Category Archives: Intelligent Design

Talk Origins wants to buy Expelled. Can you help them?

Apparently, when you make a movie, there’s this box of stuff left over that someone has to own. It can include things like the original unedited film/video, from which the director and editors selected/cherry picked what they wanted to include, as well as various correspondences and documents and stuff.

The company that produced that horrid piece of drek known as “Expelled! No Intelligence Allowed” has gone out of business (a little Darwinian process at work, may we assume?) and the box of stuff that resulted from that film is now on the auction block. The auctioneer’s gavel will strike this Tuesday (June 28th).

And, Talk Origins, the original intertubual entity on the science side of the evolution-creationism debate (or at least the earliest one that is still going strong) is trying to buy it.

Wesley Elsberry at Panda’s Thumb has the details here. It is a little complicated. But for you, simple: Just click the paypal button and give them some money, then wait. They can use your help and you can be part of an historic moment.

Miss USA Contestants: Is Evolution OK for US Schools?

Miss USA contestants have been asked for the upcoming beauty contest if evolution should be taught in US schools. In a seemingly unrelated question, they are also to be asked if they would ever pose nude for photographers. It is not clear what the correct answer to either question is supposed to be.

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Good news from the evolution-creationism front

Florida Senate Bill 1854 would have required a so-called “thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution” which is code word in US state legislatures these days for “taught along side Intelligent Design Creationism as an alternative to established scientific reckoning of the nature and history of life on earth.” Whe the state legislature adjourned a few days ago, that bill died a quiet death .

In 2009, before introducing a similar bill, SB 1854’s sponsor, Stephen R. Wise (R-District 5), announced his intention to introduce a bill requiring “intelligent design” to be taught in Florida’s public schools. In 2011, discussing SB 1854 with a reporter for the Tampa Tribune (March 13, 2011), he asked, “Why would you not teach both theories at the same time?” According to the Tribune, he was referring to evolution and what he called “non-evolution.” Wise further explained, “I think it’s a way in which people can have critical thinking … what we’re saying is here’s a theory, a theory of evolution, a theory of whatever, and you decide.”

Senator Wise, with all due respect … well, actually, what you deserve instead of respect is to be asked this question: Why do you hate America? You’ve tried to trash the first amendment. Do you also oppose the second? What about the others? Or do you pick and chose. All educational and business interests is Florida with a concern for quality science education ought to contribute to whoever is running against you next election. It would be a good time to do that because the word on the street is that there will be a sea change in the electoral landscape in Florida this fall.

In other news, Baton Rouge high school senior Zack Kopplin continues to kick creationist butt…
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Ark Park Makes Mark with Darwinian Snark!

For that special organization or person that makes you throw up a little in your mouth when you hear about their latest aggravating attack on our children’s education, by way of making fun of something that is not really all that funny, DontDissDarwn Central annually awards the highly alliterated angs-ridden accolade: The Upchucky. And this year’s award is bestowed, nay, foisted on Answers in Genesis, for their latest dumb-ass venture, the Noah’s Ark Park.

“rooted in outright opposition to science…[this] hostility to science, knowledge and education does little to attract the kind of employers that will provide good-paying jobs with a future.”
-Lexington Herald-Leader

Click here to read about all of the nominees and find out what they wore to the ceremony.

A Creationist Blog Quote Mines Peer Reviewed Research about Protein Evolution

ResearchBlogging.orgIt is difficult to imagine how point mutations, a large number of which are neutral, a certain number of which are deleterious, and a tiny number of which are fitness-enhancing, can add up to the sorts of evolutionary diversity and adaptive elegance we see in real life. However, there are only two possible explanations for what we see in nature: 1) Evolution happened more or less as we think it did or 2) God created life and made it look exactly like evolution happened. Take your pick. I’m betting on number 1.
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Did Noah Build A Road To His Ark? I Don’t Think So, Kentucky

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the developers building the new Noah’s Ark museum in Kentucky are asking for the gummit to build ’em a road to the place. The State Transportation Cabinet, as they call it there, is officially stating that no commitments have been made, which I’m sure means, “The deal’s done and we’z gonna build that road before you ask about it again” or words to that effect.

This is not that unusual or abnormal, actually. State transportation departments normally make road improvements when new things are built. Why, in Kentucky, the state spent 45 million dollars on roads to support a race track ten years ago.

What is important here is that we recognize that when somebody does build a big-ass religious facility, be it a church or a creationism museum or just some whopping big cross that people come from miles to see or some quaint grotto with a tea shop, there is a public cost, and taxpayer money is used. Which I have no problem with because the tax revenues raised by new developments generally offsets the costs of improving infrastructure.

Or does it?

From the NCSE:

The news prompted a further editorial from the Louisville Courier-Journal (December 29, 2010), which previously (in, for example, its December 2, 2010, editorial) expressed serious concern about the state’s entanglement with the park. The new editorial complained, “Ark Encounter, the creationism theme park proposed for Northern Kentucky, looms as a more expensive proposition than state officials first suggested,” citing both the request to the Transportation Cabinet and the prospect that “sooner or later someone is likely to want help building hotels, restaurants and service stations for park visitors.”

The editorial also alluded to two ongoing controversies involving the park. First, the developers have applied for development incentives that would allow Ark Encounter to recoup 25 percent of its development costs by retaining the sales tax generated by the project. The estimated budget is 150 million dollars, so the incentives would amount to 37.5 million dollars over ten years. “[Governor] Beshear argued that the state would not be out any money if the park failed,” the editorial reported, adding parenthetically, “Actually, the state would be out taxes the park could collect before it went under, but who’s counting?”

Second, there is the question whether the park would be able to discriminate on the basis of religion in hiring if it receives the state incentives. Answers in Genesis already requires its employees to endorse its statement of faith. Governor Beshear told the Louisville Courier-Journal (December 9, 2010), “We’re going to require that anybody that we deal with is going to obey all of the laws on hiring and not discriminate on hiring.” The editorial commented, “In other words, if a gay Muslim with an advanced degree in evolutionary biology wants a top job at the park, he’ll be welcomed by the creationists with open arms. Right?”

Kentucky: Don’t be a stupid state.

Teachers: You can be punished if you teach evolution

The other day, a science teacher remarked that a student who had previously declared herself to be a creationist, and who’s parents had previously expressed concern over the teaching of evolution, was suddenly all talky-talky and engaging the teacher in more or less polite and friendly discussion about the topic, coming to visit the teacher outside of class and everything.

I thought at the time, “That’s unusual. But it does happen.”

What I wasn’t thinking is that a recent court decision supports the idea of a teacher who teaches evolution to christians, who does not cave when the christians complain about it, can be reassigned, fired, or otherwise be harassed and have the backing of the courts. I wonder. Was this student acting on instructions? Does the creationist community, and they do talk to each other, have a plan to try to trap a few science teachers, to get them fired, for not bowing to their religious demands? Probably not. Probably, I’m just being paranoid. But just in case, if you are a science teacher, you need to know that a federal court just decided that you can be punished if you teach evolution. At least in North Carolina.

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