Florida school boards begin doomed anti-evolution battle

Down in the Sunshine State, state education authorities are attempting to hold local school systems to consistent standards of science education, that is, to teach evolution and not creation science or Intelligent Design. Not surprisingly, some local school boards are none too happy about the new standards. So far, 12 local boards (including Polk, Taylor and Holmes Counties) have passed resolutions that state education authorities revise the standards to include evolution as only one explanation of how life began and developed on Earth. Taylor County’s board actually resolved, “the district is opposed to teaching evolution as a fact.” All of these challenges are doomed to fail, given the clear results from the Kitzmiller v. Dover court case, which basically sank the Intelligent Design ship in the Dover, Penn., schools. After weeks of expert testimony, the judge hearing the case definitively found that ID was a religion and not science, and thus it had no place in the Dover schools’ science classes. Clearly, none of the Florida school board members voting for these anti-evolution standards have any clue about the significance of Kitzmiller v. Dover, much less what the words “scientific theory” mean. Science standards by definition cannot include creationism or ...

Scary “Christian” youth stuff 2

We were watching CNN late Saturday night and caught the tail end of a report on Teen Mania, Ron Luce’s Christian youth indoctrination organization. Watching the pre-teens and teens at one of Luce’s BattleCry events was downright scary. Luce’s message, which is tinged heavily with his brand of fundamentalism, is that popular culture is corrupting our youth. He pounds into his young congregants the need to reject all the commercialism, sex, drugs and whatnot rife in secular culture. He woos impressionable pre-teens and teens with the usual fundie blend of showbiz and pulpit-pounding demagoguery. While telling them to reject pop culture, he uses (Christian) rock music, pyrotechnics, and variety of merchandise to convert his BattleCry event audiences to the Teen Mania way. Watching adults sway in some kind of hypnotic rapture during a fundie church service is one thing. Seeing kids as young as 10 with their eyes closed and arms upraised, entranced by Luce’s brand of religion by the hundreds is alarming. Pop culture is evil, kids. It’s poisoning your minds, removing all that is good from your souls. Instead, empty your minds of all free will and follow me instead. That’s the Luce message. An army of Christian ...

Former Kentucky science teacher slams Creation Museum

James Willmot, a former science teacher at our sister school, lays down the law in an opinion piece that appeared in the Sunday Courier-Journal. It begins: There is a great educational injustice being inflicted upon thousands of children in this country, a large percentage of whom come from the Kentucky, Ohio and, Indiana areas. The source of this injustice is a sophisticated Christian ministry that uses the hook of dinosaurs, the guarantee of an afterlife, and the horrors of hell to convince children and their families to believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. It gets better after that. Willmot basically slams down creationism and pins it to the floor. It’s worth reading. Willmot taught science at St. Francis School in Goshen, Kentucky, a K-8 school that sends a lot of kids to St. Francis High School. He now lives and writes in England. Needless to say, the fundies among the C-J’s readers were none too pleased. Comments ranged from suggesting Willmot was intolerant to predicting he would burn in Hell for questioning a literal interpretation of Genesis. We have a long way to go. Religious intolerance and closemindedness is alive and well in mid-America.

God and anti-God in the movies

As its Dec. 7 premiere approaches, be prepared to hear a growing hue-and-cry about the supposed anti-Christian messages in The Golden Compass. The Golden Compass is yet another fantasy movie epic based on literary epics, like The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Chronicles of Narnia series. [We might also throw in Harry Potter as another example, though HP is an entirely different kind of story.] Written by an avowed atheist, British author Phillip Pullman, the Golden Compass is like anti-Narnia. Rather than supporting the idea of defending an all-powerful authority against rival forces, Pullman’s trilogy depicts its young heroes as bringing the reign of the authority to an end. Some Christians who see the anti-Christ lurking behind every tree have already declared The Golden Compass anti-Christian and are encouraging parents to keep their kids out of the theatres, lest their tender minds be subverted by the Evil One. The Harry Potter books and movies, after all, have created an entire generation of Satanists and wiccans. The Golden Compass might now create an entire generation of doubters or agnostics. It’s the end of civilization as we now it! C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series began as a fantasy epic for young ...

Watson, suffering from foot-in-mouth disease, retires from CSH 5

A week after his antagonizing racial remarks in a newspaper interview, Nobel-prize-winner James D. Watson, 79, has stepped down as chancellor of the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories on Long Island. Watson had told a London Times reporter that people of African descent are not as intelligent as those of European descent. The resulting furor led to Watson cancelling many of his scheduled book-tour engagements, including one here in Louisville this week. While later stating that there was no scientific evidence linking race with intelligence, Watson has neither apologized for his remark nor recanted it, suggesting that he might at some level believe he is correct. The CSH Labs, which for decades have pioneered research in genetics and produced several Nobel prize winners, relieved Watson of his duties as chancellor soon after the Times published the interview, but stopped short of dismissing him. Bruce Stillman, the president of the Labs, told The New York Times today that the decision to step down formally was entirely Watson’s. One wonders. Watson had been associated with the Labs since 1968, and was president from 1994 to 2003. As chancellor. he also served on the Labs’ board of directors. In 1962, he and Francis ...

Another skeptic dogs the trail of psychic Sylvia Browne

Robert Lancaster is a California computer programmer, who like me, is fed up listening to so-called psychics trying to convince the public they actually have supernatural powers. His site, which is about six months old, scrutinizes the career of Sylvia Browne, who purports to be able to find missing persons. Ms Browne’s track record is awful, yet she manages to bamboozle people into believing she is somehow gifted. A close look at her failures should convince anyone she is a fraud. Lancaster does a pretty good job of documenting her work. James “The Amazing” Randi also tracks Browne’s predictions and readings. She is so bad that it is doubtful she will ever appear again on George Noory’s radio show, Coast to Coast AM. During a live broadcast in January 2006, while the nation anxiously awaited news of West Virginia miners trapped underground, Browne said she knew they were all alive. As it turned out, all but one was dead, and that news came out while Browne was on the air. It was obvious she blew it, on a show with millions of worldwide listeners. Why criticize Browne? She is a multi-millionaire who has made her fortune off the gullible and the ...

Aussie creation geologist joins Creation Museum staff

The folks at Answers in Genesis are crowing about the latest addition to the YabbaDabbaDo Museum staff, geologist Andrew Snelling, “one of the world’s most respected creation scientists (sic).” Snelling, who holds a doctorate in geology science from the University of Sydney in Australia, used to work for Ken Ham, the AiG head, in the Land Down Under. Snelling has focused on disproving the commonly accepted idea among most geologists that the Earth’s crust has been formed and shaped over millions of years. Like most Young Earth Creationists, he contends that the earth is no older than 6,000 years, and that features like the Grand Canyon were formed by the Great Flood. Snelling’s work rests on his theory that radioactive dating methods, by which geologists estimate the age of rock, are based on a false assumption: that the rate at which radioisotopes decay has been constant throughout history. Modern science assumes that all radioisotopes of a certain type are created equal. That is, a sample of carbon-14 from the US is identical to one from Borneo, or a sample of uranium-238 from Earth is the same as one from the Moon. Their nuclear structures, and the laws of quantum mechanics, ...

Yet another godless visit to the Creation Museum

The folks at BluegrassRoots.com took a trip up I-75 to visit the Yabba-Dabba-Doo Museum in Petersburg. The more I see, the less I would want to shell out almost $20 to visit the place. I’ll just stay home and watch The 10 Commandments.

Let’s look at creationism from the religious angle 2

Creationism as a “theory” does not agree with the overwhelming evidence for a 13-billion-year-old universe and a 4.6-Byo Earth. That much is clear. It (and the new Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.) also completely ignore centuries of careful Biblical scholarship and supporting archaelogical research. There are two main ways to read the Bible, especially the Old Testament (OT). (1) As a document transmitted from God directly to Moses and other writers, which is the traditional Jewish and Christian view. (2) As the synthesis of a variety of sources, written by a variety of authors, who may or may not been divinely inspired, which has been the interpretation of many Jewish and Christian scholars since the 17th century. [Islam, it should be noted, honors both the Old and New Testaments, but teaches that these scriptures have been corrupted. Only the Holy Quran as given to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) communicates Allah’s true Word.] Creationists are an extreme “camp” within category 1. They hold that every single word in Scripture is not just divinely transmitted but must also be taken literally. In particular, the first few chapters of Genesis, to creationists, are a word-for-word account of how God created the universe, the ...

Fighting an uphill battle

Every once in a while, when I have time, I visit fellow bloggers’ sites for inspiration, fun and a little give-and-take. Over at Aetiology, Tara Smith’s remarks about the Creation Museum attracted a couple of creationists, whose comments were so annoying that I felt I had to respond. Y’see, creation “science” just doesn’t run roughshod over accepted biological and evolutionary theory, it also attempts to rewrite the laws of physics to make them conform to a universe that’s only a few thousand years old. Worse yet, the kind of creationists who comment on science blogs seem to be abysmally ignorant of even basic physics, so it’s no wonder they cannot understand why creationism is just so wrong. [Note to students: If you ever get involved in debates about creationism, make sure you understand your physics first. Numbers don’t lie.] Then there are those who figure that throwing Bible verses at us non-creationists will convince us that we are wrong and they are right. They make no attempt to debate the issues; they figure Biblical injunctions are sufficient arguments. The trouble is, when you try to debate these people at a more logical level, the attempt usually fails. They are so ...

A Creation Museum carnival of bloggers

The comsummate anti-creationist, PZ Myers, has compiled 75 blogosphere reactions to the opening this weekend of the Creation Museum near Convington. More are on the way. Check it out. Martha Heil of the American Institute of Physics also has an early reaction to her CM visit.

It’s time to rally against the Creation Museum 5

Popular cartoons and movies may say humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time, but the idea is just plain wrong. The dinos were dead long before our hominid ancestors evolved. The fossil record leaves little room for argument. The Bible says nothing about dinosaurs. To reconcile Scripture with the fossil evidence, creationists have to perform some fantastic mental and logical gymnastics to explain how Genesis somehow omits mention of such obviously big creatures. On Memorial Day, believers in these convoluted arguments will celebrate the opening of the Creation Museum in Boone County, near Covington, Ky. The Museum, a project of Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis, was built with $27 million in donations, so there are either a lot of very gullible donors or just a few very rich, gullible donors. Excuse me, I mean faithful donors. To counteract this monument to misguided generosity, a group calling itself Rally for Reason will hold a peaceful protest outside the museum’s gate beginning at 9 am that Monday. Although an atheist organization has spearheaded the rally, churchgoers will be there, too. If any of you out there will be in the area that day, I hope you will join in the protest. ...
WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com