Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Louisiana – what’s the big deal?


So Louisiana has a new law allowing science teachers to teach the weaknesses of time & chance evolutionary theory.

What’s the big deal? Evolution by time and chance is as well tested as gravity for Pete’s sake. How long does take to convince a kid that when he throws a baseball into the air gravity will pull it back to earth?

According to the theophobic evolutionists there are no weaknesses in their theory.

So the teacher will quickly present just a small fraction of the “overwhelming evidence” that time & chance turned mud into Mozart, he’ll have a list of zero things to present to argue against it, and all will be well with nothing lost. The biology teacher can then go straight on to teach really important specific things like how fish grew legs and lungs, dinosaurs became birds, and hippos became whales. These are things kids need to know in order to be successful, productive members of western civilization. Without knowing these things all of science will surely collapse and with it all of civilization itself. We can’t let that happen. Failure to convince children of the fact of evolution by time and chance is a risk that makes global warming look like small potatoes. This is Really Important Stuff.


[There are still formatting problems in this thread. In the preview of my comment, the link to Expelled at amazon is getting eaten by the link to Slaughter of the Dissidents.] maria celeste@23: Welcome! Since you seem to be asking sincerely, I will attempt some answers.
do the schools not teach natural selection?
Natural selection has no creative power. It only "selects" changes that were introduced through other mechanisms. Natural Selection -- by itself -- has no evolutionary power at all. Yes, the schools teach natural selection, but that doesn't add anything to the explanation of where evolutionary changes come from. The comment here is about the source of those evolutionary changes.
Do the schools refuse to offer the point of view of an Intelligent Designer
The public schools most certainly DO NOT offer the point of view of an Intelligent Designer. And doing so would be likely to trigger a law suit against the teacher. The very purpose of this law is protect teachers from negative repercussions of discussing in the classroom scientific weaknesses and scientific alternatives to conventional theories. It does not "promote ID" as such.
I do find the comments about killing the biology professor on here very disturbing
These comments were made if the context of equally (or more) vile things said by this biology professor in the past on other blogs and in other contexts. You are apparently new to this debate. Let me summarize by saying that years of experiences has revealed that many Darwinists say vile and vicious things in their attacks on ID supporters. Please see the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed where the very biology professor we are talking about makes an appearance to get just a small taste of the hatefulness coming from the other side. But this movie only scratches the surface. See also the website for Slaughter of the Dissidents for a more complete history of how people who oppose Darwinism get treated by those who support it. It can get extremely nasty. The post you refer to must be understood in that context. Emotions can run high, even on the ID side. If you expect all of us on the ID side to be saints, you will be disappointed. EndoplasmicMessenger
I am confused about this post.. I agree that it is absurd to teach that time and chance have resulted in all the various life we see around us today. I just wonder though, do the schools not teach natural selection? Evolution is an old theory, but surely the competition and inheritance aspect of natural selection is more important than the chance, and it's what most scientists push. Do the schools refuse to offer the point of view of an Intelligent Designer as well as explanations of natural selection?? It seems so disingenuous to not include that part. It is clear that an intelligent designer must have created the mechanisms of life also, and ridiculous to propose that thing just "evolve" by themselves. I am not sure if the post is missing the point intentionally.. I must say, I do find the comments about killing the biology professor on here very disturbing. It's no secret that some people are insane and with no hope may take others lives, but I don't really see why it was relevant to include that in the commentary about this drama. We are all aware that suicide-terrorism can happen in the name of religion sometimes (and in some religions in particular), but I don't see the point of making public reminders of this any time there is a disagreement or discussion over science or popular culture. Very bad taste.. and I am still mystified as to the motivation behind the comment. maria celeste
Yes, we Catholics believe the consecrated host is the real and actual Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Of course, there are scriptural reasons for this belief. But occasionally, God gives us a sign to confirm our belief. Just do a Google search on Eucharistic Miracles to get an idea of the full range of Eucharistic Miracles that have occurred throughout the history of the Church. Its no wonder that Catholics take this so seriously! EndoplasmicMessenger
PS: Something strange just happened. I started by noting that Dave's remarks were ironic, and that I think some remarks just made to Mr Dart are appropriate to excerpt here. Some formatting too seems to have been lost, butchering the format. Sorry on teh result - it sure didn't show up in preview! kairosfocus
Dave: Re: "Evolution by time and chance is as well tested as gravity for Pete’s sake. How long does take to convince a kid that when he throws a baseball into the air gravity will pull it back to earth? . . ." While I recognise the heavily ironic tone in the just cited, I think it appropriate to call attention to remarks I just made in some notes on a comment by a certain Mr Dart, by way of a footnote to the John Kwok thread, in the context of Denyse's recent quote from Prof Provine on the implications of and likely inferences from evoltuionary materialist thought, which is often presented as unquestionable "science":
. . . There is no intelligent design in the natural world. When mammals die, they are really and truly dead. No ultimate foundations for ethics exist, no ultimate meaning in life exists, and free will is merely a human myth. These are all conclusions to which Darwin came quite clearly. (Stanford University, April 30, 1994) [Cf my response on points in the July 7 Provine cite thread, here and here]
Now, that immediately puts a very different spin on the exchange you are having with the folks over at ATBC, in which they are climbing up on a moral high horse to accuse you of incitement to violence. Your accusers first need to justify "thou shalt not kill [i.e. murder]" on an evolutionary materialist basis, and in so doing they must address fully, frankly and fairly, the track record of evolutionism- influenced regimes over the past 100 years that has led to the situation where over 100 millions have been slaugheterd and something like half of all regimes led by atheists have had mass slaughters at or in excess of 20,000 lives. (This tellingly contrasts with the actual historical track record of the average established church regime in Christendom in the 1,000+ years from about 400 AD to 1700 or so AD. INCLUDING the notorious Spanish Inquisition, at its historically warranted -- as opposed to the mythically exaggerated -- death toll. And, INCLUDING the slaughter of the Protestants of France at the behest of Catherine de Medici, of that notoriously ruthless ilk. [Onlookers may want to glance at the recent popular level work by Mr Day for some interesting documentation on this topic.]) However, that is in effect an incidental -- though rhetorically significant -- point. On the actual main point in this thread, it is worth excerpting some of my response to Mr Dart, here in this live thread:
3 –> . . . what is the moral status of the side that wishes to use its power in the media, courts and education establishment to suppress discussion of the serious issues, concerns and critiques surrounding Darwinian theory? 4 –> Is not the suppression of one side of a significant issue with material consequences, “indoctrination not education”? (Newbies, cf. my always linked LH col, through my handle, for a 101 level look at some of the challenges and issues that need to be discussed in the HS and College classroom, but mostly are not. Then, ask yourselves, why . . .) 5 — > For, ideas oosmological then chemical evolution spontaneously giving rise to life, macro-level evolution spontaneously originating major body plans, and such evolution giving rise to the credibility of the mind and conscience of man are plainly far less supported than Newtonian Dynamics and especially the associated Universal Law of Gravitation. 6 –> And, that is in full knowledge that st-Einstein and post-Planck et al, there are quite significant modifications to the Newtonian Picture of the world! 7 –> In short, ere is far, far, far less basis for teaching NDT et al as “classical biology”n there is for so teaching Newtonian physics. And, when we teach classical physics, it is always in the context that there is a modern physics too. 8 –> Moreover, that is in a context where, ESPECIALLY, GIVEN REMARKS SUCH AS ABOVE FROM PROF PROVINE ON THE WORLDVIEW LEVEL ASSOCIATIONS AND PROBABLE INFERENCES FROM DARWINIAN THEORY, STARTING WITH DARWIN HIMSELF, e evolutionary materialist view of origins has far more serious personal, societal and spiritual consequences than classical physics. (And, there are a lot of parallel inferences, assertions and remarks by a lot of others of similar stature over the past 150 years; with an associated history of over 100 millions slaughtered by Governments influenced by and using darwinist and derived or associated arguments to rationalise mass murder.) [Not to mention, a certain ongoing Abortion holocaust . . . ?] 9 –> In that light, then, st who is suppressing truth that is known or should be known, and just who is substituting a convenient, amoral agenda-serving myth; all in the name of truth, science and education? [Mr Dart's accusation against Dr Dembski et al was that they are "l[ying] to children" in the recent book, Understanding Intelligent Design."]
"There is something rotten in the state of Denmark . . ." GEM of TKI kairosfocus
doby why is the clause about religion needed? Because two federal district judges have declared by judicial fiat that any criticism of evolution in a public school amounts to a violation of the establishment clause. The LA lege is using legislative fiat to declare that criticism of evolution in and of itself is sound pedagogy and that the statute in no way authorizes introducing religious creation stories (read Genesis) into the classroom. DaveScot
Another wonderful thought on ATBC regarding conscience: You know, Dave, we can postulate the existence of something when we evidence of its effects. Ah, I see. So when physicists point out that the parameters which make our universe even possible to exist are so fine tuned as to defy explanation that's not an effect of design but just an effect of there being 10^500 possible "pocket universes" in a huge meta-verse and with that many universes out there one just happened to be suitable for life. No stretch of the imagination there. And when we see an intricate machine like the ribosome that manufactures complex protein parts that self-assemble into many other machines and communication channels, and when the machine that makes the protein parts is driven by instructions stored in a highly optimized abstract digital code that's not an effect of a designer but just an illusion of design. And when you experience your "conscience" you think that's just the effect of the dance of atoms in your brain but when someone else experiences their conscience and think it's the effect of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that's just a silly superstition. No double standards here, right? DaveScot
Back to the Louisiana Bill, so if the issue is that teachers need to be protected because they are teaching the strengths and weaknesses of a scientific theory, then why is the clause about religion needed? DobyGS
Russ Plenty of murders happen that way. Killer takes out the victim(s) then uses the last bullet on himself. You're quite right about the worldview. If there's no possibility of being held accountable for your actions in life after you're dead then there's nothing to stop you from doing anything you want as long as you know you won't be punished for it while you're alive. Given the large and growing number of people who don't believe in accountability after death I often wonder why there aren't a lot more murder/suicides. What's stopping them? DaveScot
Oh I don’t know. If someone convinces themself that Myers is an enemy or a threat of some sort then they’re just acting in the role of a police officer or soldier. Never underestimate the power of rationalization.
A friend of mine who scoffs at both ID and religion has stated to me in the past that he would have no compunction about doing just what you said (although PZ was not the target). Though not a man of science, he thinks like PZ and understands that if PZ's worldview is correct, then offing your enemy in the last moments of life is permissible. How could it be otherwise? russ
FtK The University of Minnesota obviously approves of Myers' conduct. It's not like no alumni or others have written them to complain. Since they've been made aware and have taken no action the administration must approve. People are now beginning to write to the Minnesota legislature to see if they believe the university is reflecting the values the state wishes to project to the rest of the nation. DaveScot
FtK - In college, and especially graduate school, the student/professor relationship is more on the level of colleagues rather than an authoritarian one, although there is some authoritarianism. johnnyb
You know, I don't see a disclaimer on PZ's blog anywhere stating that his views are his alone and not those of the University of MN. Maybe I've just overlooked it. He has also asked some of his students to guest blog in the past which seems extremely unprofessional considering that the vast majority of his posts are anti-religious rants rather than being related to science. Something just seems wrong about that. FtK
It’s just a matter of time before someone with a terminal disease, a month left to live, decides he hasn’t got anything to lose by taking out Myers along with him.
If I had a month to live, I am not sure I would want to play Russian roulette with the Sixth Commandment, Dave. Would you? specs
Not to drag this discussion further off-topic, but check out PZ's "defense" (such as it is): "notice how they repeat that you can access my post from my faculty page, nicely avoiding the fact that the post they find so offensive is not hosted on any university server" Like that would make any difference to neo-atheists like PZ if this were a Christian professor doing something that neo-atheists were to find offensive. PZ and his merry band of lackwits would be doing the exact same thing Catholics are doing now. jinxmchue
FtK, wow. Shocking, but not surprising from PeaHead PeeZed. While I'm a Protestant who doesn't personally agree with the Catholic beliefs regarding communion, I would never mock, ridicule, blaspheme or otherwise offend Catholics' religious practices the way PZ intends (or any other way). The University of Minnesota should be embarrassed by his behavior. Wonder how far PZ will go before the University takes action. Will they ever take action? jinxmchue
With every other scientific theory, teachers can teach the problems, shortcomings, controversies, etc. without a problem. No one accuses the teachers, school administrators or people who support the teaching of those things of being "anti-science." So why does that only happen with the theory of evolution? (Rhetorical question since we all know why.) jinxmchue
Righto, Dave! This stuff is really, really important. Like, if our kids don't understand how dinos became birds, they'll never be able to hold a job!!! *eyes rolling so hard they're getting stuck in the back of my head* Side note, dude: Have you heard what PZ, the -all for tolerance- professor at the University of MN, has been up to? Egads! FtK

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