Live Blogging the TX Science Hearing III

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Note: Audio from the state board hearing is available here.

4:53 – Lots of conversations among board members between and during the testimony. We haven’t said much yet about the vote coming tomorrow and Friday. Essentially, we’re where we were in January — it will be very close. Chairman McLeroy and other board creationists have been circulating a list of amendments to the standards, nearly all targeting evolution. And they are certain to try again to force “strengths and weaknesses” back into the standards. We also expect efforts by pro-science board members to try to strip out anti-evolution amendments (particularly those challenging the concept of common descent) added in January.

5:18 – Board members are now being allowed to invite specific individuals to testify. It will be interesting to see who board members bring up.

5:25 – Board member Rick Agosto has invited Genie Scott of the National Center for Science Education to speak. That’s encouraging. Genie makes it clear what’s at stake. Putting “strengths and weaknesses” back in the standards will give evolution opponents ammunition to demand pseudoscience in the 2011 biology textbooks. Other states will likely rebel against such nonsense. Says Genie: You will have a Texas edition with junk science in it, and the rest of the country will have a different textbook with real science.

5:31 – Dave Welch of the Texas Pastor Council is now speaking. It’s unclear which board member invited him. Welch wants students to be taught challenges to evolution: “Sound science and academic demand full disclosure of this in order to make a sound decision.” Welch accuses opponents of “strengths and weaknesses” of censorship and claims there are scientifically valid “weaknesses” of evolution.

FYI: In February, WorldNetDaily published a piece from Welch headlined “Making a monkey out of Christians.” Money quote:

I assert that any so-called Christian and most emphatically any member of Christian clergy who embraces the deception of Darwinian evolution is no more a Christian than the chimpanzees from which he or she claims to have evolved.

5:38 – Another testifier (we missed the name) suggests that “fervent dogmatists” who support the science of evolution are “religious fundamentalists” themselves. (Update: We think this is a gentleman named Don Patton.)

5:45 – Patton says the fossil record is really just a bunch of clams: “Clams, clams and more clams.” His point, apparently, is that evolution is supported mostly by the fossil record and that the fossil record is insufficient.

5:50 – Prof. Gerald Skoog of Texas Tech is up. Prof. Skoog, who served as an “expert reviewer” of the curriculum standards, presents a letter supporting sound science (and opposing “strengths and weaknesses”) from the National Academy of Sciences.

5:54 – Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for the Free Market Foundation Focus on the Family Texas is up. He points to a letter from legislators supporting “strengths and weaknesses” and to polling showing that most American are skeptical of evolution

Well, yes. Most Americans are skeptical of a lot of things, but science isn’t decided by popular vote. Moreover, a lot of money has been poured into anti-evolution propaganda. Are we surprised by its effects on public opinion?

5:58 – Sasser suggests that taking “strengths and weaknesses” out of the standards is tantamount to totalitarianism and would put schools at legal risk for barring teachers and students from questioning evolution. This is rubbish.

6:07 – The Dallas Morning News has posted an editorial in tomorrow’s newspaper. Money quote:

The fact is, evolution is not subject to scientific questioning, as McLeroy suggests. If there are ways to present alternative views in a religion class – or, better yet, church – fine. But science class in a public school isn’t that place.

Even many people of faith accept the theory of evolution. Daniel Foster, a professor at the UT Southwestern Medical Center and an elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, exemplified this on yesterday’s Viewpoints page, urging the board to reject amendments that question evolution.

“No” votes to the anti-evolution parts of the standards are doubly important because what happens in Texas doesn’t stay here. Because the state has so many students, textbook publishers write to Texas standards and then sell their books to districts around the nation.

Doubting evolution shouldn’t be Texas’ legacy. More importantly, our students should not be subject to an erroneous line of teaching.

6:10 – The National Center for Science Education has posted a letter signed by 54 scientific and educational societies opposed to dumbing down instruction on evolution.

6:17 – Good heavens. Some evolution opponents have no problem at all distorting what others have written. The dishonesty is appalling. We just heard someone point to a New Scientist article about Darwin’s tree of life as evidence that evolution has weaknesses. Yet this is what New Scientist has to say in an editorial:

As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, we await a third revolution that will see biology changed and strengthened. None of this should give succour to creationists, whose blinkered universe is doubtless already buzzing with the news that “New Scientist has announced Darwin was wrong”. Expect to find excerpts ripped out of context and presented as evidence that biologists are deserting the theory of evolution en masse. They are not.

Nor will the new work do anything to diminish the standing of Darwin himself. When it came to gravitation and the laws of motion, Isaac Newton didn’t see the whole picture either, but he remains one of science’s giants. In the same way, Darwin’s ideas will prove influential for decades to come.

6:47 – We told you earlier that dueling press conferences (for and against dumbing down instruction in evolution) were interrupted by observers, as happened with this woman:

“My grandfather was not a monkey!” one woman shouted at a crowd before the meeting began.

You can read more about today’s science debate in an Associated Press story that just hit the wire.

6:48 – Steven Schafersman of Texas Citizens for Science is up. He is taking the board to the woodshed for refusing to hear from science experts when considering amendments to the standards in January.

6:51 – Testimony has just ended. The board will begin debate on the standards tomorrow, likely around mid-morning. TFN Insider will be live-blogging the debate and keeping you updated on events here.

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78 Responses to “Live Blogging the TX Science Hearing III”

  1. jdg Says:

    Audio link, please???

  2. jdg Says:

    Thanks

  3. jdg Says:

    I still think IPC should still be taught in HS

  4. jdg Says:

    Is that guy talking McLeroy?

  5. TFN Says:

    McLeroy is chairing the meeting.

  6. jdg Says:

    Audio is choppy.

  7. ckelly Says:

    Why are we going through all this again after the January vote? What did the Jan vote accomplish if everything can be reversed again in March? And is there voting tomorrow AND Friday?

  8. James F Says:

    Board member Rick Agosto has invited Genie Scott of the National Center for Science Education to speak. That’s encouraging.

    That’s putting it mildly! Agosto is a potential swing vote, and he invited a person who directs the nation’s premier evolution education defense organization, who is literally on the creationists’ enemies list, to speak. Wonderful news. Steve Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science, will also be speaking by invitation.

  9. J. A. Baker Says:

    Creationist Nutbar: “We don’t listen to the other side sometimes.”

    Well, DUH!

  10. obfg Says:

    Dunbar’s a framing little scoundrel.

  11. jdg Says:

    # ckelly Says:
    March 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Why are we going through all this again after the January vote? What did the Jan vote accomplish if everything can be reversed again in March? And is there voting tomorrow AND Friday?

    Because Lord McLeroy wants strenghts and weaknesses back into the TEKS

  12. jdg Says:

    Patton is clueless. He obviously needs to take biology courses.

  13. jdg Says:

    They’re treating Patton as their hero!!!

  14. jdg Says:

    This is what happens when ignorant people talk

  15. obfg Says:

    Patton’s being used as a shill for the board. Notice how their asking him leading questions to get him to expand on his lunacy, but Genie Scott gets cut off after being asked a “specific” question.

  16. Steve Says:

    The fact that these people are arguing about whether or not to teach personal beliefs as scientific facts befuddles me. All the science side needs to do is ask for tested data and evidence from the other side to demonstrate to everyone that their beliefs are just beliefs, because they won’t be able to provide any, then ask for the tested data and evidence for evolution.

    Public school science classes are there to educate children with known scientific facts, not to waste valuable class time on unrelated, philosophical tangents which are best left to other fields of study.

  17. obfg Says:

    “they’re” …. sheeesh…

  18. J. A. Baker Says:

    (Update: We think this is a gentleman named Don Patton.)

    Would that be this Don Patton?

  19. Doc Bill Says:

    I’ve been listening to this for about 3 hours, but my ranting and raving has been confined to my kitchen!

    I actually thought that Patton understood the reference to a paucity of fossils raised by Dunbar (?) in that only a small percentage of animals fossilize in the first place and that prolific marine fossils with hard bodies are abundant. Unfortunately, he wasn’t given a chance to expound on that which, ironically, would have undercut his main thesis.

    What I find interesting is that the connection between a weakness and a gap has not been made. A gap is not a weakness.

  20. jdg Says:

    There’s a severe storm comming??? Hopefully a flood “washes away” Don McLeroy, Cargill, and Dunbar away to never ever land.

  21. Ed Darrell Says:

    Was it Hiram Sasser, the Focus on the Family guy, who said that changing the language would open up litigation?

    Frankly, his legal advice stinks (Free legal advice: Worth every penny you pay). Were he charging for what he’s testifying to, he’d be liable for malpractice.

    Facts are different from what he claims: “Strengths and weaknesses” has never survived a court test. It’s not been tested. But the National Academy of Sciences policy, which we heard from Prof. Gerald Skoog a few minutes earlier, has been tested in court and has never lost.

    Was it Sasser, or someone else? Can someone help me identify who it was who said that?

  22. obfg Says:

    Somebody “forced to leave the university” becauses of asking about weaknesses?

    “fellow grad student kicked out”…

    This women’s a nitwit.

    And the board’s eating it up. We’re doomed.

  23. jdg Says:

    More political, religious motivation

  24. J. A. Baker Says:

    I stopped listening during Don Patton’s spewage. There’s only so much theocratic nonsense that I can take. Sadly, it’s like crack to these IDiot board members.

  25. Doc Bill Says:

    Who is this graduate student from Rice, “Sarah” who when questioned by Dunbar (?) about weaknesses could only bring up moths and Haekel? Sounds fishy to me. Of course, there is no vetting of testifiers. Her story is so unlike my graduate experience that I doubt her story is based on fact.

    But, that’s been the problem with the creationists testifying and being taken at face value. Such is the way of the process!

  26. Biology Teacher Says:

    I question whether this woman actually graduated from Rice University. If she did, I am ashamed of my alma mater in this regard.

  27. Mikey Says:

    All the weaknesses we’re hearing are the same tired pieces of crap that creationists have dredged up for years. Why are we having this discussion in 2009! I have never been more discouraged in my life. Please give me some hope that common sense will prevail.

  28. Biology Teacher Says:

    Mercer: “Frauds and lies in the past.” Hmmmmm. These folks would know about those.

    Leo: “…frauds like the peppered moths….” What a dolt! The peppered moths were dead and pinned to a tree to demonstrate the color contrast. How is that a fraud? This is a canard long since put to bed.

  29. Charles Says:

    I have been listening to the streaming audio on privileged speakers. I don’t understand what is going on here? Why are all of the privileged speakers against the “weaknesses” issues? Has the testimony been stacked? Why are the board members who are known to be opposed to the weaknesses language not asking any questions or pointing out fallacies? This whole show is completely one-sided. It sounds as if the other board members have been intimidated or gagged.

  30. Charles Says:

    Sorry—for the weakneses—all one-sided.

  31. jdg Says:

    who is this clown talking for patton?

  32. jdg Says:

    I think since the creationists are allowed to talk, TFN and all science supporters should “walk out” in the middle of the meeting; to send a message.

  33. Doc Bill Says:

    I don’t think the board members in favor of the science standards are gagged. Rather, what’s the point in arguing with a creationist?

    The vote is much more important than this side show.

    We’ll see that tomorrow.

    Regardless of all the creationist idiots, liars from the DI and others, it comes down to the vote. It’s the only thing that matters. Prelim vote on Thursday and final vote on Friday.

  34. jdg Says:

    TFN, Is Rene Nunez attending this meeting???

  35. Biology Teacher Says:

    “If we teach anything but truth we do ourselves a disservice.” Who would have thought an idiot like the one who is speaking now would speak such profundity. Don’t think he meant it the way it reads.

  36. jdg Says:

    My head hurts too for listening to this trash.

  37. TFN Says:

    Rene Nunez was here today, but he appears to be away from his seat at this time.

  38. Mikey Says:

    Common roaches in stasis for 4.5 bllion years…

    And these people commend him.

  39. jdg Says:

    Doc Bill Says:
    March 25, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I don’t think the board members in favor of the science standards are gagged. Rather, what’s the point in arguing with a creationist?

    The vote is much more important than this side show.

    We’ll see that tomorrow.

    Regardless of all the creationist idiots, liars from the DI and others, it comes down to the vote. It’s the only thing that matters. Prelim vote on Thursday and final vote on Friday

    I so hope you are right!! Because I just wanna slap some of these speakers!!! This is so upsetting to hear such incompetence.

  40. jdg Says:

    Thanks TFN, I’m calling him right now. This is rediculous……..

  41. jdg Says:

    Who just said “Two more” “and it’s all one sided?”

  42. Doc Bill Says:

    Some “maverick” is discussing that high school students can discuss String Theory.

    That’s insane.

    No high school student can possibly, possibly, possibly understand String Theory. They don’t have the physics background and they don’t have the math background. It’s one thing to say “String Theory is cool.” and quite another to actually discuss it on an intellectual level.

    You’re talking 6-10 years of graduate study to understand String Theory.

    This guy does not know what he’s talking about.

  43. Mikey Says:

    Someone please tell the board that I only feel restricted when I try to answer questions about human sexuality since all I can really say is don’t have sex.

  44. jdg Says:

    Finally a scientist!!!!!

  45. Doc Bill Says:

    Who was the most recent speaker, the scientist? He was great! He really addressed the fossil record and Dunbar (?) was shut down.

    I noticed he was dismissed after the “ding!”

  46. Biology Teacher Says:

    Steve Schafersman! What a breath of fresh air. Go Steve!

  47. Charles Says:

    Anyone here want to take any bets on whether McLeroy decides to cut off today’s testimony to get home to supper so the opposition does not have a chance to counterbalance the extraordinarily overweighted testimony in favor of weaknesses?

  48. jdg Says:

    It seems that Nunez doesn’t want to chat with anyone on the phone.

  49. jdg Says:

    Well, it’s over. Hopefully you guys are right and this terrible day ends and we get good news tomorrow. Until then…….

  50. Biology Teacher Says:

    What a jerk McLeroy is! Doesn’t allow Schafersman to address the obvious “weaknesses” of McLeroy’s and the board’s methods, like railroading through unscientific amendments in January. How can this be happening in 2009? <== (rhetorical question……)

  51. James F Says:

    It’s great that Steve was the closer. He’s been liveblogging too (with pictures)!

    Also hoping for good news tomorrow….

  52. Doc Bill Says:

    Creationists NEVER change their position. Simple as that. NO amount of Proof will not convince a creationist, aka Kurt Wise syndrome.

    So, it’s down to the political vote. Dunbar, McLeroy, Mercer etc will vote creationist.

    I’m hoping the swing voters like Agosto will stand up for science and considering the biotech investment in San Antonio that would be a good thing.

  53. Charles Says:

    I smell a rat here. I think someone behind the scenes in the Texas Republican Party “got to” the Texas SBOE Republicans who are against the “weaknesses” language, and they probably got to “Tincy” Miller too. I can see no other reason why they would have sat there frozen throughout this entire meeting like deer in strong headlights. Lyndon Johnson used to threaten people with things like, “If you don’t vote for my bill boy, the morning newspapers are going to know all about that gal you are fooling around with behind your wife’s back.” I just wonder what they did to intimidate the small number of Democrats on the board—who also sat there like frozen dumb bunnies for hours while platefuls of nonsense were thrown at them. I never saw such a one-sided and unfairly favored round of testimony in my life—on any subject—anywhere. I think the news media will not be doing their job if they do not thoroughly investigate this farce and get to the bottom of it for the public good.

    And yes, why doesn’ one of these “frozen deer” ask the key question that no creationist has ever been able to answer? If all of the evolutionary, molecular biology, and genetic information is so thoroughly wrong, please present us with your fully coherent and detailed explanation of the ALTERNATIVE SCIENCE that explains it all much better?

    This farce today was nothing short of disgusting.

  54. ScienceMinded Says:

    It’s obvious TFNer’s don’t understand science!! All you guys think evolution is the holy grail of scientific theories. It isn’t even close!! Hey, and remember, gaps, just like your thought processes, are all weaknesses!!!! Remember, the agenda is not about evolution like you would like to make people believe, it’s about teaching recognized strengths and weaknesses of all theories presented in the classroom. If your afraid of that, then the right-wing board members surely have you squirming. What a bunch of pansies here at TFN. Come on, get a spine! Why don’t you agree to just let religion, creationism, evolution, …, all theories stand up to the strengths and weaknesses agenda? No scientist, NONE, would be afraid of that!!!!

  55. Charles Says:

    Yes, I bet Nunez doesn’t want to chat with anyone on the phone. It sounds as if he retired to cower in his rabbit hole. Good grief!!!!!!

  56. ScienceMinded Says:

    Steve Schafersman! That’s your hero? Your doomed!!!!!!!!! Talk about prophetic liars… Go Stevo!! Thanks for keeping the right-wing SBOE side looking sooooo good!!!!!

  57. Jeremy Mohn Says:

    Who is this graduate student from Rice, “Sarah” who when questioned by Dunbar (?) about weaknesses could only bring up moths and Haekel?

    According to these Rice University faculty meeting minutes, Sara Kolb Hicks was recommended for a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rice University on May 8, 2004. Her dissertation director was Lisa Marie Meffert, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Also on her committee was Dr. Paul A. Harcombe, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

    Her doctoral thesis was entitled “The effects of competition on courtship behavior in the housefly, Musca domestica” and can be found here.

  58. ScienceMinded Says:

    Hey Charles, Maybe it appears so lopsided because your unsubstantiated, narrow-minded beliefs aren’t all that mainstream! At least, they didn’t appear to be too mainstream at today’s hearings. As far as the SBOE goes, we will have to wait until the votes have been cast. And remember, it’s about strengths and weaknesses, not evolution. I say, let foundational theories be taught in the appropriate classrooms, along with all the recognized strengths and weaknesses. That is exactly what the right-wing faction of the SBOE advocates! Sounds good to me!!!

  59. Ben Says:

    Looks like Fafarman finally shook Satan’s grip, so Satan latched onto ScienceMinded.

    Anyone know a good exorcist?

    Fafarman, got any tips for ScienceMinded on how to deal with Satanic possession?

  60. jdg Says:

    # ScienceMinded Says:
    March 25, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Hey Charles, Maybe it appears so lopsided because your unsubstantiated, narrow-minded beliefs aren’t all that mainstream! At least, they didn’t appear to be too mainstream at today’s hearings. As far as the SBOE goes, we will have to wait until the votes have been cast. And remember, it’s about strengths and weaknesses, not evolution. I say, let foundational theories be taught in the appropriate classrooms, along with all the recognized strengths and weaknesses. That is exactly what the right-wing faction of the SBOE advocates! Sounds good to me!!!

    One again, there are NO weaknesses of evolution! How many times do we have to say that in order for it to get into your thick skull?
    btw are you Phillip Johnson?

  61. Ben Says:

    This just in:

    My Satan-wrote-the-bible theory remains undisputed. One of the tenets is as follows:

    Satan controls the thoughts of people like ScienceMinded, tricking them into thinking evolution isn’t an accurate theory.

    I want that taught in school!

    After all, shouldn’t all theories by presented? Can’t we let the students make up their own minds? What are you afraid of!!!!! The students would be free to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of my theory, of course.

    ScienceMinded, would you be willing to visit some schools and talk to the students, so they can decide if you’re possessed by Satan? Let me know and we’ll set something up.

  62. realist Says:

    If its not about evolution, why are they attacking it at every corner?? It has nothing to do with “strengths and weaknesses”, its just a way of sneaking a narrow “view” of ones religion in public school classrooms.

  63. Joe Murphy Says:

    http://fbisdwatch.blogspot.com/2009/03/chron-district-continues-to-push-for.html

    Ya can’t “buy” or “vote” education into Texas! A little “thinking” might be a step in the right direction.

  64. Charles Says:

    ScienceMinded:

    Please grow up. No. That would be asking too much.

    This is not about science, and you know it. This is about getting your foot in the door to teach a particular religious belief system to science students. And by the way, in addition to being a Christian Neo-Fundamentalist, are you also a Dominionist, Christian Reconstructionist, and Theonomist?

    Oh well, I do not know who will win in the voting tomorrow and Friday. You guys might very well win. It certainly does look as if our side tucked tail and ran today.

    It looks as if this is going to be a very long war where both sides may win some battles. However, if evolution is true and factual, it will win ultimately because, as the Bible tells us and as history tells us, the truth will always win in the end. We can be sure of that much. In fact, there is an ultimate possibilty that both of us might win this—that being a situation where evolution really did happen and God was the creative hand in its operation along the way. I believe that this is most likely correct. You see. I am a creationist too—but not the same kind that you are.

    However, I have another concern. Before we ever get to that ultimate truth and resolution that I mentioned above, I fear that the near-term winner is going to be that Evil Force in the world that the Bible refers to as Satan. You think that he has deceived us folks that you refer to as apostate Christians. We think that he has deceived you Christian Neo-Fundamentalist folks. It probably does not matter which side has really been deceived—or perhaps whether both have been deceived. If one person pulls out a knife and takes a swing at another person, the other person is pretty much obligated to defend his own life. All the Satanic force wants is for both sides to rip each other to shreds while it laughs gleely at the mayhem and takes another swig of its beverage. From his perpsective, it is all great sport. In the end, all of us Christians will be saved by grace rather than our works. Even the most stringent of the Separate Baptist fundies buy into the “eternal security” doctrine. I suppose we will all just limp bleeding into the kingdom of Heaven—having left 5 billion dead bodies and a charred Planet Earth behind us.

  65. James F Says:

    One thing’s for sure, no matter how the vote goes. By the weekend, there will still be zero pieces of evidence to refute evolution, there will still be evidence from millions of peer-reviewed scientific research papers supporting evolution (100% supporting and 0% refuting, kinda takes the shine off of “weaknesses”), and creationists will still be misunderstanding and/or misrepresenting science in general.

  66. Rocket Mike Says:

    Are the Democrats and the rational Republicans just letting the creationist cultists flail about because they know their forces for reason have the eight vote majority?

  67. Larry Fafarman Says:

    TFN says,
    –Says Genie: You will have a Texas edition with junk science in it, and the rest of the country will have a different textbook with real science.–

    I’ve got news for Genie — a popular biology textbook, “Biology” by Ken Miller and Joe Levine, already comes in regular, California, and Texas editions.

    –6:07 – The Dallas Morning News has posted an editorial in tomorrow’s newspaper. Money quote:
    The fact is, evolution is not subject to scientific questioning, as McLeroy suggests. If there are ways to present alternative views in a religion class – or, better yet, church – fine. But science class in a public school isn’t that place.

    As I have pointed out, many scientific and pseudoscientific criticisms of evolution are so technically sophisticated that they should be taught only by qualified science teachers.

    Because the state has so many students, textbook publishers write to Texas standards and then sell their books to districts around the nation.

    As I have also pointed out, no school system anywhere in the world — including Texas — is required to use Texas-approved textbooks.

    –6:10 – The National Center for Science Education has posted a letter signed by 54 scientific and educational societies opposed to dumbing down instruction on evolution.–

    I think that all of these letters from scientific organizations have been nullified by the Texas Republican Party’s recent resolution asking GOP members of the board to support the “strengths and weaknesses” language. To restore the language to the Texas TEKS, only one vote switch is needed from the three GOP board members who voted against the language in January. Will all three of these board members bite the hand that feeds them? We shall see.

    ckelly Says:
    –Why are we going through all this again after the January vote? —

    I too thought that the January vote on the “strengths and weaknesses” language was final. As the saying goes, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

    Also, the adopted amendments that were introduced out-of-the-blue at the January meeting should now be reconsidered because the public did not get a chance to comment on them prior to adoption.

  68. Charles Says:

    “One thing’s for sure, no matter how the vote goes. By the weekend, there will still be zero pieces of evidence to refute evolution, there will still be evidence from millions of peer-reviewed scientific research papers supporting evolution (100% supporting and 0% refuting, kinda takes the shine off of “weaknesses”), and creationists will still be misunderstanding and/or misrepresenting science in general.”

    If the world looks like this, it will not matter:

    But it could be like this:

  69. TheThomas Says:

    The claims of the creationist always come across stronger because they lie. Their position is extreme, and scientist’s is reasonable, so the middle ground between them is still extreme. This is what skews the public opinion. If we had maniacs screaming about all of our parents coming from lesser apes the middle ground would be right about where we stand.
    A thought: should we pay people to stand in crowds and act like extremist Darwinist or Evolutionists…live up to their stereotype of us?

  70. ScienceMinded Says:

    Well I had heard the actual agenda was supposed to be about strengths and weaknesses, not about evolution. I will give you this though, I tried to find the current detailed agenda for this SBOE meeting, and I couldn’t find one. I will talk to all my liberal friends at the SBOE to make sure they publish an accurate detailed agenda from this point on. Has anyone else read/know what the current agenda states??

    And come on, there are weaknesses with the theory of evolution. I know you guys don’t think so, but I know that gaps are weaknesses. Get brave and admit it. It would actually make your side of the debate stronger. You would at least start to appear credible. And, like I also said, just because there are weaknesses in a theory, doesn’t mean the theory isn’t useful. ANd then, following your admission of weaknesses, step up and advocate the teaching of both recognized strengths and weaknesses of ALL theories presented in public classrooms — Theories in every subject area including science, social sciences, history, even religion!!

    To Ben: If you think I’m Satan, you wouldn’t want me in the classroom. I volunteer extensively in the public schools and the kids love me!! Currently, I’m working with middle school science students to build and race fuel-cell-powered model cars. I think we all know who Satan’s prophets are. Maybe TFN is Satan’s website?!?! Is that you Satan? Oh Satan, Satan, you aren’t making it too far with TFN now, are you!?!?

    And Realist: Like I said before, and I say it again, I think the right-wing SBOE damages their credibility to veer off subject. They should be sticking to the strengths and weaknesses agenda, not evolution. Evolution should not even be allowed to be debated on the floor.

    Charles: Sometimes a different path is a better path to take to gain your objective. I think this is actually one time where a win-win situation could actually exist. At least with strengths and weaknesses, it opens the door for determining what criteria should be used to establish strengths and weaknesses that are presented in the classroom. I don’t think the outcome of the vote, either way, has much to do with Satan.

    And Rocket Mike: What you witnessed today may be fallout of what Charles has noted all along — and what I believe is true of both sides here. In regards to both evolution and religion, we have trees trying to talk to trees. Nobody is budging, no one is going to change their minds, no matter how many experts testify. The odds are that if the votes were cast before testimony began, and then again after all testimony has been heard, the outcome would be exactly the same. We’ll just have to wait and see. I just advocate teaching both recognized strengths and weaknesses. I think mainstream scientists do to0!

  71. Jason Says:

    ScienceMinded bleated:

    “Hey Charles, Maybe it appears so lopsided because your unsubstantiated, narrow-minded beliefs aren’t all that mainstream!”

    Reality is not decided by consensus. Try it yourself. Try voting that the sky is green, and see what happens.

    Argumentum ad populum is fallacious, has no bearing on reality, and has no business dictating what is taught in the science classroom.

  72. Ben Says:

    It occurred to me that if ScienceMinded was possessed by Satan, he probably wouldn’t know it, would he? I mean, it is entirely plausible, isn’t it? If a person chooses to believe in supernatural entities, couldn’t Satan be just as real as the others?

  73. Ben Says:

    By the way, ScienceMinded, you never gave me your opinion.

    Do you think my theory should be taught in school?

  74. ScienceMinded Says:

    With Ben on your side, no wonder you lose all credibility TFN. Now Jason claims you are NOT mainstream!!

  75. Ben Says:

    Do you think my theory should be taught in school?

  76. ndt Says:

    And come on, there are weaknesses with the theory of evolution.

    Like what?

  77. Joe Murphy Says:

    Here’s the real issue. Intelligent people will take their children out of “intelligently-designed”-to-fail public schools . Only the less empowered will remain, and they will soon be considered too great a strain on our tax base, and then we will finally put an end to this experiment we called public education and the middle class. This is not an intelligent direction, but as anyone can see, it is a larger more directed issue of closing down public services and the middle class, than it is an issue of faith.

  78. Joe Murphy Says:

    That’s why Republicans are behind it, … in the name of their god.

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