Monday, May 09, 2005

The revenge of the nerds

Scientists Make Case to the Public

"They're in, they do their schtick, and they're out," said Keith Miller, a Kansas State University geologist. "I'm going to be here, and I'm not going to be quiet. We'll have the rest of our lives to make our points."

The scientists' boycott, led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Kansas Citizens for Science, frustrated board members who viewed their hearings as an educational forum.

"I am profoundly disappointed that they've chosen to present their case in the shadows," said board member Connie Morris, of St. Francis. "I would have enjoyed hearing what they have to say in a professional, ethical manner."

It IS too bad that they have dodged this debate. If their cases are so strong, why duck the opportunity to make it? I'm happy that we at least get a chance to debate this issue instead of having a theory blindly accepted as fact and pushed down our students' throats.

The reason they don't want to engage in this debate is they look down their pointy noises at us "rubes" who think we didn't evolve from sea scum. We're under their birkenstocked feet, unworthy of being in the shadows of their tweed, elbow-patched jacketed frames. If they graced us with their debating prowess, they would need to acknowledge that there IS another side to the issue.

All they can do is send Pedro to make their case for them. ~sigh~ We get a chance for a REAL head-to-head debate, and they sit it out. They'd rather stand outside to the adoring media masses and rant and rave about the dolts inside. It's all so much nicer when they can go to their classrooms and fill their unsuspecting students with whatever malarcky they personally feel is scientifically correct.

Well, excuse us taxpaying citizens for putting a crimp in your plans.


At 8:51 PM, Blogger History Hack said...

Apparently I hit a nerve. Talon News is it. Am I commenting on Jeff Gannon’s, or is it Jim Guckert’s site? I should be honored to have the famous GOP shill attacking me, a simple nobody that enjoys intelligent dialog. How’s whoring it out treating you these days? Getting customers to supplement your failed business ventures?

As for my site, I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy it but I would like to address some of your comments:

First, yes, I am a horrible speller. I am probably not as bad as the man in the White House, but I’m still pretty bad. I didn’t proof-read nor did I spell check sense I had to get to work. I would have never guessed that such a prominent male prostitute who was part of the White House press core would have sought me out. When I have time I’ll fix the wording just for you.

Second, you are right in that the Kansas case doesn’t specifically address or call for the teaching of creationism and it is an attack against teaching evolution. Yet, those leading the fray are themselves creationists and want to see an equal treatment. Sounds nice on the outside, but the fact of the matter is we wouldn’t want our children to believe the world is flat simply because they take a literal meaning of the specific Biblical verses referring to the four corners of earth. That would be fool-hardy would it not? We certainly would advocate an equal treatment of such crack-pot theories. There is also the sticky issue of trying to insert “intelligent design” into the fray. I believe in a God, partially sense I have a problem with locating the outside energy source in most cosmological models, but I do not believe that God should enter into the discussion of natural machinations. Speaking of natural machinations, how long did your website say you were uncut?

Third, your claim that there is no evidence for evolution is absolutely absurd! In every passing year paleontologist find more transitionary forms in the fossil record to point out micro and even macro-evolution. I may think your acceptance of micro-evolution stems from your social Darwinist tendencies as a fascist, but I could be wrong. To dismiss the overwhelming evidence toward natural evolution in your case is motivated by spiritual and religious beliefs not by any counter-evidence or scientific research. Yes evolution is a theory. So is gravity. Do you not believe in gravity?

Fourth, you speak of “dishonest academics” and you work for Talon news? First off, what are your credentials for entering the scientific fray? Do you have any degrees in these disciplines? No, I would hazard a guess not. I think Bob Jones may offer a degree in creationism but I wouldn’t count on it.

Fifth, I figured you would be sympathetic to my analysis of the Scopes trial. It is the liberal media at its finest after all. Read the book by Marvin Olasky and John Perry called Monkey Business. It’s up your ally and makes a case for divine creationism for you, and I don’t disagree too much with either of them on their analysis. If you would like the transcripts of the trial you can buy them yourself along with the book.

Mr. Guckert, if I may call you that, it seems to me that you are in need of some help straitening out some of these issues. Before you enroll in any biology classes to catch you up to speed, I would recommend reading some other creation stories from the ancient world and telling me which you prefer. If you don’t like any of them please state your own theory on our origins. Who knows, you may start your own cult.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Talon said...

Nobody here works for Talon News...and with that, you lose another dose of credibility.

So if you believe in a God, what is so "crackpot" about the idea that he created it? And if he did, why would we teach something else?

Gravity is a law, not a theory. They don't refer to it as the "theory of gravity" they refer to it as the "law of gravity." No one refers to evolution as the "law of evolution." It is a theory. One idea of how we came to be.

As a part of that theory, please explain how the eyeball came about? Why would a partially functioning eyeball ever get its start in the evolutionary process? How would that same evolutionary track somehow repeat itself in completely unrelated species?

I'm not going to insult you (pointing out that misspellings make it difficult for me to weigh your intellectual arguments with any credibility is not an insult). I'm just glad we can have a debate over this and any issue...while those who support your position would rather we not have a debate at all. Let's just suck it up and accept every one of your hypotheses as fact because you're smarter than everyone else in the room.

At 1:51 AM, Anonymous Don said...

At least Kevin has enough of a brain to be able to question the challenges to what has been pretty much accepted as fact - or at least a theory with some pretty damning credentials - by virtually everyone. The Pope? Accepts it. China? Accepts it. Fidel Castro? When he's not busy rolling cigars, he accepts it.

Now, you bring up a very interesting point when you talk about the "law of gravity" versus the "theory of evolution." Ok... over the past 150 years, various postulations - INCLUDING the work of people like Einstein, Planck, and other physicists - have been referred to as "theories," rather than "laws." When the supposed "law" of gravity was deemed a law, did they have ANY real way of being able to determine that yes, all objects do exert some gravitational pull? Absolutely not! Furthermore, to this day physicists are looking for something called the "universal gravitational constant," that would allow for a conjoining of quantum and classical/Newtonian mechanics. So this "law" you speak of as being all that "different" from the "theory of evolution" paints an incomplete picture of what is actually going on in the universe.

I'm not going to deny that just like with the "law" of gravity, there are some holes in evolution. How *did* certain parts, such as eyes/brain/heart develop from so-called "lesser" beings such as one-celled bacteria? To be honest, nobody really knows. BUT... there are strong pieces of evidence that do exist that show that species *do* evolve over time. For example, a new dinosaur species was discovered that provides a bridge between carnivores and herbivores . That's one of many examples that can be used to support the claim of evolution as a theory that has strong indications that it is indeed valid.

By compare, where are *your* facts to Creationism, Talon? You say that this is really all about being able to have your side "heard" but what does your side really have to say? That the Bible says so, therefore it must be true? Refer up to my comment before about the Pope accepting evolution. Really, is this another way for Creationists to attempt to interject religion - specifically, Christianity - into the classroom, in distinct violation of the separation of church & state? Disagree all you'd like, but until you can provide *some* credible evidence that is not part of the Bible, it is your group - the Creationists - that have lost credibility.

At 7:12 AM, Blogger Talon said...

I accept evolution too, but just not necessarily as a true story of how we got here on this earth. I doubt the Pope believes that either.

This may surprise you, but I'm not one of those Christians who believes that the earth is 6,000 years old, was created with a "history" over a period of 6 straight days. I believe most of Genesis is allegorical to explain the origins to people who needed an explanation for things such as stars and the sun and the origins of man.

But I DO believe in a Creator God who designed a perfect system to sustain our lives. I DO believe 100% in Jesus, because he changed my life and the lives of millions of people. I believe in Jesus because a ragtag bunch of doubtful miscreants (his disciples) who went into hiding on the day of the crucifixion were suddenly on-fire and willing to die for the cause after the resurrection. I believe in Jesus because, though he taught us lessons that today would be considered "politically correct" (elevating the position of women, caring for the poor, etc.), it is only Christianity that can be acceptably mocked and riciduled in today's society. You would think liberals would LOVE Christianity because it was the first movement to give women any rights. Women are treated with much greater esteem than they are in the Muslim faith, that's for sure.

If you say anything that besmerches a Jew, you're an anti-semite; if you say anything against a Muslim, you're a bigot and a racist. But you can sneer at a Christian and make fun of Jesus and it's no big deal. I read the blogs and see it everywhere. And Jesus said it would happen.

So in the big scheme of things, how much do I care about how exactly we came to be? Not much. It's an interesting discussion, and someday we'll learn the truth. But if I believe in Jesus (and I do), then I must believe in God (and I do). And if I believe in God, why wouldn't I believe he had a hand in creating the world and its inhabitants?

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Don said...

And if I believe in God, why wouldn't I believe he had a hand in creating the world and its inhabitants?

Ok. Once again you're pushing for the further blurring between the separation of Church and State. If you're interested in having Intelligent Design taught in schools, have it taught in *private* religious schools that *don't* receive governmental funding. Can you word "Intelligent Design" in such a manner that it *can* be presented as a scientifically-valid theory that does not, in any way, shape, or form, involve religion? I'd be willing to say no.

I'm not trying to say what you can and cannot worship - that's the beauty of having religious freedom in this country. Yet having that freedom requires a distinct separation between Church and State; issues like Intelligent Design, school choice, and heck - even posting the Ten Commandments at a courthouse all need to have this separation enforced in order to allow for people to have their freedom.

The moment we allow *one* religious concept to be considered, i.e. Intelligent Design, we have to let them *all* be considered, regardless of how "immoral" or "backwards" they may be perceived by those of other religions. The issue of teaching faith-based concepts such as Intelligent Design or Creationism has the potential of becoming a modern-day Pandora's Box. You may feel that by opening this box we reach enlightenment but to be honest, we push farther away from the truth.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Talon said...

I said that's what I believe. Whether or not it is taught in class is another matter altogether. I DO think that--and this is what the debate in Kansas is all about--students should be told that there are OTHER beliefs about origins. I most certainly think that evolution should be taught as far as how creatures evolve to adapt to their environments. That's why we have short, fat eskimos and tall, thin Africans. I also don't mind them making an attempt at laying out the case for evolution as an explanation for how we came to be, but without conclusive proof they can't state it as fact. Since they can't state it as fact, there must be other theories about origins...with ID being one of them.

I think some of the strongest scientific cases for ID is the extraordinary details in this planet and life-forms that, if altered slightly, would make life impossible:

If the tilt of the planet on its axis were to change by just a percent, the earth would be uninhabitable because of its new relationship to the sun.

There is a force that binds together the nucleus of atoms. If it were just 5% weaker, only hydrogen would be stable and there would only be one element on the periodic chart of elements. If it was stronger by a couple of percentage points, it would also make the planet unsuitable for life (though granted I can't recall why...I read it but can't remember now).

One thing you must do, though, is separate the belief in God, or an intelligent designer, with religion. Even our government acknowledges there is a God, but that doesn't make the government religious. Most people in this country believe in God, but they're not religious people. Religion is the activity or lifestyle that we follow as our reaction to the belief in God. Simply acknowledging God, or an intelligent designer, does not a religious person make. So to say that mentioning ID in a classroom is a violation of separation of church and state is not true. We start from the assumption that God exists, but religion comes when we practice a lifestyle in relationship to that God. A violation of church and state would be if the government imposed its will upon the citizens by telling them HOW to worship, what denomination to join, what specific religious teachings to follow, etc.

I don't want the public schools teaching Bible studies in class, other than as a historical document. I don't want teachers praying in classroom (at least not out loud), because it would be inappropriate and I'd have no idea to what God they are praying. I believe any such activity WOULD be a violation of church and state (though I dare you to show me in the constitution where you'll find any such clause). But acknowledging that there is evidence that the world and its life-forms are too complex to have occurred by happenstance is NOT's a fact.


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