Creationists Target Texas Science Classes

Politics and personal agendas dominated the Texas State Board of Education’s process for adopting new science curriculum standards for public schools two years ago. Now our first look at the developing process for approving science instructional materials based on those standards has increased our concerns that politics will continue to trump education.

The State Board of Education‘s faction of anti-science fanatics is clearly hoping to stack teams reviewing the science materials that publishers will submit at the end of February. A Texas Freedom Network review of current candidates for those review teams has identified more than a dozen who have been outspoken critics of evolutionary science, self-identified creationists or educators at evangelical Christian schools. Those candidates include nominees from state board members as well as individuals who have applied on their own to serve on the teams. Under a new schedule made available this week by the Texas Education Agency, those teams will meet in June to review the proposed science materials.

TEA released a list of more than 170 candidates for the science review teams at the January state board meeting. (The agency is still adding to the list.) At the same meeting, TEA staff said each review team — one for each of four high school courses, including biology — would likely have three to five members. Because most of the names on the long list of candidates are legitimate science educators and scholars, you might assume the odds are good that review teams will have very few (if any) anti-science activists. You shouldn’t.

The state board’s creationists have already indicated that they will insist that TEA put their nominees on the review teams. That demand would create a dilemma for TEA: focus on putting qualified people on the teams or submit to the political wishes of board members to stack the teams with anti-evolution activists promoting personal agendas. We won’t know until later in the spring who will actually serve on those teams.

A number of the creationism activists on the list of review team candidates have testified in the past before the State Board of Education in favor of teaching so-called “weaknesses” of evolution in science classrooms.  Some are more prominent anti-evolution activists. Here is a sample of some of the anti-evolution candidates on the TEA list:

Ide Trotter (applied on his own to be on a review team)
During the debate over proposed new biology textbooks for Texas public schools in 2003, Trotter was a spokesperson for the absurdly misnamed Texans for Better Science Education, a militant creationist group. Trotter runs his own investment management company and served as dean of business and professor of finance at Dallas Baptist University. He claims that major scientific discoveries over last century have actually made evolutionary science harder to defend: “The ball is rolling and it’s going downhill. There are not enough forces on the side of Darwinism to keep pushing it back uphill forever.”

David Shormann (nominated by board member Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands)
Shormann, who has a doctorate in limnology (the study of inland waters),  is an outspoken evolution denier who has homeschooled his children. Here is how he describes his blog, Studying His Word and His Works:

“You’ll also find more serious topics, such as how to teach math and science from a Christian foundation, topics discussing why creationism, not evolutionism, is the best way to interpret life’s origins, how Christians should interpret God’s command to ‘take dominion’ (Genesis 1:28), plus much more.”

Shormann is a young Earth creationist:

“Treating Earth history as just that, history, I can find physical and written testimony that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. And just as most of us have no problem believing Jesus Christ was a real person who lived 2,000 years ago, we should have no problem believing there were about 4,000 years from the Beginning to Christ’s birth. Studying natural history can be an interesting, fun, and adventure-filled pursuit, but it is not real science, and shouldn’t be treated like it is. Be wary of the opinions of those who insist otherwise.”

Walter L. Bradley (nominated by Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas, board chair)
Bradley has a Ph. D. in Materials science and is a professor of engineering at Baylor University. He believes that there is scientific evidence for the existence of God and a “designed universe.” A 1993 article he co-wrote for The American Biology Teacher journal, “Origins of Life & Evolution in Biology Textbooks — A Critique,” suggests that students in science classrooms should learn about supernatural explanations:

“Evidence for the origin and evolution of life should be presented fairly and without distortion; but evidence that is not in accord with natural processes as an explanation should be clearly presented as well.”

Thomas Henderson (nominated by board member David Bradley, R-BeaumontBuna)
Henderson has a master’s of science degree from the Institute for Creation Research and bachelor’s degrees in physics and mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a retired NASA engineer who promotes “young Earth creationism” in churches, Sunday school classrooms, on creationism websites and in other forums. From one of his online essays:

“As a creationist, I believe naturalism in the sciences to be science-fiction. It is distorting and mis-directing education in many fields of both the natural sciences and the social sciences or humanities.”

Wendy Billock (applied on her own to be on a review team)
Billock has a master’s of science degree from the Institute for Creation Research and a Ph. D. in biology from Loma Linda University, a Seventh-day Adventist Christian institution in Southern California. Loma Linda’s biology Ph. D. program has a heavy emphasis on religion, with religious coursework making up nearly a fifth of the science program’s academic requirements. She currently teaches at Biola University, a Christian school provides a “biblically centered education” for its students.

Daniel Romo (nominated by Gail Lowe)
Romo is a professor of chemistry at Texas A&M and is listed among “Darwin Doubters of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century.”

If any of these names — or the names of other evolution deniers we have identified — appear on TEA’s final list of review team members, then it will be clear that science education is once again taking a backseat to politics in Texas.

This article was posted in these categories: evolution, Science adoption (2011), science and religion, State Board of Education. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a Comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


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93 Comments

  1. Ben
    Posted June 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Now the #4 result on Google……

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  2. Ben
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    This thread is now #11 when you search for “ide trotter” on Google. TFN, hope you don’t mind my efforts to get it higher. People need to know he’s a liar.

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  3. Ben
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    This entry just keeps climbing higher and higher in the Google results, and I want it to be #1 when anybody searches for “Ide Trotter,” so I here goes:

    Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter

    Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter

    Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter

    Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter

    Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter

    Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter

    Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter

    Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter

    Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter Ide Trotter

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  4. John
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Y’know, it occurs to me that the REAL issue here has very seldom been talked about. The HUGE argument from ignorance I see being trotted out by nearly every christian, regardless of voracity, on this site. You all keep asserting that their needs to be an alternative or a “change” in the way science is taught in schools here in Texas, and I agree. ALL religions need to be removed from the science classes.
    The bottom line is this… If you don’t agree with Evolution, fine. Despite the massive amounts of repeatable, demonstrable data that has been collected and shown on the subject, you can simply dismiss it in favor of your holy book of fables. You can sit around with a bunch of other people just like you and collectively dismiss it. You can join a church or faith where everyone is equally ready to sneer at science and its advances while you put trust in a collection of stories that advocate things like slavery and the stoning of children, but there is one thing that NONE of you can do… prove that your “god” IS the contraversy to science.
    If you dismiss evolution, great. The default alternative is not a magic sky daddy. It never was. Anyone who thinks religion is the answer to science should educate themselves on the dark ages. That was a time when christians thought it would be fun to kill scientists and other people who dared to question the concept of god. Do you REALLY want to live like the middle east does? They’re currently going through their dark ages right now. Maybe you should keep the religion in church and away from the education sector.
    If you want to say “teach the contraversy”, you have to prove that there IS a contraversy. Religion, is NOT a science. Frankly, there’s nothing in the bible that even demonstrates that the goat herders and barbarians on that time period even understood the basic principles of science and some cases, mathematics. So for all of you ID creationist “scientists” out there, perhaps you’d like to go up against a REAL scientist, such as myself. Let’s find out where the contraversy really exists. Somehow, I doubt I’ll have any takers on this one.
    My children will NOT be taught about your creationist nonsense as anything other than what it is… superstition and rhetoric.

  5. TheGreatWhiteFinn
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m a Finnish atheist. That being said, I am so happy to live here so i don’t have to fight for stuff like that not happening. Now it seems like the intelligent individuals of the U.S need all the help they can get. Viewing your status on law enforcement trying to ban internet sites and religious groups trying to pour their god-polluted soup down your very children’s throats is just sad to watch from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I’m signing my name on all international petitions I am informed of, so I’m trying my best. I know some Americans think they don’t need help from Europe but but seriously, in my – some might say naive – view you really do.

  6. Benji
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    JagiChan, please read my comment right above yours, as I feel it will answer many of your questions.

    Now, the reason there is more life on Earth than on, say Venus or Mercury, is because the latter mentioned are far too hot and do not contain the right proportion of elements. Yes, I am saying that Oxygen is required for life, as well as Carbon and many other lighter elements. Yes, this has been proven by science, as every living species on this Earth is carbon-based and needs oxygen (although at varying degrees of need). Yes, I am referring back to science, because science is all we have to prove anything. You can believe in anything you want, but the only way to prove it is through the tried and true method of science using the scientific method.

    “But the fundamental problem is that, why was life created only on this Earth? ” We don’t know that. Matt P, thank you for the answer to this, please refer to his post.

    ” Is the beating of the heart a symbol of life? If yes, then we should be able to save more people by putting micro-heart lung machines”
    Yes and yes. When your heart stops beating, you are pronounced dead. There is a device called a pacemaker which is am Internal Electronic Defibrillator, which sends an electronic pulse to the heart (because believe it or not your heart runs on electricity, in a way) that keeps it beating. How a micro-lung machine would work I have no idea, but the lungs’ proper function do not directly affect the heart so I do not see how that would affect you, unless you had lung cancer.

    “What is it that has escaped from the living that has caused it to die?” To that question I propose a scientific inquiry: How would you measure what has escaped from the living thing? And if you cannot measure what has escaped, how do you know that anything has, in fact, escaped? These questions cannot be answered by science because they are metaphysical questions, which science has no claim to be able to test, because it cannot. You can only speculate, but because it is mere speculation it cannot be proven fact, and should therefore not be taught in schools.

    To your final inquiry: “Why do we still believe in God and his miracles, if science has all the answers?”

    Science does not have all the answers nor does it claim to. What science does is allow us to find consistently better answers, growing closer and closer to the truth so that we may have a better understanding of our universe (or beyond).

    Now my challenge to all the fundamentalists, because you enjoy challenging scientists so much:

    You go find some evidence to support your cause that is proven fact. It cannot be a quote or a statistic (unless you also provide source information about how that statistic came to be). I personally believe that, as the fundamentalists are acting as prosecutors, they must also provide evidence for their cause, instead of their evidence being the lack of scientists (which is often not lacking, just perceived to be so).

    And I will leave you with this thought: Why do you believe in a higher power? Is it because you were brought up that way and you refuse to question it?
    Or is it because the thought is comforting and makes you feel better, thinking that you are special, and not just a microscopic pile of carbon on a relatively tiny rock, orbiting an ordinary star, in the suburbs of a large galaxy that is somewhere in a possibly infinite universe, surrounded possibly by other infinite universes?

  7. Matt P.
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I know I am really late to the discussion, but I think it should be brought up: why do so many of you believe we are the only life that exists in the entirety of the universe? We may not yet have found definitive evidence of life on any other planet in our solar system, but ours is only a small, nondescript collection of planets orbiting a commonly occurring main sequence star in a generic spiral galaxy in a mind-shatteringly enormous universe. Given the scale of existence, how could there not be other life somewhere out there (intelligent or not, as some would debate intelligent life has yet to occur on Earth)? The presumption that the entirety of the universe in all of its vastness was created by a supernatural force for the express purpose of exclusive habitation by a single, poorly engineered, mostly sentient, mostly hairless ape is almost as mind boggling as the sheer magnitude of our lack of understanding of the details of the universe.

    And that leads directly to the purpose of science: to learn and grow in our understanding of ourselves and the natural world around us. Seeking answers through observation and experimentation, and learning as much, if not even more, from our failures as our successes.

    As soon as you seek a supernatural explanation for anything, then you have abandoned science and ventured into the realm of theology. That is the main reason I cannot do anything but reject out of hand all forms of creationism and intelligent design for attempting to pose as science (Real intelligent to give humans huge heads that have to pass through narrow hips during birth. I bet there were chuckles all around the choirs of angels when god designed men to urinate through the same structure used to procreate just so we can get the finger in the search for cancer). I do not know how we got here, whether we were created by a designer, hitchhiking on a comet or asteroid, planted by aliens, or spontaneously generated by natural forces. However, the assumption that we were created by some supernatural being is the only one of those previously stated options that absolutely is not science, as you can no more disprove the existence of a supreme being any more than you can prove its existence. Whereas, we may someday find ancient microbes on comets, we may find intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, or we may even eventually manage to synthesize life in a laboratory under conditions mimicking those of ancient earth.

    -Matt P., a Mech/Elec Engineering graduate in Georgia who spent 17 years pretending to be catholic not out of fear of eternal damnation or hope for eternal salvation, but to avoid the wrath of his very human father.

  8. JagiChan
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I have been enjoying the discussion about the creation of life, its exemplification in Bible and other religions. I’m an engineering grad myself and have a solid grasp of science. But the fundamental problem is that, why was life created only on this Earth? Why not on Venus or Mars? Now please don’t come up with theories like there is no oxygen, water, blah, blah blah… If you say oxygen is required for survival of life then again, you are going back to science?

    Also can someone please explain me what is life and how to measure it? For example when a battery is dead we can measure its voltage with a meter and say “Yep, the lead acid cell is below 1.2V and is dead possibly because the sulfuric acid concentration is low or the plates that hold the lead sulfate are damaged.” What happens when a living thing (e.g, human/animal) dies? We measure the heart beat, blood pressure or something more and if the heart beat is missing we say it is dead. Is the beating of the heart a symbol of life? If yes, then we should be able to save more people by putting micro-heart lung machines :) The right question would be “What is it that has escaped from the living that has caused it to die?” The above are some questions that science cannot answer and we turn to faith and religion. My take is that is only thru meditation and self enlightenment that one can understand the true nature, creation and purpose of life. No wonder “Buddha went to the forest to mediate and understand what life is all about and after he understood that he renounced the world.”

    Vernon Tyler wrote a few posts ago “Science is suppose to be something u can test, observe, and repeat,,,evolution is none of that, but neither is creation in that sense. People need to stop listeneing to Discovery channel/history channel and all the self proclaimed scientist, I can’t believe they actually think they can date something with ANY dating method known.” I concur with Vernon’s observation and I say “If science has got the explanation of how life was created, why don’t those scientists create life on some other planet (of course without taking any item from the earth, (including water, air, soil, fire and the atmosphere) and show us.” Why do we still believe in God and his miracles, if science has all the answers?

  9. Benji
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    ” I can’t help but notice that no one has dealt with my challenge to refer us to an undirected process or sequence of undirected processes that can first develop a mixture of extremely pure and highly specific building blocks and produce previously nonexistent CSI.” – Ide.

    Now, I didn’t read every comment since then, so the question may or may not have already been answered. Well here is the answer:
    First, I noticed that you would find it sufficient if there was a way to find the “first 10 elements that provided life” (paraphrase). Well, the same way that every other element was formed: Supernovas. You see, shortly after the Big Bang, hydrogen atoms went flying out across the new universe, and some of them clustered together to form stars. These stars burn through a process called fusion, where under such huge pressures, two hydrogen protons collide and form helium. What happens when all the hydrogen runs out, you say? Well, several different things, the supernova being the most important in this case. Large stars implode on themselves, causing a huge explosion called a supernova, which puts even more pressure on the atoms than the star did alone. Under these pressures, every atom up to some of the heavier metals are made. The most important elements for life: carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and other lighter elements are easily created during supernovas and distributed across the universe over billions of years.

    As for your quote, I answer with this: In the known universe, there are trillions (at least) of stars and probably close to that number of galaxies. To these stars are anywhere on average from the same amount of planets to who knows how many times that amount. Now, with such a huge number of stars and planets, it is only probable that there are at the very least hundreds of thousands of other planets the appropriate distance from their stars to allow life to create itself. So, with so many possibilities it becomes LIKELY that atoms would bond on their own to create cells, as atoms have a tendency to bond with each other to be more stable. Now, in complex molecules and cells, you see this recurring pattern of atoms (specifically carbon chains) that are merely atoms trying to be more stable, which means they fill up their outermost electron shells. Under these circumstances, life can create itself, and as more life is created it is only natural for one organism to try to survive, at the expense of others. Well, single-celled organism couldn’t think that, so over time their genes changed to reflect only the most appropriate genes to their environment, and bang, you have evolution.

    These are all things that I learned about in 9th grade Biology and 10th grade Chemistry. All I added was a little logic to tie them all together.

    So, from stars to evolution in one paragraph. Can I get my Nobel Prize now or do I have to wait until I finish High School?

    -Benji

  10. Christopher LaRoux
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    Ide might be trolling, but Vernon’s clearly a Poe

  11. calvin
    Posted March 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Evolution and natural selection doesn’t give a damn about anyone’s belief…it will continue no matter how many stupid stories you make up or magic gods you invent

  12. Vernon Tyler
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Hmm well I didn’t read all the comments above but seems to me nobody realizes that the kids are ALREADY being taught a religious world view in public schools. Which would happen to be EVOLUTION, some how ppl think it’s a part of science when its not even close. Science is suppose to be something u can test, observe, and repeat,,,evolution is none of that, but neither is creation in that sense. People need to stop listeneing to Discovery channel/history channel and all the self proclaimed scientist, I can’t believe they actually think they can date something with ANY dating method known. owell GOD bless you all

  13. Nate
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    6 billion years ago there was only creationism. Creationism died out with the Dinosaurs. A mind is a terrible thing to waste on fundamentalism.

  14. Ide Trotter, Ph.D.
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Charles, I like your attitude and want to honor your curiosity. Do you remember this earlier exchange?

    Ide Trotter, Ph.D. Says:

    February 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm
    Flash news, Ben. It is being authoritatively rumored that God is a big leprechaun wearing satin pajamas. Looks like you were right on. Take a bow.

    TFN Says:

    February 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm
    We give Ide props for having a sense of humor. Just sayin’.

    Charles, I assure you “Should I just decalare [sic]victory and go home?” was intended in the same humorous vein. You and I both know I’m not going to win any victory over TFN. Nor do I want to. There are quite a few areas where I admire and appreciate stands taken and influence exerted by TFN. But I would hope to enable a few more people to begin to recognize that whatever view one may hold about the common descent vs. common design discussion that a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life is not just over the horizon. I’m even prepared to argue that objective statistical analysis of the probabilities for the two options are far more favorable to agency as the explanation. But, as TFN has correctly pointed out, this is not the venue for that discussion. But this can be a helpful place to argue that the discussion should not be ruled out in teaching biology for political or any other ideological reason. OOL can and should be taught as a matter of interesting and ongoing research.

  15. Charles
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Ide. as a result of the foregoing discussions, you apparently believe that you have achieved some sort of overwhelming victory over TFN, its mission, Ben, Charles, and whoever else has been a part of this discussion thread. As you said yourself,

    “Should I just decalare [sic]victory and go home?”

    If that is what you wish to do, it is fine with me. As I said in an earlier post, I am an unarmed man in any debate on any subject, so a victory over me is really not much of a victory. In fact, if you will notice, I never really put up much of a fight. It was Ben and TFN that did all of the real fighting.

    However, before you go home, just as a matter of simple respect from one human being to another, could you please take out a moment to explain at length the nature of your victory here to this admittedly unarmed man, how you went about achieving it, what unique skills you learned in college (or wherever) that allowed you to achieve it, and how you went about implementing it above. For one who God did not give the ability to win such victories (me), I have always been fascinated with those to whom such abilities and talents have been given. Please feel free to explain in detail, and I promise that I will not respond back to your explanation with any rejoinder, smart ass comments, etc. God did infuse me with curiosity.

  16. Charles
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    It has been my experience that most people think whatever they like and that it often has very little to do with me.

  17. Ide Trotter, Ph.D.
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Most folks are going to think it’s because you can’t muster a better response, Charles.

  18. Charles
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Why am I feeling as if Gene Garman has a heretofore unknown fraternal twin?

  19. Ide Trotter, Ph.D.
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Come on Charles, what is it about origin of life that doesn’t register with you? Should I just decalare victory and go home? I’m addressing Origin of Life! Origin of Life!! How else can I say it to get it to register?

  20. Charles
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Paul Nelson is a fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture and of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design. In a 2004 interview in Touchstone Magazine, Nelson said that there is no scientific theory of intelligent design, which directly contradicts the Discovery Institute stance. In that article, there was this specific quote from Nelson:

    “Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a real problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as “irreducible complexity” and “specified complexity”–but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.”

    If most of the currently known science regarding evolution is incorrect, then we here expect you to lay out before us the fully organized, structured, detailed, and highly elaborated ALTERNATIVE BODY OF SCIENCE that better explains the development of life on this planet. We would also like to see the full corpus of peer-reviewed scientific literature that supports this alternative science—and there had better be a huge library full of it.

  21. Ide Trotter, Ph.D.
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Charles, why do you keep barking up the wrong tree? Let me repeat so it will be here for the third time and maybe you will catch on. ‘I did say, “I am also skeptical that the data supports an unquestionably continuous train of common descent devoid of any need for an injection of additional specified information. I believe the data is yet to definitively resolve the common design vs. common descent argument. I would guess the bulk of TFN folks would disagree me. I concede that I’m not able to make nearly as strong a case for my doubts abut non-interventional common descent. Fortunately, the beauty of science is that in the end data can overcome almost any prior misconception. Sometimes advocates get tired of waiting and jump to unjustified certainty that their views are the only ones acceptable.” That’s as “anti” as I get on common descent.’ Let me add, I see evolution as so well established at the micro level that it should stand the test of time.

    Now, do you have anything to say about origin of life? Please recall I previously said, “Opponents of ID recognize they are not anywhere close to a credible and probable naturalistic explanation for the origin of life on earth. After all, that puts them in very good company. Francis Crick, Richard Dawkins, Ken Miller, Francis Collins, etc., etc.

    Maybe you’ve got some insights on OOL that will be helpful to me as well as Dawkins, et. al.

  22. Charles
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    “If most of the currently known science regarding evolution is incorrect, then we here expect you to lay out before us the fully organized, structured, detailed, and highly elaborated ALTERNATIVE BODY OF SCIENCE that better explains the development of life on this planet. We would also like to see the full corpus of peer-reviewed scientific literature that supports this alternative science—and there had better be a huge library full of it.”

  23. Ide Trotter, Ph.D.
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    TFN, I really had intended to drop out. But there is just so much low hanging fruit here I couldn’t resist. Maybe now.

  24. Ide Trotter, Ph.D.
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Charlie, you say, “Sitting on your sorry ass in the laboratory and diligently pursuing publish or perish is not going to change anything or win this fight.” I said, “Fortunately, the beauty of science is that in the end data can overcome almost any prior misconception.” Interesting difference of opinion as to how scientific issues will ultimately be resolved, don’t you think?

    However, since the data is slowly but surely accumulating demanding a shift in paradigm your suggestion of intensified propaganda may be an understandable last resort. Perhaps a very large contribution to NSCE is called for.

  25. Charles
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    P.S. I would agree with TFN and Ben. If Donald Duck writes a serious scientific article and gets peer reviews from Daisy, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, that is something of a bother. If they get it published in a sympathetic periodical such as their usual Disney comic book, that is even more of a worry.

    “If most of the currently known science regarding evolution is incorrect, then we here expect you to lay out before us the fully organized, structured, detailed, and highly elaborated ALTERNATIVE BODY OF SCIENCE that better explains the development of life on this planet. We would also like to see the full corpus of peer-reviewed scientific literature that supports this alternative science—and there had better be a huge library full of it.”

  26. Charles
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    This is why I have a policy of never arguing with creation science types:

    1) It is like arguing with a fence post because they come into the argument with the resolve that they shall maintain their position no matter what transpires in the argument. You can never win a debate with a person (like Ide) who is determined to maintain their stance no matter what—and all with the firm conviction that any failure to do so would be an offense to God himself.

    2) I am nearly 60 years old. One of the things I learned early in my life is that I am not a good debater or arguer. Some people are talented at it, and some are not. We had no regular forensic debating team in my high school. In college, I never took a philosophy course that focused on the fusion of logic and rhetoric. A few years ago on the Internet, I ran into a website on debating. It had a long list (must have been 1000 items on it) of classic fallacious argument pathways and how to counter them, frequently used debating tricks to snare an opponent, etc. It was a truly amazing array—all explained in depth. As time passed, I guess the thing I found to be most amazing were the number of people who had actually been taught in college how to recall, recognize, and use these debating 1000 tricks—and how to counter them when they are used against them. Unfortunately, I learned one thing early on in my life. If I was charged with arguing that the current American flag is red, white, and blue and my opponent was charged with arguing that it is green, yellow, and orange, my opponent would win that argument every time and make me look like an absolute fool by the time the argument was finished. Therefore, a serious argument with me is like pulling out a sawed-off shotgun in front of an unarmed man. I am just wise enough to know that I am unarmed and stay out of fights with people I know are armed and dangerous.

    3) The other thing I learned is that the truth can lose and lose very often when it comes up against a really talented debater in whom the truth does not reside. Moreover, that skilled debater (because of his great skill) can easily make the truth look like absolute foolishness. Therefore, at least in the short run, having the truth on one’s side is never a guarantee of victory in any endeavor.

    4) This is the strength of the creation/ID movement at the moment, and they were ingenious in recognizing it. It really does not matter if evolution has truth, integrity, and merit. It really does not matter if creation science/ID has truth, integrity, and merit. The creation/ID people have recognized that such things are reasonably irrelevant at this point. In truth, this is a public relations battle. Whoever offers the most “right sounding” arguments to the general public will win this battle. You will notice that I said “right sounding” instead of “right.”

    If you look at a bell curve, 300,000, 000 Americans were “C” students in high school and college. Some people prefer the term “average person” to describe these people. In my long life of observing them, interacting with them, and reviewing their work assignments, I much prefer the term “near cretin.” I suspect that clever politicians and Madison Avenue advertising executives also recognized that long ago. The creation science/ID crowd and the Discovery Institute have recognized that as well. The average American is simple-minded and easy to fool. If you are a master debater and have at your command every forensic and rhetorical trick in the book, it will be easy to fool most of the people most of the time and creation science/ID will win because of it. Lest there be any doubt, let me hasten to add that the creation science/ID crowd truly believes that their facts and interpretations about life are correct, they just also recognize that the victory will come in the realm of public relations rather than the realm of fact and interpretation.

    4) The evolution crowd would do well to recognize this fact and arm itself with as much public relations and rhetorical might as it can muster—regardless of the science. For much too long, scientists have sequestered themselves in their various ivory towers and comforted themselves with the phrase, “I will win because the truth is on my side” or “the First Amendment will always protect the truth in court.” Well, the truth may very well be on your side, and it will no doubt win out 300 years from now. The question is how much idiocy, pain, agony, misery, and death will occur over this issue until that date rolls around—and can you do anything now to stop it!!!! As for the First Amendment, it is under heavy attack everyday from assorted conservative extremists who wish we had some other constitution than the one the founding fathers and later generations gave us. They appear to be making progress.

    Sitting on your sorry ass in the laboratory and diligently pursuing publish or perish is not going to change anything or win this fight. The general public has no way of wrapping its “near cretin” head around the complicated truth in your latest journal article. You might as well be writing to the American people in Chinese or Cyrillic script. The creation science/ID people know this and are using it to their advantage each day to fight against evolution and other aspects of conventional science. You have to get out there on the public relations front, and you have to be armed with far more than just science and truth to win this battle. You have to be armed with the public relations and rhetorical tools necessary to win the hearts and minds of the American people. You have to understand that you are now pitted against people who are well trained in the rhetorical arts, and they can use these arts and other public relations trickery to make your truth and your facts sound like foolishness to the average person.

    And being something of a historian, I will leave you with a warning from history. When the “enemies of God” are defeated in this public relations battle and the winners are allied with the government, they will round you up—and they will burn your bodies.

  27. Ide Trotter, Ph.D.
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Nice try, TFN, you don’t like two. Care to try for the remaining six? Please keep at it. This is very revealing, don’t you think?

  28. Ide Trotter, Ph.D.
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Dear TFN,

    Please forgive me for taking the title of this thread seriously. I didn’t realize that the heading “Creationists Target Texas Science Classes” was not meant to deal with science and its proper understanding. But this is TFN. I should have know it couldn’t possibly be . My bad.

    As to “point to real evidence,” Ben A. finally narrowed his argument down to a single claim. I appreciated that. He posted , “ There is no peer-reviewed evidence in legitimate science journals that supports ID. You seem to think there is. So I’m asking to you present it.” So I presented eight peer-reviewed articles out of those available. That was the evidence he demanded. He then cited a complaint that one was only from an “obscure” journal, ranted and ran for the hills.

    Ben A. at least thought he was raising an issue regarding evidence. But, TFN, you say that’s “a popularity contest. But that isn’t science.” That’s an interesting notion. You don’t really argue evidence is about popularity rather than science do you?

    As to your assertion that I submitted “anti-evolution ideas,” to what are you referring. I did say, “I am also skeptical that the data supports an unquestionably continuous train of common descent devoid of any need for an injection of additional specified information. I believe the data is yet to definitively resolve the common design vs. common descent argument. I would guess the bulk of TFN folks would disagree me. I concede that I’m not able to make nearly as strong a case for my doubts abut non-interventional common descent. Fortunately, the beauty of science is that in the end data can overcome almost any prior misconception. Sometimes advocates get tired of waiting and jump to unjustified certainty that their views are the only ones acceptable.” That’s as “anti” as I get on common descent.

    Now as to origin of life, that’s another matter. Fortunately no one can be anti- origin of life since we are here. I asserted we have no naturalistic explanation. I note you never touch on that point. Probably a good idea on your part not to take on that issue.

    Now I’ll leave you to your non-science. It has been amusing interlude.

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Ide,
      Your problem here is that you’re not talking to gullible people who are willing to accept whatever claptrap you provide as “science.” The list of “eight peer-reviewed articles” that you note is a joke. Take, for example, the article you note by Dominic Halsmer. Halsmer is likely a very fine fellow. But he’s also a mechanical engineer, not a biologist. And getting an ID/creationist essay placed in a publication from the Wessex Institute of Technology provides about as much credibility in science as getting one published by the Discovery Institute. Which is to say: very little.

  29. Ide Trotter, Ph.D.
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Dear Ben Anon, so long. Sorry to see you go. It has been a pleasure to enjoy these brief exchanges. Your eloquence, civility and ability to clarify your position and stick by it illustrates the very best in rational debate for which TFN is justifiably well know.

    All the best.

  30. Ben
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks, TFN. I’m glad I got to see your post without having to see the obnoxious way Ide is certain to react to it.

  31. Ben
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    You’re the want who wants to speak to someone with a “mastery of the issues.” I’m not one, but it was still very easy to show that you’re a liar.

    Here’s more:

    In an interview with Casey Luskin about the paper in question, Behe had the chance to tell us the exciting news about the evidence he’d found for ID. You’d think he’d start with something like, “Yes, Casey, I’ve done it. I’ve finally discovered the evidence we’ve all been waiting for. This will forever change science as we know it.”

    If there was going to be anyplace where Behe would be full of over-the-top exuberance about his discovery, you’d think it would be during an interview with Casey Luskin.

    Well, it didn’t quite go that way. Here’s an excerpt:

    Luskin: For someone who is not in the thick of this scientific debate, what is the takeaway point that you would give them?

    Behe: It’s this: The take-home message is that the adaptive evolution we see around us, such as antibiotic resistance or adaptation in lab experiments, is not the kind of process that we need to explain how life got built up in the first place. Loss of function even modification of function helps an organism by essentially degrading it, by feeding off of the complexity it already has. Many organisms, the ones I reviewed in the article, organisms that develop antibiotic resistance and so on, do so by degrading the complexity that they already have, kind of feeding off of that. But what we need to explain is how organisms got here in the first place, how did complex systems, how did gain-of-function mutations arise over time? And from what I was able to review, it seems like that might be a considerably different process than the adaptive process we see in our world.

    Yeah. That’s it. Even if I granted that anything Behe said there was accurate, which I don’t, there’s not a shred of evidence for ID to be found. Instead, Behe uses the same old creationist ploy: Attempting (poorly) to poke holes in the theory of evolution, and assuming that any hole he might be able to poke (he failed) would automatically be evidence for ID.

    The key quote:
    “But what we need to explain is how organisms got here in the first place, how did complex systems, how did gain-of-function mutations arise over time?”

    He doesn’t have any answers, nor any evidence for anything at all.

    “And from what I was able to review, it SEEMS like that MIGHT be a considerably different process than the adaptive process we see in our world.”

    Seems? Might?

    Ide, you are a pathetic embarrassment. You are a liar. That’s why I’m not bothering with your full list of papers. I’m not going to waste my time. You had your shot, but the first one I investigated was crap.

    Guys like you are always saying that the experts are too scared to debate. Well, they’d be happy to oblige you at Pharyngula, but you don’t have the guts. You’re a troll, nothing more. It’s been a pleasure to reveal your dishonesty.

    I won’t be commenting on this thread anymore. I tend to forget that the only way to end a thread with a denialist is to simply quit responding. I have no doubt that you will post a gleeful victory cry (which I won’t read), but it will be obvious to everyone else that you had your butt handed to you by a non-scientist.

  32. Ide Trotter, Ph.D.
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Ben Anon, please don’t run and hide. You elected to come to this site. What can you possibly say anywhere else that you can’t say here? You are the one who said,” There is no peer-reviewed evidence in legitimate science journals that supports ID. You seem to think there is. So I’m asking to you present it. ”
    I presented a smattering of eight. You found a site critiquing one the eight as from an “obscure” journal. Not “illegitimate.” Just “obscure.” I said set that aside and address the other seven. Then you run and hide. What do you want the readers of this site to think about the strength of the “no peer-reviewed articles” argument you were hiding behind? Do you want them to wonder why you ran rather than dealing with the substance of origin of life issues? Unless you or someone returns to the fray with some fundamental chemistry and physics the conclusion will be obvious.

    The “no peer-reviewed articles” argument was just a smoke screen.

    Opponents of ID recognize they are not anywhere close to a credible and probable naturalistic explanation for the origin of life on earth. After all, that puts them in very good company. Francis Crick, Richard Dawkins, Ken Miller, Francis Collins, etc., etc.

    • Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Ide,
      It’s not surprising that you choose to make your specious arguments on a non-science blog rather than submit your anti-evolution ideas to review and rebuttal by real evolutionary scientists. After all, that’s been the strategy of the the ID/creationism movement: taunt and try to raise doubts among non-scientists in the general public in an attempt to turn the issue into a popularity contest. But that isn’t science. That’s politics in the pursuit of an agenda — and it’s an agenda that threatens the education of a generation of Texas schoolchildren and the future economy of our state.

      You’re welcome to post here anytime. In fact, invite your anti-evolution friends to join us. But don’t expect us to play along with your game — Ben’s continued response to your posts will simply be repeated by others: a demand that you point to real evidence, backed by real research, vetted by real scientists and published in respected journals and publications generally accepted by scientists who work in the field. In fact, the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution has met those criteria for a long time now. The same is clearly not true for ID/creationism proponents. And that’s why you’re making your arguments on a non-science blog.

  33. Ben
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Ide, check out comment 221 on this thread:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/02/episode_clxxiii_deconversion.php

    It’s my official invitation for you to join the conversation over on Pharyngula.

    Please, please take me up on it. Start by posting your list of papers. I mean, if you have evidence of ID, you might as well start the conversation with it, right?

  34. Ben
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Continue with what? You’ve proven yourself to be dishonest. Why would I want to continue?

    I never claimed to be a master of the issue—but if you want masters of the issue, go on over to Pharyngula. If you don’t go, it will mean that you DON’T really want to speak to masters of the issue. I honestly believe that you don’t have the balls to go over there and throw your BS around. Prove me wrong. Use your real name so I can follow the carnage.

  35. Ide Trotter, Ph.D.
    Posted February 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Ben Anonymous, you are a gift! One could not ask for a more articulate debate opponent. And your mastery of the issues is truly awe-inspiring. It leads one to respect your desire to remain anonymous.

    I only hope TFN will find someone to come to your aid in your hour of need and carry this discussion to the level of intelligent, intellectually sound discourse it deserves. I fell sure there must be someone out there somewhere.

    Meanwhile, shall we carry on? Please forgive me but I’m rather enjoying this.

  36. Ben
    Posted February 18, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Been drinking, Ide?

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