Daily Archives: January 15, 2008

Breaking News on Texas Creationism Degree

Texas higher education officials announced today that they have postponed action on a Bible-oriented group’s proposal to offer a master’s degree in science education.The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board had been scheduled to consider the proposal by the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research at a meeting Jan. 24.But Eddy Miller, dean of the institute’s graduate school, said in an e-mail to the coordinating board Monday that the school needs more time “to do justice to the concerns you raised,” according to a news release issued by the coordinating board. Miller asked the board to delay consideration of the matter until its April meeting.

Read it all here at the statesman.

Evangelistic Film Not OK for Public Schools

From Americans United for the Separation of Church and State:

A church-produced evangelical Christian movie is aimed at evangelism and is inappropriate for public schools, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told Alabama educators.

After receiving complaints, Americans United has urged officials at Tuscaloosa City Schools to stop showing the film “Facing the Giants.”

“This movie is not educational; it’s evangelistic,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Parents and taxpayers expect our public schools to teach, not preach.”

In a Jan. 15 letter, Americans United attorneys note that the film was shown repeatedly in classrooms last semester at Paul W. Bryant High School and that the school’s principal plans to continue airing it in the future. The movie depicts the story of a losing high school football coach who turns his struggling team around by convincing them that “With God, all things are possible….”


Hat tip: Evolving in Kansas

Minnesotans: Would You Like to Caucus for Al?

Minnesota is, as my cousin from Colorado was telling me the other day, one of the irrelevant states in the current presidential primary process. Maybe so. But the process is not irrelevant with respect to other issues at hand. Everybody I know is tired of our senior Senator, Norm Coleman, but we also like the guy. We like the guy so much we want to send him into retirement.And replace him with Al Franken. Continue reading Minnesotans: Would You Like to Caucus for Al?

Jan Chipchase: Our cell phones, ourselves

Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase’s investigation into the ways we interact with technology has led him from the villages of Uganda to the insides of our pockets. Along the way, he’s made some unexpected discoveries: about the novel ways illiterate people interface with their cellphones, or the role the cellphone can sometimes play in commerce, or the deep emotional bonds we all seem to share with our phones. And watch for his surefire trick to keep you from misplacing your keys.

Continue reading Jan Chipchase: Our cell phones, ourselves

Genes are only part of the story: ncRNA does stuff

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed ResearchYou know that organisms develop, grow, and function in part because genes code for proteins that form the building blocks of life or that function as working bioactive molecules (like enzymes). You also know that most DNA is junk, only a couple percent actually coding for anything useful. Most importantly, however, you know that everything you know is wrong. Right? Continue reading Genes are only part of the story: ncRNA does stuff

Mass Eagle Death

We are seeing odd and mixed reports from Alaska, where it is said that perhap more than fifty eagles “dove into” a truck full of fish guts in the vicinity of Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. The fish guts were from Ocean Beauty Seafoods. Twenty eagles died during the incident, about 30 were cleaned up and saved by Fish and Wildlife workers, and two eagles died during the cleanup.It is a bit frustrating that there are no real details about this incident. Was the truck moving? Exactly how did the eagles die? Did they get fish guts on them and then die of exposure? Did they all run into each other in cartoon-like fashion? We’ll be watching this story with some interest.The same exact AP verbiage, which falls very short of adequate reporting, is seen on any of several news outlets. Here’s one.