Daily Archives: September 14, 2010

Texas Governor: Evolution vs Creationism in Texas Schools

Governor Rick Perry’s position is that he believes in “Intelligent Design” as a matter of faith and intellect. Well, his faith is out of place (did he not swear to protect and defend the US constitution? On a bible?) and his intellect is clearly damaged by exposure to those wide open Texas spaces. Between his ears.

Here’s the story, where you can see the news bit and if you like leave a comment!
(I did.)

Notice the major blunder the reporter in this video makes: Explicitly distinguishing between creationism and intelligent design. Also, of course, the unquestioning assumption that public opinion is the arbiter of what is valid scientifically.

Texas. Jeesh.

Before and after public pressure


Irish science minister boosts antievolution blarney

The Irish minister of state for science is to appear at a launch party for a self-published antievolutionist book, according to the Irish Times (September 13, 2010). Conor Lenihan, who represents Dublin South West for Fianna Fáil in Dáil Ã?ireann (the lower house of the Irish parliament) and serves as Minister of State for Science, Technology, Innovation, and Natural Resources, is billed as launching John J. May’s The Origin of Specious Nonsense (Dublin: Original Writing, 2010) at a September 15, 2010, event in Dublin.

(source, more)

Continue reading Before and after public pressure

Just so you know … cdesign proponentsists

The blogosphere is structured like a bus of tourists heading into ever new territory being spoken to by a thousand guides with microphones in the front of the vehicle. Woe be it to any guide who points out something that the bus passed several blocks back. But sometimes it is appropriate to re-mention certain things else they fall into obscurity. Well, it’s great if certain things fall into obscurity, but not everything.

While doing a search for something else, I accidentally hit links to this particular issue, which played out quite some time ago. It is a wonderful story. Back in the Dover Trial days creationists had dropped their old label and tried to call themselves “Scientist” who proposed the new theory of life called “Intelligent Design.” In that trial, this actually became a critical issue: Is Intelligent Design a form of creationism or not? Evidence was put forth, and the judge eventually ruled that it was, and thus, since creationism was already considered by the courts to be a particular religious belief, not allowable as science content in public school classrooms.

One of the pieces of evidence was references to creationism in a will known creationist textbook called “Of Pandas and People.” The details are complicated, but suffice it to say that the ID proponents insisted that “creationism” did not have a role in Intelligent Design, as part of the theory, or as part of the community, or as part of the process of writing about it. But Barbara Forrest (author of Creationism’s trojan Horse) proved that there was a link by finding the phrase “cdesign proponentsists” in a version of the book, where someone had systematically gone through the text and replaced the term “cerationists” with the phrase “design proponents” but screwed up in this one place to get “cdesign proponentsists.”

That was actually used as evidence in the trial. One of the best descriptions of this event is by Nick Matzke at The Panda’s Thumb (click here) where he spoofs the creationists by describing “cdesign proponentsists” as a “missing link” between the era of “creationists” and “design proponents.”

So there you have it … an oldie but a goodie. Had you known about this already, I hope this reconstitutes a chuckle for you. If you had not heard of this before, well, you have now! Sometime it’s worth looking out the back of the bus to see what has been run over!

Science Education and Critical Thinking

I just want to remind returning teachers of this podcast:

How are today’s teachers sharing the wonders of science and critical thinking with the next generation of students?

With cognitive psychologist and university lecturer Barbara Drescher, and Mike McRae, former science teacher and current science writer for the education division of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

Click here to listen!

The Women Of Skepticism

…. the podcast of the recent Skeptically Speaking, is here. It’s a recorded live show!

This is not about women in skepticism. It is about skepticism, by women. Sort of. Anyway this episode includes:

Panelists: Kylie Sturgess of The Token Skeptic, Robynn “Swoopy” McCarthy of Skepticality, and Heidi Anderson and Jenna Marie Griffith of SheThought.

Field recordings: Donna Mugavero, Laurie Tarr, Dr. Pamela Gay, Dr. Rachie Dunlop, Jennifer Ouellette, Maria Walters, A Kovacs, Barbara Drescher

Dropbox is still good

I’ve been using Dropbox for several months now, and I still like it. I have it installed on two computers, a desktop and a laptop. I recently wiped the desktop’s hard drive and installed an entirety new drive and system, then I installed Dropbox, and all my files (which were stored on Dropbox) mysteriously appeared on the new installation. Not really quickly but not a lot slower than if I had used some kind of backup system, and with zero effort.

Continue reading Dropbox is still good