Texas: From saved to doomed in just 6 hours!

By Phil Plait | March 26, 2009 4:23 pm

Well, that was fast.

Texas Board of Education creationist Barbara Cargill today proposed an amendment to the science standards saying that teachers have to tell their students there are different estimates for the age of the Universe. This is not even a veiled attempt to attack the Big Bang model of the Universe, which clearly, and through multiple lines of evidence, indicates the Universe is 13.7 +/- 0.12 billion years old.

So Ms. Cargill is right, if she means that "different estimates" range from 13.58 to 13.82 (given one standard deviation) billion years old.

But she doesn’t mean that at all, does she? If you read her website, you’ll see she’s an out-and-out creationist. She has a large number of, um, factual errors on her site that are clearly right out of the Creationist Obscurational Handbook.

Anyway, her antiscience amendment passed 11 – 3.

So tomorrow that will go to the final vote on whether it will be added to the standards or not. With such a majority voting to pass it along, it looks like it will pass, and Texas students will get their chance to learn that the Universe is 6000 years old, and when they try to get a job or do anything later in life, they will be routinely laughed at.

That’s great, Texas! Keep on keepin’ on.

So I rescind my earlier post, and tentatively (until the final vote tomorrow) submit:

Texas: still probably Doomed

Comments (220)

  1. Now I’ve heard it all… Does Texas just pass any old rubbish these days? Thanks for the update Phil. This is very worrying :(

  2. Stark

    *BLEEP*

    S’all I can say.

  3. J_w23

    Only in [stripe]America[/stripe] Texas, woohoo.

  4. J_w23

    Damn I’m lame with HTML

  5. She might have had a point if she was including believers in the oscillating universe but I doubt the thought ever occurred to her.

  6. on my FSM handbook, the exact number of PI is always of by 10% depending on the tip you give the italian who serves your table…

  7. Hi, anybody? Anybody? Yeah, right here in the back…

    I was just wondering why a third rate biology teacher who doesn’t know biology gets to mandate the agenda for teaching it to an entire state. Out of the many touted “700+ reputable scientists” who signed some anti-evolution petition, I’ve never seen a list of all the names and I haven’t seen a single biologist mentioned in connection with that petition. Wouldn’t you think that on questions of biology one would consult… oh I don’t know… a biologist or two? And Behe is not a biologist. He’s a biochemist who somehow obtained a PhD in a field which he seems to know an awful little.

    It’s one thing to question and debate the finer points of evolution. But it’s something else to assault it with pseudoscience, meaningless technobabble and reductionist thinking which makes no sense in the context of the conversation. And all this is done because creationism is basically just a safety blanket for people who want to think they’re special and don’t want to hear otherwise.

    shameless self-plug on the subject: http://worldofweirdthings.com/2009/03/22/oh-wait-youre-serious/

  8. Oh dear, I guess “Dont mess with Texas” will have a whole new meaning

  9. How about we vote on whether Creationists are entitled to benefit from the godless science they hate so much:

    - No more antibiotics besides penicillin. Micro-evolution means you’ve got a Superbug? Then you’d better start praying.

    - No more GPS. Depends on relativity, and we all know God’s will is absolute. Maybe Mary can tell the auto-club how to find you and your flat tire in that blizzard.

    -Scratch the one above. No more driving, period. Oil and gas deposits are found by geologists who assume the principle of uniformitarianism, a clear affront to Family Values. It’s unfortunate, but Flood Geology is about as useful as a priest at a…well, as a priest when it comes to locating oil. But who knows? Maybe your SUV is Jesus fish-powered after all.

    I give ‘em five years living like the Amish but without a shred of the integrity, and they’ll be clamoring to canonise Darwin, the weak, cowardly morons.

  10. Alan IronAISS

    “Proponents of Darwinian evolution say that the theory has no weaknesses. However 700+ reputable scientists who have signed “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” question major tenets of evolution”

    Is not just the big bang but the theory of evolution!?

    I can believe that Scientist are signed a form conducting the irrefutable theory, how can they call themselves “Scientist” when everything they see is been explained by scientist in the best methodical way to avoid any conflict between religion and science. Sheer ignorance is the worst crime in science today!!

  11. Why aren’t all the smart Texans calling for McElroy’s head yet? This is just insane. We are in the 21st century, people. Start acting like it!!!

  12. And there was something recently about The Illinois state (or was it just Chicago?) deciding whether Pluto would be a planet or a dwarf planet, wasn’t there?

  13. IVAN3MAN

    To use an American terminology: Creationists are a goddamn pain in the ass!

  14. Br. David Klecker O. Cist

    This is very unfortunate when actually evidence done through proper scientific methods is discarded for improperly rendering itself to whatever the Bible states. Again, ANYONE who reads the Bible as a history or science book is greatly misinformed. The Bible is a book of theology. It is a conglomorate of stories, events, proclaimations, poems, whathaveyou that are to provide a means to seek and learn about God. Genesis is not a book that supposedly outlines exactly what happened detail for detail, word for word. Genesis is actually very Babylonian with its references. A friend of mine stated the following, we should split the country into 3 zones, “Jesusland”, “The United States”, “Richard Dawkins Land”.

  15. McFly, I heard ND Tyson say that it was New Mexico, of all places, that wanted to make Pluto a legal planet.

  16. Davidlpf

    I like the sub title on her website “Raising a Generation of Thinkers”.

  17. MarkAH

    At least there is a chance that the students in Texas(s) can still get a good science education. Here in Washington the state wide test for graduating here, the WASL, has completely done away with the math protion of that test. That’s right the foundation for all science is no longer required to graduate in Washington.

    My state…..DOOMED :(

  18. IVAN3MAN

    @ J_w23,

    To strike a word, use these HTML tags: <strike>BLANK</strike>

  19. Davidlpf, I’m guessing “thinkers” is accented to sound like “thankers.”

  20. AG

    What Brownian said, absolutely. No more free rides! If you want the benefits and comforts of living in the modern world, you must, as the man said, set aside the pleasant poetry of Genesis. (And maybe dial down the shrill asshattery while you’re at it, Ms. Cargill.)

    Now, where do I apply for my Dawkinsland passport?

  21. @Jon Lester: Actually, it WAS Illinois that recently declared Pluto day and that withing the borders of Illinois (Tombaugh’s birth state, I believe), Pluto is to be treated as a planet. Phil had a post on this not too long ago: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/03/05/illinois-plutocrats/

  22. Towlie

    “One standard deviation” should be “one standard error”.

  23. NotACat

    Makes you wonder what reception this news is getting in the White House. I’m watching a new bulletin right now about how Obama wants to put science back on top of the political agenda.

  24. NotACat, you just know some folks will point to the idea of national educational standards as proof that some radical agenda is being imposed upon them.

  25. Brian

    That’s it. No more paying attention to news from Texas for me until this is over. I feeling like a fracking yoyo.

    *fist shake*

  26. Bennihana123

    My cousin just had a child in Texas… I hope this doesn’t last long.

  27. Jon (may I call you Jon? I’m not american, so I never know how sensitive one might be), I’ve this
    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/default.asp

    Then click on:
    > Senate – Resolutions
    > 0001 – 0100
    and then SR0046.

    You’ll see this, under full text:

    ” WHEREAS, Many respected astronomers believe Pluto’s full
    4 planetary status should be restored; therefore, be it

    5 RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE NINETY-SIXTH GENERAL
    6 ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that as Pluto passes
    7 overhead through Illinois’ night skies, that it be
    8 reestablished with full planetary status, and that March 13,
    9 2009 be declared “Pluto Day” in the State of Illinois in honor
    10 of the date its discovery was announced in 1930.”

    There you go.

  28. James

    When I teach astronomy next year and we discuss age of the universe, I am going to be sure to send her a letter saying that I “discussed the various ages of the universe”. I will then tell her that 6000 years never entered into the picture, and if she doesn’t like it, she needs to fire me. I dare her to. I would love the 15 minute of fame and the tour on the talk shows, and the chance to show the rest of the country what idiots Texans can be.

    Total moron.

  29. Brando

    Did anyone notice on her site that it says “Raising a Generation of Thinkers”? WTF, over?

  30. Atta be James.

    I hope this never migrates to Canada, but by the looks of our possibly creationist science minister it’s already too late for us.

    “To use an American terminology: Creationists are a goddamn pain in the ass!”
    -And for the Canadians out there: “Creationists are a goddamn pain in the ass, eh?”

  31. freelancer

    Her website also has her biography, where she lists a BS in Science Education, and her career as a SCIENCE TEACHER!
    The mind reels. Is Texas Women’s University now to be considered a diploma mill?

  32. ccpetersen

    In the future, if you go to a doctor who claims to have been educated in Texas, you should think very hard about whether you want this person to treat you,or your family members. Same goes for teachers. Or lawyers. If they’ve been slighted on their science education, what else have they NOT learned? It could be the difference between life and death.

    And make it very clear to him or her that Texas’s “standards” for science education make it tough to know if any of their students would actually qualified for any jobs you are handing out.

    As for the legislator who brought up this latest asshattery, her subtitle is supposed to read “Raising a Generation of Stinkers.”

  33. Scott Belyea

    “Texas students will get their chance to learn that the Universe is 6000 years old, and when they try to get a job or do anything later in life, they will be routinely laughed at.”

    Oh, get a grip!

    I completely agree on the absurdity of the situation in Texas, but your ridiculous overstatement of the effects doesn’t help anyone. What % of students in Texas (or anywhere) will “try to get a job or do anything later in life” where the age of the universe will come up in the job interview? A damned small percentage, I suggest.

    You’re just undercutting the cause of good science teaching with this sort of silliness.

  34. Bill

    @DavidLPF:
    I like the sub title on her website “Raising^b^b^b^b^b^b^b Stifling a Generation of Thinkers”.

    There ya go. Fixed that for her.

  35. Brian

    There is a difference between theory and fact.

    The average evolutionist would have us believe that all TRUE scientists accept Darwin’s theory as fact. Sir John Huxley, grandson of Thomas Huxley, wrote the following in 1959:

    “The point to make about Darwin’s theory of evolution is that it is no longer a theory, but a fact. No serious scientist would deny the fact that evolution has occurred, just as he would not deny the fact that the earth goes around the sun.” (Tax, Sol, Ed. “Evolution After Darwin,” Issues in Evolution, Chicago University Press, 1960, Vol. 3, p. 41.)

    See how the system works? A scientist cannot be recognized as a SERIOUS scientist unless he REJECTS THE BIBLE and RECEIVES EVOLUTION. Well, there have been, and still are, MANY serious scientists who do not believe in evolution. For example, Dr. Albert Fleischman, Professor of Zoology at the University of Erlangen in Germany, says, “The Darwinian theory of evolution has not a single fact to confirm it in the realm of nature. It is not the result of scientific research, but purely the product of the imagination.”

    Professor L.T. More, of the University of Chicago, says, “Unfortunately for Darwin’s future reputation, everyone of his arguments is contradicted by fact.”

    Professor A.C. Steward, from the Cambridge University, says, “A student who takes an impartial retrospect soon discovers that the fossil record raises more problems than it solves.”

    Dr. Austin Clark, F.R.G.S., of the American Geophysical Union, opposes evolution by saying, “The great groups of animal life do not merge into one another. They are and have been fixed from the beginning.”

  36. Davidlpf

    Again from St Augustine of Hippo.
    “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”

  37. Savino

    Lol… are you guys sure that Brazil is a third world?
    Here we have absolutely NO RELIGION in public school, only in (and that´s obvious) private schools!!

    We can have many problems here, but thanks to goverment, this is not one of them!

  38. Also from the loon’s website:

    A sound teaching strategy is to allow them to discuss multiple aspects of controversial subjects. For example, when evidence for universal common ancestry in the fossil record is taught (i.e. scientific strength), then the contradictory evidence showing the huge gaps of missing transitional fossils in the record must also be presented (i.e. scientific weakness).

    Aaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

    Seriously, someone needs a bulk load of Stupid-B-Gone.

  39. Wait, the amendment passed, but it still has to go to a vote? Could someone explain this to me so I can sound like I know what I’m talking about when I e-mail the board?

  40. I’m recalling that it was medieval Arab civilization that preserved classical knowledge during Europe’s dark ages, because the church sure wasn’t making any effort to do the same.

  41. Brian S.

    Sorry didn’t realize someone else with the same name. Changed it now.

    There is a difference between theory and fact.

    The average evolutionist would have us believe that all TRUE scientists accept Darwin’s theory as fact. Sir John Huxley, grandson of Thomas Huxley, wrote the following in 1959:

    “The point to make about Darwin’s theory of evolution is that it is no longer a theory, but a fact. No serious scientist would deny the fact that evolution has occurred, just as he would not deny the fact that the earth goes around the sun.” (Tax, Sol, Ed. “Evolution After Darwin,” Issues in Evolution, Chicago University Press, 1960, Vol. 3, p. 41.)

    See how the system works? A scientist cannot be recognized as a SERIOUS scientist unless he REJECTS THE BIBLE and RECEIVES EVOLUTION. Well, there have been, and still are, MANY serious scientists who do not believe in evolution. For example, Dr. Albert Fleischman, Professor of Zoology at the University of Erlangen in Germany, says, “The Darwinian theory of evolution has not a single fact to confirm it in the realm of nature. It is not the result of scientific research, but purely the product of the imagination.”

    Professor L.T. More, of the University of Chicago, says, “Unfortunately for Darwin’s future reputation, everyone of his arguments is contradicted by fact.”

    Professor A.C. Steward, from the Cambridge University, says, “A student who takes an impartial retrospect soon discovers that the fossil record raises more problems than it solves.”

    Dr. Austin Clark, F.R.G.S., of the American Geophysical Union, opposes evolution by saying, “The great groups of animal life do not merge into one another. They are and have been fixed from the beginning.”

  42. @ Jon:

    It was only the moderate Moors of Iberia. But then the fundies took over there, too, and all the Jewish and other non-Islamic free thinkers were given the boot as the Arab world became stagnant.

    Hmmmm, sounds familiar.

  43. Yes Yes John Lester!!!
    “She might have had a point if she was including believers in the oscillating universe but I doubt the thought ever occurred to her.”

    It would give her pause if she were forced to also present the Hindu cosmology!!!

    Texas not only needs to understand the difference between science and theology…but about the concept of diversity… and integrity.

  44. @Jon Lester:

    did you get the link I wrote above?

  45. Thanks, Alice. Are there any other major religions with big-number cosmologies? I just know the Hindu belief in the age of the universal cycle is at least in the billions, even if it’s off by a small multiple in that range.

    kuhnigget, isn’t it true that Columbus had an Arabic translator in his crew, to read the best existing navigational records in his time?

  46. Ethanol

    @James:

    Unfortunately, this provision is not directed at teachers like you, but rather those who have just been waiting for the go-ahead to tell students about the flood, and the accelerating speed of light, and so forth. The standards can be so seemingly non-specific and innocuous because creationists know that there are teachers just waiting to fill the gaps they provide with straight bullsh*t

    Not that it isn’t nice to have some good teachers though…

  47. Looks like Texas is taking cues from our “science” minister. Sigh.

  48. Mang

    Jeez Phil, I saw your headline and thought it was an incoming asteroid.

  49. Ethanol

    @Kimbo Jones

    I hate to brag on a point like this, but Texas was way ahead of y’all on this one

  50. Do creationists realize how much of science they have to deny to claim the universe is only 6000 years old? If we took out everything that didn’t contradict it, could we even call it science?

  51. mk

    Texas students will get their chance to learn that the Universe is 6000 years old, and when they try to get a job or do anything later in life, they will be routinely laughed at.

    I agree with Scott (above) that this is not necessarily true… but for different reasons. They will not be laughed at, at least not very often, because far too many Americans–especially in Texas–are in agreement with the creationists.

  52. rumleech

    Bllody Nora! They won’t be happy ’til the stars and planets are back on their crystal spheres and the Sun does its real job of orbiting the Earth. It just makes me so sad.

  53. rumleech

    I’m so annoyed I can’t even swear properly. I meant to write “Bloody”.

  54. McFly, if you’re talking about the Portugese page linked to your name, yes, I bookmarked it so I can read it carefully later. I want to see how much I can understand before I resort to machine translation :)

    One more aside: there are quite a few Christians who believe that , in Genesis 1:2, the intended Hebraic verb we read as “was” is closer to “became,” suggesting that there was a very long, previous Earth age in which the whole mythology of the Overthrow was played out, after which the children of God, originally created as spiritual beings, were to be “born innocent of woman,” which is to say in corporeal form, so that they may live a new life in which they will ultimately choose who they love, and from there you can go any way you want with your interpretations. I’m sure there are many thinking persons of faith who would logically conclude that our maker would expect us to make full use of our faculties and resources to arrive at the truth of all things, the very mission of science.

  55. Daniel J. Andrews

    Nuts. Well, just give a history of the ages of the universe and show how as science advanced the age got older due to our better understanding. Then at the end of that history lesson of discovery, you could casually mention “…and some think it is 6,000 years old….” and then giggle hysterically for a few seconds before moving on. Actually, you wouldn’t even need to mention 6,000 at all. You’d have already met the letter of the law.

    Incidentally, did you know that some medieval Kabbalahistic interpretations of the creation story in Genesis place the age of the universe around 15 billion years? Rather ingenious how they came up with that number using a variety of verses like a thousand years is as a day in your sight coupled with cycles. If I wanted to know what Genesis was all about I’d ask the scholars of the culture who actually wrote the book in the first place, not someone who interprets history through backward revisionism and western culture.

  56. Remember in the 80′s when the Flat Earth Society actually had enough member resources to book an experiment for a Space Shuttle mission?

    Seriously, these young-Earth Dominionists and their counterparts in other cultures have clearly made some deliberate efforts over a long period of time to completely disenfranchise such thoughtful movements as the Kaballah and Sufi.

  57. @ Jon Lester:

    I’ve seen that claim about Columbus’ navigator before, but so far as I know it’s not a widely held belief among historians. There are also numerous claims that Arabs, Malians, and others sailed across the Atlantic before Columbus, but I’ve never read anything about any non-speculative evidence supporting those claims.

  58. Thanks, kuhnigget.

    I tell you what, if there’s one hobby I can recommend to young people for the sake of building their skills of critical thinking and recognizing bad attribution and the stubbornness people can have in challenging their convictions, it’s studying the whole UFO/paranormal culture, from the obvious frauds to the thankless debunking by Phil Klass and other responsible writers. It’s a real education on many levels, and after a while, you start to recognize that even if there is something to “disclose,” the truth will disappoint and agitate a whole spectrum of factional beliefs, and no less within the community of “believers” itself.

  59. Richard

    It seems like the one thing that these peculiar Christians (meaning, the small, yet, vocal minority of the Christian religion) want to remove one of the main tenets of science and of reason. It consists of three little words: “I don’t know.”

    That is the answer that spurs a million questions. It’s the questions that give to us knowledge of the world around us. It’s the questioning that allows us to better understand how the universe works.

    Once you delete that phrase and instead say, “[Deity of choice] did it!” then those questions cannot be born. Without the questions, human curiosity withers and knowledge putrefies.

    I don’t think that the majority of Christians believe the literal interpretation of the Bible. In my conversations, the worst criticisms of Christian fundamentalists are from other Christians. These are the Christians who get embarrassed by the likes of the fanatical fundamentalists. Only they can mitigate the damage that is about to occur.

    Evolution is so far the only viable biological process that explains the variety of species and the myriad differences within species. Period. If it is wrong, then we do not know what in fact life is because there are no viable alternatives. Simply saying “it was made by something we don’t know about” means nothing. Strictly, something or someone that is unknowable is outside the realm of the knowable. (It sounds redundant, but it’s true.) That which can never be known is therefore useless in science.

    Hence, the “Intelligent Designer” for whom nothing is known, and whom nothing can be known, is a useless concept. We can know about the natural world because we can observe it, test it, make predictions of it, and gain knowledge from it. Biological forms are part of the natural world and therefore explainable through science. Entities that can only be explained via supernaturally revealed truths are outside the realm of science and are as good as non-existent.

    “I don’t know” is the only real answer science can offer. But that answer has given us the millions of questions that led to the knowledge that we have today. These certain fundamentalists squirm at that answer and are eager to shutter it away.

    When America ignores that most humble of answers, we will walk down the dark, depraved path of ignorance and superstition. We will lose our esteemed place in civilization.

    We will fall backwards.

  60. chief

    Well.. How about taking some white out to that lovely diploma on her wall and editing the big BS to the other (and proper for her credentials) meaning of BS eh.

  61. @ Jon Lester:

    if there’s one hobby I can recommend to young people for the sake of building their skills of critical thinking and recognizing bad attribution and the stubbornness people can have in challenging their convictions, it’s studying the whole UFO/paranormal culture

    Oh, stick around, Jon, stick around….

  62. MartinM

    Well, there have been, and still are, MANY serious scientists who do not believe in evolution. For example, Dr. Albert Fleischman…

    Died 1942.

    Professor L.T. More…

    Physicist. Died 1944.

    Professor A.C. Steward…

    Seward. Died 1941.

    Dr. Austin Clark…

    Died 1954.

  63. @Jon Lester

    Nope! I was talking about the comment I made here,
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/03/26/texas-from-saved-to-doomed-in-just-6-hours/#comment-167740

    That link you talked about is my blog! Lol

  64. carl

    It’s common for YEC to enlist dead scientists as proponents. At least these guys lived *after* Charles Darwin.

  65. OK, McFly, I had recently seen N.D. Tyson on C-SPAN’s “Book TV,” in a replay of a session he did last month for his book, The Pluto Files. Somehow I missed news of similar efforts by Illinois.

    I meant what I said: I have more than one reason to improve my Portugese :)

  66. ccpetersen

    MartinM:

    nice try, but evolution is not a belief system. Perhaps scientists disagree with part or all of it, but I seriously doubt they worship it (which is what ‘believe in” means).

    Don’t try conflating opinion, belief and fact — they aren’t the same.

  67. If you ever need help on it, let me know. I know a bit of Portuguese… and I guess by now you know how to reach me.

    See ya!

  68. Shalamar

    Brian S.

    You are wrong. It is no longer Darwins Theory of Evolution. It is the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.

    Evolution is a fact. Creatures change over time. The THEORY of evolution is the explanation as to how the process occurs.

    http://www.notjustatheory.com/index.html is a good place to read up on how Scientific Theories work.

    And Evolution says nothing on God or the Bible or the like. One does not have to reject the bible to accept the evidence supporting the Theory of Evolution. There is a mountain of Evidence supporting the theory and the fact of evolution. There is no evidence what so ever supporting either creationism or ID.

  69. Flawedprefect

    I suddenly heard Billy Bob Thornton utter the words “It’s what we call a Global Killer, sir. It’s the size of Texas”.

    I don’t wanna close my eyes, I certainly don’t wanna fall asleep…

  70. rigger151

    After all of that trouble wresting Texas away from the Mexicans they want to act like this. We should have just left them.

  71. praxedis

    I don’t speak for all Texans, but then again, nobody in Texas does.

    Don’t believe the hype. There are normal people in Texas.

  72. TheBlackCat

    @ Flawedprefect: We don’t talk about that movie here (I dare not say its name). Even alluding to it will bring down the wrath of the entire blog upon you.

  73. Paul Claessen

    and Texas students will get their chance to learn that the Universe is 6000 years old, and when they try to get a job or do anything later in life, they will be routinely laughed at.

    That would be bad, but the truth is way more sinister:
    Since the number of creationists is growing fast (especially in Texas!) it may soon be that it’s the people who KNOW the approximate age of the universe who will get laughed at and won’t be able to find a job.
    The ignorant aren’t always the ones that are laughed at. There have been times that it were the ignorant who burned the ones-in-the-know at the stake. And since history is clearly repeating itself, I’m more concerned about deeper consequences of all this, then just miseducated kids being laughed at. There’s a LOT MORE at stake (absolutley no pun intended) here!

  74. Paul Claessen

    “then just miseducated” = “than just miseducated” (I’m not THAT miseducated!)

  75. MartinM

    MartinM:

    nice try, but evolution is not a belief system. Perhaps scientists disagree with part or all of it, but I seriously doubt they worship it (which is what ‘believe in” means).

    Don’t try conflating opinion, belief and fact — they aren’t the same.

    I’ll assume you intended to direct that to Brian S.

  76. Bob

    Hey – Look at the bright side. Our children and grandchildren, who have been educated in science in states that teach real science, should have little trouble competing against those who get theirs watered down with such mush. The thought that we need to offer creationism as an alternative to current cosmological findings to maintain a balanced viewpoint is laughable. Remember that when you through out the concept of evolution you discard all of Geology, much of Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy, and Physics. Seems like quite a stretch to me.

    - A former math and science teacher – and a devout Christian

  77. LukeL

    Best way to get rid of all these issues is to require ALL HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS to hold at least a BS or BA degree in the subject they teach, For the science department it could be any science degree. This would be much more useful then a degree in education as that is practically useless.

    I would love to teach science at a highschool level and am a devote Christian who could easily leave my faith at home, I have been able to accept everything I have been taught even if I don’t totally believe every part of it.

    Many would say it is impossible to teach something you don’t believe in, but I disagree. Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Mendel, Pasteur, and Kelvin all held some Christian faith and have all been pioneers in their scientific field.

  78. mherr170

    I have briefly over-viewed Barbara’s site and have seen many statements aimed to discredit evolution. I’ve also noticed that her website offers no reasonable alternative to evolution that she is trying to teach. Of course, if taking the Bible literally is her alternative idea, why doesn’t she directly state this on her website? I only see bashes against evolution, no proposal of anything better, and even no mention of the nonsense of what I generally assume she is trying to push. (Biblical literalism). Am I missing something??

  79. Shameful dastardly act and that too in a country with high standards of living and thinking !

  80. DLC

    I wonder if any teachers in Texas would have the chutzpah to give a lecture stating the known information on the age of the universe and how that figure was arrived at, and then “teach the alternative” as follows: “and some blithering idiots want to believe that the cosmos is only about 6000 years old and was created by a deity the existence of which science cannot prove.”
    I have little doubt that they would be summarily fired.

  81. Richard

    @Bob Says:
    I would agree with you, unfortunately since Texas is a large state with and equally large student population the textbook publishers will market towards Texas education. Therefore, if Texas says “State curriculum mandates that we include the weakness of Evolutions/needs to include Intelligent design” then the publishers will follow that mandate.

    Those curricula in the better educated states will have to look far and wide for textbooks that don’t include such ID rubbish.

    That is what Phil is bristling at: had this been Rhode Island or Wyoming, this would not be a dire circumstance. This is Texas with a Texas-size education issue. If this is allowed to stand then science education in the US is at risk across the board.

    Have you not realized that this had been their agenda all this time?

  82. Richard

    (Disregard the “Says” after “Bob,” since what follows is what I wrote. Please.)

  83. David

    The reason that this is a nationwide problem is that Texas is such a large market for textbook publication that now the available textbooks will probably include information regarding the new standards Texas requires for its schools. This is why Texas creationists are a particularly big pain in the ass.

  84. Katie

    This makes me ashamed to be from Texas.

  85. Josh

    Texas Education=Fail

    I bet even the good Lord is ringing his knuckles waiting for these completely mislead individuals to arrive on his doorstep. How many terrible people have used Christianity as a tool to further their perverted and polluted desires? I will continue to pray for the people who can’t even read the Bible and understand that Christ’s message was to think outside of the box and for yourself, Jesus was all about going against the grain of society. Christians today are supposed to be following a revolutionary societal scholar and instead are following idiots who derive history from scripture and parable.

    Just my two $

  86. Toby

    I read the linked article by this lady.
    I don’t know too much about this event, but the lady in the linked website only states that evolutions weakness should also be taught. She doesn’t mention it being replaced with Creationist theories, unless theres something I missed.

    There are in fact a few flaws in the evolution theory, but i don’t think it’s a big deal for students, and these flaws lay in the finer details which should not concern students still in highschool. If they wish to study evolution as a profession or whatever then they can learn about these flaws elsewhere.

    You may be right that this is a push to have Creationist ideas slipped in there, in which case i would strongly oppose.
    But if this is only a push to have more balanced information on evolution within schools then I don’t oppose.

    But why target evolution? There are many many many other areas in which there could be alternative arguments made, especially within ancient history and even modern history.

    Evolution is probably targeted because it is in fact a push for Creationist ideas to be slipped into the classrooms.

  87. Bobafet

    Let’s face it Texas did a good thing here. If you *actually* listen to the submissions you will come to the same conclusion. The fact is the most of the posts here reflect a total intolerance to *any* criticism. If you hold a particular view and you are convinced that it’s correct then you should have the same confidence that it will be able to speak for itself. Just because you don’t *like* YEC doesn’t make it evil or wrong. Let’s face it most of the pioneers in science were Creationists. I can imagine Kepler trying to post here, only to be shouted down as a idiot.

  88. Please do not equate the Illinois Pluto resolution with this nonsense. The Pluto issue is one on which astronomers are still divided, and the matter at stake is interpretation of the facts rather than the facts themselves. Both views about its planet status are legitimate. And the Illinois resolution is not a law–as a resolution, it is non-binding, meaning it simply states the view of the legislature at the time. There is no mandate to teach anything differently. However, the best education on Pluto’s planet status is one that teaches the controversy rather than attempts to impose just one view as reality.

  89. Daiichi

    I read her website and really, I’m surprised at you anti-creationists. Her website is really clear that what she is promoting is the allowance for students to _question_ evolution. And dammit, since evolution is still just a theory (not a law), then why don’t you want anyone to question it?! Are you so afraid that it won’t stand up to scrutiny? I have to wonder why you “scientific” minds are so adamant in preventing people from questioning a theory–almost a basic premise of the “scientific method” that you all want to slap creationists in the face with. You so-called “scientists” should be ashamed of yourselves.

    I, for one, believe that evolution and adaptation of species can stand up to scrutiny–so if the state of Texas decides to open up students to question evolution, I applaud it. Perhaps the result of this is that some ancillary questions get answered by some future TRUE scientists: what is reality? what is the governing basis of “chance”? Why haven’t we found evidence refuting the Fermi-Hart paradox?

    I think it is a philosophical truism that those who know the truth are never afraid of scrutiny. All you so-called “scientists” fail in that respect.

  90. Chris

    [EXPLETIVE DELETED]

  91. Allison

    Not ALL of us Texans believe in that rubbish. Luckily I graduated high school before all of this, but even then I didn’t get much out of science since most of my ‘science teachers’ were actually coaches forced into teaching other subjects so they didn’t have to pay as many people. My biology teacher was getting her credential AS she taught us…

    Anyway, living in Texas for over 10 years this doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s a whole lot of Bible country. Lucky in university there’s more freedom…

  92. This is scary. And baffling. Why are these people so delusional? What is it that they need to hold on to? It makes no sense!

  93. As a senior in high school in Texas I have a question or two about this. Like, why is this an issue now? Why is it that I’ve gone my entire education thus far and never once heard any teacher tell me that evolution isn’t real or that the big bang theory can’t be proven, etc.? I’ve been told my whole life that this is how it is and it makes since, we have evidence that this stuff is right, and that want to change all of that? No wonder Texas is becoming a laughing stock!

    Why do they want to teach an idea that has very clear evidence to be true, and then augment it with an idea that is easily disproved?

    There was once when I lived in Waco (Whacko?) when the teacher was talking about the Big Bang and a student said “I thought all that was created by God?” She did the right thing, I think, in just saying that that is the student’s belief and he has the right to believe that if he chooses , but the curriculum says to teach the Big Bang, not religious ideas.

    Sure, I’ve heard teachers say a thing or two about their own beliefs, but they never let that get in the way of teaching what the curriculum says. And that is that we evolved from lesser organisms, the universe began with the Big Bang, etc.. So if the curriculum says it’s okay to say these things, who the hell knows the consequences?!

    And dammit why does this have to be my home state!? Texas is so well known already for so many negative things and you never see any of the good things going on here. I live in Austin, which is a technological mecca! Dell, Microsoft, Sony, Panasonic, and several other companies associated with technology all have facilities here that they use for R&D and other business. And yet despite that, when I tell someone I’m from Texas all kinds of negative images might pop in their head. (I’ve especially noticed this in New Yorkers, what’s up with that?)

    Anyway, I could probably go on about why this upsets me, but I just wanted to put in my two cents. That’s kind of the quick view from a proud Texan who has long believed in science and who is inspired by the works of Darwin and Einstein and just about every astronomer since Copernicus.

  94. Skyh

    Unless I’m mistaken, it doesn’t sound as though she actually submitted an amendment to force teachers to tell students that the Universe could be 6000 years old. I understand it may seem that way from the person submitting it, but we don’t have to immediately judge..

    Granted, it is a silly specific thing to mention when there isn’t exactly a lot of controversy right now about the exact age of the universe.

  95. Richard

    @Laurel Kornfeld

    Also, the population of students in Illinois is nowhere near as great as that of Texas. Illinois textbooks will more than likely resemble or be identical to that of Texas textbooks.

  96. sneaker98

    @Laurel Kornfeld: I disagree. I took a gander at your live journal’s User Profile page, and, no offense intended, I’m not seeing a whole lot of Science background.

    Here’s the thing. You list “Political Activism” as one of your interests, which is certainly great in its own right – however, it is heavily weighed in opinion. You *believe* things should be a certain way, or that one party would be better to lead than the others. These are based on opinion, not cold-hearted scientific fact.

    You’ll have to excuse me for making this presumption, but this falls in line with your other interests: acting, spirituality, etc. All of them based on emotion, and not on fact.

    Now, I’m not sure why you have such an interest in Pluto, or astronomy in general. Perhaps it appeals to your artistic nature. But, it is clear that you wish to have Pluto reinstated as a planet based purely on the notion that you *want* it to be a planet. This has nothing to do with Science or fact-based reasoning, and everything to do with emotion.

    Professional astronomers are not particularly divided on the status of Pluto, especially when we discover more and more of these Pluto-like objects. It’s the common man, the “amateur” so to speak, that has trouble accepting this change.

  97. The good news is that such blatantly implausible notions as a 6,000-year-old earth are likely to gain absolutely no traction in science teaching even in Texas.

  98. Retrogarde
  99. Limbic

    Those that try to debase evolution by posting a laundry list of scientists who didn’t support evolution are using petty means and very weak rhetoric. It’s difficult to know the context in which these scientists were speaking, but this rarely matters to those who use this argument.

    I’d presume that many of those scientist’s contentions were probably with some technical aspect or approach of the theory and not whole edifice; but, then again, that is just speculation on my part. I guess it’s just hard for me to believe that any scientist (at least those who didn’t get his/her education from a diploma mill or faith-based school) would have such a sweeping disregard for something so integral to the entire edifice of science.

    I also have a bone to pick with those who see science and religion as antithetical. This only happens if one takes religious stories at their literal word or tries to push science beyond the boundaries of its ontology (usually naturalistic materialism). These are two disparate fields shouldn’t be discussed in the same way. Religion has no business in the science classroom; a dissertation on cosmic radiation probably should be left out of a Sunday sermon on ethics.

    Either way, though luck Texas. I hope your science teachers ignore this malarkey.

  100. Judging by Cargill’s homepage, she’s already gone all out for using the scientific method – and students’ questioning – as a way of arguing her case. She’s clearly on the defensive already. Teaching error bars is really great, take her at her word on that.

  101. Limbic

    Please excuse some of the poor wording and bad grammer above; that’ll teach me to not proofread.

  102. Ryan

    You guys act as if anyone with any intelligence accepts the big bang and evolution. This is simply ludicrous. That’s why I enjoyed the Ben Stein documentary, “Expelled” so much. It’s like the complete antithesis of a michael moore film…

  103. @ Brian S.:

    Read:

    Donald R. Prothero (2007): Evolution. What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters. Columbia University Press.

    Then we’ll talk further….

  104. jimbo92107

    Still flexin’ after all these years…

  105. MadScientist

    Take a breath and go for a walk BA. You were too optimistic in declaring Texas’ salvation with a deadlocked vote. Even if the kooks win, the battle would have just begun. Other states have suffered such nonsense and (eventually) recovered. I think you’ve got the right plan for now: go do something fun and look at the bad news tomorrow.

  106. MadScientist

    @MyFly: I think you’re right; after all Clyde Tombaugh was from the Land of Lincoln. BA posted something about that a few weeks ago.

  107. Stargazer

    Leave science to the scientists. Also, send illiterate idiots back to school, and if that doesn’t work, at least prevent them from getting any sort of power or influence over anyone or anything, ever. Some people are dangerous and proud of it.

  108. Well, quick! Write up an outline of five or six different ways to estimate the age of the universe, and the history of estimates starting with “maybe red/blue shift — are we expanding?” up to the present day and deep sky scanning. And present it as a lesson plan. Include objectives/outcomes: Students will be able to describe methods, give an approximate age, and explain how estimates have been revised and refined in the last nn years. Teach the strengths and weaknesses and why the expanding universe won out over steady-state, e.g. no evidence of spontaneous generation of hydrogen in space. Forward it to every member of the board.

    Next lesson: Age of the earth. Zircons! Cosmic-ray tracks! Radioactive isotopes! Teach the strengths and weaknesses of each method and why some are considered more accurate than others.

  109. monkeyboy

    I sometimes think that the real worrying thing is that most people will accept that the earth is 13.7 Billion years old without question. If you were to ask any normal person to explain this to you , few would be able to(just the pre programmed response we learned in school). But yet they are willing to defend this belief to the death. That is really worrying.

    Science has used flawed principles in the past which had to be re-adjusted as new “evidence” was discovered. What makes everyone think that no flawed principles are used in the deduction that the earth is 13.7 Billion years old?

    Do you think that the principles we use today will still hold up exactly as they are with no adjustments in the next 1000 years of discovering new things?

    To me the creation theory is just as plausible as the Big Bang. Meaning that both seem really unlikely and unbelievable if we all were to be honest.

    thanks:)

  110. Keith

    @ccpetersen – MartinM was quoting BrianS and showing that his sources were really old

    @MartinM, you beat me too it, I was searching online to see if any of these names were still around, but couldn’t find a thing but couldn’t find a thing to suggest they wer current.

  111. faithless

    I too have looked at her website.

    More tomfoolery than a season of Shakespeare comedies.

    But…

    …you know you would, wouldn’t you?

  112. QUASAR

    *sickened face*

    Tha’s why I said that if I ever have any children I’m going to homeschool them! They’re going to be people of science and philosophy just like their dad!

  113. justcorbly

    Advice to non-Texans: Don’t hire Texans.

    Advice to Texans: Move.

  114. Jay

    Time to sell Texas back to Mexico…

  115. d00d

    Creationists NEVER get the science they disagree with right. Their argument is completely bogus 100% of the time.

  116. tirebyter

    Willful ignorance is just part of the make-up and mind-set of texas. Texas was the only state out of 48 that voted “NO” on the question of statehood for Alaska. It wasn’t because of any concern that Alaskan statehood was a bad idea for the nation, it was because their ego wouldn’t allow a state that is geographically larger than texas.
    The texas mindset is about ego, not right or wrong, true or false, or is or isn’t.
    Texas tourism advertises “Texas, it’s like a whole other country.” The truth is that texas should be a (w)hole other country.

  117. rOGRE

    Is it too much inbreeding in Tx or remanents of the Breached Brained Daaaa-vidians?

  118. Dave C

    So teachers will now have to make sure they include this little thing in their teaching? What a pain! How many other nitpicky things must teachers include in their lessons? Do all teachers need to cross check their lesson plans to make sure they are hitting all the tiny details the board of Ed requires?

    How about this: just tell science teachers to teach sound science. Explain to kids what we know and how we know it.

    Of course, this is exactly what the board does NOT want to happen. If students learn about science and how to think critically like scientists, then Ms. Cargill has failed in her agenda.

  119. Yeah, bryce. Just get used to the irrational texas hate. After all, since this passed, all texans are creationist dumbasses right? Bunch of rednecks living in the sticks, we are.

  120. Robert Carnegie

    Some of the people on those “lists of scientists who don’t agree with the theory of evolution” are dentists.

    Think about that next time you’re lying back in the chair. :-)

    Some actual scientists thought they were signing a thing that says “We don’t know everything”, or are pro punctuated equilibrium or something, and are appalled to find out what they have joined. It’s like “Expelled”: suckered into it!

  121. Nigel Depledge

    Well, Brian S, you are either both ignorant and naive or disingenuous.

    Brian S said:

    There is a difference between theory and fact.

    Yes, we know. Do you know what the difference is as it pertains to science?

    The average evolutionist would have us believe that all TRUE scientists accept Darwin’s theory as fact. Sir John Huxley, grandson of Thomas Huxley, wrote the following in 1959:

    “The point to make about Darwin’s theory of evolution is that it is no longer a theory, but a fact. No serious scientist would deny the fact that evolution has occurred, just as he would not deny the fact that the earth goes around the sun.” (Tax, Sol, Ed. “Evolution After Darwin,” Issues in Evolution, Chicago University Press, 1960, Vol. 3, p. 41.)

    True. No serious scientist would deny evolution.

    Evolution is a fact. Populations of organisms change over time. This is irrefutable.

    Evolutionary theory explains this with a collection of hypotheses and mechanisms. Common descent, for example, has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The mechnisms of change described in evolutionary theory have all been observed to occur.

    What’s the issue?

    See how the system works? A scientist cannot be recognized as a SERIOUS scientist unless he REJECTS THE BIBLE and RECEIVES EVOLUTION.

    No. You are presenting this as a false dichotomy. There is no need to reject the bible to accept evolution. The two are compatable, provided you do not insist on a direct and literal interpretation of biblical text. However, since a literal reading of the bible is partently ludicrous (e.g. Adam made after animals in Gen 1; Adam made before animals in Gen 2), this is not a problem.

    Did you have a point?

    Well, there have been, and still are, MANY serious scientists who do not believe in evolution. For example, Dr. Albert Fleischman, Professor of Zoology at the University of Erlangen in Germany, says, “The Darwinian theory of evolution has not a single fact to confirm it in the realm of nature. It is not the result of scientific research, but purely the product of the imagination.”

    This is an argument from authority. Who is this guy, and, crucially, when did he write that?

    Also, it has the ring of a quote-mine about it. Please cite the full reference.

    Professor L.T. More, of the University of Chicago, says, “Unfortunately for Darwin’s future reputation, everyone of his arguments is contradicted by fact.”

    Professor A.C. Steward, from the Cambridge University, says, “A student who takes an impartial retrospect soon discovers that the fossil record raises more problems than it solves.”

    Dr. Austin Clark, F.R.G.S., of the American Geophysical Union, opposes evolution by saying, “The great groups of animal life do not merge into one another. They are and have been fixed from the beginning.”

    As MartinM has pointed out, all of these people died about 60 or more years ago. If any of them were alive now, they would not make these statements, because the status of the science has changed. Common descent has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    So, would you care to enlighten us as to why you have been parroting arguments that have been refuted for most of the last 30 years?

  122. Nigel Depledge

    Nuts. I missed a close blockquote tag.

    In my preceding comment, Brian S said that there is a difference between theory and fact, and the next line is actually my response to that.

  123. Martin, yes, you’re right — I meant to send to Brian and was going to post a message to you saying “good going”… but the late-night synapse misfire took over and I ended up blaming you for Brian’s silliness. Sorry.

    Thanks to Keith for pointing that out, too.

    Daiichi — students already get plenty of chance to study and ask questions about evolutionary theory. Why do we need a priggish christianist jerk to force theology down students’ throats in an obscene gesture of ignorance?

    A point of semantical meaning: this has nothing to do with “hating” creationism — I’ve noticed folks who shill for creationism and other politico-religious fairy tales just LOVE to use that word “hate” whenever they see somebody disagreeing with their pet fantasies. If someone disagreed with them on a point in the Bible, would they be Bible haters?

    To folk who love to accused of others of hate: get off the hate bandwagon and start using your frickin’ brains for something besides an anchor for your ears, will ya?

    As for Laurel’s comments — she jumped me about Pluto, too. I also went to her website and asked “where’s the beef?” Same conclusions as everyone else.

  124. First Bush comes back here and now this. 2009 hasn’t been very kind to TX….

  125. Steve W (AUS)

    Rationalist censorship anyone? This kind of tomfoolery doesn’t really belong in a sensible world, and yet it would be wrong to stop them believing what they want. Focus on want there. They shouldn’t have this kind of crp forced on kids in school without a choice. Maybe the kids should be given a choice after being exposed to the arguments. Heaven forbid they would go with the 6000 year thing though…

    I want my Dawkinsland passport now please.

  126. Dia66

    This is what happens when you pay teachers less than managers at McDonalds,you rarely get the best and the brightest. Teachers should (High School and down) should teach what we know as true in that particular area. When something different is KNOWN then it can be taught. College is probably a better place to teach alternate THEORIES.

  127. Jeff Eyges

    Time to sell Texas back to Mexico

    Sell? Hell, give it back to them, with our apologies! And throw in the rest of the South while we’re at it!

  128. Todd W.

    And everyone that questions the silly claims of creationists, be wary. The U.N. just passed a resolution stating that it is a human rights violation to defame religion. While you may have justifiable critiques, you may be labeled as a human rights violator. :roll:

  129. Scientist1

    Let’s kill the Jews!

  130. john ross

    “and Texas students will get their chance to learn that the Universe is 6000 years old, and when they try to get a job or do anything later in life, they will be routinely laughed at. ”

    NOT TRUE AT ALL.
    I would never laugh at anyone whos fixing my Burger or my fries (and Yes I would like Ketchup with that, Thank You)

    I love how the creationists just toss out quotes from people and treat them like FACTS. Yes in FACT the people Quoted DID/Maybe Say that but that doesn’t make them correct.If your going to toss out crap back it up.

    Professor L.T. More, of the University of Chicago, says, “Unfortunately for Darwin’s future reputation, everyone of his arguments is contradicted by fact.”

    Which arguments and what FACTS contradict them.. be specific

    Professor A.C. Steward, from the Cambridge University, says, “A student who takes an impartial retrospect soon discovers that the fossil record raises more problems than it solves.”

    Most science when answering a question ends up asking even more questions. What problems does it raise. Are these inconstant with evolution or just unanswered questions.

    If you really want people to believe in Creationism your gonna have to come up with actually answers with proof, not just shoot down the current understanding of how things work just because The Bible says its different.

  131. Ray

    Phil,
    “Texas students will get their chance to learn that the Universe is 6000 years old, and when they try to get a job or do anything later in life, they will be routinely laughed at. ”

    Funny, but I don’t recall any job interview that ever asked me what I believed the age of the universe to be. Not to worry, though. I’m pretty sure that Texas’ new education standards will be more than adequate for McDonalds employment.

  132. silencer

    Wait just a minute…. Why are YOU claiming a “factual” age?
    We have stellar populations of globular clusters that are about 15 billion years old, yet you say EVERYTHING is 13 billion years old?
    Are you confusing distance with age?

    I find it interesting that you attack a school teacher for disinformation, when your own information is about 40 years out of date. YOU should know better.

    For anyone else reading this drivel, the age of the universe has yet to be determined with any accuracy, but it is considerably older than this gentleman erroneously suggests.

  133. Geek Goddess

    @ccpetersen
    In the future, if you go to a doctor who claims to have been educated in Texas, you should think very hard about whether you want this person to treat you,or your family members. Same goes for teachers. Or lawyers. If they’ve been slighted on their science education, what else have they NOT learned? It could be the difference between life and death

    Your doctors go to medical school. The State Board does not regulate the content of science classes in the state and private universities. Baylor’s medical school, for instance, although supported by the Baptist church, teaches evolution in its undergraduate biology and medical schools. An effort to get an ID ‘institute and research center’ established there by some Discovery Institute affiliate was met by so many howls of protest by the Baylor faculty that it did not happen. Unfortunately, those few high school students who managed to get the few teachers who might push bad or questionable science merely have to relearn when they get to college.

  134. chief

    Reading all the comments and the checking on her website has me a bit worried. She could take the amount of hits that her site is generating and claim that the numbers are support for her own ideas.

  135. Silencer, your data is horribly out of date. The star ages and cosmic age discrepancy was understood a long time ago. I suggest reading in modern journals.

  136. Rsrs

    Damn I live in Texas and just had my first child.. I guess better start saving for private school !

  137. Robert Carnegie

    “Clare and the Reasons” seem to be responsible for the song about Pluto’s demotion that I heard on the radio a while ago, in Britain. Lyrics and maybe more on the site, explaining quite well in the space the new rule for what is a major planet…

    The earth is not 13.7 billion years old, but really I am accepting that because I was told it.

    I thought I had another thing to add to this thread, but it’s gone from my mind. Maybe somnething witty that someone else has already said?

  138. ccpetersen

    Geek Goddess, you may be right, but there are doctors out there who believe the damnedest things and push them on their patients. My niece’s doctor (at an AFB in Texas) preached at her about how God would cure her endometriosis if she’d just pray — all while he was doing a pelvic exam on her. When she complained, he got snotty with her and refused to treat her further. How the hell is THAT professional? It just smacks of more priggish religionist idiocy. And, if Texas students get handed a bunch of malarkey disguised as science, it’ll be with them longer than they are in med school. And we’ll get more of this kind of nonsense my niece had to put up with.

  139. jb

    I do not understand why science and religion do not conclude the same thing. The reference of time has changed throughout our history calendars are changed as well as time references one calendar had 10 months as apposed to our current 12 month version. It is what we make it so with that in mind do you really think God follows our method of time reference, I would think that would not be the case, so even though the bible has a 6000 year history that does not mean that it accurately references what took place and when it is a translation of a translation. The earth was created in six days and on the 7th God rested that is a reference of time we can understand did it really take exactly that amount of time I do not believe so, I believe it actually took the exact age of the Earth. To an all powerful being centuries could go by the way seconds do for us, its not that big of a stretch to believe in both you would however need to not always take an exact interpretation of what you read. It was written before space travel, computers, and many of the advanced understandings we have today. Faith in and of itself does not require proof but this does not mean that true faith is devoid of logic and reasoning.

    I will now climb off of my soapbox, have a nice day.

  140. dryden

    Garbage! I grew up in Texas public schools, and this is just sad! I have a degree in physics, and seeking a masters in science as well, – this just makes me ill! I can not understand how this ignorance still plagues Texas, or anywhere in 2009. My child will never attend a school who doesn’t accept, or fears science.

  141. jenkins

    Don’t people of faith have places in which to teach their dogma? In their buildings they can teach anything they please, that’s one of the great rights we have in this country. But public schools need to rely on observable data, not faith. Public schools present facts and figures of the way things are, and based on those facts, the way we think the world came to be. The methods used to find those facts are tried and true. If you don’t like the fact that the world works this way, then by all means, teach your children otherwise, but you cannot expect an informed government to teach things that are not verifiable.

    I would really like to know what these people would say if a teacher brought in the Epic of Gigamesh and taught that as history. That tale puts the great flood nearly a thousand years before the Earth was even created according to these Christians, and it was written much closer to the time these events took place, so maybe they had an insight that we don’t today?

    I do not have any problem with people believing whatever they want to believe. I firmly believe there are far stranger things in the world that are drem’t of in our science and theologies, but only science gives me to tools to discover and understand those things for myself.

  142. juls nelson

    gods, it is time to leave this state. I USED to be proud of being a native born Texas, but IQ and intelligence absolutely cannot stomach the idiocy any more

  143. Dont Tread on Mike

    “Texas students will get their chance to learn that the Universe is 6000 years old, and when they try to get a job or do anything later in life, they will be routinely laughed at.”

    How often does the age of the universe come up during a job interview? This is a stupid statement, even though I believe the universe is billions of years old.

  144. Danorock

    Wow. I suppose things might get a little hairy when Carbon dating reveals that there are rocks older than the Universe. Not that it will matter to the willingly blind.

  145. Ernest Hua

    What most people forget is that these people are committed to using any means possible (think of how ridiculous the Scientologist conspiracy was, and yet Scientologists actually tried to pull it off).

    To be fair, most of these people think they are doing the right thing in the end, which is to spread the Word of Jesus.

    To that end, there is nothing that is wrong with any method, including outright lying.

    Notice that most of the pro-Creationism people on these governing positions are chosen for their public relations ability instead of their intellectual fire power. None of these bozos can withstanding a court challenge, but they are hoping to make a dent in the nation’s textbooks.

    None of these people are serious about a real intellectual pursuit. None of them have produced real papers that support their positions. Notice that they have had to make up their own “institutes” and even doctoral degrees because no serious academic institutions would even consider their nonsense.

    It is the same with the so-called “law schools” that the Christian Right has been pursuing in order to train lawyers that can at least have the appearance of having a higher degree and yet pursue the Far Right agenda when nominated to governmental positions.

    Case in point: Monica Goodling comes from one of these wing nut law schools and was hired, like her other Far Right comrades, for her allegiance to that agenda. When it came to defending herself in front of the Senate, however, she suddenly needed to hire real lawyers from real law schools.

    Do these people even believe that their degrees are worth the paper they’re printed on? Obviously not.

    Same thing with the Creationists. They don’t believe, for a moment, that this stuff is science. They are trying to leverage the credibility of science without having to go through the rigors of real science.

    Notice that all they really care about is pushing this stuff into K thru 12. They know don’t have a chance in the real university environment, but they can’t convince anyone by that age anyway. They need to attack the kids while their brains are soft enough to be molded to this line of thinking.

    Ern

  146. Stephen Stockman

    How about we just burn these people at the stake for being witches? Science doesn’t really exist.. So that cellphone and car = witchery. Goes along with their ideas.

  147. Joe Meils

    Maybe this is just me… but I say, good for you, Texas! Your dumbass move will just make it easier for the kids in my state to compete against your kids. If you want to vote to maim your children’s chances in the real world, then so be it! The kids here in Arkansas, although brought up in religious homes, seem to get the idea that science and religion are two seperate subjects. As such, they will make far better doctors, engineers, and productive citizens than yours will.

    Arkansas is smarter than Texas! We win! We get the jobs! We eventually will get the industries because our workforce isn’t a bunch of people who voted to be an “Idiocracy!” That means we get the better homes, and flashier cars and the cuter members of the opposite sex!

    Thank you, Texas… thank you!

  148. Bob

    Wow! Reading your posts … I’ve never heard as much hate-speech since the 60′s south.

    You really hate Christians, don’t you?

    That’s fine, but please recognize your own hypocrisy when you bash those same Christians for being intolerant against gays or evolutionists or pro-choice people.

    If you’re going to bash, then bash away. Just don’t think you’re better than Christians when you hate on them. You’re just as bad.

  149. Hey Bob, gee, I don’t remember ever saying I hate Christians, and in fact point out in a recent post that I don’t. Can you point out specifically where I’ve said that or even implied it?

    Unless you equate creationism with Christianity. But that clearly can’t be the case.

  150. Todd W.

    @Danorock

    I suppose things might get a little hairy when Carbon dating reveals that there are rocks older than the Universe.

    Now, I might be wrong, and correct me if I am, but I seem to recall that carbon dating isn’t used for anything beyond a certain age range due to the half-life of carbon. So, it isn’t used as a dating technique on the “billions of years” scale.

    Can someone let me know if I’m right in that description?

  151. Daiichi

    @ccpeterson

    “Daiichi — students already get plenty of chance to study and ask questions about evolutionary theory. Why do we need a priggish christianist jerk to force theology down students’ throats in an obscene gesture of ignorance?
    A point of semantical meaning: this has nothing to do with “hating” creationism — I’ve noticed folks who shill for creationism and other politico-religious fairy tales just LOVE to use that word “hate” whenever they see somebody disagreeing with their pet fantasies. If someone disagreed with them on a point in the Bible, would they be Bible haters?”

    You, sir, are being disingenuous. You are using phrases like “…nothing to do with ‘hating’ creationism” in a pathetic attempt to paint yourself as being unbiased, but then describe their beliefs as “fairy tales” and “christianist jerks.” You should be more careful, your disdain for christianity is showing. And this could put you into the same category as other closed-minded “scientists” of the past…

    Cargill’s site doesn’t say she believes that the earth is 6000 years old. It doesn’t even say that she believes that Texas needs to teach God to its students. These criticisms are strawman arguments to what she really proposes: allowing curriculum to question what you so-called scientists call fact (but absolutely isn’t). Because, really, if we don’t allow our students to question our scientific beliefs then we end up accepting, without further proof, that dinosaurs are lizards, that rockets cannot work in vacuum, that atoms are indivisible…

    If evolution and adaptation of the species is true (which I do not doubt), then it will bear the brunt of scrutiny. So I, for one, am not afraid of any measure that allows students to question theories–as long as it upholds the concept of scientific method (which Cargill’s proposal does).

  152. None of my business, Bob, but:

    That’s fine, but please recognize your own hypocrisy when you bash those same Christians for being intolerant against gays or evolutionists or pro-choice people.

    Why would it be hypocrisy to bash people for their intolerance?

  153. Doug

    Being from Texas I just want to say these people do not represent the majority of Texans. Members of the Texas Board of Education are democratically elected, and the chairman was elected from a very conservative area. Once elected, the Governor, who was elected without a majority, appoints the Chairmen. The Chairmen, a dentist whose only educational experience is teaching sunday school, has tremendous sway. All in all I’m just saying that they were very effective at infiltrating the system subverting the views of most Texans.

  154. Todd W.

    @kuhnigget

    Because it would be intolerant of their intolerance. We must meakly accept that they are being intolerant, rather than call them on it. To do otherwise would be…intolerant. And that’s The Wrd.

  155. Todd W.

    darn…didn’t work….maybe W&oslashrd?

  156. Todd W.
  157. Todd W.

    @Daiichi

    First:

    And dammit, since evolution is still just a theory (not a law)

    IIRC, scientists stopped using “law” as a technical term and went back to calling everything a “theory” due to the tentative nature of all scientific conclusions. So, theory is the highest level something can get these days. Even the “Law” of Gravity has gone back to being called the Theory of Gravity.

    Second, students already can question the science. There’s no need for any kind of special legislation to allow them to do that. Now, if they are going to go into their science class and just say “Evolution is wrong, God created everything,” then they better have some pretty good evidence to back up their position. If they don’t, then they should rightfully be marked down on the work where they make that claim.

  158. Free Will

    Total Facepalm. Utterly complete in it’s facepalm-ness.

    http://kevinchiu.org/emote/facepalm.jpg

  159. DankJemo

    You’ve gotta love Texas, even when they are wrong they still keep it up. That type of ignorance takes dedication.

    “Carbon dating says the earth is how old!? 4.5 Billion… Well, that doesn’t seem right.”

    “I think the earth is only about 6000 years old. I don’t care if there is a proven scientific method to determining how old an object is.”

    This is when religious beliefs become dangerous, when schools are teaching students, and people who potentially don’t even have the same system of values obscure, theories. I am not knocking all religion, and it has done some good things… But at this point people who are trying to force this onto young students, and are quite literally teaching young, impressionable minds wrong information is simply irresponsible, and frankly dangerous.

    Hey, whatever… If they want wrong information grandfathered into their childern, just like it was to them then who are we to judge, let the cycle of ignorance, and stupidity rule an entire generation in the Great State of Texas.

  160. john

    http://www.barbaracargill.com/feedback.htm

    Please feel free to link this article and your dismay.

  161. Ajay

    If the Creationists can offer any evidence that the Earth is 6000 years old, let them do so and publish it in a scientific journal. Once that happens, their “theory” can get some time in a Science classroom.
    Until that happens, please STFU and stay out of science.

    Years from now (if Christianity survives, which is appearing more and more unlikely given the absolute nutcases who are dominating the discourse there), we will look back at these times the same we look back at Galileo’s trials.

  162. DankJemo

    @Todd,

    There are still things that they use… Not necessarily carbon, and I actually mentioned Carbon dating in my post… Mostly because I don’t remember what element is used to determine the again after cardon has reached its half-life. But the basis of the procedure is more or less the same… Just measuring radioactive content in the element in question.

    But, Unless I am mistaken, carbon 14 (which I think is what is used for Carbon dating.) Has a half-life just shy of about 5800 years… However, there are plenty of other elements used that have a half-life that lasts much, much longer then Carbon. (much shorter too, even down to a few seconds… It really is kind of interesting stuff.)

    I am not entirely sure, and I don’t have the time to look them all up but I am sure you would be able to find them in a book, or on the web (please avoid Wiki’s.) I would be more inclined to check Scientific journals, since those theories have been tested time and time again so they do have some validity compared to a web page.

    @ Phil

    As for Phil hating Christians, I read your previous articles… I know you don’t hate Christians. I can see where it is easily confused when talking about Creationism and modern Christianity though, since they do go hand-in-hand (unfortunately.) I don’t even think someone should *hate* creationism despite my personal opinion being that it is, as I understand it, wrong. I think there is a a lot we can learn from it though, I mean the background does show a lot of historical, and social beliefs at times when the modern scientific method was an infant, and people did need something to explain all these things that were unexplainable, which some still are. It does have the right to be mentioned in school, but in a history course, not a science course.

    If it is going to be taught in science, then it should be taught and presented as a pseudoscience, because I have seen very little information that is actually accurate. The proof is in the pudding, they have bones that are older than creationists say the earth is… I tend to take cold-hard facts over systems of belief or the good old argument of “I am right because I say I am right.”

    If it turns out creationists are right, then I will eat my own words, but I will freely admit that I am wrong, which is more then creationists can say. I just don’t see that happening any time soon.

  163. Jared

    Disclaimer — I’m a Creationist

    I’d rather teachers teach both evolution and creation. Let the kid figure it out on his own.

    PS. As a creationist, I love science. Physics, biology, the whole works. I’m not against evolution, I’ll always be a student ready to learn.

  164. Joshua Schroeder

    http://www.barbaracargill.com/feedback.htm

    I encourage everyone here to write Barbara Cargill and (gently) inform her that she should probably educate herself on the modern state of astronomy and cosmology. Since she is someone who works in Austin, TX, she could, for example, hop on over to UT, Austin and ask some of the staff in the physics and astronomy departments (or even, the newly formed Texas Cosmology Center) what their opinion is on her amendment. We need to challenge politicians who make ignorant declarations about science directly.

  165. Now Mr. Phil, all she wants to do is say that we don’t know the actual age. It could be 13.82 billions years, or 6,000 years.
    Or maybe the universe hasn’t even been created yet.

  166. Simon

    WATCH OUT!! Soon enough Texas school boards will be trying to incorporate this into the curriculum: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/39512

    Hahahaha….creationists.

  167. What I love most is when creationists use random scientists, and more specifically, scientists from years ago to try to give authority to creationism. It’s like saying that relativity is wrong because Issac Newton obviously followed Newtonian physics. Newton could not have rejected something he didn’t even know existed yet. And it wouldn’t matter if even Darwin accepted creationism, we don’t teach “Darwinism” or “Darwin Evolution”. We teach the Theory of Evolution, the best explanation for the FACT of Evolution, cultivated over years by hundreds of scientists. A theory is the highest level an idea can be risen to in science, and is supported by facts. A theory in science is not the same as a colloquial theory. It’s not just something someone thought up. It is the TOP of the scale.

    And I believe, by the last surveys, 99% of biologists believe in evolution. This concept that a lot of scientists disagree with evolution doesn’t really matter, even though its false. You don’t call an electrician to fix a hole in your roof, and in the same, I don’t care if an mechanical engineer thinks that Evolution is false. If he starts telling me that our ideas on stress and strain are flawed, I’ll hold it to more weight and expect proof.

  168. Simon

    …and yes I know the article is a joke, but honestly it’s not that far off from most creationist propaganda!

  169. Mike

    There has still been no proof to evolution.
    The slow-steady evolution of animals was never seen in the many rock layers. The “Cambrian Explosion” showed a sudden appearance of creatures that were never recorded before. There was slight to little change in animals through the rock layers. This shows that micro-evolution is possible like the beak sizes of the birds that Darwin noticed (which eventually went back to normal years later), but does not show macro evolution which gives man the origin to monkeys/apes or what have you

  170. Real American

    What Texas BoE and people like Barbara Cargill are doing is economic sabotage against America. In their own insidious way, they’re doing more damage to our country than those guys who chanted “God is Great” as they flew planes they never intended to land.

    Teaching our kids that Christianity is as much a science as biology and astronomy is a direct assault on our children and the future of this country.

  171. Joshua

    Where can we contribute to a legal case to get rid of this nonsense?

  172. Bjoern

    @Todd W: I’d rather say that laws are *part* of theories. E. g. Coulomb’s law and Ampere’s law are both part of Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism.
    Oh, and you are indeed right – carbon dating is only used for things which are at most several 10,000 years old.

    @monkeyboy:
    No one says the earth is 13.7 billion years old – you probably meant the universe. And I don’t think it’s so bad that most people accept this without question – that’s simply something called “trust”. You trust your physician when he says you need surgery – so why do you think one shouldn’t trust scientists when they have reached a consensus on something?
    You are right that science has indeed used flawed principles in the past, and that some things had to be “re-adjusted”. But these were essentially always cases where the evidence wasn’t conclusive from the start. In the case of the age of the universe, we have a lot of different lines of evidence, *all* pointing conclusively to an age of between 10 and 15 billion years.
    If you think that “creation theory is just as plausible as the Big Bang”, then I’d really be interested in hearing what “creation theory” actually is. You *did* mean a scientific theory, didn’t you? Also, I’d suspect that you don’t know what the Big Bang theory actually says, and what the evidence for it is. Try reading Ned Wright’s cosmology tutorial, or the FAQ page at the talk.origins archive.

    @Ryan: If you enjoyed “Expelled” so much, you have been misled by its producers – just as they intended. There is a great website, www dot expelledexposed dot org, which sets the record straight on a lot of the claims the movie made.

  173. Osama McNutty

    My plan is working, first we force them to believe in a myth, then we tell them to believe in my myth! Imagine that Red White and Blue burkas for the women, no more Lite Beer and NASCAR for the men. Praise be to me, for I am the fruit of your loom. Soon we all will be singing the song KUMBAYAH and I will be King of hte Golden Arches – oh but no meat or dairy products. Inshalla-walla-bing -bang!

  174. Todd W.

    @Mike

    You apparently are not aware of just how difficult it is to actually create a fossil. And how hard it is to find said fossils. Do some studying up on that, then come back to us.

  175. Bjoern

    @DankJemo: AFAIK, mostly lead isotopes are used for radioactive dating of such long times (Pb/Pb isochron dating). Other methods use Sm-Nd, Rb-Sr, Lu-Hf, Re-Os (information taken from the talk.origins archive, original source: Dalrymple, The Age of the Earth).

    @Jared: Do you also accept if someone wants to teach the Hindu creation myth? Where do you stop?

    @Mike: Most of you claims are simply false; try looking a bit at the talk.origins archive (and please no claims that that web site is “biased” or whatever). E. g. the human/chimp relationship is a very nice example where we have so many transitional fossils that the slow evolutionary changes which led from ape-like ancestor to modern humans are absolutely obvious. Hey, even creationists can’t agree on which of these fossils were humans and which were apes!

  176. Joe

    I am from Texas and they didn’t teach me these creationist standards….As far as I know, I was taught everything that you were taught. There was no “The Universe is a thousand (some odd) years old. We also were taught about evolution. Where are these Creationist ideals taught? Apparently not in my school.

    Just keep that in mind when bashing Texas. (NOT EVERYONE HERE IS RETARDED)

  177. @Mike

    I would recommend doing a simple Google search for “Transitional Fossils” and read what comes up. A few argue that there are no transitional fossils without offering any refutation for what scientists proposing transitional fossils offer.

    There is plenty of proof of evolution. Do a search for “proof of speciation” and you’ll find tons of sites of observed evolution today.

    There is a ton of proof out there that you’re choosing to ignore or disregard. And no, Darwin’s finches’ beaks never went “back to normal”… there is no “normal”. I’ve heard a lot of stuff against the finches, but that’s the most preposterous yet.

  178. Danish

    Isn’t it time for science to play hardballs too? How about letting Texas have it their way? There is an old saying that you have the leaders you deserve. If the citizens of Texas really wants to remove themselves from science, then let’s grant them their wish.

    No science institution should consider Texas as a valid state for anything related to science from now on. Science conferences should not take place in Texas anymore. No grants should be given to students from Texas. A high-school education from Texas can no longer be considered a valid prerequisite for entering into colleges and universities. If possible, leading science educators and researchers from Texas will be offered “asylum” positions in other states that actually wants to do science.

    Yes, I know what the counter-arguments are. It will hurt the innocent citizens of Texas who do support science. It can also be seen as simply giving up. I don’t truly suggest all of the above. But I do think parts of it might be reasonable to implement. To begin with it should be things that don’t hurt the innocent but still have a strong signal value. Any suggestions in that respect?

  179. @Mike:
    You wrote: “The “Cambrian Explosion” showed a sudden appearance of creatures that were never recorded before.”

    Start to read current scientific literature. Then you’ll discover that the “Cambrium explosion” was not a sudden phenomena at all. The appearance of invertebrates in the Cambrium is a gradual proces taking over 80 million years. Different species appear at difefrent times over this interval, some tens of millions of years apart. It wasn’t sudden at all. Moreover, there are fossils of simpler multicellar life forms that predate the Cambrium, and are the precursors to the invertebrates appearing in the Cambrium.

    Which, by the way, is known to scientists for decades now, but creationist keep ignoring this and keep quoting literature that is outdated for decades (pre-Cambrium fossils are know for over 50 years now for example)

  180. RickK

    @Mike,

    You’re believing the advertising instead of getting the answers for yourself.

    Ask yourself this: if divine creation of the species is true, if the Creator can just generate a new species with no precursors (as is stated by Intelligent Design, Creation Science, and good ol’ Young Earth Creationism), then why do we find so much evidence of intermediate species?

    Why do we find Archaeopterix, Tiktaalik, and a complete set of transitional species from sea creature, to land mammals, back to whales? Why do we find so many transitional forms between reptiles and mammals that we can’t tell which are reptile-like mammals and which are mammal-like reptiles.

    If you actually look at the websites of university paleontology departments (rather than doing science research on creationists websites) you’ll find pictures galore. If you go to museums, you’ll find real physical examples.

    In fact, the science is so good that we can actually figure out where to dig to discover new transitional species. The University of Chicago has a great little website that describes the search for Tiktaalik:
    http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/searching4Tik.html

    Supernatural creationism doesn’t need transitional species. Evolution does need transitional forms – it demands them.

    So if evolution is false, why do we keep finding so many transitional fossils?

  181. RickK

    Some creationists believe the Big Bang and evolution were the tools God used. That’s fine, as it doesn’t deny the realities that science studies every day.

    The problem is the Biblical literalists or the creationists that insist animals spontaneously, magically appear when God snaps his fingers. I think those people suffer from “small god syndrome”.

    “In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed!”? Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.” — Carl Sagan

    A literal reading of the Bible tells us that God conjured the world out of nothing, then conjured man out of mud, and conjured woman out of a man’s rib. Nothing in the story was beyond the understanding of even the most humble people over 2000 years ago.

    Science tells us that the universe came into existence through a cataclysm of immeasurable power, so strong that the heat from the event still warms the universe over 13 billion years later. Science tells us of stellar birth and death, events so powerful they could strip the atmosphere off a planet from 500 light years away. Science tells us of minerals created in the vast atomic forges in the center of giant stars. Science tells us of a massive, glorious dance of the heavens over billions of years, and of the creation of our precious planet among trillions of other stars and planets. Science tells us of an incredibly simple, elegant process of gradual change driven by the imperative to survive, leading to stunningly varied, adaptable, resilient life – life so vibrant and sweeping that it changed the very nature and composition of our planet.

    The little creation story of the Bible takes a few short verses, and hasn’t changed in 2000 years.

    The creation story of science consumes entire libraries, is supported by warehouses of samples and evidence, and is growing every day. The creation story of science challenges the comprehension of even modern, educated man, and science freely admits the story is not yet complete or fully understood.

    If you are a Biblical literalist, you are limiting your god to a few 2000-year-old campfire stories. Let science into your faith, view science as the quest to better understand your god, and embrace and learn science rather than denying it. Treat the Bible as a moral lesson, as an allegory, not as a textbook. Look at the glories beyond the Bible, and then you can truly appreciate what your god has done.

  182. I hate it how creationists keep pulling out their ancient, never revised ideas and then label them as ‘science’. What worries me most is that there really are governments in the western world who accept and pass such bull****.

    “What ey – they say I have evolved from an ape? Never. Evolution is evil! Science is evil…” …so science must not be taught?! Ah, right, I forgot… only the ‘science’ that fits their purpose must be taught. Welcome back in the middle age: keep your people uneducated and close minded in order exploit them.

  183. Well put in the the group the has a very strong belief in the Bible. However in all my many years of reading the book never did it say Universe is 6000 years old or put a date of creation on any planet for that matter. Really show me the scripture on that one gives the 6000 years old date. Now I really like science too however it’s not infallible you have only to look back a short time to find all the wacky things that we knew to be the truth and years later found out it was rubbish. Keeping an open mind is very important or else you will make science itself into a pseudo religion.

  184. Matthew

    I’m not a creationist but i find it interesting that people are making articles against creationism without knowing what they use for facts or what their whole viewpoints are. Also, evolution is a theory with many hard evidence that can be taken as facts but the truth is not all things estimated are estimated with a reliable tool past a certain age. I’m not one for facts on either side of the argument but i will say that I believe in evolution just for the reason that credible people work to discover it as much as possible. Still, not knowing the other side I’m not going to write an article denouncing it.

  185. Bob Jones

    I live in Texas and this is an outrage. I guess this is what happens when you live in the belt buckle of the bible belt!!!

  186. Julian

    Matthew -

    You have wasted several seconds of my life with your post. Give them back. Or, in the future, avoid posting comments that add nothing to a conversation.

  187. Brian

    Come on. has anybody considered the possibilities that she is just saying there are several different sets of cosmological parameters that could give us about the same universe we have now? just because wmap says omega matter = .3 and omega lambda = .7, implying the universe is 13.6 billion years old doesn’t mean it’s true. there’s a lot we don’t know about the universe, perhaps this creationist is just a very enthusiastic cosmologist?

  188. Chase Cargill

    Texas Board of Education creationist Barbara Cargill today proposed an amendment to the science standards saying that teachers have to tell their students there are different estimates for the age of the Universe. This is not even a veiled attempt to attack the Big Bang model of the Universe, which clearly, and through multiple lines of evidence, indicates the Universe is 13.7 +/- 0.12 billion years old.

    diff ages that does not mean that she said it was 6000 years old. different people have different beliefs on certain things so you can not go into school and sad

  189. meh

    Walmart needs a future supply of workers guys. It’s Texas, give it back to Mexico already.

  190. @Brian

    Creating “legislation” to enforce what should already be done through the Scientific Method does nothing but diminish the value of the scientific method itself into believers or non believers.

  191. TexasScientist

    As a Texan and parent, I am ashamed.

  192. Darth Robo

    @Danish

    The science textbooks for the US are produced in Texas, so letting creo apologetics in there will affect science education for the next ten years if the creationists are allowed to get away with it.

    Oh, and on a separate note to all creationists out there, if I here any more of these once more:

    It’s “only” a theory (not a law)

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics

    Cambrian Explosion

    “Gaps” and/or transitional fossils

    Cat giving birth to a dog

    Evolution can’t create “new information”

    Irreducible Complexity

    Evolution can’t explain abiogenesis

    Science can’t explain (insert whatever you like here)

    Therefore “Goddidit” (remember, this is about SCIENCE standards guys, nothing to do with religion)

    The Big Bang has something to do with evolution

    Evolution can’t give a step-by-step, mutation-by-mutation, organism by organism account of every single thing that ever lived ever ever ever ever (which is ironic since creationists can’t even give us a darn thing, no mechanism, no predictions, no observations, no peer-reviewed papers, no tests, no way of falsifying their ideas, in fact no science at all whatsoever not even a ickle tiny bit)

    Carbon dating (or any other dating) is inaccurate, or requires “faith”

    My favourite: “How do YOU know? Where you THERE?!?”

    Appeals to authority/popularity/fair play

    Liberals are all anti-Conservative Christian-hating racist atheist Communist Nazi

    Evolutionists are mean to Christians (especially that mean old Richard Dawkins)

    Mutations are all bad

    And probably a few more ancient long debunked “arguments” against evolution I can’t think of right now… I swear, if you try and use any of these one more time, I will kill a kitten. A really REALLY cute one. Remember, the passing of the next felinius cutiest will be on your heads. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
    :(

  193. The difference between science and creationism is that the knowledge generated by science is produced and made more detailed constantly, whereas creationism always stays the same.

    Nobody says science gives you all answers, it can’t give you all answers, as there will always be something new to discover and explain, but science is the only way to true answers. Granted, those answers ‘evolve’, but that doesn’t automatically make them false – all this means is that there are processes/things we don’t totally understand at the time someone describes them. How could one totally understand something he just discovered? It’s impossible. There’s a lot of hard work behind proving and falsifying theory… and the point in all is, just because ‘to falsify’ reads like negative words, it isn’t a negative event for science. It’s requirement to prove and falsify in science… that’s what drives science and finds true answers at the end. However, have you ever seen a creationist falsifying biblical stories?

  194. vince

    Look everyone seems to be missing the point here. This is 2009, the earth is over populated, the world economy is failing, climate change will cause increasing global havoc and people worldwide are dying everyday from lack of food and basic health care. For every single American who is living in their cozy little home in Texas or in any U.S. state there are 20 people outside the US who want your home and life style. 20 to 1. If we have any hope of keeping it together it rests on our ability as individual citizens formed into this nation to outwit not only our local problems but the problems of the other 6,394,000,000 humans on our planet. Yes outwit…we have the means and the resources at the moment, but the opportunity is fleeting.

    Every second of wasted education in even one child increases the likelihood that the United States Of America will pass into obsurity.

    Sure the intellectual demands of living today are totally overwhelming a lot of people in the U.S. and these people are failing in their responsibility to understand that their hopeless ignorance should not be passed on to the future generations.

    When the U.S. passes into history as it looks like it will, the next group of humans who reside in your home will ask, How could they have been so stupid?

  195. WhatScience?

    There is really no proof of the age of the universe. It is all unproven theory. How old is the universe….uh. “my best guess is 13 billion years give or take a few billion”. Give me a break. Science is suppose to support those things which are proven. That is not always the case.

  196. Darth Robo

    Is uh, that because the Big Bang theory is “ONLY” a theory???

    :-O

    (Darth places another kitty on standby)

  197. re Brian:

    There is no L T More at U Chicago. There was an L T Moore who published on the subject in 1925. See http://tinyurl.com/ch89fy . I am unable to determine an academic affiliation.

    Perhaps you’d care to update your information to find something better documented and perhaps less than 83 years out of date?

  198. MJG

    I guess none of you have actually taken a look at the evidences. Stop being spoon fed and look into things for yourself. A lot of you are attacking Creationists on the grounds that you think “they are not thinking but following a book that’s outdated.” But how many of you dare to think for yourselves? The world is most likely about 6 – 10 thousand years old. Here’s a piece of information for you: a society so determined to escape any sense of accountability will put forth all kinds of lies to back up their narcissism. Attack myself, this post, and Creationists all you want. I know this won’t stop you.
    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.”
    Not, in the beginning there was nothing…. and then it exploded. Give me a break. Also, look up the first and second laws of thermo-dynamics.

  199. Darth Robo

    MJG, after my laughing fit from reading your post, I’d just thought I’d tell you that what you’ve written is completely at odds with reality. You are not being lied to here, that’s an assumption you’ve made just to make yourself feel better. I don’t think you’re lying to me, just because you are plain wrong about science. You’re just plain wrong. And yes, many of us here HAVE and DO think for ourselves, which is why we deny literalistic creationism in the first place. God MIGHT have made the Earth, the universe, and everything else in it. But the Earth is NOT 6-10,000 years old, He likely did use the Big Bang to get us here, and also used evolution in the development of life on this planet.

    On the other hand, YOU are attempting to place limits on the Almighty God based on a literal interpretation of ancient superstitious texts – simply because you WON’T think for yourself. Why can’t God have used evolution, or created the universe with the Big Bang? No (good) reason why He couldn’t. And what’s this nonsense about “accountability”? Accountability to what, and what for?

    And thermo-dynamics? Oh please, even Answers In Genesis say not to use that one! Why is it that creationists can’t be consistent? That’s right – they base everything on their beliefs first. Evidence to them is immaterial.

  200. From the article:

    “But she doesn’t mean that at all, does she? If you read her website, you’ll see she’s an out-and-out creationist. She has a large number of, um, factual errors on her site that are clearly right out of the Creationist Obscurational Handbook.”

    I don’t know anything about this woman, and maybe she’s up to no good, but I read through her website and didn’t find a single creationist-leaning factual error.

    Am I missing something?

  201. Jamie Khoo

    Your science dates our earth using radiocarbon dating, which is…. a joke. The standards aren’t even set in stone yet, and you want to based your ‘guesstimate’ of the earth’s age on that pathetic method? Its just as bad as us quoting our Bibles, don’t you think?

    http://www.chcpublications.net/radcarbn.htm

    So if you have ‘evidence’ for your big bang theory, please produce it… and I’m not talking about figures. That’s different…. measurements aren’t evidence for anything. Being able to measure time doesn’t mean time actually exists, right? So shut up until you get your facts right.

    Teaching big bang is not better than teaching creationism. Note: I’m not saying the other way round is better too… Another note: I’m not saying evolution is not true…. evolution happens everyday, just not the stupid monkey+ big bang theory you guys have with your seemingly educated guesses… Makes me laugh.

  202. Andrew

    Here’s the truth of the matter. Ready to hear it? Most of you are probably not going to want to hear this … (the truth stings)

    Creationism should be taught in science classes. Period. End of story. (Or, at least that’s what on education expert thinks, and his argument makes a lot of sense)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2798162/Creat

    “The Rev Professor Michael Reiss, director of education at the Royal Society, believes that banning the subject [of creationism] from the classroom is likely to backfire with children who hold sincere beliefs.

    He said that teachers should discuss the theory, which rejects the concept of evolution and suggests that the Earth is only 10,000 years old, provided they also put forward the scientific theories such as natural selection and the Big Bang.

    ‘If you simply give the impression that they are wrong, they are not likely to learn much about the science that one wants them to learn,’ he said.

    ‘I think a better way forward is to say to them, look, I simply want to present you with the scientific understanding of the history of the universe and how animals, plants and other organisms evolved.’

    Prof Reiss said that he did not believe creationism should be taught as a science, but should be tackled in the context of the scientific consensus on evolution.”

    What the Professor is suggesting is that we need to come to grips with the reality that religion plays a huge part in the lives of so many kids today, and giving them the impression that they are wrong, and can never be right, is disingenuous and harmful to the institution of science in general.

  203. Sad in texas

    I would like to say, in defense of those of us who live in texas who are NOT obviously retarded, that not all of us believe in this psudoscience. BUT because of this article I am seriously considering home schooling my children, or moving to a more scientifically accurate state.

  204. I am just glad it is another state other than Kansas getting press for doing this asinine creationist intervention in education. I really think a large majority of people think religious intervention in schools is stupid. Creationists are very evangelical or “spread the word and save the world” “it is our mandate from God” and they speak very loudly and quite often. People are afraid to appose these ideas in schools because then they are considered anti-god or anti-family or anti-religion. I am none of these things. I believe there is a god and am very confident in what will happen to me in the afterlife. I will however not force those ideas and beliefs on others. Loud and proud Christians will claim that religion should get a fair shake in schools because of Darwin getting his say. Like Darwin is some kind of religion rather than science. Apples and oranges. Don’t be afraid to say what you beleive but the majority of people think this is silly to force public schools to teach religion, but they will not say it because of the fear what others will say about them. I can support an issue that is contreversial and I can support more “family issues” or “Christian” ideas at the same time. These ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can do both. Have common sense and have faith, just don’t the latter overtake the other.

  205. me

    You people are pathetic. Texas is “doomed” because people don’t believe the same thing you believe in? It’s scary and dangerous for people to believe in something that you find rediculous? How is this going to effect anybody in any way that matters? People are still going to belive what they were brought up to believe or what they decide to believe. Kids are not mindless drones who will live by whatever they are told. If that was the case it would be a hell of a lot easier to raise them. Let me tell you that school has the least effect on a person’s religious or anti-religious beliefs than anything else we grow up with. If you remember for just a second when you were a kid did you even pay attention to this stuff? No. You didn’t care. By the time you were old enough to care you could think for youself. The most important point I mean to make, though, is that a person’s or group of peoples’ creationist or scientific beliefs have nothing to do with the real world. It’s personal. And people who preach that having a belief is wrong are idiots. Believe what you want and STFU. There’s nothing wrong with explaining why you believe in something to make a point, but trying to force something on someone, besides the fact that it does not work, or name calling, or acting like their whole society will fail because of a belief that has no physical repercussion what-so-ever makes you a very big idiot. Use your energy for something that makes sense please.

  206. “Godless” science? Uh, not so fast.

    Google “Stanley Jaki” and “Georges Lemaitre”

  207. Jack

    People, what is science? It’s not facts. It’s hypothesis, calculations and theories. No one can possibly know the age of the Earth or the age of the Universe. All we can do is have theories and opinions. Theories which contain some data and opinions which may not but all of us can put forth. For any school system to put any set time for any of it is ludicrous. What should be taught is what all the different numbers put out. As a teacher I would simply say “some say the Universe is a few thousand years old to billions of years old”. In education you don’t limit possibilities and you don’t just teach what one sector of the public wants. That’s indoctrination, not education. So she and others believe in Creation. Why are you so afraid of differencing opinions? Sure want it with all the global warming stuff that is full of no or bad science. But that just shows, it’s MY way or you’re stupid.

    Oh, and I’m sure when they go to get a job the first thing they are asked is, “How old is the Universe?”. What a dumb statement.

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