cannot explain the formation of proteins, back in the dawn of time.

You can't have life without proteins.


Read it here.

(get a login & password here.)

Date: 2007/03/10 01:46:34, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Here is part II of his column

Quote
Once more with feeling . . . why it's time our thinking regarding creation evolved beyond Darwin

Friday March 9th 2007

PART II about (what seems to me, anyway) the heresy of Evolutionism, promptedby the arrival of Haran Yahya's "Atlas of Creation". Evolution is now taught as a fact, across the western world, though much fossil evidence is not merely contradictory, but actually hostile to it. And even the most convinced evolutionists become embarrassed and start mumbling in Eskimo when they try to explain the origin of complex left-handed protein molecules in the primeval swamp that predated life.

No, no, it will never do. So let us consider the other aspect of evolution which Harun Yahya attacks.

Dismissed

The emergence of species through the process of evolution. He dismisses it primarily because the Koran declared that God is the author of all. He even rejects intelligent design, because of the Koran.

However, his argument that animals do not evolve, but remain largely the same, is backed up by the most stunning part of his book: superb colour photographs of living animals and of their apparently identical fossil ancestors. Crabs, oysters, cockroaches, grasshoppers, springtails, ants and beetles from 25 million years ago remain - as far as we can see - in existence today, identical in every detail. The starfish of 360 million years ago is the same as its great granddaughter today.

Or so it seems. Changing climate would surely favour animals which adapted to it by growing thicker of thinner, darker or whiter coats, according to conditions. Yahya does not rule out variations occurring in species; what he argues is that those variations depend on existing genetic material within the species. What is not possible, he argues, is that evolution can add genetic material to one species to create another.

Date: 2007/03/17 06:51:01, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Slap at Charles Darwin goes way out on a limb

By LEE RAUDONIS
Published on: 03/13/07

It appears that some of Georgia's religious conservatives in the Legislature may have unwittingly outsmarted themselves. In their attempt to take a swipe at Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, these legislators now find themselves in the awkward position of doing one thing and saying another.

On the one hand, they have sponsored Resolution 247 expressing the Senate's profound regret for Georgia's participation in the eugenics movement and the injustices done under eugenics laws, including the forced sterilization of Georgia citizens.

On the other hand, some of these same legislators say they are opposed to the passage of a resolution expressing "profound regret" for the injustices of slavery, claiming that neither they nor any Georgians alive today ever owned slaves, and therefore the state should not apologize for something current Georgians did not do.

I don't think very many Georgians who are living today participated in, or condoned, any of the sterilizations and other atrocities committed by the state in the name of "eugenics." Unlike slavery, most Georgians today have never heard of eugenics and certainly knew little if anything about its role in forced sterilizations in the middle of the last century.

I admit that I was puzzled when I first heard of Senate Resolution 247. It struck me as somewhat odd that a group of conservative legislators had suddenly become "bleeding hearts" who wanted the state to apologize for a past injustice. But after hearing more about the eugenics movement, I actually thought that the resolution might be worth passing, because the actions of the state truly were cruel and a violation of basic human rights. Then I looked up the bill on the General Assembly Web site, and the pieces fell into place. In the first three paragraphs of the legislation, "Charles Darwin," "Darwinian evolutionary theory" and "Darwinian principles" are mentioned as often as eugenics.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/03/17 06:56:21, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
The text of Georgia Senate Resolution 247:

Quote
07 LC 28 3416
Senate Resolution 247
By: Senators Shafer of the 48th, Rogers of the 21st, Johnson of the 1st, Moody of the 56th, Williams of the 19th and others

A RESOLUTION


Expressing profound regret for Georgia´s participation in the eugenics movement in the United States and marking the centennial of the first eugenic sterilization law in the United States; and for other purposes.

WHEREAS, the so-called science of eugenics emerged in the late 19th century as an outgrowth of Darwinian evolutionary theory, first advanced by anthropologist and geneticist Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin; and

WHEREAS, in the early 20th century, this pseudo-scientific movement gained popularity in the United States and advocated the improvement of the human race by the application of Darwinian principles to eliminate supposed hereditary flaws such as mental disability and physical deformity and to alleviate human suffering through selective breeding and birth control; and

WHEREAS, eugenics was endorsed by so-called "progressive" academicians, scientists, politicians, and newspaper editors, often over religious objections that such matters "ought to be left to God"; and

WHEREAS, in 1907, Indiana became the first state to enact a eugenics based sterilization law, mandating the sterilization of "confirmed criminals, idiots, rapists, and imbeciles"; and

WHEREAS, eventually more than 30 states enacted similar compulsory sterilization laws, resulting in the forced sterilization of more than 65,000 individuals in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court sanctioned the practice of compulsory sterilization in the infamous 1927 decision by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in which the court upheld Virginia´s sterilization of a young woman in a mental health facility on the grounds that "three generations of imbeciles [were] enough"; and

WHEREAS, with the editorial support of The Atlanta Constitution, the Georgia General Assembly passed a eugenics law in 1935, but that law was vetoed by Governor Eugene Talmadge; and

WHEREAS, in 1937, after Governor Talmadge had left office, Georgia enacted a new law creating the State Board of Eugenics and authorizing the compulsory sterilization of Georgia´s patients in state mental health facilities as well as Georgia inmates in state prisons and reformatories; and

WHEREAS, Georgia´s eugenics law remained on the books until 1970; and

WHEREAS, more compulsory sterilizations were performed in Georgia between 1937 and 1970 than in any other state in the nation except North Carolina; and

WHEREAS, eugenics legislation devalued the sanctity of human life, placed claimed scientific benefit over basic human dignity, and denied the God given rights recognized by our Founding Fathers; and

WHEREAS, eugenics legislation targeted the most vulnerable among us, including the poor and racial minorities, wrongly dehumanizing them under the color of law and for the claimed purposes of public health and good; and

WHEREAS, in the past five years, several other states, including Virginia, Oregon, North Carolina, and California, have publicly repudiated their involvement in the eugenics movement; and

WHEREAS, the year 2007 marks the centennial of the first eugenic sterilization in the United States and the 70th anniversary of the passage of Georgia´s sterilization law.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE that the members of this body express their profound regret for Georgia´s participation in the eugenics movement and the injustices done under eugenics laws, including the forced sterilization of Georgia citizens.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the members of this body hereby support the full education of Georgia citizens about the eugenics movement in order to foster a respect for the fundamental dignity of human life and the God given rights recognized by our Founding Fathers.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate is authorized and directed to transmit an appropriate copy of this resolution to the public and the media.

Date: 2007/03/30 02:27:10, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By Herman Cummings
Special to Huntington News Network

During his campaign for the White House in 2000, I remember George W. Bush promising to try to have Creationism considered to be taught by our public schools, or something to that effect. Since 2005, I have emailed, snail mailed, and faxed the White House, on numerous occasions, without a reply.

I’ve also written to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings more than twelve times, asking her to confer with the President about obtaining a directive, allowing the U.S. Dept of Education to send “Certificates of Completion” to science teachers that successfully complete a scientific Genesis awareness course, which teaches the truth about what early Genesis is conveying to mankind, and the scientific information it contains.

Both the White House and the US Dept of Education have been faxed about the need of science teachers being taught the truth about prehistoric history, so that they can teach the students something else besides the exclusive indoctrination of Atheism (evolution).

This is in line with what President Bush told the public during his first election campaign, and his July 2005 remarks about what he felt should be taught to public school students (all theories). Where is that “frame of mind” now? Is the President another Republican hypocrite?

Most every elected government office (if not all), has an “oath of office”, which the elected puts their hand on the Holy Bible, reciting an oath, ending with “So help me God”. “So help you God?” Oh really? Where is the belief in God when every single Governor in office, both in 2006 and in 2007, refuses to announce the availability of the Genesis class to their state and local boards?

School boards are not going to introduce education reform on their own. If Governor Fletcher of Kentucky can appeal to his state school board to have “ID” taught in their schools during his annual “state of the Commonwealth” address, then surely other governors can merely make a public announcement concerning this class, which is much more meaningful than the inept teachings of Intelligent Design. More hypocrites in office?


Read it here.

Date: 2007/04/02 02:45:29, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Breaking down the definition: Intelligent Design

MARTEE ORTIZ
Issue date: 4/2/07 Section: News

The media has portrayed intelligent design as something it is not, according to Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute of Seattle.

“The news media is notorious for defining [intelligent design] very very badly,” Luskin said.

Proven even by the raise of hands in Luskin’s Monday night lecture, many Americans know only half the definition of intelligent design, the only half the news media releases. People often confuse it with creationism.

To inform people who may have digested a little too much of what the media has fed them, Casey Luskin answered the questions: “What is intelligent design?” and “Is it testable?”

Intelligent design is purely scientific, based on facts and theories; ID does not offer proof or evidence to God as creator, which provides one way it differs from creationism. Creationism is a belief. Intelligent design is a theory, and yes it is testable. Beliefs are not necessarily testable.

So to answer the question, “What is intelligent design?” Luskin explained that intelligent design is not saying that God created the earth, instead ID is a theory that life and therefore the universe did not arise by chance: an intelligent entity designed and created it. ID is about the facts that negate Darwin’s theory of evolution.

“I myself do believe in a benevolent God…but a scientific argument for design in biology does not go that far,” Dr. Michael Behe, an American biochemist, said. Once again, Luskin makes it very clear that ID is not about proving God’s existence; that is a belief.

Is intelligent design testable? Luskin went on later to compare ID to a bacterial flagellar motor which is similar to a rotary engine as used in Mazda RX7s.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/04/10 06:06:55, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
We want a discussion of ideas, say JOHN WEST and BRUCE CHAPMAN

12:00 AM CDT on Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Nowhere is the free exchange of ideas supposed to be more robust or uninhibited than on college campuses.

Thus, it is disheartening that certain professors and even some journalists are seeking to prevent scientists and philosophers who support the theory of intelligent design from explaining their views at the Darwin v. Design conference on the Southern Methodist University campus Friday and Saturday.

At the conference, scholars will present empirical data from biology, biochemistry, physics, mathematics and related fields that provide strong evidence that features of living things and the universe are the products of an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as the neo-Darwinian mechanism of natural selection acting on random (chance) mutations.

Unfortunately, would-be censors are trying to get the conference banned from campus by ludicrously comparing intelligent design proponents to faith healers or even Holocaust deniers.

Faith healers and Holocaust deniers are not on the faculties of reputable universities. Scientists who support intelligent design are.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/04/11 03:43:51, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Freedom of Speech vs. License
Issue date: 4/11/07 Section: Opinion

It is noted that Aeschylus, in the 5th century B.C., wrote that truth is the first victim of war. As the conflict between science and religion once again heats up, truth is again in danger of being the victim. An academic campus is logically the appropriate setting for the science-religion debate, but it ought not to become a battlefield, lest truth be sacrificed by emotion and freedom become license.

It is for this reason that academics must be very careful not to tread heavily on either freedom of speech or its unreasoned license. Just as truth itself grows and changes with experience, so the pursuit of it without open debate has always the possibility of leading to falsehood.

It is understandable, then, that many of us in the sciences were taken by surprise and reacted strongly to the announcement that Seattle's Discovery Institute had scheduled a conference on "Darwin vs. Design" this semester in McFarlin Auditorium. This is not to be a debate or balanced discussion, but rather a partisan promotion of the assertion that design in nature constitutes scientific evidence for a creator, the so-called theory of Intelligent Design (ID).

Our protest (initially, a call for disallowing the conference until its legal scheduling was confirmed) immediately drew claims that we are trying to "censor scientists and scholars advocating Intelligent Design…." The Institute further claimed that we are "trying to intimidate people who are in some way associated with researching Intelligent Design into being quiet, rather than engaging in a civil debate about the scientific merits of their arguments."

This is patently untrue, and is but one reason for our objection to the venue. The conference will promote this and other false statements designed to discredit science and scientists. In fact, some of us have actively engaged in debate with creationists and ID supporters both in our own science classrooms and at public forums on campus. In 1992, the university hosted a three-day symposium on "Darwinism: Scientific Inference or Philosophical Preference?" Five evolutionists and five anti-evolutionists gave presentations and engaged in friendly debate. No intimidation. No censorship.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/04/11 07:51:32, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) - Pope Benedict, elaborating his views on evolution for the first time as Pontiff, says science has narrowed the way life's origins are understood and Christians should take a broader approach to the question.

The Pope also says the Darwinist theory of evolution is not completely provable because mutations over hundreds of thousands of years cannot be reproduced in a laboratory.

But Benedict, whose remarks were published on Wednesday in Germany in the book "Schoepfung und Evolution" (Creation and Evolution), praised scientific progress and did not endorse creationist or "intelligent design" views about life's origins.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/04/17 21:40:50, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Considering the way in which the Discovery Institute describes its mission in all of its articles and speeches, one would think that it really does support some sort of science, some sort of new-age way to learn about the world and that all it really wants to do is simply make our education more complete.

However, when one actually attends the "conferences," or as I like to call them, "indoctrination seminars," its true face is shown.

Five of my brave friends and I decided to take an informed and conscious stand against the Discovery Institute on Friday. We decided to silently protest the "debate," which was called "Darwin vs. Design," though they failed to have anyone representing the Darwinian viewpoint, by disseminating facts and information regarding the institute.

I did some research and typed up a flier that consisted of nothing more than quotes from the institute's own policy paper, known as the Wedge Document. The following are the most profound quotes, which we distributed, found in this document:

- "Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialistic worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions."

- Under "Governing Goals:" "To replace materialistic explanations with theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God."

- Under "Twenty Year Goals:" "To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral, and political life."

One look at these quotes indicates the true goals behind the Institute's little conference.

They are not teaching science, but instead are preaching religion as science. Now, none of us has any problems with Creationism or Intelligent Design, so long as it is understood that it is personal belief and not science. Teach it in history class. Teach it in religion class. But do not teach it in science class, because science is the study of the natural world and thus cannot prove or disprove the existence of God, who operates and exists in the supernatural world.

So, armed with these quotes and with some posters which displayed questions regarding the fact that if ID is true, why are there so many unintelligent "designs" present, we entered McFarlin Auditorium.

We began handing out fliers and were receiving mixed reviews - until a tall, lanky, and toothy man jittered his way over to us and demanded to know who was handing out these fliers. We all took responsibility, and he began ripping the flyers out of our hands, saying that we could not distribute anything of the sort. I told him we paid to go to school here and that we were students who could walk anywhere on our campus, and that it just so happened that we walked into McFarlin, and it also just so happened that we had fliers to distribute.

He didn't take too kindly to that, and in two minutes' time, we had two police officers who all of a sudden had a real job to do watching us instead of sleeping the night away in the back. I'm sure if we had been distributing thank-you notes expressing our gratitude for the institute coming to our campus, he would've given us a warmer reception.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/04/18 07:30:55, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Court ruling blocks access to popular Web site

The Court of First Instance in Istanbul’s Eyüp district on Tuesday ruled that access to all sub domains of Ek$i Sözlük, (ekşi sözlük, or sour dictionary in English), one of the most popular Web sites among Turkish Internet users, be blocked after the leader of a creationist sect sued the site because of some dictionary entries under his name.

Members of Ek$i Sözlük, a dictionary built up by user contribution not entirely dissimilar to the cyber encyclopedia Wikipedia, share their opinions in a strict dictionary format on just about anything. Adnan Oktar, also called Adnan Hoca and a fervent advocate of creationism, pressed charges against the site, citing some entries he found offensive, accusing the dictionary of slander. Oktar is known for his anti-evolution books written under the pseudonym Harun Yahya.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/04/19 22:01:37, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Apr 19th 2007 | ISTANBUL, MOSCOW AND ROME
From The Economist print edition

The debate over creation and evolution, once most conspicuous in America, is fast going global

THE “Atlas of Creation” runs to 770 pages and is lavishly illustrated with photographs of fossils and living animals, interlaced with quotations from the Koran. Its author claims to prove not only the falsehood of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, but the links between “Darwinism” and such diverse evils as communism, fascism and terrorism. In recent weeks the “Atlas de la Création” has been arriving unsolicited and free of charge at schools and universities across French-speaking Europe. It is the latest sign of a revolt against the theories of Darwin, on which virtually the whole of modern biology is based, that is gathering momentum in many parts of the world.

The mass distribution of a French version of the “Atlas” (already published in English and Turkish) typifies the style of an Istanbul publishing house whose sole business is the dissemination, in many languages, of scores of works by a single author, a charismatic but controversial Turkish preacher who writes as Harun Yahya but is really called Adnan Oktar. According to a Turkish scientist who now lives in America, the movement founded by Mr Oktar is “powerful, global and very well financed”. Translations of Mr Oktar's work into tongues like Arabic, Urdu and Bahasa Indonesia have ensured a large following in Muslim countries.

In his native Turkey there are many people, including devout Muslims, who feel uncomfortable about the 51-year-old Mr Oktar's strong appeal to young women and his political sympathies for the nationalist right. But across the Muslim world he seems to be riding high. Many of the most popular Islamic websites refer readers to his vast canon.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/04/20 01:51:46, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Looks like somebody has taken a page from the DI's playbook.

Quote
John Farrell

There's nothing quite like Einstein and his theories of relativity to bring out the doubters, the cranks and the outright crackpots. Do they have a point? Was Einstein a fake?

If you're tired of hearing about 'Intelligent design' creationists and the court wars against Darwin's theory in the U.S., you might be surprised to learn that another pillar of modern science, Einstein and his Theory of Relativity, is under attack.

A burgeoning underground of 'dissident' scientists and self-described experts publish their theories in newsletters and blogs on the Net, exchanging ideas in a great battle against 'the temple of relativity'. According to these critics, relativity is not only wrong, it's an affront to common sense, and its creator, Albert Einstein, was no less than a cheat.

A quick glance at anti-relativity proponents and their publications reveals a plethora of alternative theories about how the universe really works – very few of them in agreement with each other. But despite their many differences, common themes among these self-described iconoclasts do emerge: resentment of academic 'elites', suspicion of the entire peer-review process in mainstream scientific journals and a deep-seated paranoia about the extent of government involvement in scientific projects.

An aethro-kinematics website (www.aethro-kinematics.com) claims to refute relativity by resurrecting René Descartes' theory that the Earth and all the planets are carried around the Sun by an "Aether vortex". Another site points to the work of one Stefan Marinov, a self-described dissident, who apparently threatened to immolate himself in front of the British Embassy in Vienna, Austria, because he was so incensed by the refusal of the respected journal Nature to publish his 'proofs' against relativity.

This is just a taste. A visit to Google reveals the extent of the phenomenon. Is this a new front in the war on science? Can we expect a new Discovery Institute, armed with millions of dollars from eccentric fundamentalists, spoiling for a rematch in school boards across the U.S. — this time attacking Einstein and not Darwin?

Hopefully not, according to Bryan Gaensler, a professor of physics at the University of Sydney. "The anti-relativity cranks are not nearly as well-organised as the creationists. Probably none of them would get along well enough to form a serious threat to science."

Having said that, he adds, "there has just begun a new series of conferences, held by anti-relativity cranks, called 'Crisis in Cosmology'. I think the first one was held in Spain and they're planning another. It looks exactly like a legitimate scientific conference, with the difference that everyone delivering a talk there is insane."


Read it here.

Date: 2007/05/03 18:42:05, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
And by 'Genesis in the classroom' they don't mean Phil Collins coming to school to teach the kids

Quote
Last Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2007 | 3:03 PM MT
CBC News

An education professor at the University of Calgary is concerned that religion is being taught in a handful of Alberta public schools.

Cochrane's Mitford Middle School will launch a Christian program this fall. Christian beliefs, including instruction on creationism in science class, will be taught to 50 or so elementary aged students as part of a two-year pilot project.

But Darren Lund, who teaches in the university's education faculty, said religion doesn't belong in a publicly funded school system.

"I certainly think parents have the choice to opt out of an inclusive public system, but they should pay for that schooling themselves," he said.

"If they want their children to be in an exclusive, religious school, segregated by religion, then I think that's where parents have to put up the money for that."

Dividing children by religion limits the diversity and inclusion in the public school system, he added.

Creationism in science class

Many of the program's students will be children who had been home schooled.

Bill Bell, Mitford's principal, said Christian beliefs will be woven through every subject in the new Christian program. Creationism will be taught in science class, he added. "The first teaching will be from a Christian point of view and then there will be an acknowledgement that there is another theory."

Kathy Telfer, a spokeswoman with Alberta Education, said creationism can play a role in Alberta classrooms. "It can be explored and discussed, but we need to focus around our curriculum."


Read it here.

Date: 2007/05/09 15:23:07, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By Doug Huntington
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, May. 09 2007 07:27 AM ET

Discovery Institute, an organization that promotes the field of intelligent design (ID), has posted a series of comments on its website accusing Wikipedia moderators of being unfairly biased against their view.

The author of the criticisms, Casey Luskin, a California attorney and co-founder of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center, expressed his frustration with the sources cited from Wikipedia’s database as well as the group in charge of the online encyclopedia project for pushing their own agenda against ID theory.

“So what’s the purpose of the ‘encyclopedia’ page?” questioned Luskin in an earlier posting. “Is it intended to inform people about what intelligent design actually says or simply to publicize to the world what some critics want it to be, and what they think is wrong with it? It appears the primary aim is the latter.”

One of the disputes that is currently going on involves a ban of one of the pro-ID contributors from the web database. Wikipedia moderators will not allow the user’s contributions, because they claims that the ID proponent offer disruptive POV (point of view) statements and has made subjective submissions about what ID is.

Specifically, moderators did not accept the submission that intelligent design is a “theory.” Instead, they said, it should be treated only as a belief that the world was created by some sort of designer, and that the hypothesis does not stand up to scientific models that would allow it to be called a “theory.”


Read it here.

Date: 2007/05/13 01:37:35, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Intelligent design scientist denied tenure at Iowa State

Leading proponent of theory targeted by atheists, linked to Taliban, in 2005

Posted: May 12, 2007
6:45 p.m. Eastern

© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

A leading proponent of intelligent design, who was targeted by atheist professors in 2005, has been denied tenure at Iowa State University.

Assistant professor of astronomy and physics Guillermo Gonzalez, co-author of "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery," was one of three members of the ISU faculty denied promotion or tenure of the 66 considered during the past academic year, reported the Ames, Iowa, Tribune.

"I was surprised to hear that my tenure was denied at any level, but I was disappointed that the president at the end denied me," Gonzalez said yesterday.

In 2005, three ISU faculty members drafted a statement and petition against intelligent design in the science curriculum that collected 120 signatures.

Claims for intelligent design, said the ISU faculty statement "are premised on (1) the arbitrary selection of features claimed to be engineered by a designer; (2) unverifiable conclusions about the wishes and desires of that designer; and (3) an abandonment by science of methodological naturalism.

"Whether one believes in a creator or not, views regarding a supernatural creator are, by their very nature, claims of religious faith, and so not within the scope or abilities of science. We, therefore, urge all faculty members to uphold the integrity of our university of 'science and technology,' convey to students and the general public the importance of methodological naturalism in science, and reject efforts to portray intelligent design as science."

Similar petitions were published by faculty at the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/05/17 04:09:47, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- Two advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against a West Texas school district on behalf of eight parents who say a Bible course violates their religious liberty.

The American Civil Liberties Union and People for the American Way Foundation sued the Ector County Independent School District, asking the Odessa school system to stop teaching the course.

"Religion is very important in my family and we are very involved in our religious community. But the public schools are no place for religious indoctrination that promotes certain beliefs that not all the kids in the school share," Doug Hildebrand, a Presbyterian deacon who is among the plaintiffs, said in a written statement released by the ACLU.

The Ector school board approved the high school elective in 2005. It teaches the King James version of the sacred text using material produced by the Greensboro, North Carolina-based National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, and uses the Bible as the students' textbook.

Backers of the National Council include David Barton, who operates a Web site that promotes helping local officials develop policies that reflect Biblical views and encourages Christian involvement in civic affairs. Other supporters of the program include the conservative American Family Association, Eagle Forum and Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute.


Read it here.

Read the ACLU's complaint here.

According to the ACLU's complaint this course teaches such unbiased, objective "facts" like, telling kids that the Catholic belief in transubstantiation is "warped", and based on "mysticism"; that the creation, Noah's flood, etc. were real historical events.  It's also got a hefty dose of David Barton's historical revisionism.

Chuck Norris is a big promoter of the NCBCPS, in fact he and his wife are on the NCBCPS Board of Directors.  Errr, good luck defending this turkey in court Chuck.

Date: 2007/05/18 07:33:35, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Some of the URLs on the NCBCPS's links page might be familiar to people here.  They link to the DI, AiG, and Carl Baugh websites.

Date: 2007/06/08 04:53:56, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
U.S. Bible-based museum drop 'Adam' video after actor's risque past revealed

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A man who plays Adam in a video aired at a Bible-based creationist museum in Kentucky has led a different life outside the Garden of Eden, flaunting his sexual exploits online and modelling for a clothing line that promotes free love.

After learning about his activities Thursday, the Creation Museum pulled the 40-second video in which he appears.

"We are currently investigating the veracity of these serious claims of his participation in projects that don't align with the biblical standards and moral code upon which the ministry was founded," Answers for Genesis spokesman Mark Looy said in a written statement.

The actor, Eric Linden, owns a graphic website called Bedroom Acrobat, where he has been pictured, smiling alongside a drag queen, in a T-shirt brandishing the site's sexually suggestive logo. The website, which has a network of members, allows users to post explicit stories and photos.

He also sells clothing for SFX International, whose initials appear on clothing to spell "SEX" from afar. It promotes "free love," "pleasure" and "thrillz."


Read it here.

Date: 2007/06/12 02:41:16, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Posted: June 12, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Gov. Mike Huckabee was right: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." So was Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter who also had the courage to raise their hands for creation in the presidential debates.

And now a new USA Today/Gallup Poll has found two-thirds of Americans agree. And those who believe creationism is "definitely true" more than double those who believe strongly in evolution.

The condescending sarcasm with which the questions were asked is surpassed only by the arrogant reactions to the answers. Democratic pollster Mark Mellman said the hand raisers look like a "front" for the "Flat Earth Society." Let's get our facts straight. When the "scientific" community proclaimed the earth to be flat, it was the Bible (Isaiah 40:22) that said otherwise: "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth. …"

We saw this same kind of caricature when the $27 million Creation Museum opened near Cincinnati, Ohio, a few weeks ago. While the evolutionists have the textbooks, the government schools and the "history" museums that tout their theory as fact, they're panicked because one museum says otherwise.

The loudest criticism came from those who complained that the (cool animatronic) dinosaurs are displayed as coexisting with humans. They were supposed to be dead for millions of years before humans existed. If that's true, then who drew all those cave drawings that look like dinosaurs? And why does nearly every culture on earth have artifacts and stories about them? They're even described in the Bible (Job 40:15-23) – beings with "ribs like bars of iron" and a "tail like a cedar" – coexisting with humans. But, of course, we can't believe that book. We'd rather get our "facts" from a racist guy named Darwin who wrote "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; Or, the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" – the real title of his famous book.

And what of that Tyrannosaurus Rex found in Montana that contained soft tissue and blood vessels? Can blood vessels really last 65 million years? That's a question they never asked in the debates.

And their theory that life came from non-living organisms has just one problem: Life doesn't come from non-living organisms.

Just because the evolutionists are arrogant doesn't mean they're right.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/06/17 01:36:48, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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INTELLIGENT DESIGN, a controversial alternative theory to evolution, could become part of the science curriculum in Scottish schools.

The Sunday Herald has learned that the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is considering provision for the theory as part of a review of the science course curriculum.

Intelligent design (ID) is one of a wide range of theories of origin currently taught as part of the Religious, Moral and Philosophy Studies (RMPS) SQA course, but could be moved elsewhere as part of the review. A spokesman for the SQA said: "It happens to sit in RMPS just now. If and when it does becomes part of the curriculum for science, which it may well do as part of this review, then that's where it could sit."
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Scientists have already expressed fears that ID theory is entering science classrooms. An organisation called Truth in Science (TiS) sent teaching resource packs to every head of science in Scottish schools in September 2006. The material critiques the Darwinian theory of natural selection and promotes the idea that biological mechanisms are best explained by the idea of an intelligent designer.

Professor Andrew McIntosh, a director of Truth in Science, said: "We've had a lot of positive feedback about the DVDs, which included Scottish schools. There are quite a number of people who are indicating they are happy to use the resources."


Read it here.

Date: 2007/06/20 02:07:32, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Many adults in Canada believe the theory of evolution is correct, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 59 per cent of respondents think human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years.

Conversely, 22 per cent of respondents believe God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years, while 19 per cent are not sure.

Charles Darwin’s "The Origin of Species" was first published in 1859. The book details the British naturalist’s theory that all organisms gradually evolve through the process of natural selection. Darwin’s views were antagonistic to creationism, the belief that a more powerful being or a deity created life.

Earlier this month, the Big Valley Creation Science Museum opened in Alberta. One of the museum’s displays suggests that dinosaurs and human beings co-existed on earth. 42 per cent of respondents agree with this assertion, while 37 per cent disagree.

In November 2000, Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day—who currently serves as Canada’s public safety minister—said there is "scientific proof" that early man co-existed with dinosaurs. Day rejected criticism of his views, declaring, "If you’re looking for dinosaur politics, you need to look at the Liberals."


Read it here.

The Province by province breakdown is available here.

Date: 2007/08/25 15:24:07, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
The Texas state school board's anti-evolution strategy seems to be evolving from "Teach ID" to "Teach the strengths & weaknesses about evolution" (a.k.a. "Teach ID").

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By TERRENCE STUTZ / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN - Should "intelligent design" - the cousin of creationism - be taught in science classes in Texas alongside evolution?

A solid majority of the State Board of Education, which will rewrite the science curriculum for public schools next year, is against the idea, even though several members say they are creationists and have serious doubts about Charles Darwin's theory that humans evolved from lower life forms.

Interviews with 11 of the 15 members of the board - including seven Republicans and four Democrats - found little support for requiring that intelligent design be taught in biology and other science classes. Only one board member said she was open to the idea of placing the theory into the curriculum standards.

"Creationism and intelligent design don't belong in our science classes," said Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, who described himself as a creationist. "Anything taught in science has to have consensus in the science community - and intelligent design does not."

Mr. McLeroy, R-College Station, noted that the current curriculum requires that evolution be taught in high school biology classes, and he has no desire to change that standard.

"When it comes to evolution, I am totally content with the current standard," he said, adding that his dissatisfaction with current biology textbooks is that they don't cover the weaknesses of the theory of evolution.. . .

. . . And while the board apparently won't take up intelligent design, several members expect a battle over how evolution is treated in science textbooks, although that won't be up for debate until 2011. Mr. McLeroy and others say they'll push for books to include a more thorough examination of weaknesses in the theory of evolution.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/08/26 02:43:28, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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Among all the letters I have received on my Darwin columns -- mostly blind support, or blind abuse -- one struck me as especially worth answering: "Wake up, man. Whether or not 'Darwinism' is good science, it is accepted as good science by most intelligent people, and if you persist in attacking it you will lose the respect of people who are prepared to listen to you on many other subjects. Why don't you have the tactical sense to leave Darwinism alone?"

The answer to this has been implicit in what I have written. Nevertheless, it is worth spelling out. It is because Darwinism has embedded itself so deeply into the assumptions of our age, that it must be attacked frontally. For Darwinian assumptions cloud our view of reality. They subvert our grasp of moral issues. They make it possible for people to be dismissive, not only of art, philosophy and religion, but of the requirements and limitations of true scientific research. They eviscerate the human spirit, by insisting that, in the last analysis, everything is random and meaningless. Conversely, they justify true fascism ("survival of the fittest"), and all the horrors of eugenics, abortions and euthanasia.

Moral relativism could not stand, except on a Darwinist base, and reason itself is rendered defenceless, by the notion that all nature was randomly contrived.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/09/15 15:10:00, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
In particular he is upset with PvM's Politics on your mind? post from a few days ago.

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Conservative and Liberal Brains; A Left-Wing Fantasy Couched as Science

I`ve started at least three posts which have ended languishing in my document files; I simply haven`t had the time to produce anything of any quality.  I beg everyone`s humble pardon for the rather lame nature of Birdblog lately!  But that is not what I am writing about today; one of the pieces was about the pomposity of Liberals, and I wanted a quick example of their character, so I visited my absolutely favorite website-the Panda`s Thumb.  For those who do not know, The Panda`s Thumb is a propoganda sight for Darwinism, and the members post talking points and express their collective contempt for Christians and Conservatives, and then marshall forth to do battle with the Godly. It is, essentially, an atheist war room, and as such is usually a terrific place to find Leftist arrogance and bombast on a monumental scale. (Frankly, I rarely visit there; I don`t like being aggravated.)

They did not disappoint; take a look at this!

Now, I realize that this was an exercise in reasonably good-natured fun by the liberal who wrote the post, and I`ll be the first to admit that I have indulged in that sort of thing myself on occasion so I`m not condemning the writer, but the articles he cites are illustrative of the monstrous arrogance which is at the core of the Left.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/09/23 00:56:18, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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WASHINGTON -- Sen. David Vitter, R-La., earmarked $100,000 in a spending bill for a Louisiana Christian group that has challenged the teaching of Darwinian evolution in the public school system and to which he has political ties.

The money is included in the labor, health and education financing bill for fiscal 2008 and specifies payment to the Louisiana Family Forum "to develop a plan to promote better science education."

The earmark appears to be the latest salvo in a decades-long battle over science education in Louisiana, in which some Christian groups have opposed the teaching of evolution and, more recently, have pushed to have it prominently labeled as a theory with other alternatives presented. Educators and others have decried the movement as a backdoor effort to inject religious teachings into the classroom.

The nonprofit Louisiana Family Forum, launched in Baton Rouge in 1999 by former state Rep. Tony Perkins, has in recent years taken the lead in promoting "origins science," which includes the possibility of divine intervention in the creation of the universe.

The group's stated mission is to "persuasively present biblical principles in the centers of influence on issues affecting the family through research, communication and networking." Until recently, its Web site contained a "battle plan to combat evolution," which called the theory a "dangerous" concept that "has no place in the classroom." The document was removed after a reporter's inquiry.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/09/23 02:19:01, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
The text of the bill is here .  Scroll down to page 238 to see Vitter's gift to the Louisiana Family Forum.

Date: 2007/12/03 00:43:18, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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Ames, Ia. - Iowa State University professor Guillermo Gonzalez's support of the theory of intelligent design damaged his prospects for tenure long before his peers voted on the job promotion, according to e-mails from at least one professor in his department to those who decided Gonzalez's tenure request.

The e-mails were provided to The Des Moines Register by ISU officials in response to a request for public records pertaining to the tenure case.

The disclosure of the e-mails is contrary to what ISU officials emphasized after Gonzalez, an assistant professor in physics and astronomy, learned that his university colleagues had voted to deny his bid for tenure.

"I think Gonzalez should know that some of the faculty in his department are not going to count his ID work as a plus for tenure," physics and astronomy professor Bruce Harmon wrote in an e-mail dated November 2005 - a year before the department voted on the tenure case.

"Quite the opposite," Harmon added.

In May, Eli Rosenberg, chairman of the ISU Department of Physics and Astronomy, told the Register that Gonzalez's tenure denial was "not political" and that journalists were wrong to suggest that Gonzalez's tenure review was based on anything other than his scientific qualifications.

Later that month, however, Rosenberg told World Magazine, a Christian publication, that Gonzalez's book, called "The Privileged Planet," played a role in the tenure decision-making process. But the book was not an overriding factor, Rosenberg added.


Read it here.

Date: 2007/12/04 21:08:39, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist preacher who has surged in Iowa with evangelical Christian support, bristled Tuesday when asked if creationism should be taught in public schools.

Huckabee — who raised his hand at a debate last May when asked which candidates disbelieved the theory of evolution — asked this time why there is such a fascination with his beliefs.

"I believe God created the heavens and the Earth," he said at a news conference with Iowa pastors who murmured, "Amen."

"I wasn't there when he did it, so how he did it, I don't know," Huckabee said.

But he expressed frustration that he is asked about it so often, arguing with the questioner that it ultimately doesn't matter what his personal views are.. . .

. . .Huckabee, at a dinner in Des Moines, told reporters that the theory of intelligent design, whose proponents believe an intelligent cause is the best way to explain some complex and orderly features of the universe, should be taught in schools as one of many viewpoints. "I don't think schools ought to indoctrinate kids to believe one thing or another," he said.


Read it here.

Date: 2008/01/15 13:06:44, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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By RON MATUS, Times Staff Writer
Published January 15, 2008

Can science be like a religion?

In the case of Florida's proposed new science standards, yes, says the lawyer who represented Terri Schiavo's parents and siblings.

Pinellas lawyer David C. Gibbs III wrote in a recent legal memo that by singling out Darwin's theory of evolution as the sole pillar of modern biology, the proposed standards leave no room for other philosophical perspectives and cross the line between science and faith.

Gibbs also argues the proposed standards could face a legal challenge for violating the constitutional separation of church and state.

"Making this gigantic jump moves the evolutionary hypothesis from the realm of science into a philosophical faith-based belief system," Gibbs writes in the five-page memo, which he sent to the state Board of Education last month. "It has fallen into the same trap of which science has accused religion. It posits its entire interpretive rationale on something which is unobservable and untested."

The science-as-religion claim isn't a new criticism of Darwin's theory, which the vast majority of scientists consider to be sound and backed by evidence. But could it become a new legal argument to put the issue back before the courts?

Becky Steele, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, called Gibbs' claim "cockamamy."

"He claims that teaching science, based on well-accepted theories backed by factual evidence, is somehow promoting a particular religion in public school," she said in an e-mail. "Imagine them arguing that the Establishment Clause would be violated by teaching a calculus class that only expresses the 'worldview' of mathematics without any sense of the divine."


Read it here.

Date: 2008/01/20 21:44:59, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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By BILL FOSTER
Published January 19, 2008

On Jan. 2, I spent my last day as a St. Petersburg city councilman. I was heralded by my colleagues and received a key to the city from the mayor. After almost 10 years of service, I was forced out of office due to term limits. Many nice things were said about me, and I received many cards and letters thanking me for my thoughtful years of service. By Jan. 12, area bloggers declared that I was "an idiot, a has-been, dangerous, a moron, unintelligent, a disappointment, ashamed, not mayor material, not human material, I shouldn't work, shouldn't have a job, shouldn't have friends, etc."

These were not happy people, and tar and feathers were the theme. In the span of 10 days, what could I have done to cause such a rapid descent from grace? Did I break the law? Did I cause harm to someone? Was I caught in an immoral act? None of the above.

I simply sent a letter to my local school board. As a concerned parent and citizen, am I not entitled to voice an opinion to the very body which I support as a taxpayer? True, I pointed out the deficiencies of Darwin's teachings. Much to the public's chagrin, I even used a few lines from Dr. James Kennedy as I made a connection between Darwin and Hitler. Mind you, I never said "no Darwin, no Hitler." What I did say was that the major assertions of Darwin contributed to the idea that certain people were superior (had greater social value) over others.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler expressed a warped view of religion and creationism by mentioning "the almighty creator" and the "sin of racial poisoning." One could say that Hitler twisted science and Darwinism to justify his abuse of religion. Darwinism appeared to support Hitler's disdain for the "unfit," so he twisted Darwinism to fit his case. Both ideologies devalue human life, and make the "fittest" superior over the weak. In my opinion, there is an undeniable correlation.

What is also undeniable is that there is growing dissent in the scientific community, and there are literally hundreds of leading experts in a multitude of scientific disciplines who are "skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life."


Read it here.

Date: 2008/01/20 22:11:58, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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Tony Campolo is professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University and served as pastoral counselor to former President Clinton

Many who support the separation of church and state say that the intelligent design theory of creation ought not to be taught in public schools because it contains a religious bias. They dislike its suggestion that the evolutionary development of life was not the result of natural selection, as Charles Darwin suggested, but was somehow given purposeful direction and, by implication, was guided by God.

Arguing for what they believe is a nonprejudicial science, they contend that children in public schools should be taught Darwin's explanation of how the human race evolved, which they claim is value-free and depends solely on scientific evidence.

In terms of science, Darwin's account may be solid indeed. But value free? Nothing could be further from the truth - and that's where the problem lies.

Some creationists fear Darwin because his theories contradict their literal biblical belief that creation occurred in six 24-hour days. But they do not get at the real dangers of Darwinism. They do not realize that an explanation of the development of biological organisms over eons of time really does not pose the great threat to the dignity of our humanity that they suppose. Instead, they, along with the rest of us, should really fear the ethical implications of Darwin's original writings.

In reality, those writings express the prevalent racism of the 19th century and endorse an extreme laissez-faire political ideology that legitimizes the neglect of the suffering poor by the ruling elite.

Those who argue at school board meetings that Darwin should be taught in public schools seldom have taken the time to read him. If they knew the full title of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, they might have gained some inkling of the racism propagated by this controversial theorist. Had they actually read Origin, they likely would be shocked to learn that among Darwin's scientifically based proposals was the elimination of "the negro and Australian peoples," which he considered savage races whose continued survival was hindering the progress of civilization.


Read it here.

Date: 2008/01/23 12:53:35, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Why Darwinism is So Dangerous

Ben Stein, host of a new film on Intelligent Design vs. Darwinism, gives an answer

ByKatherine T. Phan
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Jan. 23 2008 07:58 AM ET

For Ben Stein, host of an upcoming documentary on the dominance of Darwinism in academia, Darwinism is not just problematic but dangerous even.

In a media teleconference for the film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” on Tuesday, Stein pointed out that Darwinian teaching on natural selection and random mutation "led in a straight line to the holocaust and Nazism."

Darwin said that there were certain species that were superior to other species and all were competing for scarce supplies of food or resources, Stein pointed out. But if there was a limited supply of basic resources, Darwinism taught that "you owe it to the superior race to kill the inferior race," he told reporters.

Darwinian evolutionary theory fueled Nazi idealism that felt gypsies, Eastern Europeans and others were competing with them for scarce basic resources, explained Stein.

"As a Jew, I am horrified that people thought Jews were so inferior they didn't deserve to live," he commented.


Read it here.

Date: 2008/02/01 10:53:18, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Making people sign NDA's at a film screening. . .

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How do you re-package that tried, untested and untestable faith-without-facts warhorse, "Creationism" after its nearly-annual beat-down by an increasingly exasperated scientific community?

After you've tried renaming it "Intelligent Design," I mean.

With comedy. Mock your "Darwinist" foes the way comics, thinkers, scientists and educated people everywhere have been mocking creationism since Scopes took that monkey off our back.

Tuck into the way Michael Moore would, with a documentary hosted by a funny Don Quixote willing to tilt at science the way MM has gone after the gun culture, corporate cold-heartedness, George W. Bush and Big Health Care.

Get funnyman and ex-Nixon speech writer Ben Stein to host it, to be the on-camera jester-interviewer.

And re-cast this argument about what people chose to believe vs. what others can prove as fact as a fight for "Freedom."

That's the mnemonic device Stein came back to, time and again, last night in an Orlando screening of his new documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It's a rabble-rouser of a doc that uses all manner of loaded images, loaded rhetoric, few if any facts and mockery of hand-picked "weirdo" scientists to attack those who, Stein claims, are stifling the Religious Right's efforts to inject intelligent design into science courses, science curricula and the national debate.

He was showing the movie to what he and the producers hoped would be a friendly, receptive audience of conservative Christian ministers at a conference at the Northland mega-church next to the dog track up in Longwood. They're marking this movie, which they had said, earlier, they'd open in Feb. (now April) the same way they pitched The Passion of the Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia, said Paul Lauer of Motive Entertainment, who introduced Stein.

In other words, a stealth campaign, out of the public eye, preaching to the choir as it were in an effort to get the word out about the movie.

They postered the Orlando Sentinel with email invitations, then tried to withdraw the one they sent to me. No dice. They also passed out non-disclosure "statement of confidentiality" agreements for people to sign. I didn't.

What are they hiding from you? Straight propaganda, to be sure. But again, if Michael Moore or Robert Greenwald can do it, why not Ben Stein?


Read it here.

Date: 2008/02/03 15:56:35, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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Modern "science" is no longer the pursuit of truth where ever it leads, but is instead an exercise in peer pressure, group-think and herd instinct. If the "in" paradigm says "this," then no legitimate scientist can propose "that."

It is not a matter of evidence, scientific method, or openness to truth; it is an adaptation of a specific worldview (in this case, secularism/materialism/naturalism) that can tolerate no challenges to that philosophy.

Ironically, evolutionists and creationists accept the same scientific discoveries and evidence, examine the same evidence, yet reach different conclusions. Why? There are certainly presuppositions on both sides which determine the direction in which each will look for answers.

But wouldn't it be surprising if it turned out that, objectively, there might be more evidence to support the contentions of creation scientists than those of materialists and naturalists? I will even go so far as to say that the basic tenets of materialism and naturalism are impossible according to the very laws of nature that evolutionists hold in such high regard. In other words, some of the faith tenets held by evolutionists actually contradict other of their faith tenets.

Until adherents to evolution learn to approach other theories, other ideas such as those offered by creation scientists with an open mind, they will be holding their minds closed and captive to a certain set of preconceptions. They will be deliberately limiting their range and scope of scientific discovery.

Ironic, isn't it?


Read it here.

Date: 2008/02/04 21:05:53, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Though I'm not sure it's accomplishing much, I've been having an ongoing discussion with several evolutionists over the past couple of days concerning my post yesterday on "Creationism and Peer Review."

While my post yesterday deals primarily with the intellectual bigotry of the dominant scientific community (which believes religiously in evolution), and the circular logic evolutionists often use for rejecting creationist arguments(refuse to give peer review approval of a creationist theory that is sound within its own worldview, then say lack of peer-reviewed material is proof that creationist arguments lack quality), there are some other issues in the realm of science and scientific interpretation which are more at the center of the impasse in this debate.

Today, Answers in Genesis features a piece on the common accusation that creationists reject science.

This issue is at or close to the heart of the difference between creationists and evolutionists today.

Contrary to the charge, creationists do not reject science, not in the least. Instead, they reject naturalism, which is a philosophy that has incorrectly become synonymous with "science" in modern language.


Read it here.

Date: 2008/02/04 21:36:40, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
It's ironic that he brings up AiG, since their statement of faith reads, in part:

Quote
No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.


So in that sense creationists are anti-science, when it conflicts with their literalist reading of the Bible.

Date: 2008/02/12 17:36:05, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. - A self-employed Internet contractor who runs a Web site that calls evolution a "spiritual deception" has entered the race for southwestern Indiana's 8th Congressional District.

Paul Abramson, 50, of Evansville, announced plans Monday to seek the Republican nomination and challenge Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth, a former Vanderburgh County sheriff who defeated John Hostettler in 2006. He joins Greg Goode in the GOP field for the state's "Bloody 8th," a name that reflects the district's history of contentious races.

Abramson said his policies are similar to Hostettler's religious and fiscal conservatism. He said he met with Hostettler for 90 minutes in October to discuss a possible run but did not seek or receive his endorsement.

"We have a religious heritage. It's not freedom from religion _ it's freedom of religion," Abramson said.

Abramson is the founder and editor of http://www.creationism.org, which promotes "creation science." Goode, 34, who filed papers with the Secretary of State on Monday, left his post as Indiana State University's chief public and governmental affairs officer to run.


Read it here.

Also see Evansville resident Abramson to run for Congress.

Date: 2008/02/13 11:03:16, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
A teacher's perspective on the science standards

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By ROBIN BROWN
Special to Florida Baptist Witness

Published February 14, 2008

Editor's note: This statement was given at a public hearing on the proposed science standards for Florida held in Jacksonville last month.

Good afternoon, my name is Robin Brown. I am a recently retired teacher from Polk County. I taught for 31 years with the last 15 years being middle school science. I have traveled here today because I feel this topic is one of the most important topics in education and with the over 200,000 ratings of the new science standards, many people in Florida feel the same.

The Florida Science Curriculum Framework states that certain principles supporting the vision for science education should include the evaluation of new ideas and alternative ways of knowing. Students should be encouraged to make well-reasoned decisions and to use the processes of science successfully that include honesty, skepticism, creativity, curiosity, tolerance, open-mindedness and sharing, recognizing the diversity of ideas and acceptance of different views, according to the Framework.

One benchmark in the new proposed science standards stipulates that students "Explain how evolution is demonstrated by the fossil record, extinction, comparative anatomy, comparative embryolgy, biogeography, molecular biology and observed evolutionary change."

Most scientists once said that the fossil record shows that evolution occurred gradually. But today, scientists deny that gradual change can be seen in the fossil record. A few scientists now even question whether fossils necessarily show that evolution itself occurred. Harvard scientist Stephen Jay Gould says the fossil record does not show evolution occurring gradually. "The fossil record with its abrupt transitions," he writes, "offers no support for gradual change." Gould calls these repeated unfilled gaps, "the trade secret of paleontology."

There is a process in the field of science that any discussion of a theory include both "pro" and "con." This practice is observed throughout the scientific community except when the theory of evolution is involved. Whenever evolution is discussed, only the arguments "for" evolution are considered. Scientific evidence "against" evolution is consistently censored.

Sometimes the evolutionary process is questioned, such as gradualism vs. punctuated equilibrium, but all such discussions never question the evolutionary assumption.

Dr. Karl Popper, the world's leading philosopher in science states, "Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program." Sir Fred Hoyle said, "The chance that higher life forms might have emerged through the evolutionary process is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the material therein."

Date: 2008/02/14 15:20:34, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Posted on Feb 14, 2008 | by Katherine Kipp

WASHINGTON (BP)--In recent years, Feb. 12 has been celebrated not just for Abraham Lincoln's birthday but for Charles Darwin's as well.

Darwin Day, promoted by the Institute for Humanist Studies, is intended to advance celebrations of the evolutionary pioneer and of science in general. Some non-believers in the theory of evolution, however, describe the occasion as an effort to advance biological arguments against God's existence while providing an inside look into Darwinian fundamentalism.

John West, author of "Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science," lectured on his book and the idea of Darwin Day at the Family Research Council Feb. 12.

"Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas and false ideas have terrible consequences," said West, vice president for public policy and legal affairs at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. "If I had to summarize my book in one sentence, that would be it."

To fully understand Darwin and his ideas, reading Darwin's book, "The Descent of Man," is a must, West said. In it, Darwin lays out the implications of his theories.

The denial of human dignity and uniqueness is one of Darwin's theories, in which he "makes the point there is really no difference in man and the higher mammal and their mental faculties," West said, "while, at the same time, there is a significant difference in men of distinct races."

Darwin's implications in this theory have been used to justify racism. For example, Nazi Germany implemented his views in their hatred against the Jews, West said.

Darwin's beliefs in natural selection -— man is where he is because he struggled to get there and society pays the cost for allowing the "feebleminded" or "subnormal" to live -- also fueled Nazi films in the 1930s that said the "feebleminded" were ruining the human race, West said.

"You will also find a type of moral relativism in Darwin's view," West said.

Darwin's moral relativism says actions that leave the human race with more healthy offspring are the "moral rules," West said.


Read it here.

Date: 2008/02/15 23:04:27, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
A compromise in the works?

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A new option for science standards: Adding the phrase the "scientific theory of" before evolution

posted by LesliePostal on Feb 15, 2008 4:58:12 PM

There's a new option (maybe a compromise?) in the works when it comes to Florida's controversial science standards.

The Florida Department of Education is working up a second option for the State Board of Education to consider that would insert the phrase "the scientific theory of" before the word evolution and in other "appropriate places throughout the standards," according to Tom Butler, department spokesman.

The phrase  would also appear in front of Big Bang and and plate tectonics, for example.

This is in response to "the input we've received from the public," he said.

Butler said department officials ran this idea past some of the scientists who helped write the new standards because they wanted to be sure they would remain "scientifically accurate." He said these scientists gave the option their nod of approval.

The new option would not alter the descriptions of evolution as the "fundamental concept underlying all biology" nor as a concept that is "supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence," he said.

Date: 2008/02/18 14:26:42, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By CASEY LUSKIN

Published: February 18, 2008

Florida presently stands on the brink of adopting science standards that call evolution "the fundamental concept underlying all of biology."

While it is good that students will learn about evolution, these standards will make for bad science education because they elevate Darwin's theory to a dogma that cannot be questioned.

Unless citizens advocate for change, Florida's standards will follow the dogmatism of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which recently published a booklet, Science, Evolution,and Creationism, similarly proclaiming that "there is no scientific controversy about the basic facts of evolution" because "no new evidence is likely to alter" it.

Contrary to what the NAS asserts, there are fundamental questions among scientists about Darwinian evolution.

Darwin didn't know how the cell worked, but modern biochemists have discovered our cells contain a micro-world of molecular machines that function like a factory, or a miniature city.

Over 700 scientists have signed a statement agreeing that the integrated, organized complexity of life is not what we would expect from a random and unguided process like Darwinian evolution (see www.dissentfromdarwin.com).

As biochemist Franklin Harold observed in an Oxford University Press monograph, "there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations."


Read it here.

Date: 2008/03/04 08:46:44, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Ben Stein writes in today's WingNutDaily: Charles Darwin:  Imperialism's pawn

Quote
Imperialism had a short but hideous history – of repression and murder.

But its day is done.

Darwinism is still very much alive, utterly dominating biology. Despite the fact that no one has ever been able to prove the creation of a single distinct species by Darwinist means, Darwinism dominates the academy and the media. Darwinism also has not one meaningful word to say on the origins of organic life, a striking lacuna in a theory supposedly explaining life.

Alas, Darwinism has had a far bloodier life span than imperialism. Darwinism, perhaps mixed with imperialism, gave us Social Darwinism, a form of racism so vicious that it countenanced the Holocaust against the Jews and mass murder of many other groups in the name of speeding along the evolutionary process.

Now, a few scientists are questioning Darwinism on many fronts. I wonder how long Darwinism's life span will be. Marxism, another theory which, in true Victorian style, sought to explain everything, is dead everywhere but on university campuses and in the minds of psychotic dictators. Maybe Darwinism will be different. Maybe it will last. But it's difficult to believe it will. Theories that presume to explain everything without much evidence rarely do. Theories that outlive their era of conception and cannot be verified rarely last unless they are faith-based. And Darwinism has been such a painful, bloody chapter in the history of ideologies, maybe we would be better off without it as a dominant force.

Date: 2008/03/04 08:49:11, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
And WingNutDaily publisher Joseph Farah is all giddy about the upcoming release of Expelled:  I can't wait to be 'Expelled'

Quote
It turns out some of the most hardened, doctrinaire anti-design zealots in the scientific establishment – people like Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion" and, coincidentally, the de facto leader of the worldwide atheist movement – aren't really opposed to the notion of design at all. They just can't accept God as the designer.

You will hear some of the world's most celebrated evolutionists admit design is possible – just not by the hand of God.

They will attribute the possibility of design to visitors from other planets and even to crystals. The two things they cannot tolerate are consideration of God's role and any of their colleagues deviating from their own ideas about origins.

It's not so much the architects of evolution are opposed to religion. It's that they have formed their own religion – absent the God of Christianity and Judaism.

As Ben Stein explains it: "Big Science in this area of biology has lost its way. Scientists are supposed to be allowed to follow the evidence wherever it may lead, no matter what the implications are. Freedom of inquiry has been greatly compromised, and this is not only anti-American, it's anti-science. It's anti-the whole concept of learning."

Date: 2008/03/10 08:49:44, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Yet another WingNutDaily columnist reviews Expelled:

Quote
Atheists are enraged. The politically correct academic nomenclature is upset. A reporter in Florida even posed as a minister to sneak into a church screening to stop actor, pundit and financial guru Ben Stein's new movie about the totalitarian attempts by Darwinian scientists to suppress dissent, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed."

The totalitarian left should be upset because "Expelled" is a wry, funny, well-crafted documentary. The juxtaposition of popular music, dramatic vignettes, documentary footage and Ben Stein's quest for truth is often laugh-out-loud funny. At the same time, it is heart-rending, convincing and transformational. Like any documentary, of course, there are a few moments when the tension relaxes, but most of the movie, especially the last third, is captivating because Ben Stein takes on atheists and Darwinian evolutionists like Richard Dawkins and exposes the fact that they are logically challenged.

Ben Stein starts out talking about the fact that the United States was built on freedom. He quotes the Founding Fathers and juxtaposes the freedom of the United States with the Communist Berlin Wall in Germany. Meanwhile, Pink Floyd is singing about the "crack" in the wall.

Carefully, Stein makes the case that the academic community has become as oppressive of freedom as that same community oppressed freedom in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. He interviews professor Richard Sternberg, who lost his long-term job at the Smithsonian Institute because he dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with two or three references to intelligent design. The article did not endorse intelligent design, but the very mention of intelligent design brings severe repression from the pseudo-scientific academic community. He then talks to Dr. Caroline Crocker, who lost her professorship at George Mason for having one reference to ID.

One by one, Stein introduces us to prestigious scientists at major universities who were expelled because they dared to mention intelligent design and open up the academic discussion to non-Darwinian viewpoints. He moves from there to questioning the institutions and the administrators who expelled these academics. The administrators squirm under his interrogation but eventually admit that the academic community has no room for freedom and honest intellectual inquiry.

Date: 2008/03/19 18:09:21, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Should creationism win out, textbooks throughout the country–not just Texas–will challenge the theory of evolution in science curricula

By Jesse Hyde
Published: March 20, 2008

A few weeks before the March 4 Republican primary, a group of candidates gathered at the Shady Valley Golf Club in Arlington for a meet-and-greet luncheon with voters. For the most part, the candidates were seasoned pros who all seemed to know each other, but one stood out from the rest.

His name was Barney Maddox, and he looked lost. He wore an ill-fitting gray suit, his Coke-bottle glasses kept slipping down his nose, and he looked as if he cut his own hair. While the other candidates worked the room, Maddox wandered around, looking for a hand to shake. Eventually, he ended up at a table overlooking the golf course, where he sat alone, waiting for the event to begin.

Not much was known about Maddox, because he did not grant interviews to the press. He had, however, been identified as perhaps the most dangerous man on the ballot by the Texas Freedom Network, a watchdog group in Austin that keeps tabs on the religious right.

The reasons for this were clear. Maddox was a young-Earth creationist, a Bible-literalist who believed the Earth was just 6,000 years old. He had written part of the curriculum for the Institute of Creation Research, a Dallas-based school that offers courses in creation science, and he had lectured at the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, which claims to have fossil evidence that dinosaurs and man walked together. He had once called evolution "the most irrational belief ever held by man." Now he wanted a seat on Texas' State Board of Education.

His opponent, Pat Hardy, sat across the room. Fair-skinned and tall, with short red hair, she carried herself with the cheerful demeanor of a former school teacher, which she had been for 30 years. Social studies had been her subject, and truth be told, she missed the classroom. For the last six years she had served on the State Board of Education and was running for re-election. Hardy believed God had created the Earth, but she wasn't sure this belonged in the classroom. It was no secret this had made her the target of the religious right.


Read it here.

Date: 2008/03/21 01:05:13, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Dawkins Crashes 'Expelled' Party

Quote
Mark Moring

Noted Darwinist shows up uninvited at private screening of Intelligent Design documentary.

Expelled, a new documentary that argues the case for Intelligent Design from a Judeo-Christian perspective, has been in the headlines lately, prior to its April 18 theatrical release.

The film, hosted and narrated by Ben Stein, has been screened to invitation-only audiences at churches and for various Christian groups. But several critics have worked their way in to some of the screenings, most notably Roger Moore of The Orlando Sentinel, who recently trashed the movie in his blog.

A critic of another kind "crashed" a screening in Minnesota on Thursday night--Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion and arguably the most outspoken critic of Intelligent Design and Creationism. Dawkins himself appears in the documentary--but claims he was duped into believing it was going to be an objective account of Darwinism vs. ID.

Jeffrey Overstreet, a film critic for CT Movies, broke the news on his own blog Thursday night after receiving an e-mail from a college student who was at the screening.

Stuart Blessman, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities student, told Overstreet in the e-mail that Dawkins' appearance "was quite a surprise" to both the audience and associate producer Mark Mathis, who fielded questions afterward.

Blessman reported that Dawkins asked several questions, and complained that "any statement he made in the film was in fact under the assumption that he was being interviewed . . . for a film that was to take an even-handed look at the Intelligent Design/Evolution controversy."

Date: 2008/03/26 20:59:46, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Evolution criticism bill weakened

Quote
TALLAHASSEE --A bill to ensure teachers can scientifically criticize evolution was made less controversial Wednesday when it was re-written to all but bar the controversial theory of Intelligent Design in science classrooms.

Originally, the bill encouraged teachers to present the ''full range'' of ''scientific information'' about evolution, but it didn't define what that information is.

And that lead to the real possibility that teachers could profess the Intelligent Design, which a 2005 federal court banned from Pennsylvania science classrooms because it was a religious theory in that it posits an intelligent cause -- God to most adherents -- designed biological organisms.

To quell critics who thought that she was trying to sneak religion in the classroom, Sen. Ronda Storms, a Valrico Republican, decided to define scientific information as ``germane current facts, data, and peer-reviewed research specific to the topic of chemical and biological evolution as prescribed in Florida's Science Standards.''

Date: 2008/03/30 02:32:37, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
The American Family Association's website (better known as OneNewsNow) interviews Ben Stein

Quote
AFA: But scientists say the question of God isn’t a scientific one, and that to talk about God isn’t helpful.
Stein: [W]e’re just asking why a professor in a university dedicated to free thought and free inquiry can be expelled if he even suggests that there might be a God who had a hand in this. Why is it illegal to talk about God? When Darwin was writing, it was perfectly allowable to talk about God in the classroom. When Newton was doing his experiments it was perfectly … allowable to talk about God in the classroom. When Einstein wrote about physics, he said it was the hand of God at work. Why do we now say that all of a sudden God is not allowed to even be mentioned in the classroom in connection with a scientific theory?

AFA: But maybe those are issues that are best left to the philosophy class or the religion class.
Stein: I’m saying that maybe all these classes should not be so clearly separated from one another. Maybe all of them belong, to a certain extent, together. When Issac Newton was doing his study of the laws of physics and motion, he said he was trying to understand how God had ordered the universe and what the work of God had been. He was showing God’s handiwork. Maybe when people say they are working on intelligent design, they are just expressing God’s handiwork. Maybe when the Darwinists are explaining evolution, they’re explaining God’s handiwork. I’m a little suspicious of putting everything into neat pigeon holes.

AFA: Is this movie suggesting that intelligent design or creationism be the only thing that is taught in schools?
Stein: Absolutely not! And not only that, we’re not by any means certain, at least I’m not, that intelligent design is the answer. It’s a subject – this origins of life and the development and evolution of life – those are such complex subjects. … [So] we don’t think that we have all the answers. We don’t think that anyone has all the answers. We just want free speech. It’s interesting in one of his famous letters, Darwin said, “It’s all so complicated, I just want to have free speech and have people able to talk about what they want to talk about.”

Date: 2008/04/03 21:27:19, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Logan Craft, one of the producers of Expelled, was on Life Today talking to TV preacher James Robison about the big bad Darwinist establishment.  Watch it here.  Or, starting April 4 and onward, watch it here.

Date: 2008/04/04 19:48:39, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Dembski watched Expelled and made a bold prediction:

Quote
"FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--A controversial documentary set for release nationwide April 18 could foster a cultural shift "equivalent to the fall of the Berlin Wall," says William Dembski, research professor of philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Oh, and Dembski also added:

Quote
"One of the biggest obstacles to people coming to Christ in Western culture is the impression that science has disproved the Bible and Christianity," he said. "ID therefore helps to correct this false impression by showing that our best science supports belief in a higher intelligence responsible for life. ID does not give you the Christian God as such, but it puts you in the right ballpark."

Date: 2008/04/04 20:31:25, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Mathis changes his story again:

Quote
Some of the pro-evolution scientists and philosophers in the film have claimed the interviews were conducted under false pretenses -– a claim Stein and the producers reject. Mathis said he contacted each person, telling him or her they were working on a film about the cultural intersection of evolution, religion and Intelligent Design.

"[We said,] 'You, Mr. or Mrs. Scientist, are an outspoken person on this topic. Would you like to do an interview with us on this film? And you'll be paid.' And they said, 'Sure, we'd love to,' because they do this sort of thing all the time," Mathis said.

In some instances, he said, questions were sent to people in advance. After the interview was done, the person signed a form giving the producers the rights to use the footage as they deemed necessary. Those who believe in evolution, Mathis said, are given ample time in the film to explain their position. The producers didn't tell anyone the name of the film, he added, because the film didn't yet have one.


Yet, according to the letter Mathis sent PZ in April/2007 the film was titled "Crossroads:  The Intersection of Science and Religion."

Date: 2008/04/05 13:24:19, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
A review of Expelled here claims:

Quote
Executive Producer Walt Ruloff said scientists also told them that federal health and science institutions and universities have instructed them to stop conducting publicly funded genomic, microbiological and other research into intelligent design.


Uhhh, what research would that be?

Date: 2008/04/26 02:21:02, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Mark Mathis has a guest column in today's TC Palm:

Quote
The Florida Board of Education recently voted to revamp its standards for teaching science in public schools. Educators are now required to teach evolution as “the fundamental concept underlying all biology ... supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence.” While supporters cited the need to improve failing science programs in the state, the decision is likely to have the opposite effect.

In a last-minute compromise, the board voted 4-3, requiring educators to teach the “scientific theory of evolution,” but balked at an “academic freedom” proposal which would allow teachers “to engage students in a critical analysis of that evidence.” In essence, teachers are now required to spend more time teaching only one of two possible theories about the origination and development of life, while forbidding this theory from being properly scrutinized, let alone allowing it to face competition from the competing hypothesis of Intelligent Design.

Hello? Has a majority of the Florida Board of Education ever heard of something called the scientific method? You know, where theories must be thoroughly examined, warts and all?

You might be surprised to hear this, but the brand of evolution taught in schools today (Neo-Darwinism, the idea that all of life is the result of random mutation and natural selection with no need for a designer or God) is no closer to being established as a fact than it was when Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species in 1859. In fact, new technologies are casting more doubt on Darwin’s theory.

It might also surprise you that in the Board of Education’s mandate to use the word “evolution” it did not actually define the word. Seems odd, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s not. Darwinists avoid specifically defining evolution because doing so would reveal that they are actually teaching an atheistic form of the theory. This point cannot be overstated. Florida is mandating the teaching of a state-sponsored, taxpayer-funded theory that is directly linked to atheistic naturalism without allowing the weaknesses of the theory to be discussed.

Date: 2008/04/28 22:07:02, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Dan Greenberg, from the Chronicle of Higher Education, recently interviewed Bush's science adviser John Marburger.  Part of the interview touched on ID and evolution education:

Quote
Q. So, you voluntarily stepped forward to offer an explanation for this little remark that he made that was over-interpreted?

A. My statements about intelligent design are pretty straightforward. It’s not science and in no way should it be compared with science or discussed as a science topic. And as far as evolution is concerned, it’s inconceivable that we could be where we are in our understanding of biology if we didn’t have evolution as a guiding intellectual tool. So, I have no problems speaking about those things. I’m not trying to defend something—anyone’s belief on this or to attack it. But I don’t think the president needs very much defending. This is not an issue that he has tried to make anything of.

Date: 2008/06/03 22:09:26, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By LAURA BEIL
Published: June 4, 2008

DALLAS — Opponents of teaching evolution, in a natural selection of sorts, have gradually shed those strategies that have not survived the courts. Over the last decade, creationism has given rise to “creation science,” which became “intelligent design,” which in 2005 was banned from the public school curriculum in Pennsylvania by a federal judge.

Now a battle looms in Texas over science textbooks that teach evolution, and the wrestle for control seizes on three words. None of them are “creationism” or “intelligent design” or even “creator.”

The words are “strengths and weaknesses.”

Starting this summer, the state education board will determine the curriculum for the next decade and decide whether the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution should be taught. The benign-sounding phrase, some argue, is a reasonable effort at balance. But critics say it is a new strategy taking shape across the nation to undermine the teaching of evolution, a way for students to hear religious objections under the heading of scientific discourse.


Read it here.

Date: 2008/06/15 13:40:00, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal defended intelligent design as a legitimate scientific discipline that has a place in the nation’s classrooms Sunday on Face the Nation.

Jindal, the 37-year-old son of Indian immigrants, is considered to be on John McCain’s short list for vice presidential candidates. Jindal said media speculation touting him as a potential running mate for McCain was “flattering”, according to an article by the Agence France Presse.

The moderator in the video below asked Jindal if he has doubts about evolution since Jindal was a biology major in college.

“I’m a Christian,” Jindal said. “I do think that God played a role in creating not only the earth but mankind. Now the way that he did it, I’d certainly want my kids to be exposed to the very best science. I don’t want any facts or theories or explanations to be withheld from them because of political correctness.”

Jindal said that local school districts should decide for themselves what theories to teach and that federal and state governments should stay out of the equation.


Read it here.

Watch the video at that link too.

Date: 2008/06/20 15:13:05, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Expelled is due to open in Canada in a week.  Charles McVety, (imagine a Canadian version of Jerry Falwell, but even more self-righteous), held a protest outside of the Royal Ontario Museum last week against the Darwin exhibit currently going on there.  

Protesters rail against Darwin exhibition

Quote
Charles McVety stood in front of a giant poster of Charles Darwin, and called the father of natural selection a giant racist.

"Today, we look up at this picture of Charles Darwin and ask that the truth be known," said the president of Canada Christian College to a multicoloured crowd of 50 prayerful protesters in front of the Royal Ontario Museum.

"Yes, he was a brilliant man. Yes, he had many insights. But, unfortunately, he also taught hatred and devaluation of life and death."

Waving pamphlets that suggest Darwin "showed a certain disdain for 'savages,'" and claiming "many evolutionists are outspoken racists," the protest was part of an odd campaign to stake out the higher ground for creationists, using the unlikely racism card.

The group, led by Dr. Mc-Vety, had come from a private screening of a documentary called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. In it, narrator and main character Ben Stein (the sometime actor/sometime economist) argues that the scientific establishment is "expelling" academics who even vaguely dissent from Darwinism in favour of intelligent design -- by pressuring them to leave their jobs or denying them tenure.


The National Post article says there were 50 protesters there, but judging from Larry Moran's pics it looks as though there were about a dozen, tops.

Walt Ruloff seems to be using the film to push for so-called 'academic freedom' legislation here too:

Quote
Mr. Ruloff responded that he would love to get a private audience with Stephen Harper, and said he's already met with MPs to push for an academic freedom bill in Canada where, he insists, scientists are being persecuted, too.

Date: 2008/06/21 12:54:38, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Expelled opens here in Canada on June 27, this is the first review I've come across in a Canadian newspaper.  Needless to say Peter McKnight didn't much care for it (and that's putting it mildly):

No intelligence allowed in Stein's film

Quote
The makers of Expelled, including Ben Stein, have not let facts stand in the way of their anti-Darwin screed

Peter McKnight, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, June 21, 2008

Although you're probably not aware of it, scientists, lobby groups, the media and the courts are all united in a massive conspiracy to destroy your freedom. But have no fear, freedom fighter Ben Stein is here.

That, in effect, is the thesis of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, the new anti-science "documentary" which opens across Canada on June 27, was produced by Vancouver's Premise Media, and stars Stein, the lawyer, actor, game show host and speechwriter for former U.S. president Richard Nixon.

The subtitle of the film is wholly appropriate as there is precious little intelligence displayed in its more than 90 minutes. But the subtitle's reference to the content of the film was unwitting -- it was meant to refer to a giant conspiracy to banish intelligent design theory from the halls of academe and the culture as a whole.

Now, you might ask, what exactly is intelligent design? But don't ask the producers of the film, since they don't even bother to define it. Don't ask Stein, either: I did, but all I got from him was a suggestion that the meaning of the term comes through in the film.

Date: 2008/06/21 17:55:23, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Here is another part of McKnight's review. . .

Quote
That's not the worst of it. According to the film, Darwinism has led not only to atheism, but to something much worse: The Holocaust. Expelled intersperses clips of the Nazis with Stein's visit to Dachau, and Stein talks to several people who claim the Nazis were inspired by Darwin.

Nowhere does Stein mention the centuries of anti-Semitism before Darwin -- in fact, Expelled all but ignores anti-Semitism as a reason for the Holocaust. Consequently, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement saying, "Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry."

When I asked Stein about this statement, his response revealed his hostility toward the Anti-Defamation League more than anything else, as he told me bluntly, "It's none of their f---ing business."

Date: 2008/06/23 11:36:40, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
John Moore, from The National Pest, reviews Expelled:

Quote
John Moore, National Post  
Published: Monday, June 23, 2008

You have to admire the integrity of conspiracy theories. They're great Mobius strips of self-contained false reasoning and evidence able to contort to meet any external challenge to the perfection of their closed loops. Sept. 11 deniers will insist a lack of plane wreckage on the apron of the Pentagon is proof the building was struck by a missile. Show them a photograph of an engine lying on the lawn and they'll exclaim "Aha! That was planted!"

And so it is with the conspiracy laid out in the new movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed hosted by the droll economist/actor/game show host/Republican Ben Stein. Expelled posits that the entire scientific establishment is enslaved to the theory of evolution, and in order to protect the Darwinian temple it engages in an ongoing campaign to crush all challenges to its "religion." The principal victim of this rearguard action is the would-be challenging theory called Intelligent Design (ID).

ID is often referred to as Creationism light. In fact it's more Creationism in drag. Though its proponents claim scientific neutrality, they are usually overtly religious people affiliated with overtly religious institutions. They have written essays and books about why ID is science. And yet when all the sophistry is boiled down, the theory amounts to "living things are complicated. Some-one must have made them."

Date: 2008/07/08 10:01:31, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
But, thankfully, there is a Galileo in the house. Louisiana's Gov. Bobby Jindal ignored the pleas of would-be inquisitors and recently signed into law legislation allowing teachers to freely teach scientific criticisms of evolution, as well as global warming and other controversial topics. Described by the Washington Times as a "battle over science education that could soon spill over into the courts," Louisiana's act is merely an attempt to permit teachers to teach science objectively. Should we expect anything less?

Apparently, yes. Louisiana's decision to no longer keep up with the religion-baiting Joneses drew out the usual suspects of professional anti-anti-evolutionists who live to ensure Darwinism remains free of all denigration and disparagement. Such perpetual antagonism to any opposition to evolution has created a lucrative cottage industry of atheists, Darwinists and even a few "religious folk," each ready to mobilize loudly with truth-suppressing religious fervor against any exposé of their naked emperor.

This time the Darwin-only lobby failed. Professor Barbara Forrest, an unflagging mouthpiece for Darwinian hegemony, tried to mobilize a "huge network of e-mails" to Gov. Jindal's office to stop the act's supporters from "boldly introducing religion into public education." Alan Leshner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, proclaimed the act "would unleash an assault against scientific integrity." And, of course, the sky would fall.


Read it here.

Date: 2008/08/20 16:53:12, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
Butteville school board exploring intelligent design

By Jeff Knebel
Mount Shasta Area Newspapers
Wed Aug 20, 2008, 01:49 PM PDT

Weed, Calif. - Butteville Union Elementary School District trustees, as well as school administrators, are considering adding “intelligent design” to the school’s seventh-grade science curriculum.
In a discussion on an information/action agenda item, “Evolution versus Intelligent Design Taught in the Classroom,” during the district’s board meeting last Wednesday, trustees agreed to seek legal counsel regarding the issue.
“I think this will be a big issue in the Supreme Court before long,” said board president Stephen Darger, a practicing attorney and former police officer. “Maybe it will be with this school.”. . .

. . .Darger said that in order to legally teach intelligent design in a public school the subject would have to remain entirely secular and only offer possible explanations for what evolution cannot explain.
He cited a decision nearly 20 years ago in the case of Edwards v. Aguillar, where the Supreme Court concluded that “teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to school children might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction.”
In recent years many scientists have developed issues surrounding Darwinism and are uncovering evidence that is contradicting  certain aspects of the widely accepted theory, Darger said
“The key problem is that [intelligent design] isn’t viewed as an accepted scientific theory,” he said. “This isn’t an issue of creation versus evolution, and it’s not pointed toward religion. Intelligent design can help explain the problems with Darwinism and introduce ideas about life’s origins beyond evolution.”


Read it here.

Date: 2008/08/28 14:09:58, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
By Gracie Hart
Review Staff Writer
Published: August 28, 2008

A grassroots effort is being started by two Locust Grove citizens to destroy Darwinian evolution and bring God back into public schools.  The citizens have formed a new organization called the Creation and Evolution Studies Ministry which aims to challenge the dominance of Darwinian evolution which is taught in public school biology courses.
“Darwinian evolution is false for many reasons,” said Lake of the Woods resident William Nowers, one of the ministry’s founders and author of the book, Creation-Evolution and a Nation in Distress.  “Evolution is never defined; they use it to mean everything which it isn’t.”
The main argument of the program is that evolution needs to be further defined into microevolution and macroevolution.  Microevolution is a minor change within a species such as hair or eye coloring while macroevolution, Darwinian evolution, is a change from one species to another requiring some from of mutation.
“Evolutionists refuse to use micro and macro,” said Nowers.  “They will give an example of microevolution to encompass all evolution.”
Nowers believes that microevolution should not be brought up at all because that is fact.
“The basic key is in the definitions,” said Nowers.  “Once you define the words, the evolutionists are going to lose.”
According to Nowers, in the past 10-15 years, many states have tried to bring creation teachings into classrooms in order to present both creation and evolution equally.  However, these efforts are usually defeated due to the separation in church and state.  The ministry’s approach may be one that cannot be defeated so easily.
“Volunteer students will carry an insert in their biology book which challenges Darwinian evolution,” said Nowers.  “[The insert] will have a write up and then asks questions that can’t be answered by teachers.”
The questions are designed to show the problems with evolution.  Teachers will have a copy of the insert ahead of time so that they can be prepared for the questions.


Read it here.

Date: 2008/08/28 14:53:30, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
The money quote from Nowers has to be:

Quote
He cites a new Louisiana law passed unanimously that brings religion into schools.  According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the law urges public schools to foster critical thinking about evolution, global warming, and other topics.  The ACLU and other organizations believe that the bill is a way to sneak Intelligent Design into the curriculum.
“Many states have brought in Intelligent Design but they have called it science,” said Nowers.  “A design needs a designer which is god.  It’s religion, not science.”


On that we agree.  

:)

Date: 2009/03/09 22:03:53, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Best of New Orleans.com has a great article on the history of the Louisiana Science Education Act and the involvement of the Louisiana Family Forum, the DI, etc.

A taste:

Quote
Barbara Forrest, a member of the Louisiana Coalition for Science, which opposes the science education law, says school boards aren't required to get the state's approval before implementing these curricula additions.

"This law was passed for people who already want to do it," Forrest says. "If they already want to do it, they're not going to ask permission."

Forrest points to the Ouachita Parish School Board in Monroe. In November 2006, the school board passed an academic freedom resolution, which closely resembles a proposed school board policy on science education written by Darrell White, a former Baton Rouge judge who founded the LFF along with Tony Perkins, a former state representative and current head of the Family Research Council.

Danny Pennington, then a science instructor at West Monroe High School (now assistant principal at Good Hope Middle School in West Monroe), said the resolution was necessary because science teachers in the district feared talking about controversial subjects. Pennington prepared a 10-page outline of supplemental materials Forrest characterizes as "just a bunch of creationist stuff he pulled off the Internet."

In the beginning of the outline, Pennington instructs his fellow teachers: "The evolution controversy is not between science and religion. It is a controversy between two different interpretations of science." Pennington never elaborates what the interpretations are, and is quick to alert teachers that the policy doesn't authorize the teaching of creationism or intelligent design.

Pennington's outline might not openly endorse intelligent design — the idea that life is a result of purposeful design by an intelligent agent, rather than natural selection — but it does include the viewpoint of Jonathan Wells, one of its leading proponents. Wells, a scientist at the Discovery Institute (DI), a national conservative think tank that has attacked evolution as a controversial theory and promotes intelligent design, once wrote that he had devoted his life "to destroying Darwinism" and has been criticized by the scientific community for misquoting scientists, lying and misleading the public.

The outline doesn't mention Wells' background, but it does offer a blog entry by Wells as evidence against evolution as well as his two anti-evolution books. Pennington also cites examples of scientific hoaxes, such as Piltdown Man: "a great embarrassment to the scientific community!"

Spurred on by success in Ouachita, LFF took the legislation to the state level in 2008. Mills says his organization wrote the state bill, but says it did consult with the Discovery Institute. After the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial in 2005, in which a federal judge determined intelligent design was not science and was linked to creationism, the institute also started promoting "academic freedom."

In early 2008, DI launched its academic freedom petition in order for teachers and students to have the freedom "to challenge Darwinism." On the petition's Web site is a model for a statute on evolution and academic freedom, which contains this section: "Nothing in this act shall be construed as promoting any religious doctrine, promoting discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promoting discrimination for or against religion or non-religion."

That section, nearly word for word, is now part of Louisiana state law.

Date: 2009/06/30 01:48:07, Link
Author: Jason Spaceman
Quote
"You have no notion of the intrigue that goes on in this blessed world of science," wrote Thomas Huxley. "Science is, I fear, no purer than any other region of human activity; though it should be."

As "Darwin's bulldog," Huxley would himself engage in intrigue, deceit and intellectual property theft to make his master's theory gospel truth in Great Britain.

He is quoted above for two reasons.

First is House passage of a "cap and trade" climate-change bill. Depending on which scientists you believe, the dire consequences of global warming are inconvenient truths – or a fear-mongering scheme to siphon off the wealth of individuals and empower bureaucrats.

The second is publication of "The End of Darwinism: And How a Flawed and Disastrous Theory Was Stolen and Sold," by Eugene G. Windchy, a splendid little book that begins with Huxley's lament.

That Darwinism has proven "disastrous theory" is indisputable.

"Karl Marx loved Darwinism," writes Windchy. "To him, survival of the fittest as the source of progress justified violence in bringing about social and political change, in other words, the revolution."

"Darwin suits my purpose," Marx wrote.

Darwin suited Adolf Hitler's purposes, too.

"Although born to a Catholic family, Hitler become a hard-eyed Darwinist who saw life as a constant struggle between the strong and the weak. His Darwinism was so extreme that he thought it would have been better for the world if the Muslims had won the eighth century battle of Tours, which stopped the Arabs' advance into France. Had the Christians lost, (Hitler) reasoned, Germanic people would have acquired a more warlike creed and, because of their natural superiority, would have become the leaders of an Islamic empire."

Charles Darwin also suited the purpose of the eugenicists and Herbert Spencer, who preached a survival-of-the-fittest social Darwinism to robber baron industrialists exploiting 19th-century immigrants.

Historian Jacques Barzun believes Darwinism brought on World War I: "Since in every European country between 1870 and 1914 there was a war party demanding armaments, an individualist party demanding ruthless competition, an imperialist party demanding a free hand over backward peoples, a socialist party demanding the conquest of power and a racialist party demanding internal purges against aliens – all of them, when appeals to greed and glory failed, invoked Spencer and Darwin, which was to say science incarnate."


Read it here.

 

 

 

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