Texas is only 6000 years old!

By Phil Plait | May 6, 2009 7:55 am

During the Texas State Board of Education hearings on science standards for Texas schoolchildren, BoE member and staunch creationist Barbara Cargill decided that the age of the Universe was up for vote. Oddly enough, I had some issue with that. You may vote on issues all you want, and you can even vote on morality if you’d like, but scientific reality is not a matter of opinion and cares not for the majority vote.

The National Center for Science Education has video of the moment where it becomes clear that Ms. Cargill, not happy enough to destroy biology for students, proposes an amendment to creationize astronomy as well:

Listening to her gives me the heebie-jeebies. About the astronomy standards, she says "…there are different estimates [of the age of the Universe]… they will be taught about 12 – 14 billion years ago, but this leaves it open a little bit to discuss how many billions."

It is absolutely clear from what she is saying that she is deliberately trying to weaken the teaching of the old age of the Universe. Another member queries her specifically, asking if this will open up astronomy to the teaching of literal Biblical creationism. Cargill then completely dodges the question, saying she is simply taking the language of the recommendations. But that language is clearly saying the Universe is old, and there is a small amount of uncertainty (actually, only about 120 million years) in the age estimate of the Universe.

What she did, to put it simply, is a crock. It is perfectly transparent what she wanted: to wedge open the door to allow the teaching of young-Earth creationism in the classroom, using the standard "strengths and weaknesses" creationist propaganda tactic.

Need I say it? Her amendment passed, 11 to 3.

I honestly feel bad for any child entering the Texas public school system over the next ten years, and I sincerely hope that the Legislature of the Lone Star State is able to take away the ridiculous amount of power the BoE has. They are flaunting their violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United State of America (not to mention bending or breaking that pesky "false witness" Commandment), and their influence reaches well beyond their own state borders.

Texas: doomed

Tip o’ the ten gallon hat to BABLoggee Javier Pazos for alerting me to the video.

Comments (438)

Links to this Post

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  1. ‘Scuse me, I’m gonna go barf now.

  2. QUASAR

    What kind of a retard believes any of that garbage, anyway?

  3. Quiet Desperation

    Call me crazy, but I’d wager that “Texas” as an entity is far less than 6000 years old.

  4. Mark Hansen

    Probably the same ones that say that vaccinations are filling kids full of dangerous liquids.

  5. GQ

    Truly insane. Surely it has to reach a point where your government can step in and insist that ACTUAL science be given preference over creationist nonsense?

  6. OK, I’m back. I feel a little better now… Only a little.
    The YECs are right to be anti-scientific. Science is their belief system’s enemy.
    They should be failing, but they’re succeeding instead. I don’t know why. Ignorance is easy and the electorate is taking the easy path.

    Maybe it’s the sheer size of the coursework one needs to carry nowadays to become a scientist that’s the problem. In the early part of the last century it was easy enough for the lay person to follow and mostly understand science (with the possible exception of Quantum Mechanics) so science was accessible. Now maybe science isn’t so accessible and the masses turn their backs on it and seek out the easy, comforting rituals of yesteryear, that “Old time religion” from the song.

    Outreach is more important than ever…

    I have an old friend who I used to work with back in the mid ’80s who was never religious back then. Now he goes to church and said “It’s good to have a friend in the man upstairs.” the other day. I didn’t say anything, just smiled… What can you say to such a deluded person? It’s a comforting delusion, I’m sure, but a delusion nonetheless. I wish I had an answer to all this but I don’t. Clearly he was looking for me to agree with him and maybe then he’d invite me to join his church. I’m sure this would raise his stature in his church and make him feel powerful. He has no idea I’m an atheist.

    Clearly, too, the schools are the new battleground and we are in the fight of our lives!
    “Keepin’ it real” in Charlottesville,
    Rich

  7. Erin

    *facepalm*

    This is what I get for not paying enough attention to local politics. Dammit.

    *sigh*

    *adds another issue to political watch list*

  8. The creepiness of these bastards is beyond pale.

    Banality of evil, indeed.

  9. If this goes through, I foresee many children now being homeschooled going to school and vice-versa. Anyone for retracting the rehabilitation of Copernicus? And maybe we should give Einstein a posthumous trial. Who’ll bring the dice? I believe Philip Glass has a soundtrack for it.

  10. Isernbreegen

    Please, Texas, just secede from the US. Make up your own crazy little country that the rest of the world can point at and laugh. I’m sorry for all the decent, intelligent people in Texas, but it’s for the best of all. Just leave Texas. And to everyone else, convice every crazy religious person around you to move to Texas and support secession from the US. I fear it’s the only option left.

  11. In other news: Texas is working on handing back the torch of being at the forefront of scientific research back to Europe. Europe says thanks/merci/danke/gracias.

  12. IVAN3MAN

    There’s never a Lee Harvey Oswald around when you need one!

  13. Swift

    “Texas is only 6000 years old!”
    Actually, that makes perfect sense. They just haven’t had enough time to evolve intelligence. :p

  14. ccpetersen

    Could we please move NASA and UTA out of Texas (and maybe Dell, although maybe not) and then hand it over to the idiots? And do it soon, before the rush to flee the state starts and they continue infecting the rest of the country with this idiocy?

    So, how does the infantile Ms. Cargill explain oil? (or as they say deep in the heart o’, the Awl Bidness?) Does she figger Jebus blew it into the rocks with a straw a few weeks before the first oil well was drilled in Texas? Heck, every oil professional has a geologist on staff and those folks aren’t about to buy a dream about some magical sky fairy who arbitrarily puts stuff here and there on some imaginary time table. No, they work with science to find that black told that keeps politicians from considering seriously what we’re doing to the environment.

    Could this just get any weirder?

  15. ccpetersen

    er… black GOLD… dang it Phil, we NEED a preview window for comments!! (and while yer at it, get off my lawn!) dang kids anyway…. wanders off muttering about preview windows

    ;)

  16. Patrick

    I long for the days when this blog was the best source of astronomy information. Sad really.

  17. James

    Don’t fret folks. People like me who will teach astronomy next year will not allow this nonsense to get in the way of good science. Sample test question for next year:
    Which of the following numbers would most likely represent the age of the universe, if you were to ask Neil DeGrasse Tyson?
    a. approximately 13 billion years
    b. 6000 years
    c. since 1836, 173 years
    d. since 1776, 233 years

    Ok, I’m not going to make it that easy, but you get the idea.

  18. BJN

    Score one for the Texas Intelliban. The whole state is redshifting as it accelerates toward a theocratic educational void.

    One thing I’m sure of, Cargill has no idea how big a number a billion is. Nor does she really care.

  19. Craig Edgar

    Really? I mean Really? What the heck is going on? I might shut up shop in Ireland and Move to Texas cause its quite apparent anyone can get a high powered job with absolutly no common sense!!

    Good luck for Chelsea in the European Champions League Semi Final tonight!

  20. Cindy

    Hey, I just showed to my high school astronomy class yesterday the clip from Cosmos that has Carl Sagan saying we are bit of star dust. I just posted a multiple choice review question about which stellar population the Sun is and said it’s 5 billion years old and the universe is 13.7 billion years old. Then again, I teach at a private school in NJ.

    And I apologize that my great-great-great-great-grandfather helped negotiate Texas being admitted to the US.

    ccpetersen: my brother is a petroleum geologist and my sister-in-law has become a YEC. I don’t know how my brother can stand it.

  21. Well, I guess it only goes to say that ‘ Lots of smart people take humanity a step higher and then a couple of weirdos bring us back down ‘. I wonder when these guys will accept the truth?

  22. Isernbreegen

    And this:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/06/us-creationism-teacher-first-amendment

    is why I’m afraid that trying to teach those crazy people is futile.

  23. IVAN3MAN

    ccpetersen:

    … dang it Phil, we NEED a preview window for comments!! (and while yer at it, get off my lawn!) dang kids anyway…. wanders off muttering about preview windows

    The Discover web-master/editor, Amos Zeeburg, told me some time ago that “they are working on it”. ;-)

  24. Jesso

    James: I’ll be right there with you. I’m working right ow to become a science teacher, and I fully intend to teach SCIENCE in my SCIENCE class.

  25. Cheyenne

    @ccpetersen – I really never understood why people made such a fuss over the “preview” ability before. Now after having posted at some other sites I kind of get it. This Discover one is a Yugo compared to some others. You can preview, you don’t have to use HTML (although you still can) to change your layout or font or whatever.

    I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that they have something in the works though. Probably debut with the best one out there at some point.

  26. Cheyenne

    OK I see Ivan3Man beat me to the punch as I was typing….

  27. Briarking

    So in a nutshell, she’s saying since astronomers don’t have an exact date of birth of the cosmos, its age can’t be mentioned at all? That passed 11-3?!

    That stupid really does burn.

  28. dsnamibia

    “You may vote on issues all you want, and you can even vote on morality if you’d like, but scientific reality is not a matter of opinion and cares not for the majority vote.”

    That’s very true; after all, argument by consensus is a logical fallacy. However, is there not a possibility that pointing out such cases as Dover and the recent anti-antivax ruling may be taken superficially as exactly this kind of appeal?

  29. nichole

    **ring ring. ring ring.**

    “Hello?”

    “Hi, yes, is this Ms. Cargil speaking?”

    “Yes, I’m Barbara Cargil.”

    “Hi Ms. Cargil, this is science calling. I wanted to say that I totally care about your opinion, and that facts about me should be treated democratically. Screw all that authoritarian ‘facts supported by data and research’ stuff. That’s not how America runs!”

    “Really? That’s what I’ve been saying!”

    “jk.”

    **click**

  30. Wow, I don’t really know which is worse: the Texas BoE or the people leaving comments. I know Texas-bashing is all the rage now, but this is just sad.

    Anyway, people are going to believe whatever they want to believe. Back in high school in the late 90s, we learned about evolution. Our biology teacher was a bit religious, and she took a poll of who believed in evolution (she probably violated all types of rights and broke all types of laws, but this is Texas after all). Only two kids raised their hands, and one of them was me. One kid then preceded to tell us that we were going to hell. I’m pretty sure, even after being taught evolution, we were the only two people who left class that day that believed in evolution.

    I don’t like it either, but being emo and whining and telling us to secede and not let Oklahoma hit us on the way out does not help. There are *a lot* of good people in Texas. Things will change, and sometimes they have to get worse before they get better.

  31. Richard

    Next is geology, I’m sure. How far are they willing to go to gut science from school?

    The better question is, when will the more reasonable people in Texas stand up and laugh these nimrods out of the board? They are putting the entire nation at risk by ensuring that our great nation begins a great decline into the bronze age.

    Just watch them, I’m sure they’ll start questioning Germ Theory.

  32. @ Swift: That explains everything!

  33. Is there any way to impeach these individuals?

  34. Ray

    Do you by any chance have the actual language of the amendment?

  35. Holy jumping jehosephat… that video is excruciating. “They will be taught about 12 to 14 billion years ago but this leaves it open just a little bit to discuss just… how many billions”. Phrasing it that way is only important to a YEC. Who else cares? Teach 13.7 billion but tomorrow if science says that it was actually 14.5 billion, well, cool. It doesn’t change anything really from an educational stand point… except if you’re a YEC and you can’t count past 10 with your shoes on.

    They came for the biologists, but I am not a biologist.
    Then they came for the astronomers, but I am not an astronomer.
    Who is next?

  36. Rob

    Too disturbing to put together a commentary biting and comprehensive enough and not violate Phil’s language rules.

  37. Creationists. Give them an inch- they’ll take a mile. Give them a yard… *shudder*

  38. @The Chemist

    Creationists. Give them an inch- they’ll take a mile. Give them a yard… *shudder*

    Give them a yard, they’ll put a bunch of old trucks and cars in ‘em propped up on cinder blocks?

  39. IVAN3MAN

    @ Cheyenne,

    If you think that the comment box here “is a Yugo compared to some others”, then the one at Universe Today is a bloody Trabant!

  40. Darrin

    *sigh*

    I leave Texas for a few years, and look what happens! Dang wackos and their anti-science bull. Texas school systems were pretty good at science when I was attending school there, but now…yeesh. Talk about retardation on a massive scale.

    It boggles my mind how anyone can think the Earth is 6,000 years old. I mean…really? REALLY? You’re going to dismiss every scientific accomplishment in the past 2,000 years and just say “God did it”?

    DOUBLE. ****ING. FACEPALM.

  41. Gary Ansorge

    Ah, Texas. I spent a decade or so there,,,one night,,,

    I think I know why we’ve not been contacted by LGMs,,,they’re afraid our insanity is contagious. To bad we don’t have a vaccine for that,,,

    First, it’s an ad hoc discussion over exactly how many billions of years, then it’s a discussion of “Well, if we don’t know exactly, might it not possibly be thousands,,,?”

    Give them an inch and they’ll steal parsecs.

    GAry 7

  42. TheBlackCat

    They came for the biologists, but I am not a biologist.
    Then they came for the astronomers, but I am not an astronomer.
    Who is next?

    We already know that from Egnor: neuroscience is next on their hit list.

  43. It occurs to me that if they’re claiming that Texas is only 6000 years old then they’re denying the existence of oil deposits (too ancient, you know). Considering all the money Texas made off of this non-existent oil, maybe the rest of the US should demand a refund?

  44. Neuroscience. Of course they’d have problems with the search for the “god-spot”.

  45. A former biology teacher who doesn’t know biology is now an expert on astronomy too? That’s great. That’s just great. Because what we really need in the world is more people who think that because they have an opinion, it must be right.

  46. … wondering when π (pi, in case it gets mangled) is going to make an appearance at these meetings.

  47. @Paul M
    Well thank goodness you now have a president that likes pi(e)…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5L3M8Pn9KU
    ;-)

  48. Jason

    At this point I would kinda like it if Texas went ahead and seceeded.

  49. Nova Terata

    So what if Texas is 6000 years old, my cousin, he’s a vampire lord and is totally 8000 years old

  50. @ Richard:

    The better question is, when will the more reasonable people in Texas stand up and laugh these nimrods out of the board?

    That is why they go after the school board seats, Richard, because they know most people won’t bother to care…or vote…for school board members. It’s a frighteningly successful strategy.

    And since you can’t argue with them, I believe mockery is the best strategy. Just once I wish another board member would just up and laugh out loud at their outrageous amendments. I thought that one lady in the video was going to do it, but she didn’t follow up on her question.

    @ Romeo Vitelli:

    You do realize, don’t you, that petroleum is being produced as we speak deep down inside the earth? What, you didn’t know that? Sheesh, dude, bone up on your theolo…er, I mean…geology.

  51. Well, this is Texas and you need to remember that there is the abiotic oil crowd out there!

  52. ccpetersen Says:
    Heck, every oil professional has a geologist on staff and those folks aren’t about to buy a dream about some magical sky fairy who arbitrarily puts stuff here and there on some imaginary time table.

    So, of course, they’ll be replaced by dowsers

    J/P=?
    (click on sig for ‘Creationism Ad Absurdum’ argumentum)

  53. Joe Meils

    I can’t say I’m surprised at this. TX has been a stronghold of idiocracy for how long?

    Talibangelists in their government… who wouldda thunk it?

  54. Paul M: I was thinking the exact same thing. Careful reading in Kings 7:24 and the repetition at 2 Chronicles 4:3 show pi to be three. Daniel 4:10-11 talks about a tree so high that it can bee seen everywhere on earth (ergo it is flat).

    But science isn’t the only idea to suffer. Read that bible from end to end and tell me where its says anything about slavery, except that its bad to be one. Trade them, raise them sell them, beat them, these are all okay.

    There isn’t a word against incest to be found, though there are plenty of examples of it, by goodly men of god.

    If Lot had worn wool and silk while he was having sex with his two daughters (Gen 19:33–36) he would have been committing a great sin. But since he was wearing only one kind of covering, everything was jake.

    Using the bible as a source of science is laughable. Using it as a source of morality is a sin.

  55. Lawyer

    There is so much “Texas hate” going on among all the diverse set of blogs I read (and thats a lot, I am a voracious reader with a lot of time on my hands) for BACKWARDS thinking such as that espoused by Cargill, it will only be a matter of time before Texas must change.

    I highly recommend people USE THE POWER of the internet to post FACTS and links to damning video clips such as Cargill’s on YouTube to spread the truth on the web.

    Galileo and other such “heretics” would be be proud of such a use of the Internet.

  56. Blizzarrrg!!!

    …can we not just shoot them? Even a little bit? Please?

  57. Richard

    Then we can all agree, the best way to deal with Creationists is through sarcasm, cruel mockery, and downright laugh-and-pointism?

    Cool, ’cause I got years of catching up to do. (Ah, my days of Farking. And my alternate story of the great Flood. Those were the days.)

    We have to be careful, though, that we point our mockery at the Creationists and not the rest of the Christians. Most Christians are not as willfully ignorant as the Creationists. And some Christians probably can’t wait to pounce on them, as well. ;)

    (Oh, and for the record, please don’t refer to Creationists, as Creatins. That entanglates them with Cretins. The ancient people of Crete were smarter than Creationists.)

  58. Isernbreegen

    Regarding the question of where the oil came from if Texas was indeed 6000 years old:

    a) God put it there
    b) Oil is in fact secreted by unbelievers who burn down there in Hell, probably their vile black souls

    Problem: if it’s a) let’s hope God did good planning, otherwise peak oil will be a problem if he doesn’t refill. And let’s face it, God didn’t actually do much since about 2000 years ago. At least no one kept records.

    If it’s b) on the other hand, no problem. Religious people will always find other people to condemn to Hell.

  59. @ Isernbreegen:

    b) Oil is in fact secreted by unbelievers who burn down there in Hell, probably their vile black souls

    Oh, man! You mean I’m going to end up in some old fart’s buick?

  60. Isernbreegen

    @kuhnigget:

    No, not you. You’ll burn in Hell for eternity. Your black soul will probably fuel the good American car of a righteous person on the other hand. See how forgiving the Lord is? You should thank Him when you’re burning!

    *shiver*

    Even pretending such “morality” in jest makes me feel horrible …

  61. @Buffalodavid

    Not only does the bible clearly say that π is 3, but you’re talking about a sacred number here. Three shows up everywhere–even on pancakes. Do you understand the spiritual ramifications of π being something other than 3? For one thing, it would mean that the trinity is irrational … oh wait. ;-)

  62. Your Name's Not Bruce?

    I often wonder, if forced to choose between the idiosyncratic interpretation of their Bronze age holy book and the real world knowledge that lets them find fossil fuels, precious metals etc., which way these people would jump?

  63. Hoot

    I emailed ol’ Goodhair asking him to fire this “woman”. I doubt he’ll listen but this is quite embarrassing.

  64. Peptron

    I think they are not using their legislative power to their fullest potential. There is an epidemic of swine flu at the door of the world, why don’t they pass a law against the existence of swine flu? Imagine how much money (and possibly lives too) would be saved if swine flu no longer existed?

  65. T_U_T

    I often wonder, if forced to choose between the idiosyncratic interpretation of their Bronze age holy book and the real world knowledge that lets them find fossil fuels, precious metals etc., which way these people would jump?

    they will use the the real knowledge while believing the bible is right and the real world knowledge is false.

  66. Pistachio T Wildebeest

    I had two Creationists knock on the door this morning, muttering darkly about Armageddon, and for once I felt like talking to them (they were out in force; I’d already sent the first two groups away). Initially they claimed that the world was created in 4000 BC, along with Adam and Eve, but after a certain amount of enthusiastic debate they left agreeing that human civilization was older than this, that our species has been around for several hundred thousand years, that the Earth was four billion years old, and that the whole Adam and Eve thing was “true in the sense that we believe in it.”

    I’m not entirely sure what that last part means, but in some small way I feel that progress was made. The cognitive dissonance was remarkable to see, though: at one point they were agreeing that human settlements existed prior to 4000 BC, but that nobody lived there because it was before Adam and Eve were created. They never did tell me much about Armageddon.

  67. Richard

    I think that one tactic we could use is this: “What Creationists don’t want you to know.” A set of videos on YouTube and blogs that go into detail about the details Creationists deny or ignore. It seems sexier to tell people you’re gonna give them information that’s supposed to be secret.

    That’s how the anti-science crowd works.

    “What Creationists Don’t Want You to Know: Human Settlements Before Creation.” There, an idea I want someone to run with, please.

  68. Menyambal

    Kent Hovind says that oil is made from people who drowned in the Flood. He makes fun of them, shouting ridicule.

    He also hates “evolutionists” because they think that people end up as “worm dirt”.

    Kent Hovind is *evil*.

  69. “What Creationists Don’t Want You to Know: Human Settlements Before Creation.” There, an idea I want someone to run with, please.

    I like it! That approach seems like it would grab people’s attention better than most other approaches we’ve used.

  70. Richard

    Kent Hovind said that? I bet he believes that not believing in a deity (specifically, his version) makes one immoral.

    I bet he still says that from his prison cell.

    What, who didn’t know that Hovind is convicted criminal? Who didn’t know that he lied? Who didn’t know he’s a hypocrite? Who didn’t know he’s full of coprolite?

  71. Carney

    Here’s the thing. I disagree strongly with Young Earth Creationism or any other variety of it, and if I were a legislator or served on a school board or board of education I would vote down creationism.

    However the widely held belief among skeptics, science advocates, etc. that the First Amendment mandates secular government, especially at the state level, is false.

    Firstly, the First Amendment only mentions Congress, not the states or localities. Going by that plus the Tenth Amendment makes clear just based on the text that there is nothing in the US Constitution preventing TX or any other state from having its own official religion and mandating public support or even attendance at sectarian rituals, instruction, etc. And history makes this clear. The public pressure for a constitutional amendment with an establishment clause came not from a clamor for strictly secular government but from fear of the various states with already-existing established religions that a federal church would supersede them.

    You read that right – the Establishment Clause was meant to PROTECT established churches in the states. And throughout the Founding Era the same men who wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights, and who had no qualms whatever asserting themselves or engaging in vigorous political debate, accepted established state churches without a single claim that they violated the 1st. Now many objected to such policies on the merits, but that is an entirely separate issue.

    Today many claim that the 14th Amendment has “incorporated” the Bill of Rights to the states, but the text does not say this, nor is there any indication from the authors or ratifiers that that is what they intended. Nor was it interpreted this way for decades. Either reading is an effort to deduce an author’s intended meaning, or literacy and writing are pointless.

    Secondly, even at the Federal level, the Establishment clause has long been interpreted too broadly. It was understood to be narrowly tailored, banning any specific church from achieving the status, in the 18th Century, of Anglicanism in England, Catholicism in Spain, Lutheranism in Sweden, and Orthodoxy in Russia, where the general operations of the church are tax-supported, the state officially endorses that denomination and its particular truth claims, senior clergy have a formal check on the state if not a direct legislative role, the church claims it is God’s will that this specific individual be the monarch and demands obedience to him, etc.

    But there’s nothing preventing milder or broader “entanglements” with religion. From the very beginning, all 3 federal branches, perfectly constitutionally, operated with official prayers, chaplains, religious proclamations including of prayer and thanks, and observance of common Christian holidays including Christmas and Easter, etc etc. It occurred to nobody, least of all the authors and ratifiers of the First, that this was unconstitutional. Now it can of course be stopped by statute or even by stopping voluntarily.

    Finally, I want to make the broader point not just to pro-science advocates but all Americans that we are far too accustomed to shouting “that’s unconstitutional!” to shut down debate. Just because something is a bad idea, foolish, false, unfair, damaging, unwise, unjust, etc, does NOT make it unconstitutional. The Constitution is NOT a guarantee of wise effective fair government, and does not ensure a permanent victory for YOUR personally preferred public policy while banning all policies you dislike. Sometimes you lose an election or your side loses a legislative vote. Deal with it! Instead of running to the courts to ban your opponents, accept fair-and-square defeat and try harder next time. It’s called being mature in a representative democracy.

  72. @ Richard – the inhabitants of Crete were Cretans, not Cretins. Cretins inhabit tiny worlds of their own devising. A lot of these worlds are roughly 4000 years old.

    This stuff makes me damn worried. I’m in Scotland, and I’m still concerned that Texas is uncomfortably close. Can the world not unite and acknowledge that now, finally, it is time to Mess With Texas? We’d be doing it for their own good, after all; they messed with it themselves, badly, and now they need someone to pick up the many tragic pieces.

    In the interests of full disclosure, I’m a Christian, and a PhD English student rather than a scientist (not sure which is apt to prove more difficult, but hey, I’m having fun here, and it’s all wonderfully educational), but the YECs still give me the screaming heebie-jeebies. The answer to “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” is not “The prayer meeting.”

    I wonder who’s going to challenge the school boards with this…

  73. tdhowe

    Crap like this makes me sick that I live in Texas, even if it is only temporary. I’m extremely glad that I don’t have any school age children.

  74. @Richard, The problem is that YEC’s will deny any evidence disproving their world view as either the work of the devil or something God cooked up to test the true believers. Apparently, when he created the world 6,000 or so years ago, God put some old, ruined human civilizations in place, planted Dinosaur bones such that they’d appear to be millions of years old, placed oil deposits so they’d appear to be the result of decomposed dinos, etc.

    Only True Believers will see past the mountains of false evidence to see the truth. The wicked will be dissuaded from the “Truth” by the mountains of evidence proving it false. Yes, they really twist mountains of evidence proving their ideas false as evidence that they are right. That’s why I’ve long given up any hope of arguing with a YEC. I just bite my tongue, nod my head politely and get away from them as quickly as possible.

  75. Gary Ansorge

    In the “Secret Knowledge Creationists Don’t Want You to Know”,,,be sure to charge money. After all, secret knowledge is only worth what you pay for it,,,

    GAry 7

  76. @ Richard:

    Who didn’t know he’s full of coprolite?

    Oh, man. Now that would be seriously tough to pass! (Having just this weekend gone digging for and finding, amongst other nifty fossils, some nice pliocene shark s__t.

    @ TechyDad:

    I just bite my tongue, nod my head politely and get away from them as quickly as possible.

    Which used to be a good tactic, until they started pushing their crap (or copro, as the case may be) into the schools. These idiots must be exposed for the fools they are. I’m tired of having to tip-toe around their irrationalities just because religion is involved.

  77. Flying sardines

    Wait a minute .. Texas is as old as 6000 years?

    I thought the whole United States only dated back about 500 years or so to after the voyages of Columbus & Texas wasn’t the first state formed was it?

    I’d have guessed the age of Texas (y’know the state) as 300 -400 years or so putting its artificial & arguably “intelligent” creation at around 1700 CE~ish. ;-)

    Oh you mean the landscape!
    Now that’s a very different story! ;-)

  78. Flying sardines

    Needless to add, creationism in the sense of this stupid religio-political movement is just a crock. It certainly ain’t science & it isn’t even good theology.

    I joked above because the alternative is just miserable. What else can we do about this? :-(

    Particularly from here in distant Australia which is strongly influenced by rtaher than any sort of influence upon the USA?

    Awareness raising? We try that but not sure how much if any gets through.
    Arguing? The Cdesign proponissts seem impervious to rational argument and capable of flaming away withglee any exasperated insults.

    Just ignoring them … as they take over and get ever worse & more powerful?

    I just hope Obama manages to change your countries direction away from the Religious Wrong & soon.

  79. Paul

    Sorry but this is wrong:
    “but scientific reality is not a matter of opinion and cares not for the majority vote.”

    Science absolutely works this way. Now, usually you would want to be polling scientists who were experts in the field, so her methods are a bit questionable.

    But how else does one determine scientific reality? There isn’t some machine that will comb through the scientific literature and tell you what is “real” and “not real”. You have to make up your own mind. Science as an enterprise advances through consensus. “Facts” and arguments are only as strong as what the world’s experts think.

  80. Flying sardines

    @ Richard :

    “Who didn’t know he’s [Hovind] full of coprolite?”

    LOL! Best way around the Ned Flander’s dumb anti-swear filter yet! ;-)

  81. Wayne

    As an astronomy professor in Texas I was and am outraged by this, and sincerely hope the legislature reigns in this group.

    However, before everyone throws the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, let me point out yet again that Texas gets a lot of things right. Texas is largely not participating in the current recession, mostly because our housing wasn’t inflated and our taxes are relatively low. We’d have to keep a check on the fundamentalists, but on balance I’d say it would be a net gain to Texas and a net loss to the US if we became independent again. I’m not advocating for that, but if it came up for a vote I’d have to give it a lot of thought.

  82. This is ridiculous. EVERYBODY knows the universe was created 15.3 minutes ago, with any evidence to the contrary being fabricated by its Creator as a befuddlement to those who call themselves wise. Any personal memories of a time prior to this, however detailed, are proof of the greatness and thoroughness of the Creator’s work. Prove me wrong!

    Is there some sort of vaccine for stupidity? Or at least an antidote? Even if it has lethal side effects. that’s a risk I’de be willing to take.

  83. Spectroscope

    I wonder if these creationist fools really believe they were NO rainbows (ie. no stellar or solar spectra) until after Noah’s flood? :-(

    Do stellar spectra suddenly cut off at the 4000 (?) light year mark? No.

    Does that disprove creationism /”Intelligent Design” /Cdesign PropoWedgism?

  84. Petrolonfire

    @ Harold :

    Is there some sort of vaccine for stupidity? Or at least an antidote? Even if it has lethal side effects. that’s a risk I’de be willing to take.

    An intra-cranial injection of lead pellets delivered via shotguin may be the only antidote to some of the most terminally stupid creationists.

    No, I didn’t say that …

  85. Devin

    We are currently having the same issue up here in Alberta (Canada). They want to amend the Alberta Human Rights Act so that parents can pull their children from any class if the content “offends” their religious belief. It is a sad day for the world.

  86. OtherRob

    The problem is that YEC’s will deny any evidence disproving their world view as either the work of the devil or something God cooked up to test the true believers.

    Ah, yes. God-is-a-Big-Fat-Liar Theology. Do proponents of this idea think are His pants on fire? :)

  87. Ad Hominid

    Dr. Joel Walker, physicist and astronomer, is not giving up on Texas.
    He is running for Don McLeroy’s local school board seat in College Station, Texas. A loss by McLeroy would not automatically remove him as chairman of the state board, but it would make his position there politically untenable.
    The election is this Saturday, if you can support Joel in any way, please do so.

  88. Charlie Young

    As stated on another post, Joe Barton (R, Tex) may be a global warming denier, but he seems to be on board with vaccination.

    Congressional Briefing on Vaccines Addresses Local, National Disease Outbreaks

    Mother of Hib Meningitis Victim Shares Story with Congress

    (WASHINGTON, D.C.): Amidst recent disease outbreaks, Congressmen Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Joseph Barton (R-TX) held a Congressional briefing with several vaccine advocacy organizations to communicate disease risks and consequences. In light of recent resurgences of disease both locally and across the country, Every Child By Two (ECBT) and the American Medical Association (AMA) co-hosted the briefing to educate Congressional members and their staffers on the importance of timely immunization. Several public health organizations and medical associations joined ECBT and AMA as co-sponsors of this important briefing.

  89. Ad Hominid

    Science advocates in Texas need to get personally involved in the political process. If your local school board rep is a creationist or a waffler, sign and up and run for the board yourself. If you have the juice for it, run for the state board. If you already have a pro-science candidate or representative (as I do) support that person in every way. Contact your legislator or state senator, they are more accessible than many think. Speak out in the media at every opportunity. Many legislators and decision-makers are simply unaware of grassroots pro-science, but they are very aware of the intricately organized and active creationist lobby. Change that. Will they listen? To be frank, not all of them will; but they will certainly not listen if nobody bothers to speak out.

  90. Richard

    TechyDad Says: Apparently, when he created the world 6,000 or so years ago, God put some old, ruined human civilizations in place, planted Dinosaur bones such that they’d appear to be millions of years old, placed oil deposits so they’d appear to be the result of decomposed dinos, etc.

    “What the Creationists don’t want to tell you is that they think God is a joker. In fact, they make up details about God to limit his power and yet still call him “All Powerful.” Case in point, Creationists have prohibited God from using evolution as a means to make all of the species of animals throughout time. Instead, they argue, he created them by calling them into existence, but with all the appearance of being evolved. One of the ways they get around the contradiction is to say that God made “kinds” of animals, then these “kinds” begat different kinds in accordance with their environment. Biologists attribute this changing of “kinds” evolution from common ancestors. ”

    Something like that. Mind you, such a series needs to be simple, but not simplistic. It needs to make the viewer feel smarter after viewing it than make them feel like complete fools. But it needs to be framed in a way that puts the Creationists on the defensive. We may not be able to convince Creationists, but we need those on the fence to be able to argue these points for themselves.

    In short, we need to use entertainment to educate. Whether it is through CG animation, traditional animation, live action, or a combination of all three, we need something new for this century.

    Because, let’s face it, these guys with their increasing political power are a sign of impending disaster. Since we still have nukes in our arsenal, we can’t let these guys become the main decision makers. They need to be marginalized we need the cooperation of moderates to do this.

  91. Todd

    This is by far not the majority opinion of Texans. You do find several religious hardliners here and there, but most people aren’t that ignorant. The problem is, and you can see it with this Presidential elections, is that people don’t vote on facts, they don’t research candidates they usually just go, mark one check/bubble for a party then go on their way. The door swings both ways with people on the left thinking that the new administration will pay their mortgage while people on the right thinking they are going to get tax breaks. In reality you get people who don’t give a crap about you, they just want to get rich off of their own agendas.

  92. Daffy

    I will keep saying this: I know these people, I have worked with them when I was very hungry. They are NOT stupid (the leaders, anyway): they are DANGEROUS and know exactly what they are trying to accomplish. They absolutely depend on the rest of the country assuming they are crackpots. Hang on to your civil right, folks, ’cause these people are coming for them. And sooner or later, they WILL take them from you.

  93. It’s not as bad as you guys make it sound like. I, too, don’t believe Universe is 6000 y.o., or that Jesus rose from dead, or that I reincarnated from a tree, or that Voodoo can revive a corpse…

    However, you can’t argue that it’s conceivable that whoever all-powerful created Universe 6000 (or 100; 2; or 100,000) years ago and made it seem like it’s 14bln y.o. You can’t prove a negative. If someone chooses to believe something, you can’t prove they’re wrong. In a way, scientific method is a belief in itself. People like us here believe that the shortest path to the Truth is through scientific method, exploration, experiments and endless validation. Some people don’t. Let them be. Take advantage of them, don’t try to convert them. Teach your kids yourself an hour every day, public school system won’t be a good substitute for parenting anyway.

  94. bigjohn756

    FYI.

    Here is a map of Texas school districts:

    http://mansfield.tea.state.tx.us/TEA.AskTED.Web/TSDfiles/tsd2009/tagged/sboe_map_and_members_tagged.pdf

    Can you spell gerrymandering?

    Here is the lovely and talented Barbara Cargill’s web page:

    http://www.barbaracargill.com/

    Just try and read it without vomiting. Bet you that you can’t.

    Oops! I’d better be careful about using “FYI” here in Texas. It can get you fired.

  95. Ad Hominid

    Exactly right, Daffy. I think it is virtually impossible that someone with McLeroy’s background and education would actually believe in YEC. The chances of Governor Perry believing anything of the kind hover around zero. It is a means to and end, nothing else. And what is that end? At the political level, these people are ruthless power-seekers with an agenda and values that are completely inimical to American principles.

  96. b00t3r

    Why is it that those least capable of responsible, conscientious leadership are most inclined to seek such positions?

  97. Geek Goddess

    People in Texas need to write to Ms Cargill and tell them what they want – I know I’ve certainly sent her several emails and snail mails. (She’s at sboecargill@sbcglobal.net) That address is posted on her own web site.

    The fact that some of the comments tend to lump all 24+ million people in a state into one big monolithic block is interesting and indicates as much critical thinking skills as do the 51% of the State Board members who wanted to water down the evolution language. Regardless of her intent, no where did she say ‘6000 years old’ which several commenters claim.

    Her web site says she is a member of the United Methodist Church of the Woodlands. Not being familiar with what Methodists believe, I did some searching. They are general not young earth or anti-science, and I found this on the UM portal:

    At the 2008 General Conference, three petitions made the following changes to United Methodist documents:

    # Petition 80050: accepts evolution and corrects some ambiguities under “Science and Technology” in the Book of Discipline.

    # Petition 80990: endorses The Clergy Letter Project and its reconciliatory programs between religion and science and urges United Methodist clergy participation, in Resolution 11, “God’s Creation and the Church” in the Book of Resolutions.

    # Petition 80839: creates a new resolution, “Evolution and Intelligent Design,” in the Book of Resolutions: “The United Methodist Church goes on record as opposing the introduction of any faith-based theories such as Creationism or Intelligent Design into the science curriculum of our public schools.”

    Apparently my state rep also attends the same church. I called his office in Austin, and although I did not get hold of him directly, an assistant said that he did not endorse or support the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools.

  98. Liquid_rick

    This is not about religion. these people are deliberately dumbing down America because stupid people are easier to fool into Enron type ripoffs and wars based on lies. Those in power fear the commoners being educated.

  99. James

    You know I live in Texas and while I’ve been watching this happen and powerless to do anything about it, I can’t believe I live in a state that would all something like this to happen. I don’t believe in God, more evidence against it than for it, and won’t allow my son to taught this. Don’t get me wrong, my daughter asks every week to go to church and we do have close friends that take her. I’ve no problem with this, it is well known in this house my feelings on religion. But to teach my children something that is .. so far off the chart is unbelievable. I can’t believe we are letting religion establish any of our policies.

  100. Robert

    @ Carney:
    The Establishment Clause is also there to protect us FROM established churches.

  101. Booya

    People must rise up against this kind of Taliban-like extremist lunacy. It is time to stand up against ignorance and shady politics. This is really about perverting a belief system as a means of control.

  102. Joe

    All you people trashing Texas need to realize that the majority of people in America have beliefs similar to Ms. Cargill. Don’t forget Kansas! Most Americans are either intimidated by science, or just find more comfort in their religious beliefs. They don’t know the difference between a million and a billion, and it doesn’t affect their daily lives, so they just stick with the explanation that is simplest for them. This is not an issue specific to Texas.

  103. Synopsis

    What about the interesting precedent this sets?

    Can we put up a vote on Barbara Cargill’s age? If everyone votes to make her only 5 years old would that make her ineligible to be a board member? (or even a functional member of society)

    It’s something to think about.

  104. If you all find out that I died from a second Stroke tonight, please get together and levy a Class Action Lawsuit against the state of Texas. It will have been completely their fault.

  105. Ad Hominid

    Synopsis,
    What an interesting idea. Perhaps they are hoping to set a precedent.
    They can, for example, declare Barack Obama to be, say, 28 years old and therefore ineligible to be president.

  106. Richard Phillips

    For a discussion on why creationism is winning out over Science see this months Natural History magazine.

  107. FapFap

    IVAN3MAN, love the facepalm

  108. Daffy

    Ad Hominid: “At the political level, these people are ruthless power-seekers with an agenda and values that are completely inimical to American principles.”

    Just so.

  109. David Crabtree

    Are they trying to make the rest of the U.S.A. laugh at them .

  110. kevin

    Just more raving by people who think what they believe is right. It can be proven ‘scientifically’, and we’re suppose to believe it. I get so tired of people arguing over this fact. The truth is, both sides have different ideas they think should be taught. Both believe they are right. We should just teach none of it, or all of it, and let the kids and their parents sort it out personally. But teaching just one view, steps on everyone’s rights.

  111. Miami Blues

    Some intelligent parent will sue the Board — with the ACLU’s help, I hope — and with the Federal decision from Dover behind them, the parent — and intelligence, not to mention science and common sense — will eventually prevail.

    Brains will always kick bullies in their ass.

  112. ErnestPayne

    The Mexican economy is in real trouble. Could we offer them a heap of cash to take Texas back and, in doing so, raise the American National IQ?

  113. josh

    WOULD THEY JUST SECEDE ALREADY.. make mexico deal with them or make them deal with themselves.

  114. pierre

    It terrifies me how the BoE does not support the beliefs of the teachers in Texas, nor of the students attending these schools.

  115. Brian

    It is funny how many people here talk about Texans being ignorant yet to lump Texans into one big group is, in and of itself, ignorant.

    Did any of you Texas bashers begin to think about the fact that maybe not everyone agrees with the idiots who try and force their beliefs on the rest of us? Personally, I believe there was some kind of intelligent design, I think the answer will end up being in some twisted way that science and what religion was meant to be are barking up the same tree.

    People like to make comments about what the Bible. says. take for instance the user who posted the story about Lott. You should probably reference the entire story instead of the one, out of context, excerpt you posted that fits your argument.

    Part of the reason why people go religious zealot is out of fear, lack of understanding, or need for acceptance. the latter being true, would not all of the Texas bashing comments just further that blind faith?

    Just some thoughts.

  116. OH Mike

    I support speciation. Let’s not cross-breed with Texans anymore.

  117. Jess Tauber

    Right and Left Brain problem- scientists trend towards mild autism (excess left side activity vs. right, Asperger’s, etc.), so social skills, ability (and motivation) to whisper sweet nothings into the ears of the masses less developed. Right hemisphere social types, OTOH, don’t care about mechanisms, theories, knowledge, just control and being part of the group- they even threaten technical folks to be productively at once, or else. The evil twin of Williams’ syndrome, where otherwise severely retarded patients speak with silver tongues, and insist on being heard and hugged.

    We’ll never come up with a talking cure for the right-brainers. Best to forget this and cook up a technical treatment- drugs, surgery, euthanasia…

    The down side is there won’t be any cool parties to go to anymore- but how many of these were you ever invited to anyway?

  118. A Texan

    It is funny to read all the comments of the hypocrites above. They really need to get off their high horses. I’m sure you have people with hidden agendas in your government too. Perhaps a little tolerance?

    Being from Texas i am insulted by some commentators here. They purport to be intelligent and open minded and cannot believe that Texas (as a whole) would do this, few seem to point at JUST THE BOARD. Since the BoE were the only ones deciding this, how did all of Texas get grouped in with them. Few people run for the board, few care about voting for BoE (see YOUR state’s turnout numbers too), and so a vocal minority gets elected to them.

    The comments seem to imply that all of Texas clearly believes the same way as the BoE and should… (insert their stupid idea; secede from the US, Shoot the BoE, etc.). Clearly all people in a given area are not the same, yet people above suggest all 24,326,974 (Jul 2008 census est.) are the same mind.

    I accept the universe is in the 14-15 Billion year range and know there are people significantly more informed and intelligent than me and as such will accept their informed estimates, but it is because I read up on the subject. Single sourcing leads to people thinking the Bible is the best and only explanation. I know that the science is mostly sound from what can be explained to me. I do not think the Biblical interpretation is a sound theory, but I did listen to it. Remember the ‘dark ages’? There was a time science was the minority and dismissed out of hand…

    So boom, why don’t you secede or instead HELP us in Texas deal with them. My children certainly know the difference between faith and knowledge. Who is to say a big bang, evolution, and natural selection isn’t the way God works the universe. It would be fairly boring for Her to meddle in everything. I sincerely hope God will explain particle physics with that whole electron going one way talking to one going the other way to me when I die, if not I will be disappointed, because I sure don’t get it now.

    By the way, I have no problem with anyone criticizing the decision, just the prejudicial grouping.

  119. Craig

    Personally, it works out great for me. The dumber the country gets, the more money I can make here. Soon they’ll have to import all their skilled and menial labor into the country. Don’t know what that’ll leave for Americans to do though.

  120. Dave

    One slightly pedantic point: science IS opinion, but it is the reasoned opinion of many peers, that has been subject to review (and where necessary, correction), based on the best available evidence at the time, and a consensus as regards the interpretation of that evidence, arrived at through reasoning, logic and debate.
    What it is not is the opinion of some random geezer who lived a couple of thousand years ago, who probably didn’t even know what a billion or a universe is, never mind how many of the former make up the age of the latter, which is kinda what the creationists are basing their argument on.

    They’re both opinions, it’s just that one of them really shouldn’t be taken seriously – one book does not constitute a persuasive body of evidence, no matter how many people have read it.

  121. Synopsis

    @Ad Hominid: Insidious!

    It’s supposed to be “Today the president. Tomorrow the world!”. Starting with the world first is a stroke of mad genius. They’ll confuse us just long enough to put the chains around our necks!

  122. Michael

    Gary Ansorge said…
    Give them an inch and they’ll steal parsecs.

    OK, but only if they can make the Kessel Run in less than twelve of them…

  123. Darth Robo

    Yay Florida, boo Texas…

    :(

  124. Grace

    What’s sad is that Texas has several top research universities in the biological sciences and upcoming physics departments. The public universities are always struggling to teach their life sciences students everything they need to know because they just DON’T GET IT in most high schools throughout the state unless you’re enrolled in programs largely guided by curriculum outside of the state (thank you AP classes and IB programs).

    I’m just thankful that we don’t let the BoE control out colleges, even though their tyranny cripples almost all Texas students. The only thing I can hope for is that the state is seemingly pushing itself back to center lately… if anything because people are voting only to vote against the clowns in office. Maybe there will be changes in the upcoming years before any more damage can be done… or maybe there will be a federal court ruling that makes the BoE look like even bigger jackasses, perhaps enough to lose an election?

  125. The Moth

    I just laughed really, really hard.

  126. Rusty

    Please don’t judge all of Texas by GWB and this moronic woman. SOME of us have IQs in the triple digits. Unfortunately, we’re not republican’ts.

  127. Honza

    As an Australian that accepted a grad school appointment at Rice University (in Houston, Texas) in Bioengineering, should I be worried or just not even bother booking my plane ticket?.

  128. Capt. Jack

    Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell

    Are you enjoying the Republican meltdown as much as I am? Welcome to the Post-Republican era!

    “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” – Mark Twain

    Democrats promote Common good
    Republicans promote Corporate greed.

    I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.~Terry Pratchett

    Lush Rimbone’s troll parrots — like Tolkien’s Orcs — are just simply beyond rehabilitation.

    Why do conservatives hate America?

    The GOP has a choice: change or die. It appears that they have chosen ‘Die’. Bully for them.

    You can lead a conservative to facts – but you can’t make him think.

    You know your god is man-made when he hates all the same people you do.
    ~ [Usenet]

    We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.
    ~ Gene Roddenberry

    Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
    ~ Napoleon

    “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” –Blaise Pascal

    Religion: The only known contagious psychosis.

    You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty. – Jessica Mitford

    Religion has brought about more death and destruction than any other concept invented by man.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R.
    To go forward, put it in D.

    “Not all Republicans are stupid, but most stupid people are Republicans”.

  129. Thanks for posting this. It is time for the rest of us in Texas that still have a smidgeon of intelligence to run these people out on a rail. I am embarrassed to be associated with Texas, seeing this horse drivel.

    I’m calling my state rep tomorrow. Not sure how much good that will do, but I will be spreading my discontent with the TBOE as much and as far as I can. I urge you, my fellow intelligent Texans, to do the same.

    These people are a joke and a disgrace, and they have no business being on the BOE.

    It is truly shameful that the “good ol’ boy” network keeps them going strong, but every little bit of dissonance we can add will eventually bring them to their knees and assign them to the dustbin of history where they belong.

    Fark them and the stupid arse donkey they rode in on.

  130. GeekGoddess

    @James

    You are not powerless. Write letters, send emails, call your representatives. Vote. Go to the School Board meetings. Actively support the candidates of your choice- with your voice, your wallet, your time. Run for School Board yourself. A low percentage of the population bothers to vote on the school board elections – get your friends and like-minded people to turn out, as it doesn’t take tens of thousands of votes to get rid of the cranks like Ms Cargill.

  131. MadScientist

    Yeah, and the majority of the Texas Board of Education were born yesterday – it makes sense, doesn’t it?

  132. Texan

    I would go as far to say that a lot of Texans are disappointed that Creationist cannot just their Christian child to a Christian school where they First Amendment Law could be dutifully fulfilled.

    I would not say that people who are Creationist are the same type of people that believe that having toxin free shots and better plans for adminitering them are in the same league in fact it is polar opposites. If we are suppose to swallow that the universe isn’t a hundred billion years old then what the hell make you believe that we are suppose to swallow what the drug companies tell us. Sounds like somebody is trolling to me.

    You might want to check your tonic because apparently it isn’t doing you justice.

  133. lamv86

    All hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster!!!

  134. jpod09

    I live in Texas and am glad I’m a senior this year so I don’t have to deal with this, but oh wait, that’s right, my biology teacher was an extremist Southern Baptist and didn’t teach us evolution. I wish I had the one teacher at the school who has a degree in biology and was a professor at the local college for years, he teaches evolution and everyone gripes and moans (once again, this is Texas, part of the “bible belt”).

    Why must there be such ignorance in the world…

  135. Rachel

    So what’s with all of the Texas bashing? Just because some stupid people in charge made a bad desicion does not mean the whole state is stupid. And you’d be an idiot for thinking that.

  136. eric

    According to Ethan Siegel’s blog the age of the universe could be uncertain between 12-14 billion years. Here is the blog post:http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2009/05/how_old_is_the_universe.php

    He gives a few reasons, but the one in which he goes most deeply into is that the Hubble parameter may not be constant throughout the entire universe.

    I don’t see this as an anti-science amendment.

  137. Idiocracy Moment...

    “I like money…”

    “But it has what plants crave, it has electrolytes”

    “As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species. ”

    -Idiocracy, the movie (2006)

  138. Heh, watching her – reminds me a little of the fat texan lawyer from The Bee Movie

  139. A Texan (another James)

    @ GeekGoddess

    I’ve calmed down a little too. :-)

    I agree. I vote! I’m supporting a neighbor in his big for School board. I may have to get to a board meeting, sounds like fun.

  140. Sigourney

    “Nuke the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure”

  141. Catholic Zealot

    Stop the anti religious sentiments and stop your friends from joining crazy ass protistant groups….Then We will have peace.

  142. perpetualspiral

    Oh. My. Non-existent God. I would like to echo the actions of Commander Worf and IVAN3MAN. And add a silent, mortified scream. And go down to Texas and punch a few people in the face. Truly, the little respect I had for the State of Texas is completely gone. Is this the middle ages? the Crusades? How on earth can this happen? I’m sick. But, what goes around comes around. Texas is going to educate itself back into the third world.

  143. Cabal

    So, here’s my problem: I don’t necessarily disagree with the amendment Ms. Cargill proposed here. She did not seek to insert creationist material, nor did she effectively ‘open a door’ to do so.

    What Ms. Cargill did was insert a moment of cautionary doubt in to figures that are often instilled with the same fervent belief as any dogma. There is doubt on the absolute age of the universe. There is a generally held consensus, but there are variables we do not have definitive answers for.

    What shape is the universe? Is the universe homogenous? How many damn dimensions does the universe have? Hundreds, thousands, potentially billions of variables exist which can impact our interpretation of the age of the universe. We likely don’t know most of them yet. What it does tell us is that we cannot be certain of the age of the universe, nor even of its genesis.

    However, on ourside we have a catalogue of empirical evidence (and thousands of outmoded, outdated, or just plain wrong theories). Those theories do a hell of a job explaining the way the universe works. But I’ll wager most of the science we ‘know’ today, will resemble the almost contemptible efforts at ‘science’ of our alchemical forebears when viewed from a thousand years in the future.

    I say this as a caution that we don’t stumble in to the same trap those of faith have: we must continue to allow ourselves to question the basic tenets. We must not fear free and open discussion. If this amendmant opens the classroom up to a student saying “but I believe the universe is only 6000 years old” we should cheer! Because that’s a student that has opened a dialogue and knowledge can be shared.

    Do we suspect Ms. Cargills motives? Sure, suspect may not even be a strong enough verb. However, can we deny that science is entirely an endeavor based upon doubt? So what if she called out our doubt? It’s not our weakness. Doubt is thier weakness. For us, doubt is a strength… let her play to our strengths.

    We just need to be prepared when that student asks the question.

  144. Daffy

    Kevin says: “We should just teach none of it, or all of it, and let the kids and their parents sort it out personally. But teaching just one view, steps on everyone’s rights.”

    Nonsense. Are you familiar with the Eskimo version of creation? It’s really quite interesting as myth and, IMO, far more creative.

    But should we teach it in the classroom as being real? And if not, why not? Surely by your standard we must teach all views.

  145. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    THESE PEOPLE ARE MENTALLY ILL AND SHOULD BE OFFERED TREATMENT AND COUNSELING. REMOVEV THEM FROM SOCIETY.

  146. Beth

    I’m glad you all are having fun. All views should be respected AND taught in schools – not one over the other. Creationism is a theory JUST LIKE EVOLUTION. They both deserve their case time – that way, the STUDENTS can decide what to believe in. We weren’t here when the world was created (or Big-Bang Theoried into existance), so why are you all acting like you know what happened? What makes your FAITH/BELIEF in Evolution any different than someone’s FAITH/BELIEF in Creationism? Proof? What is proof anyway? Something that scientists are “sure” that they have discovered? Well Christians have proof too. Don’t be so quick to stomp on someone’s belief just because you think yours is superior. We’ll all know the truth one day.

  147. pacsum
  148. Kevin says: “We should just teach none of it, or all of it, and let the kids and their parents sort it out personally. But teaching just one view, steps on everyone’s rights.”

    To piggyback off of Daffy …

    That’s the thing, there are multiple views, true, however, only one is scientifically supported by not just one field of science, but many. Biology, astronomy, geology, etc. all point to a universe that was NOT created in six days, or hatched from and egg of a giant sea turtle, or appeared when a great battle of the heavens erupted. It’s not a view, its a scientific theory that is the best model to answer our observations of the universe. Don’t confuse the two. One is supported by fact, the other by faith.

  149. ***FACEPALM***
    Reality cares not for what the majority wants.

  150. jimmy

    Science isn’t religions enemy…the belief that we have the ability to solve ANYTHING based on our own understanding is. I mean when you break down evolution to its earliest explanation of life and the creation of the universe, its still based on a belief system. They call it science but its still someone’s idea, and THEORY. I mean who cares if they teach evolution in schools, its still called the THEORY of evolution and that is all it will ever be – As far as religion not being compatible with science…evolution has plenty of contradictions itself – http://www.answersingenesis.org/

  151. @ Beth:

    I’m glad you all are having fun. All views should be respected AND taught in schools – not one over the other. Creationism is a theory JUST LIKE EVOLUTION.

    Except…THERE IS NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER NOT EVEN A TINY SMIDGEN PRETENDING TO BE EVIDENCE FOR CREATIONISM!

    Visit a library, Beth, you apparently are very poorly read.

  152. Humanist

    OMG! I can totally believe it though. I always figured Texas would revert to some strange ultra conservative standard.

    I mean they follow a religion that is invalidated by every interpretation that supersedes it, not to mention that it is based on some archaic tribal religion that has rules written by men who heard the voices telling them it was so. In this day and age we call them schizophrenics, sociopaths or dictators.

    I am certainly not saying that they are all bad, they boil down common sense to a “Right and Wrong” factor, it only saddens me that thousands of years go by and we still have not risen above our primitive instincts to celebrate the natural diversity we hold and accept that the people keeping us company on this small rock floating around the universe in the limited time we have interacting and enjoying each other. Instead we argue, kill, hate, ignore and stand on the backs of one another.

    There are so many people manipulating you for the “Common Good” or to “Save Your Soul” but these principals are simple. Make an effort to be kind and use your objectivity to make a decision. Life is all about learning from experience and growing, we should all try and form our own opinions free of pulpits and publications, exercise some common sense, and be open to having a fuller life and not imposing our situational perspectives on each other.

    So, if you’ve gotten this far, I would ask that tomorrow you make an effort to say hello to the person standing next to you in line get to know them even if it’s till the total rings up on your groceries. At least your not competing in the wild for that head of lettuce and steak, we’ve gone further than that, be proud of it.

  153. Humanist

    PS Sorry about the lack of punctuation! But at least my comment hasn’t been translated from sand-script and interpreted by a minister.

  154. Martin A. Lessem, J.D.

    I think it is time that Texas be permitted to seceed from the Union.

  155. Chris

    Just FYI…one can believe in God and still believe in proven scientific fact…like the age of the universe.

  156. Rowan Bulpit

    Holy FSM, this is horrific. Watching that pass made me physically ill, and has made me doubt humanity’s ability to progress.
    Just disgusting.

  157. jimmy

    @kuhnigget – Anyone can take seemingly related facts and make them work for a theory, but when the origins of theory have no basis, then everything else falls apart. There are tons of books published against evolution and for creationism, many of which use science to prove their points – example – http://www.answersingenesis.org/

  158. @Carney:
    Well put, sir. Thanks for the reality check.

  159. GaryB

    Beth pontificates: We weren’t here when the world was created (or Big-Bang Theoried into existance), so why are you all acting like you know what happened? What makes your FAITH/BELIEF in Evolution any different than someone’s FAITH/BELIEF in Creationism?

    Swine flu for one. By one “theory” God “stopped” creating the species but here we’ve got a new one. We have fossil evidence that correlates with radio carbon dating that correlates with genetic evidence which correlates with observed forms.

    The difference is EVIDENCE. Evidence for creationism: ZERO. Evidence for evolution comes from 10,000 of studies of very diverse types. Predictions using creationism: NOTHING. Nothing can be inferred by it. Predictions using evolution: Antibotic resistance, emergence of new types of organisms such as the flue, predictions of intermediate types, rates of adaptation and on and on.

  160. I think we know exactly how he feels.

  161. Pepperlicksy

    Do all of you really think Texas is this dumb. That all because some staunch conservative women who cares about her own God and his teachings more than science that the rest of Texas will just abide to this incompatible notion. Let me say that schools in Texas are much better than this article makes them out to be, Creationism is not taught, it’s a morally driven paradox that is looked at skeptically, how I would believe the rest of the nation perceives it. Don’t sell out Texas based on this women who obviously obtained any state of power through strong political connections, everyone who is being critical is at fault for truly believing that a state could fall under such submissiveness, and it is this faulty critique of an American population that encourages others to falsely proclaim succession.

  162. Patrick

    All I have to say is SCOREBOARD. Frown on Texas as much as you want but we are one of the few states that will be able to pay their bills in the next five years. Real estate remains very stable here as does employment. We also make up 40% of the Fortune 500 top ten companies and that is not a coincidence. You guys can continue to socialize your governments and tax your citizens into the ground. Texas is one of the few places that believes that capitalism works. I do not agree with the religious right here but I prefer them to the rest of you socialists. Good luck with that. Trust me we are not happy to be associated with you either. I say vaya con dios we can still be friends.

  163. Eric

    I think that these people’s main problem is they don’t even understand their own scriptures. When the Bible says “day” in the creation story, it means a complete period of time. It can therefore mean 24 hours or several billion years. The ancient Hebrews wrote this way and understood its meaning as such. Now take a translation, that say “day”, and get dogmatic over it being 24 hours and say that the universe could only be so old (an astute biblical scholar will note that it doesn’t say the universe in the creation, but the earth) is really imbecilic. They need to learn that when it says “Let there be light” this most likely refers to the big bang and then it starts from there, in time periods. Oh well, a few ignorant “Christians” make the rest of us look stupid.

  164. jimmy

    @GaryB – What do you know about viruses? Read the section in this article entitled “Is the “bird flu” evolving?”…its not a new creationg…its mutated.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v1/n1/has-it-evolved

  165. TheBlackCat

    Anyone can take seemingly related facts and make them work for a theory, but when the origins of theory have no basis, then everything else falls apart.

    That explains creationism quite well. Evolution, on the other hand not only fits the facts, it was able to predict facts that were not yet known. Many, many facts. That is why it is science and creationism is not.

    There are tons of books published against evolution and for creationism, many of which use science to prove their points – example – [aig link omitted]

    No, they use lies they claim are science. AIG is particularly notorious for having absolutely no concern whatsoever for the truth. If they can’t intentionally and grossly distort the facts to fit their preconceived notions, they make up “facts” out of thin air.

  166. jimmy

    @TheBlackCat: This is a bold claim

    If they can’t intentionally and grossly distort the facts to fit their preconceived notions, they make up “facts” out of thin air.

    Example?

  167. It’s true, it was very important to vote against posing clowns last presidential election. Imagine if adorable (satire) Mz. Alaska was VP now, with Yoyo McCain forced to blather in the corner that he “BELIEVES!”: evolutionists would be getting shot at from helicopters, and pregnant teen-agers would be popping up in record numbers, abstinance or no abstinance, popping out by the numbers more potential evangelical fundamentalists. However, Nature WILL take its course: kids are naturally rebellious to inane authoritarianism, whether that is figured in the thousands or billions of years. Point in fact is 50 years ago. YEC parents can propogate all they want in the name of whatever, and they will be creating their own downfall. Me? I’m just a little ol’ spiritually active non-deistic realist with 100% disability from an injury in Vietnam, who prefers to drive friendly, and refuses to take sh*t.

    That said, Texas is a beautiful state, with many good people in it, as good a place to be proud of, or just be content in, as any. It’s so big your stride automatically gets bigger, and, you know, week-ends are seven days long, etc.

    The focus of this article, namely the TBOE and Mrs. Cargill input therein, is one of them deals where like all YECs, she polluted the space she takes up, but, thanks be to their own god’s creative genius, glory alleluia, their pollution is not assimilative. One could wonder if Cargill got her family name from her species–cars with gills–driving out of the ocean along with the fish that walked out some…uh…6000 years ago at least. I wonder what Sam Huston thinks about all this.

  168. Jonathan

    I can understand everyone’s disgust at this. Current evidence quite strongly supports an old universe. However, I don’t think the board’s action is a tragedy. Don’t you think its good to question your beliefs? Is that not what science does? The questioning of beliefs/the world has lead to many (if not all) scientific discoveries. Questioning is good, even if it simply reaffirms your conclusion. ‘But Jonathan,’ some might say, ‘An old universe is so clear and obvious there is no need to question it.’ Yes, it seems that way now, but at one time everyone knew that the earth was *obviously* the center of the universe. Didn’t it make you mad reading about Galileo and how his questioning of the *norm* was treated? He was punished for his genius. I think we want to avoid the ‘this is the absolute truth’ approach. Leaving evolution and creationism up for questioning is, I think, a good idea. Of course I could be wrong but, I would rather have an open forum and be ‘wrong’, than have staunch unquestionable law and be ‘right’.

  169. jimmy

    @jonathan:

    Amen: Down with fascism – encourage open debate

  170. TheBlackCat

    @ Jimmy: That is easy enough to find. Search for Tiktaalik, and look for the first article on the subject (that is, not part 2). Check out this line:

    This differs radically from that of any fish including Tiktaalik. Essentially all fish (including Tiktaalik) have small pelvic fins relative to their pectoral fins. The legs of tetrapods are just the opposite: the hind limbs attached to the pelvic girdle are almost always more robust than the fore limbs attached to the pectoral girdle.

    This is a complete and utter fabrication. The rear portion of Tiktaalik, including the pelvis, was never found. They simply made this up.

  171. Bicky

    Texas is fubar.

  172. @ Jimmy the Creationist Parrot:

    @kuhnigget – Anyone can take seemingly related facts and make them work for a theory, but when the origins of theory have no basis, then everything else falls apart. There are tons of books published against evolution and for creationism, many of which use science to prove their points …

    Please point to the “science” in any of those books of yours, dimwad.

    Examples, please.

    In every evolution vs. nutcase thread on Dr. BA’s blog, people who know the science of evolution post example after example after example.

    But creationist nitwits like you don’t. Instead, you post links to idiotic creationist websites.

    So go head Polly, I mean, Jimmy…give us some examples of that science of yours. With “tons” of books published, there must be something.

    Jimmy want a cracker?

  173. TheBlackCat

    @ Jonathan: No one is saying this. The issue is twofold.

    First, the proper place for such debates is not in grade school science classrooms, it is in scientific journals and conferences. That is where science is discussed, debated, and advanced. Grade school students have neither the time nor background to understand the real debates going on in these fields. Only when the scientific community has been convinced there is at least a chance the idea has any merit should it be taught in science classrooms.

    We can’t just go throwing in every random idea that pops into anyone’s head or school would take our entire lives. The stuff that is taught in science classrooms needs to be the things that scientists consider to have merit, since they are the ones with the knowledge and understanding necessary to see how any idea fits in with the current state of the evidence. Once the scientific community thinks there is something there, then we can start talking about putting it in classrooms.

    Second, creationism is not science. It is religion. We should be teaching science in science classrooms, not religion. And if we were teaching religion in science classrooms, why should we be limiting it to only evolution and only the biblical creation story? Shouldn’t we be teaching Hindu creation story, or the Australian Aboriginal one? Shouldn’t we be teaching voodoo methods for curing disease alongside germ theory? How about teaching that the Earth is flat in Earth sciences? Why is evolution in particular singled out for attack, and Christian fundamentalist creationism singled out for support? That is pretty hypocritical if you ask me. By your logic we should be teaching every idea about everything ever.

  174. The Bible doesn’t state that this Earth is 6,000 years old. People that don’t understand it and then try to go teach their misunderstandings to other people state that the Earth is 6,000 years old. The Bible itself shows that the Earth is very, very old.

    http://realbible.info/three_world_ages.html

  175. Okay, I originally did an observation of NeoConservatives back in the 1980’s, and created the Rules of (Neo)Conservative Correctness (available at dittobusters.com – click on .sig).
    It’s time for a new set of Rules:

    Rules for Wooists

    1) Use extreme ‘visualizations’, misleading ‘keywords’ and names for organizations in opposition to their actual function.

    2) Opponents are ‘conspirators’, or at best ‘useful idiots’

    3) Misrepresent claims, preferably by exaggerating them

    4) Twist or use outdated facts to support your view

    5) Present your own ‘solution’ to the problem

    6) Use ‘authorities’ and celebrities to support your case

    7) Challenge the other side to present part of your case(see #3), specifically the weaknesses you use

    8) Bring in irrelevant examples of ‘failures’ of various kinds

    9) Claim the ‘other side’ is ‘dogmatic’, while you are ‘open minded’

    10) Insist on ‘both sides’ being presented, but with different standards of proof for each side

    16) Use ‘primary’ sources (e.g. Discovery Institute) for your references, use ‘secondary’ sources (e.g. blogs) for your opponent’s references.

    11) [for extreme wooists on the Internet only] Do not use punctuation, correct grammar or spelling, and do use ad hominem attacks.

    12) Stay with your interpretation of data, even if others are as or more reasonable.

    13) When you don’t present evidence, say it is too: obvious/much to do in a short post/complex for your readers.

    14) Claim a large following

    15) Generalize your opponent’s view of your side

    16) Respond to verifiable facts with questionable ‘studies’

    17) An anecdote is worth a thousand scientific studies

    RAFOP: Rules Are For Other People

    J/P=?

  176. Yeah and US is only 1 year old.

  177. @Jonathan
    Don’t you think its good to question your beliefs? Is that not what science does?
    Let’s start with gravity shall we? Or germ theory? Maybe Jimmy can study a bit of political theory and learn about fascism?

  178. WayneF

    I use to be thankful that progressives lacked the idiotic base that will take any chance to make a pot shot at the other side. Obviously, I am wrong in this. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

    I mean, really. Why so many Texas haters? What did Texas do to you? I really find it hard to believe Texas is the only state where the board of education (or whatever they call it for their state) has members doing the same thing as Ms. Cargill. And, while she did dodge the question, she did not say at any moment that she thought the Earth was 6000 years old. She could be opening the door, or she could simply be insisting they allow for a few billion years, give or take, in the estimate. Which unto itself, isn’t that big of a deal. What high school student would have their belief system destroyed if the science teacher told them the universe was 14-16 billion years old?

    So while it does leave the door open for shenanigans, this isn’t the blow to the establishment of science that Phil makes it out to be. What is his agenda here? Does he want NASA in Colorado or something? I really don’t get it. It seems like only every 5th post is about astronomy now, while all of the others about Randi, or anti vaxxers, or how Texas sucks.

    So to all of you haters out there: You’re making yourselves look like idiots. Really. You are. Generalizations about an entire state of MILLIONS of people are foolish.

  179. bassmanpete

    When they talk about the weaknesses of the ToE we should be shouting from the rooftops that the weaknesses are being sought out EVERY DAY by scientists who know that they’ll win a Nobel Prize if they can find them!

    On a completely different note, and I swear this is true: today I was behind a slow moving vehicle that had FSM as the letters of its registration number. I prayed and prayed and prayed, but it didn’t go any faster and it didn’t move over to let me pass. Make of that what you will :)

  180. Ad Hominid

    Honza asks:
    “As an Australian that accepted a grad school appointment at Rice University (in Houston, Texas) in Bioengineering, should I be worried or just not even bother booking my plane ticket?.”

    Congratulations on your appointment, and by all means take it up. Rice is a fine school. You don’t need to worry about creationist influence there. The state BoE has no power over universities, and Rice is a private institution in any case.

  181. Ad Hominid

    GQ asks:

    “Truly insane. Surely it has to reach a point where your government can step in and insist that ACTUAL science be given preference over creationist nonsense?”

    Unfortunately, this IS the government at least as far as public education in Texas is concerned. The state board of education is elected in much the same way as the legislature, though on a smaller scale (there are only 15 districts). The real problem is that relatively few voters pay much attention to elections at this level. This allows a small but determined network of activists to concentrate their resources and, in effect, to take control of the board when noone else is looking.

    Some of our more enlightened legislators have reacted by attempting to abolish the board or at least severely restrict its powers. I share their outrage and embarrassment but that is the wrong way to go. The real solution is to make sure these elections are seriously contested. The issues and the candidates brought to the voters’ attention and kept there. It is a tall order but the stakes are very high.

  182. Ad Hominid

    Sheesh!
    “The issues and candidates must be brought to the voters’ attention….”

    I will plead again for a preview feature, especially if old coots like my humble self are to continue to post here.

  183. Milander

    And to think the rest of the World used to be worried about Americas economic and intellectual power. Please keep up the good work, praise the Lord and pass the ketchup, ps more LOL cats plz… While you’re doing that we’ll get on with making sure everyone else gets a genuine education.

    Exaggerating of course, America has produced many great geniuses of industry and invention and still does BUT why, of why, do you tolerate people like this and ALLOW them to influence the minds of young potential geniuses. It’s almost as if you want to create a generation of know-nothings and half wits.

    Can’t you get a couple of people with some kind of terminal illness but a willingness to do something significant before they die, fit them out with guns and give them a list of names… just a thought.

  184. Bill Marsh

    K. I move that hereinafter 2 + 2 = 5, not 4

    All in favor?

  185. Bob

    If you would like to contact her and leave her a comment or write a letter/e-mail showing your disapproval, especially if you’re from Texas, here is her contact info:

    Barbara Cargill (R)
    61 W. Wedgemere Circle
    The Woodlands, TX 77381
    (281) 465-8095
    http://www.barbaracargill.com
    sboesupport@tea.state.tx.us

    (and please try to be professional about it and leave out the name calling)

  186. Hank Hill

    that barbara cargill aint right. gooooooooo longhorns!

  187. Jim

    Who cares. My science-taught kids will need people to take out their trash. Every group of parents that leads their states down this path is just ensuring that my kids have less competition for those sweet nano-tech jobs of the future.

    The stupid – it burns! and it burns their future earnings.

  188. David

    Are this people for effing real??? WTF? Is it 2009 or have we been sent back to the late 1700s?

  189. Cairnos2

    OMFG! I first saw this entry at work so I didn’t watch the video, but now I’ve seen it i’ve seen how scary this is. What you described sounded bad, seeing it was worse.

    @ Chris
    I agree and I do both

  190. Mike

    And now you know why George W.Bush is so stupid!!!

  191. Cervantes

    I can’t believe I have nothing better to do.
    One more thing, how will astronomical research or exploration be negatively affected by this move?

  192. @TheBlackCat

    The rear portion of Tiktaalik, including the pelvis, was never found. They simply made this up.

    Actually, I have seen talks by both Neil Shubin and Ted Daeschler where they said that a Tiktaalik pelvis had indeed been found and was being studied. Both Shubin and Daeschler hinted that a major discovery had been made. None of this has been published or officially reported yet, so of course AIG did simply make it all up. Also, based on the hints that Shubin and Daeschler dropped, AIG got it completely wrong. Tiktaalik is turning into a more wonderful example of a transitional form than most scientists had originally imagined.

  193. DankJemo

    Oh well, let Texas teach faulty or flat out wrong information to their students. I don’t live in that State, and I hated Texas before I read this, now I really, really hate Texas. It’s not like my son is ever going to be in one of those schools, not if I can help it.

    The thing that is really sad about this, is that people like that woman mentioned in this article are allowed to have so much of a sway on what is taught in schools. I support he beliefs, she is allowed to believe whatever she wants. I don’t agree with a single, ignorant word she says, but that is just my opinion, which I am entitled to. She is also entitled to believe all that hog-wash, the real problem is now she is trying to get schools to teach the sciences with a heavy spin on creationism, this is a mistake. That is not an opinion, that is a fact. You can have two opposed ideals co-existing, but not in the same class room, not without damaging the credibility of the other (and lets face it, one of these is a lot more credible then the other. I don’t think I need to tell you which one.)

    The only people that are getting hurt by this are the students in the long run, and when they go to college someplace, and they participate in college level discussions on scientific topics the kids are going to look like stupid bumpkins from the middle of the woods. We’ve trying to further society, not send it back to the dark ages… If I remember correctly didn’t the dark ages plunge the settled world into a scientific black hole for nearly 800 years, and was the cause of virtual no growth in that time, not to mention the murder of brilliant minded people, simply because they proposed an idea that was different from the church.

    But, I don’t live in Texas, and yes it is a shame, but people like this are going to be around for a few more years. So we are just going to have to learn to deal with it. There are plenty of smart kids out there whose parents have taught them this sort of thing, and those kids have rejected their teachings for something that is much more thought out, and logical. Things that actually answer some questions opposed to the one size fits all answer of “Because God wanted it that way.” I hate that answer, it’s such a cop-out.

  194. Mark Hansen

    jimmy, make sure that Texas doesn’t backslide with gravity too!!!!!111!!! It’s only a theory!!!!111!!one!!

  195. DOOMED

    that’s it. i’m home-schooling my kids.

  196. Mark Hansen

    And make sure the fascist Greeks don’t dictate how long the hypotenuse is on your right triangle (right-angled triangle)!!!!! It’s only a theory!!!!!!!!!111!11!!! Intelligent Sketching says the hypotenuse is as long as the Good Lord wants it to be!!!!!!!!one!!!!

  197. @kuhnigget,

    Yes, when they push their garbage into the schools, fight them with all your might. I was talking more about social situations. In my case, it was the rabbi and many congregants of a Temple I went to years back. The only reason I went to that Temple was because I was living with my parents at the time and they were members. The rabbi would often give sermons about how scientists knew nothing (they were always changing “what was true”) but the Torah (as interpreted by rabbis) knew the truth (the proof was that they never changed “what was true”). I tried arguing with them here and there, but just got tired of it and let them wallow in their ignorance. I knew that there was no argument that I could put forward that would convince them short of getting God himself to appear proclaiming me correct (and even then I’m not too sure).

    But when they try to get the schools to teach their religious views of the world (either overtly or in the guise of “Intelligent Design” and “Teaching the Controversy”), then fight it with all your might.

  198. Mike Jones

    “Cargill then completely dodges the question”

    I didn’t hear her completely dodge it, I heard her say it wasn’t intended to open that discussion.

  199. TheBlackCat

    @ The Science Pundit: Thanks for that info. I look forward to their paper. But whatever the case, at the time the article was written the rear portion had not been found, and as you said even now AIG has no way whatsoever to know what the rear portion looked like.

  200. Concerned Texan

    My son is about to enter Kindergarten, and I live in a VERY conservative part of Texas. Conservative even by Texas standards. It scares me to death that he is going to be learning this drivel. I will just have to teach him early on that sometimes teachers don’t know everything, and teach him the truth.

  201. @kevin & @Beth,

    We should teach all views or no views? How about the view that the world was created 20 minutes ago? How about the Flying Spaghetti Monster view? Too ridiculous? Ok, how about teaching Hindu Creationism in the classroom? That is, after all, someone’s views and not teaching it is “stepping on their rights.”

    When we get right down to it, the class that Evolution and Astronomy are being taught in is *SCIENCE* class. We don’t demand that Religion classes in religious private schools be forced to give alternative theories alongside their religious texts. We don’t demand that readings of how Jesus rose from the dead be countered with tales from our own “experts” who claim that Paul made it all up to boost his own prestige.

    In Science class, theories should adhere to Scientific Principles. This means that it needs to be testable and falsifiable. We can test and disprove evolution. Find an elephant fossil from the Jurassic and scientists will need to seriously revamp the theory. So far, however, evolution (with a few tweaks here and there) has matched up with the evidence and even predicted what evidence we would find.

    How can you disprove Creationism, though? Every time evidence to the contrary is presented, Creationists question the validity of the evidence, not their theory. (The dating on the evidence is wrong, the evidence was the result of the Great Flood, it was placed there by God as a test, etc.) Short of God Himself appearing and saying “Creationism is incorrect”, how do you disprove it?

    We should teach Evolution in Science class and Creationism (at best) in Philosophy or Religion class.

  202. patrick

    The big shiny bright thing in the sky walks around the earth every day just so it can shine on Texas.

  203. People, people, I suggest you look on this as an OPPORTUNITY.

    What we need to do is to go and agitate for a rollback of the theory of gravitation. Gravitation is not mentioned int he Bible, so it must be an invention of Satan. Also, it is JUST A THEORY. I also believe that the Sun goes around the Earth. This MUST be taught in public schools!

    Also that the center of the Earth is full of Balrogs. I have pictures! Lava has to be made by something…

    See, you are taking them seriously. You have to make people laugh at them. We are laughing at Miss California, yes? We laugh at The American Family Association. We laugh at Rush Limbaugh (hooray Rachel Maddow).

    Evry time the Creationist Taliban comes up with something silly, come up with something sillier. They say that the Multiverse is 6k years old, you say that YOUR calculations prove it is only 4k years old. They say that Jesus made the oil, you haul out a Holy oil-making truck and show them how you have proof of how GOD made the stuff. They say that Adama and Eve played with dinosaurs, you haul out a Komodo Dragon and ask them to let their kids play with it.

  204. “Jim Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 5:30 am
    Who cares. My science-taught kids will need people to take out their trash. Every group of parents that leads their states down this path is just ensuring that my kids have less competition for those sweet nano-tech jobs of the future.

    The stupid – it burns! and it burns their future earnings.”

    SO, will your kids be Morloch or Eloi? Blondes are tasty! As I blonde I know this to be true.

  205. “Blizzarrrg!!! Says:
    May 6th, 2009 at 10:44 am
    …can we not just shoot them? Even a little bit? Please?”

    Umm… No. I don’t want lead in my supper. The flavor of the Creationist meat changes when they are killed in nasty ways. Best thing to do is find a nice, non-toxic, way to make them go gently, softly, just like sleepy-time.

  206. spanky

    “Democracy is when two wolfs and a sheep vote on what to have for lunch, liberty is a well armed sheep contesting the vote…….Ben Franklin

  207. @ Jim:

    Who cares. My science-taught kids will need people to take out their trash. Every group of parents that leads their states down this path is just ensuring that my kids have less competition for those sweet nano-tech jobs of the future.

    The only problem with that appealing idea, is the notion of critical mass. If those high tech employers of the future don’t think there are enough knowledgeable workers, or that they might have to re-educate too many potential employees, they won’t bother setting up shop here in the first place.

    @ TechyDad:

    We’re in agreement. I for one cannot stomach these idiots anymore. It’s all I can do (and I frequently don’t) to keep myself from just going straight to the swearing. Thankfully, my hubby has confiscated all the sharp implements in the house.

  208. Alias Undercover

    As a Texan, may I just apologize to the rest of the world. I have no idea how these people were allowed into a position of any power. I hope they have nhot become so entrenched that we cannot excise them.

  209. Alias Undercover

    …and I misspelled “not”. That looks real good…

  210. muffler

    If we participated in the school board elections and didn’t let the nuts go uncontested then we wouldn’t have this type of thing. Texas is responsible for so many great things like: Karl “wedge issue” Rove, Tom “felony” Daley, George “invade and torture” Bush that I am astounded that this could come from there too.

  211. Diana

    I have to completely agree with Alias Undercover, being from Texas as well. I cannot believe that intelligent people out there would consider coming to Texas to raise children with this moron in power over our schools. I am so glad that my children are raised and that they were taught science, etc. This is why I keep to myself! They have emptied the insane asylums and given out jobs and cars!

  212. txsnowman70

    This is not something only from Texas. There are staunch bible thumpers wherever you go, somehow the ones from Texas get on tv and youtube. People with their religion are a cancer the world over. It is amazing how “tolerant” they are supposed to be then look down their nose at you like you are a heathen. Then they start in about “their god this” and “their god that”. Don’t care. Religion has no place in school or in politics. If you want your kids to learn that b.s. pay the big money and send them to a private religious school. Quit telling me to have a blessed day. And if I show one iota of being a good upstanding person, don’t automatically assume I am religious and want to go to your church.

  213. Demitri

    I don’t agree with her seeming motives (especially being an atheist) but oddly enough I don’t entirely disagree with her. Given the “discovery” of dark matter and dark energy (basically unknown sources of gravity and acceleration that allegedly amount to 95% of the mass of the universe) and problems with distant objects that current cosmological models did not predict (e.g. giant void, more developed galaxies than expected) I would say the age of universe is indeed in question again.

    Giving and accurate age for a big bang requires gravity to function a certain way. If our model of gravity is wrong (e.g. perhaps it works slightly differently over large amounts of time or large distance) then our estimates of the age of the universe may very well be wrong (although of course there is no evidence to support 6000 years).

    The point is… if a creationist has a reasonable point (or anyone for that matter)… we should not knee jerk reject it because we find their political motives unappealing. Dare I say it… that’s even delving into metaphysical assertions just like creationists. We should always follow the science not political opinions. If the science brings previous science theories into question… good scientists are open to changing their opinion.

  214. Cory

    Folks, sorry, but the root problem is not that Texas schools are run by a board made up of creationists, it’s that Texas schools are run as public bureaucracies. This tempest in a teapot matters not a whit in comparison to the myriad benighted educational practices and theories directing public schools not just in Texas but around the nation. Please, if you think this creationist row is unacceptable, then DEMAND school vouchers so that you can send your children to the school of your choice, one that is not run by creationists or other types of fools over whom you have scant control.

  215. Another Texan here to express disgust regarding the Board of Education (and Texas in general). As other posters have pointed out, there are intelligent, rational people who take an empirical approach to life that reside in the state, but outnumbered by knuckle draggers from the shallow end of the gene pool. My opinion is that unfortunately the majority of those who reside here are at the very least Creationist sympathizers. Dishearteningly I don’t think there is enough will for change in Texas as of yet.

    Oh, Canada, how I long for thee…

  216. “I don’t agree with her seeming motives (especially being an atheist) but oddly enough I don’t entirely disagree with her. Given the “discovery” of dark matter and dark energy (basically unknown sources of gravity and acceleration that allegedly amount to 95% of the mass of the universe) and problems with distant objects that current cosmological models did not predict (e.g. giant void, more developed galaxies than expected) I would say the age of universe is indeed in question again.”

    Not really, not for a order of magnitude. The thumpers of the Book of G’Quan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_G'Quan (oh, sorry, wrong temporal annex – the Bible) would have us believe in a lying god that just put crap into the world to fool people when this self-same god couldn’t even discern that trying to get cave-people not to eat fruit on a fruit tree (Garden of Eden for you Theocons) was going to be a difficult proposition.

    The age of the Multiverse may be in question, since we aren’t equipped to discern other dimensions, but this one bit of it? Nah, we should be able to get within a few million years anyway.

    Time to dump these stone and bronze age religions in general. If we are going to have a religion, let us base it on observable or well-justified theoretical information. I’m willing to believe in god or gods, but I’m not willing to toss my little bit of grey goo into the shredder and mark my enternity based on the religion that Constantine invented.

  217. A few goofs on the Texas education board may be convinced of that crap, but the Legislature isn’t. This was a bill in this year’s state legislature season and if I remember right, it passed easily.

    http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HCR16

  218. Mark

    Many philosphers have reconcilied the teaching of science with the belief of religion. Rene DeCartes and Maimonades amothe others have declared they can live side-by-side.
    To believe in religion should not close the mind to scientific fact. usoing psuedo-science of “intelligent design” is noting more than mythology.

    One reason the bible-thumpers are so rabid, is the ultra-secularization of society. Belief has been cast to ridicule. If the “intelligencia” will stop bashing religion, this issue may go away. It is the expremists on both side that perpetuate the debate.

  219. The Mexican

    All things considered….Will it really matter, upon the arrival of December 12th, 2012?

  220. MaskedBandit

    Barbara Cargill decided that the age of the Universe was up for vote.

    SCIENCE DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY

  221. phildo

    Hate to tell you, I went to Texas public schools my whole life: They don’t teach astronomy.

  222. Texas Gal

    Since this is America, and all peoples/cultures are equal, it seems only fair to begin including not just Christian beliefs, but those of the Muslim, Hindu, Native American Indian, Australian Aborigine, and all of the varied Oriental and African systems. I’m kind of partial to the Norse traditions myself – We need to make sure those are included as well!

    Oh, and don’t forget the Greek belief in the “First Cause”.

    The ancient Mesopotamians (Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians) and Chinese were also crack astronomers – We need to include their belief system as well.

    Does anyone know the beliefs of the Meso-Americans such as the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs? I especially think the Mayans should be included – Any group of people that can develop a calendar as accurate as theirs has to know a thing or two about the rhythms and timings of the universe.

  223. Daffy

    Cory,

    Your suggestion is little more than an attempt to supply funding for privately taught creationism. But I imagine you already know that.

  224. I especially think the Mayans should be included

    Especially that bit about ripping the hearts out of your sacrificial victims and tossing the bodies off the sides of your pyramid. Mmmmmm…Tex-Mex Bar-B-Q!

  225. For those who think this thread (at 244 comments) isn’t enough, John C. Dvorak (ZDTV’s Silicon Spin, TWiT, Tech 5, and his own blog) has also posted the video (actually, co-editor “Uncle Dave”) and there’s quite a thread there- look especially at Alfred1’s comments!
    link to post

    J/P=?

  226. Virgil H. Soule

    You all are arguing the wrong issues. Creationism is a political movement with a goal of making Christianity the country’s official religion and ultimately replacing the republican form of government with a theocracy. They are targeting school curricula with the idea of getting a foot in the door so as to weaken the First Amendment. If they are successful in discrediting or even removing scientific objectivism from school curricula, they will be able to bring up generations of citizens who will be less apt to question authority and to take part in the business of democracy. The Creationists are relentless. They lost on the Intelligent Design question in Pennsylvania. Now they are trying the same old arguments and tactics in Texas. You are fighting True Believers. It doesn’t matter that you have all scientific truth on your side. They have God’s truth on their side and they will never give up.

  227. Master Larryk

    First, let Me say that I DO believe that this universe was created by a Supreme Being most call God. I do believe in Jesus dying for our sins. BUT, I do NOT believe in this YEC stuff going around. The Bible says that the Earth was created in six days..But no one ever said God was going by a 24 hour day, for all Man knows, one of God’s days could have been a million years long. I believe that God created all life based on simple forms and then let Evolution play it’s part. As someone mentioned earlier, it’s highly possible that Religion and Science are both barking up the same tree, but only going about it in different ways. I have no problem in reconciling proven scientific theories to My religious beliefs, for while science doesn’t prove there is a God, it cannot prove there is NOT a God. I believe that Man is not the only intelligent life that God created either. I believe there is other intelligent life that is either on our level, higher or even lower in itelligence.
    For those of you were bashing the Bible, please remember that it was NOT written by God or Jesus, but by ordinary men, who let their biases into the Bible, even if they did not mean to, and that it took many years for it to be written. And it has been retranslated many times to fit a particular Church’s views. Who knows what the original versions of the Books of the Bible really said? I use the Bible as My guide, as insprition, but I don’t follow it word for word.

  228. zar

    One reason the bible-thumpers are so rabid, is the ultra-secularization of society. Belief has been cast to ridicule.

    Oh totally. Religious people are universally scorned and oppressed. No one can get elected to public office without publicly desecrating a communion wafer; it’s terrible. Remember the big fuss everyone made when Obama said, “There are Christians in our nation”? Jeez. And it’s really tough for religious schoolkids reciting “One nation, there is no god, indivisible…” every single school day!

  229. Nick

    who cares? people only live to 80 anyway so what’s the big deal. you’re born, you eat, you die. who cares?

  230. Who knows what the original versions of the Books of the Bible really said?

    Acts 22.7, rev. 1: And our Lord did say, “Um, yeah. About this trip to Jerusalem. Ya know….I’ve been looking at my calendar, and…I gotta tell ya, it’s getting packed, what with the vernal equinox parties and all… Whattaya say we push the trip back a couple weeks….say, after the Romans get bored with that crucifixion thing of theirs? Oh, and who was in charge of transportation?! Seriously! Riding into town on an ass? Guys! I’m talkin’ chicken salad and you’re talkin’ chicken s__t! Somebody book me a nice cart with some decent bench seating for me and the Magdelene. And no fizzy water! You know what happens when I drink fizzy water…”

  231. Response to BuffaloDavid

    BuffaloDavid: I dont believe that your Biblical references are correct. For example, Daniel 4 describes a dream that a King had that was about a giant tree – the actual dream was interpreted in succeeding scripture to refer to events of prosperity and desperation in the king’s life – it had nothing to do with an actual tree or the lay out of the earth.
    1 Kings and 2 Chronicles – I am not sure what careful reading led to the development of a theory of pi as 3. Both sections refer to specific dimensions (of very many) that went into the temple and altar that King Solomon built for the Lord. Why those dimensions in particular, and what do they have to do with a formulation of pi? Also, 3 is a very significant number in the Bible, but I have never heard of it being used in reference to or dispute of pi. Pi is not mentioned in the Bible, and has nothing to do with the significance of the number 3.
    As for the reference to Lot. He was escaping Sodom and Gomorrah – cities that God had warned him through a prophet that he was going to destroy FOR their sexual immorality among other things. After Lot and his daughters escaped, his daughters were freaked out about their future and got their father drunk and slept with him one at a time, and as the Bible says, he did not know who he was sleeping with. And I add that the Bible never says this was a good thing. In fact, the children that his daughters bore, Moab and Amon, were the patriarchs of two nations that the Children of Israel (God’s chosen people in the Old Testament) consistently fought against in battle and war.

    This is not an interpretation of the Bible, it is what it says. I believe it to be true.

  232. TX Transplant

    I have to apologize for the lunacy of some in the BofE here in TX.

    The problem is that those who voted with Cargill will correctly point out that the Bible is about the rebellion of man towards God and about how God seeks to heal the rift.

    But, these same people fail to apply that knowledge to reality. It is really simple to do. The reality is that a loving man would never hand an automatic weapon with plenty of ammo to a homicidal crazed maniac intent of murder and destruction at the local school.

    In the same vain, God did not use E=MC2 in the opening verses of Genesis to prove that He is God. After all, we went from E=MC2 to its use in atomic warfare in 41years.

    Instead, God wrote in carefully guarded language to a murderous and sinful humanity about how He created the world.

    There are many Old Earth Creationists like myself who see that the Bible does not explain everything and leaves it to us, in our free will, to find truth.

    Interestingly enough, the more discoveries Astronomers have made since I was a child, the more I believe in the God of the Bible, not the reverse.

    And the more I see of the Hitlers, Stalins, Mao Sae Tungs, Cambodias, Idi Amin Daddas, Turkeys, and all the evil genocides committed in the name of the state, both religious and non-religious, I thank God that He did not prove Himself against the atheists in this word by including in Genesis a complete proof that would have to include the instruments of our mass self-annihilation.

  233. Daniel Davis

    In the same state, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is denying operating license to ICR’s graduate school for one reason: they disagree with what the graduate school teaches as science. [Rather than play smug or know-it-all, go read their research for yourself sometime, mmm?] My point is not whether you agree or not with anything. My point is that what the THECB is doing is patently illegal, having already been declared so by the U.S. Supreme Court. And they are doing it anyway. You wanna complain, complain about actual crimes of discrimination, not about someone expressing an opinion you don’t like.

  234. Dominick

    Wow leave it to Darwinists to clog up a blog board with nothing more than the logical fallacy of ad hominems (personal attacks) rather than sound reasoning, sound argumentation that uses premises that correspond to reality. While I am undecided in regards to the age of the earth, as if you are a fair minded person, there ARE GOOD arguments from both/each side of the debate concerning the age of the earth, there is no real consensus via naturalists on the exact age so I don’t see why irrational Darwinistic naturalists have to be so ugly, nasty, and dogmatic about something they don’t even have a consensus on. Oh that’s right I understand why they act like animals or barbarians, which I think has something to do with rejecting the view that humans are special and made in Gods image, having unalienable rights, for the belief that one came from a single celled organism, slime, as some sort of higher evolved animal..but still it’s so unpleasant to have to hear and deal with. One doesn’t even NEED to get into a religious debate concerning the age of the earth though it be a worthy discussion, one can deal with the scientific evidence and STILL have room to discuss the age of the earth. Intelligent Design largely holds that the earth is billions of years old but IF ITS TRUE that the earth is younger than that, why NOT discuss it? At VERY LEAST it would provide an alternate view to the brainwashing one gets in the secular institutions, which allows for one to critically think about the opposing side of a debate to be able to make an informed decision INSTEAD of just being spoon fed. Other than that, I’ll just say there ARE OBJECTIVELY VERIFIABLE ANSWERS to your questions, and if you’re WILLING to look you will find the truth..if you’re willing to learn First Principles and how to apply them you’ll see they in NO WAY EXCLUDE GOD from the picture. Rather they imply His existence and nature.

  235. Darth Robo

    Did someone mention the “theory” of creationism?!? Did anybody say what it is?

    No?

    Darn…

    :(

  236. Darth Robo

    Oh hi Dominick. Didn’t see you there. Science doesn’t say that God DIDN’T do anything, but it doesn’t say that it DID either. It simply makes no useful contribution to a scientific discussion. Do you have any SCIENTIFIC alternatives to any of the uh, “irrational Darwinistic naturalistic” science talked about here? If so, please present it.

  237. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    If our model of gravity is wrong (e.g. perhaps it works slightly differently over large amounts of time or large distance) then our estimates of the age of the universe may very well be wrong (although of course there is no evidence to support 6000 years).

    I might be wrong, but I believe the age is tested beyond reasonable doubt. The likelihood that it is wrong is less than a few percent.

    Also, Tom Marking listed on another thread the concurrent evidences (star population ages, radiometric dates, et cetera) that all ends up in the same ballpark, with the better resolved standard cosmology age smack in the range of them.

    The risk that this fact is wrong seems lower than the chances of an ice ball in the Big Bang.

    You all are arguing the wrong issues. Creationism is a political movement

    Seems the post and many commenters are indeed arguing for a political solution for a political problem. (Well, duh!)

  238. whb03

    Well, why not vote on the age of the universe? After all, wasn’t the entire notion of Christ being God voted into existence by the Council of Nicea? That seemed to work out pretty well for Christianity.

    /snark

  239. @ Response to Buffalo;

    In fact, the children that his daughters bore, Moab and Amon, were the patriarchs of two nations that the Children of Israel (God’s chosen people in the Old Testament) consistently fought against in battle and war.

    Heh heh…nothing like demonizing the “enemy” to condone your own slaughter, eh?

    @Dominick;

    there ARE GOOD arguments from both/each side of the debate concerning the age of the earth, there is no real consensus via naturalists …

    Uh, care to list some of those GOOD arguments for the “earth is a few thousand years old” side?

    And “no real consensus via (sic) naturalists” means a couple million or so out of A FEW BILLION.

    Oh that’s right I understand why they act like animals or barbarians, which I think has something to do with rejecting the view that humans are special and made in Gods image,

    Wow, good thing Christians never acted like barbarians…oh, wait….

    one can deal with the scientific evidence and STILL have room to discuss the age of the earth.

    Scientific evidence points to 4+ billion years. Not 6000+ years.

    but IF ITS TRUE that the earth is younger than that, why NOT discuss it

    Because it’s not. See above.

    which allows for one to critically think about the opposing side of a debate to be able to make an informed decision INSTEAD of just being spoon fed

    Spoon fed? Spoon fed? You’re yanking our chains, right? When has a nutjob creationist ever posted any “evidence” on here that wasn’t pabulum spooned from a creationist website?

    I’ll just say there ARE OBJECTIVELY VERIFIABLE ANSWERS to your questions, and if you’re WILLING to look you will find the truth…blah blah blah

    A) There are verifiable answers. That is what science does best. B) how come you don’t apply that same principle to yourself? Why don’t you look beyond your own defined set of “truths” and open yourself up to some objectivity?

    Answer: because you don’t want to! That pabulum tastes too good, and it’s easy to digest!

    Maroons.

  240. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Many philosphers have reconcilied the teaching of science with the belief of religion.

    for while science doesn’t prove there is a God, it cannot prove there is NOT a God.

    And for every philosopher or scientist that claims this we can find others that claim the opposite, for example Dennet (philosopher) and Stenger (physicist).

    The point, as Jerry Coyne tells us so eloquently, is that we have no business to teach philosophy during science class.

    And if we did, we would have to abstain from promoting the above ultimately religious, theological, apologist and philosophical view exclusively, or we will violate religious freedom. (And in US, explicitly violate the First Amendment, I believe.)

    And it will violate science too. Many, perhaps most or even all, religious claims are testable, and indeed falsified. Read Stenger’s “God – The Failed Hypotheses” for a great many examples.

    Did you for instance know that all (I think, I haven’t had time to check yet) of “Old Testament” patriarchs history are refuted by modern archaeological evidence? I didn’t, but I found it illuminating that these religious texts were entirely made up.

    I mean, I wouldn’t have been surprised if some religious claims on history were true, even less so if they were undecidable. But it turns out its testable, it’s a region with a long archaeological history after all, and it is a complete fabrication! (AFAIU.)

    [Now you can have the pleasure of projecting this religious handling of morals and “religious truths” into later history, but I believe it is beyond the point of this particular comment.]

  241. Jay the Engineer

    What’s the whole issue about you win some you lose some, so your side didn’t win big deal, I would liken it the whole gay marriage debate there are winners and losers but dont sit here and bash the democratic process because you didn’t like the outcome. Half the American population was upset on Nov 7th waaaahhhhhhh! I also like how everybody on here is all of sudden an “Expert” too! Well to all those who commented, AKA Physicists, good luck, how about we fix world hunger and poverty first jackasses. I’m sure that teaching kids this is going to turn them into mass murderers.

  242. Wow.

    Teach real science, or fix world hunger and poverty!

    Gosh! Who knew it was so simple!

  243. TheBlackCat

    @ Jay the Engineer: The problem is that our ability to feed our current population is based on evolution. There would never be enough crops to feed anywhere near the current human population if scientists hadn’t applied the lessons learned from evolution and genetics to the issues of animal and plant breeding in the 1950’s and onward. The crops at the time simply had too low yield, could only grow in limited areas, and were not able to be harvested in huge amounts with limited manpower like modern crops are. Further advances in agriculture are similarly dependent on better understanding of evolution. Further, when the occasional disease or pest hits our crops and causes major losses, it is only through evolution that we can deal with it (pests and diseases evolve rapidly, and are already developing immunity to our existing countermeasures). These sorts of actions put our ability to solve world hunger in dire jeopardy.

  244. Greg in Austin

    # phildo Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    “Hate to tell you, I went to Texas public schools my whole life: They don’t teach astronomy.”

    Hate to tell you, I went to Texas public schools my whole life: I took Astronomy in High School. They also offer it at those little colleges called UT and A&M, and those are public schools.

    8)

  245. Greg in Austin

    Dominick Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    “Wow leave it to Darwinists to clog up a blog board with nothing more than the logical fallacy of ad hominems (personal attacks) rather than sound reasoning, sound argumentation that uses premises that correspond to reality. While I am undecided in regards to the age of the earth, as if you are a fair minded person, there ARE GOOD arguments from both/each side of the debate concerning the age of the earth, there is no real consensus via naturalists on the exact age so I don’t see why irrational Darwinistic naturalists have to be so ugly, nasty, and dogmatic about something they don’t even have a consensus on.”

    Interesting how you complain about personal attacks while in the very next sentence you call people names. Would you like to elaborate on what each side is debating on?

    Astronomers have shown that we can estimate the age of the universe to between 13.75 and 14 billion years, and with every year of making observations, the margin of error gets smaller and smaller. There is work being done right now to pinpoint that age, but there is no argument in any serious field of scientific research that the universe is at least 13.5 billion years old.

    Creationists, on the other hand, have no observable evidence to support their belief that the universe is 6,000 years old. Other than a single book, written by humans less than 2,000 years ago, there is zero evidence whatsoever that the universe is any less than 13.5 billion years old, much less 6,000.

    So again, please tell me, what debate do you think there is?

    8)

  246. Greg in Austin

    “Oh that’s right I understand why they act like animals or barbarians, which I think has something to do with rejecting the view that humans are special and made in Gods image, having unalienable rights, for the belief that one came from a single celled organism, slime, as some sort of higher evolved animal..but still it’s so unpleasant to have to hear and deal with.”

    You continue with the name calling, but that’s OK. If someone believes God created humans in his image, then by your very admission, God must be some some sort of barbaric animal. And not surprisingly, the book of the Old Testament would agree. And yes, it is completely natural human behavior to dislike evidence which directly contradicts one’s beliefs.

    Lucky for you, if you think reading this blog is so unpleasant, there are plenty of blogs out there that only talk about things you agree with.

    8)

  247. Bubba O'Reilly

    Hello from Texas.
    Our state tree might be the pecan, but, as you can see, we have other kinds of nuts too.

    To everyone saying or thinking “let Texas be stupid and we’ll go on without them.”
    You should follow the link at the end of the article and read about textbook selection.
    Texas buys so many textbooks that publishers will publish what Texas wants to teach.
    Oregon, North Dakota, and Rhode Island don’t have much choice in the matter when the only textbook for purchase is the one that the Texas Board of Education approved.
    People like Barbara Cargill deciding what will be taught in Texas schools affects children in all 50 states. Sad, but true.

    And please, PLEASE, will people who know nothing about science stop using the word “theory” as if it means “wild guess”. “Theory” is a very specific word in science meaning “the absolute very best explanation based on the obsevered evidence”. It does not mean “made up fairy story”.

    If you dismiss Evolution Theory as being “only a theory”, then please, have some raw chicken (Salmonella – that’s Germ Theory, it’s only a theory), tell the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that they are delusional (Bomb – what bomb? – Atomic Theory is only a theory), grab a handful of glowing white steel (It’s not hot – that’s just Quantum Theory) and then jump off the tallest building you can find (Gravitational Theory won’t affect you if you don’t accept it – trust me.)

  248. kippa

    apparently none of you have watched the zeitgeist movie, or have forgotten about it

  249. Greg in Austin

    “Intelligent Design largely holds that the earth is billions of years old but IF ITS TRUE that the earth is younger than that, why NOT discuss it? At VERY LEAST it would provide an alternate view to the brainwashing one gets in the secular institutions, which allows for one to critically think about the opposing side of a debate to be able to make an informed decision INSTEAD of just being spoon fed.”

    Oh, so much to work with. Intelligent Design is just a made up pair of words to disguise Creationism, according to several Supreme Court rulings. We can gladly discuss the possibility that the earth is younger than 4.5 billion years old. Just show me your independently verified scientific research that shows otherwise, and I will gladly consider it. You see, Creationism…er… Intelligent Design has no evidence to support its hypothesis that contradicts the evidence which astronomers, geologists, biologists and paleontologists all have that independently agree on the age of the earth.

    If the “opposing side of a debate” has no evidence to support its side, why would there be need for a discussion? There’s no evidence to support a flat earth, or that the world rests on the back of a giant turtle, so is there need to discuss those?

    And if you think SCIENCE is brainwashing, what would you call Sunday Service?

    8)

  250. Greg in Austin

    “Other than that, I’ll just say there ARE OBJECTIVELY VERIFIABLE ANSWERS to your questions, and if you’re WILLING to look you will find the truth..if you’re willing to learn First Principles and how to apply them you’ll see they in NO WAY EXCLUDE GOD from the picture. Rather they imply His existence and nature.”

    Ok, what “OBJECTIVELY VERIFIABLE ANSWERS” are there for the age of the Earth? Where can I go to look for them? Is it in the badlands of Montana, or the Grand Canyon, where we have a geological history of the Earth carved right out of the ground to measure and study? Is it in Antarctica or Greenland, where we have measured the annual rate of snowfall and compared that to the layers of ice cores? These things can tell us pretty accurately how long the polar ice caps and the Colorado River have existed, and the data does not point to a 6,000 year old Earth.

    If you have evidence that contradicts the data, please present it. I would love to see it.

    8)

  251. Greg in Austin

    Demitri Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 10:18 am

    “Giving and accurate age for a big bang requires gravity to function a certain way. If our model of gravity is wrong (e.g. perhaps it works slightly differently over large amounts of time or large distance) then our estimates of the age of the universe may very well be wrong (although of course there is no evidence to support 6000 years).”

    Good point! If our model of gravity were wrong, we would not have probes in orbit around Mars, Saturn at this very moment, one on its way to Pluto, around the Earth and the Sun. You cellphone would not work, satellite television would not be possible, and we could not have discovered Neptune, Uranus, or Pluto if our understanding of gravity were as wrong as you claim. While we certainly do not know everything about gravity, we can say with certainty that what we do know is correct.

    “If the science brings previous science theories into question… good scientists are open to changing their opinion.”

    I absolutely agree, however, no Creationist has been able to provide any science that questions the age of the Earth, or of the universe. If there is, please let me know.

    8)

  252. TheBlackCat

    @Greg in Austin: A nitpick, but there has not yet been a supreme court case on intelligent design. There have been several on other forms of creationism, including the classic oxymoron “creation science”. In fact the intelligent design no more than a thinly-veiled attempt to get around the latest such ruling. There was also the Dover federal court ruling, but that was not the supreme court, “just” a federal district court. It was enough, apparently, to convince the folks at the DI that the “teach the controversy” strategy would not survive a supreme court challenge, which is why they have moved on to the “strengths and weaknesses” strategy. They continue having to water-down their goals as they fail over and over. I guess that is the best we can hope for short-term. Unless homeopathy is true, in which case the creationists actually get stronger the weaker their message gets. Oh no, I think I’m on to something. Our victories actually hurt us. We’re doomed!

  253. JCF

    Normally about fifty percent of people have below average intelligence. In the Texas State Board of Education the percentage is about 78.57%. So, don’t be surprised if they pass an amendment to ban statistics soon.

  254. texasproud

    Well to those of you who have commented on the insanity of this issue, I am glad you have found a subject worthy of your criticism such to the point where one of you needed interrupt your comment to vomit.. I might (MIGHT) inform all of you that this ideal does not exist throughout the state of Texas and further than that, is NOT being taught in every classroom across the state. Some of you have issued a disclaimer to those like myself who are not disillusioned by the religious community or at least are not dense enough to take their teachings at face value. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind, if not introduce “you” to the fact that EVERY state has nut-jobs living within its borders who are so bored with life that they feel compelled to lobby for whatever hollow asinine idea happens to be currently present in their heads. Having said that piece, I would also like to introduce “you” the concept of distribution. Having the 2nd largest population would mean that on average, the more idiotic and stupid residents you can find to criticize, the more residents must also exist on the opposite end of your scale (those who are FAR more intelligent than “you”) Finally I’d say if you were to travel, perhaps even find the courage to stay for a bit in the other southern states, you would discover that they are even more religious and hell-bent on converting those whose beliefs are even slightly different from their own. Worse areas do exist, and if you haven’t been there, you’ll just have to take my word for it. They may not be lobbying for this incredulous change, then again, they may not have had anything they felt needed changing. That is to say, they already have these policies/procedures/teachings in place and therefore it’s not necessary for some bored-ass housewife to leave the comforts of her bomb shelter and being lobbying for others to change because she was personally too lazy to.

    All I’m really trying to get at here is for some of you to realize that when you leave your comments, if you’re sincerely attempting to be serious and not just poking fun, you may want to think a little harder about what ideas you’re projecting to the rest of us readers and commenters because you might just end up sounding as idiotic as the blog post you’re referencing.

  255. Greg in Austin

    @TheBlackCat,

    You are correct! The recent ID cases have only been in local and state courts. However, creationism vs. evolution has been brought up before the U.S. Supreme Court on several occasions.

    From www . talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-debates.html

    Edwards v. Aguillard: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, 1987
    Read the U.S. Supreme Court decision dealing with creationism in public school science classrooms. The majority opinions and the dissenting opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia are provided along with the amicus curiae brief filed by 72 Nobel Prize winning scientists.

    Epperson v. Arkansas: U.S. Supreme Court Decision, 1968
    Read the U.S. Supreme Court case which ruled unconstitutional Arkansas’s law forbidding the teaching of evolution in state-supported schools.

    8)

  256. p

    I know how old Texas is because I’ve always been here and will always be here. There can be only one!

  257. Jon Welch

    i mean really people she is just saying lets not teach our kids something that we dont know for sure. insteads lets teach that we think the universe is this old but we dont know for sure. whats wrong with that. people. dont let our arrogance and know it all mentality cloud the real reasons behind her notions. I beleive she had good intentions in mind and the author of this article twisted the story around from what really took place. and she didnt dodge the biblical question, she just shot down the reason for debate about that because it is a different subject entirely. the bible says the world was created like 4000 years ago. which obviously is not correct. damn yall are quick to jump on the bandwagon…. be free thinkers people. dont always be followers. what is this world coming to?

  258. Christian who believes in science too

    I want to start off by saying that I am Christian. Much of the bible is open to interpretation. It was not originally written in English and has been translated many times in many different languages, so there are things in the bible that are open to interpretation. I have lived in TX for the past 15 years. I moved here when I was ten. I do not think it is the schools job to teach creationism, that is the job of local churches and children’s parents. As a Christian, I would not want my children taught the beliefs of other religions as facts, and when creationism is taught right along science, it could open the door up for this in the future.

    I also want to say that just because you disagree with something, doesn’t mean you have to bash it. Even though I am not a native Texan, I do live here, and I think that you can not assume that everyone in TX feels the same or believes the same…it is actually a very diverse place. George Bush and his ideals do not represent everyone who lives here. And the address the Christian bashers…why do you have to bash us and say we are stupid because we have faith in something?

    You can be a Christian and have faith in a higher being and not be an immature person who has to bash others for their beliefs. There are so many ignorant comments on this site from non-religious and anti-texas people. And the irony is, many of the people are posting ignorant comments calling Christians and Texans ignorant.

    Peaceful co-existance is what we should all be striving for people. Not people and religion bashing.

  259. @ Christian:

    The majority of regular commenters on Dr. BA’s blog do not bash Christians or any other religion. What they (myself included) don’t appreciate is when religious people try to pass their beliefs off as either, 1) the “Truth”, 2) science, 3) a subject that is somehow immune to critical thinking.

    Religion is none of those things. Like any human invention, religion should not be given a pass just because someone or other “has faith” in it. If it helps a person to lead a good life, great! If it inspires someone to do good works, terrific! But if it motivates people into thinking they are better than others, solely because of their faith, or that they somehow have the authority to dictate what others must think or how they must act, or if the particular traditions associated with it are misrepresented as historical truths that must be given the same credibility as well-documented history, then that’s where it opens itself up to criticism. Harsh criticism.

    And no, criticism does not equate to “bashing” something. Calling a person a bonehead because they are trying to pass off mythology as historical fact is not “bashing.” Sorry, but it’s not.

    BTW, you win the Obvious Statement of the Week with this one: ” It (the Bible) was not originally written in English and has been translated many times in many different languages

    I think everyone here figured that one out for themselves.

    Have a nice day. And I mean that.

  260. @ Jon Welch:

    I beleive she had good intentions in mind and the author of this article twisted the story around from what really took place.

    That seems doubtful, given her history and the very clear statements she makes in the video.

    and she didnt dodge the biblical question, she just shot down the reason for debate about that because it is a different subject entirely.

    No, she pretty much dodged it. Listen to the other lady’s question again, and then her response. There is no serious debate amongst cosmologists regarding the basic age of the universe. 12-14 billion, as included in the original teaching guidelines, is pretty much agreed upon. By taking out that specific range she was opening it up to her already well-established desire to teach the “alternate” biblical literalist view.

    . damn yall are quick to jump on the bandwagon….

    If this had been the first time this has happened, that might have been an accurate criticism. It’s not the first time, however, so you’re comment is off the mark by a long shot.

    be free thinkers people. dont always be followers. what is this world coming to?

    Yes, indeed. Critical thinking is a good thing. If more people–especially those who believe Truth™ can be found in only in ancient mythology–adopted critical thinking as a strategy, the world would actually be coming to a pretty good place.

  261. Daffy

    I am fed up with Christians who whine about being picked on. Tell your leadership to stop trying to build a theocratic dictatorship! Those are the people you should be upset with; THEY are the ones giving your religion a bad name, not anyone here.

  262. p

    One of the religions has to be right, right?

    The thing is, you can’t replace subjective human experience with teachings. I believe if more people were more Christ-like, instead of Christian, the planet could benefit. Like -mindedness in society would have far-reaching benefits.

    The inherent weakness in religion is weakness itself. When do I think for myself and is it wrong to do so? If a preacher tells me not to listen to a record because, when played backwards it produces a sound similar to a pagan chant, am I wrong for defying his wishes? Wise he may be, yet I still make my own decisions in my life all-the-while attempting to abstain from doing things which could adversely effect the lives of others.

    Religion is meant to create a unified consciousness, yet, with all that promise, we still can’t unify religion.

    Science is the bridge to unity. If religion would teach conservation, social responsibility (besides bake sales and door-to-door solicitation) and awareness instead of mysticism and absolute “truths” it would truly help the planet. But, in my memory of my religious teaching, none of that has any significance, instead we study vague proverbs and are taught to abandon hope of overcoming the oppressive force of “Satan”.

    We should compile all relevant data to come to a rational conclusion, not take the retelling of a brief period of one culture’s history as the A and Z just because one of its authors stated it was.

    We have no control over geological and cosmic events, but the planet is ours for better or for worse, yet we allow ourselves (the many) to be oppressed by the few.

    Our oppressors invented Satan so we’d feel powerless against them. If you believe Satan is a fallen angel, then by definition you are a Satanist, because you believe in Satan.

    If religion brings you happiness, then it is good for you, but does that make it good for everyone?

  263. Stuart L. Riley

    Evolution vs. Creation: Change the Battlefield and End The Debates

    It’s really kind of sad that we, who understand science and the scientific method (a.k.a “evolutionists”), have allowed the battle between faith-based creationism and evolution to go on this long.

    This is a battle for the minds of our children, pure and simple. We have let our children down by allowing the other side to fight this battle on their terms. Creationists continue to use the “popular belief” argument to push their agenda.

    That strategy may work well for politicians who want to push their own agenda at the cost of teaching good science in the classroom. But come on. We all really know how to wage this war. We need to change the battleground. The battle ground should rightly be based on the scientific method. Period.

    The scientific method is what it is. How it is executed is not open for debate. Nor can it be swayed by popular belief, opinion polls, politicians, etc. It is the duty of all of us on the side of true science to focus on this fact, and repeatedly hammer this point home.

    Let me explain as briefly as I can.

    First, let’s deal with the definition of faith.

    Faith is the belief in something for which there is no proof. This definition is supported in the New Testament in Hebrews 11:1. There are no defined set of rules applied to offer physical evidence, or pass peer review to support any particular basis of faith.

    By its very nature, faith-based debates can only fall into the realm of Philosophy. There simply can be no debate between faith and physical science. The two approaches are too diametrically opposed. Don’t get me wrong. The two can co-exist just fine. You can have religious faith, and still be a scientist. But, debates between a viewpoint that does not require proof, and a viewpoint that does, just will not work.

    At every turn, the creationists mis-use the word “theory” as if it were the same as “hypothesis”. But, we know that a theory must hold to a higher standard than a hypothesis.

    A hypothesis is defined as a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences (from M. Webster). It can be used to extrapolate on a particular set of observations, or current theories to predict an outcome. But it does not become a theory until observations are made to support the hypothesis — and it passes peer review. Some might say it must pass the “smell test”.

    Let’s keep this peer review thing in mind as we step through this. It’s important.

    A theory is defined as a way to explain observations through experimentation and reasoning that has been tested to confirm or disprove a hypothesis. A theory can change, based on new evidence. But any new theory, or change to an existing theory must be supported through observation and testing, and ultimately — peer review. It passes the “smell test”.

    To explain the differences between hypothesis and theory let’s follow the steps in the scientific method that guide scientist from observation to theory:

    1) Make an observation and describe it.
    2) Formulate a hypothesis to explain observed phenomenon. The hypothesis has not been tested yet.
    3) Use the hypothesis to predict additional phenomena through defined test procedures. Generate test procedures, then estimate predicted outcome if the hypothesis is correct.
    4) Perform the tests to see if the predicted outcome is observed. The test must be independently verified. At this point, a theory is drawn from the hypothesis and experimentation to create a new theory, or adjust an existing theory. Sometimes the original hypothesis may not be entirely correct. So adjustments to the original hypothesis are made & steps 2-4 are repeated.

    Now, many non-scientists may think that’s all there is. But wait, there’s more! Now the theory must survive a peer review prior to wide acceptance in the scientific community. This part can be very tough, even for the best scientist!

    By its very nature, the scientific method and peer review process can never allow “conspiracies” among scientists to suppress a “healthy debate” on the idea that a god created the universe. This claim has been made by creationists. How absurd! There just is no physical evidence to support the hypothesis, yes “hypothesis”, that a god created the universe. All creationists have to do is to follow the scientific method (and peer review) in order to be taken seriously. On that basis and only that basis, should any debate on this matter be held.

    Creationists hypotheses will not pass the “smell test”, and they know it.

    Conversely, if we all agree on the definitions and on the description of the scientific method, then we must conclude that virtually ALL SCIENCE IS BASED ON THEORIES. Yikes! If that’s the case, then why not apply faith-based “debates” in our schools to all the theories used to develop the technologies we apply daily in our lives?

    Why just focus on evolution or the big-bang theory? There’re a lot more theories out there that can be debated.

    The answer is simple — it is a thinly-veiled attempt to push a religious doctrine in our schools to convert the hearts and minds of our children to a specific religious belief at the expense of good science.

    America is a great place where everyone is free to believe what they want. But, when it comes to science education, we must be adamant that any scientific discussion MUST follow the rules of the scientific method. That position is not debatable. It is our duty to push this point at every turn.

    Change the battlefield. Creationists arguments will fall like a house of cards.

    Stuart L. Riley, Texas

  264. @ p:

    One of the religions has to be right, right?

    No.

    But all of them can be wrong.

  265. AfricanSingle

    Does it matter how old Texas is? Would Jesus care?
    If they promise not to pray in the classrooms I won’t think about their dogma.

  266. Anton

    Here comes the dark middleages.

  267. Darth Robo

    >>>”America is a great place where everyone is free to believe what they want. But, when it comes to science education, we must be adamant that any scientific discussion MUST follow the rules of the scientific method. That position is not debatable. It is our duty to push this point at every turn.

    Change the battlefield. Creationists arguments will fall like a house of cards.”

    Easier said than done, unfortunately. For the creationists, this isn’t about science, never was. That’s why they bypass the scientific arena use politics and PR campaigns in order to achieve their goals. And they have sympathetic political friends in the right places to help them.

  268. Stuart L. Riley

    Darth,

    No one said it would be easy. And in a way you are proving my point.

    Scientists and university academia should push back on the politicians to focus the subject matter of grade-school science education to meet the standards based on the scientific method – observation through proof and acceptance by the scientific community.

    “Free discussion & debate” is always encouraged. But it should not be used by ignoramuses to introduce nonsensical “curriculae” that does not hold itself to the same standards held to the theory of evolution and the origin of the universe. (Or the rest of science.)

    What I heard in that small snippet of video was one person steam-rolling their agenda over a bunch of bureaucrats with little apparent understanding of science. Maybe it happened off-video, but I was hoping to hear, “hey, why waste the over-worked teacher’s time discussing something that no scientist in the right mind would even give a moment’s thought about?’

    Ok, so those of us who DO understand science need to get a bit more vocal also.

    Don’t just accept it.

    I live in Texas. I plan to push this on within this state.

  269. Divide and conquer

    The Tower of Babel Indeed,………… Divide and conquer

  270. Ok, so those of us who DO understand science need to get a bit more vocal also.

    Heartily agree with that sentiment.

    More than vocal, tho. Find out where the people who sit on your school board stand on these issues. Call them. Demand responses. And if they are nutjob creationists on a mission, vote them out.

    The bad news is, they’ve discovered how easy it is to get their people on school boards in the first place. The good news is, that same lack of voter turnout for BoE elections means a few people can make a difference.

    Call them out on their nonsense.
    Vote them out on their ass.

  271. platypus

    boy it must really be disheartening to have someone tell you that your religion may not be true, but if you believe that the earth is billions of years old your religion may be wrong. I personally believe that God created the earth and I am glad that Texas has taken old earth teaching out of the school.
    There is no PROOF that the earth is that old. There is a lot of speculation, there is a lot of huffing and puffing by people who don’t want to believe in God, but there is no real proof.

  272. This is a good move on behalf of all Texans. This not only opens the door for Christians but it finally breaks the stranglehold evolutionist have had on this countries education system since the department of education a.k.a. (ministry of truth) was created.

    Many good changes will come of this. If Texas takes the lead then others will surely follow.

  273. TOBY

    Things have been this way in Texas for years. The price you pay for living in the bible belt. Don’t worry too much a lot of this stuff that comes through the board of educations rarely makes it down to the actual schools. The schools can basically teach whatever they want as long as the parents of the children have an open mind. I was taught growing up in a small town in Texas ( about 6000 people) the theory of evolution as if it were scientific fact. I never had a chemistry or biology teacher ever tell us that there was a god nor were they allowed to. I think it is still against the law to have any kind of religious opinions taught in class. Some of the older teacher would hint at their beliefs in some of the lectures but they can get a lawsuit slapped on them with ease doing something like that in a public school.

  274. @ squatty little web-footed duckbilled freak of an animal:

    Texas has not yet taken “old earth teaching” out of the school. (There’s only one?)

    There is indeed proof that the earth is that old. Ever open a book? Visit a library? Use Google? Try it, you might learn something.

    there is a lot of huffing and puffing by people who don’t want to believe in God, but there is no real proof.

    Yup, you got that right. There is no real proof of your god.

  275. Erik

    Listen to the video, rather than reading the opinion on it – this is a quite reasonable decision on a matter of minutia. She motioned for more careful language that encourages students to understand the evolving and inquisitive nature of science, so that they understand that rigorous investigation of facts, rather than tacit acceptance of authority, is the basis for scientific knowledge.

    I heard nothing in that video that argued for creationism. The writer of this blog post is on a witchhunt for religious zealots, and content to attack without full information.

  276. # Anton Says:
    Here comes the dark middleages.

    Going medieval on our buttocks?

    J/P=?

  277. Stuart L. Riley

    Erik,

    See the posting from Cargill’s own website below. Anyone can draw their own conclusions from her own words.

    My point is simple….

    Evolution and the big bang are a theories, yes. And as with all theories, they have issues. There is no denying that. (Curious that she uses the old worn-out argument that “Proponents of Darwinian evolution say that the theory has no weaknesses.” Who said that? She doesn’t say.)

    But all theories must follow the same principles forced on all science — they MUST pass the “smell test” per the scientific method. Once they pass the test, then they are regarded as the best, verifiable explanation we have for that set of observations. Note, I added the word “verifiable”.

    Surveys, as she proudly mentions, are NOT adequate. Who here believes the sun is the center of the universe? Show of hands? Anyone? :-)

    If she doubts the extensive work of all the really smart people out there that have gone through hell & back to prove their positions with their peers (damn, they are a skeptical lot), then she should do the same.

    Debate is one thing. And it should be encouraged. That much I do agree with.

    But, her and those like her to continue to blast evolution and the origin of the universe, and only those topics, shows they are extremely ignorant, and pushing a religious agenda.

    If Ms. Cargill expects students to “openly discuss” these matters, then she should offer herself to debate this issue publicly. But, the debate can only be held within the restrictions of the scientific method.

    ANY science teacher who does not teach to the scientific method, but promotes unproven, untested, and uncorroborated hokum should have their certifications pulled!

    The following is from Ms. Cargill’s web page at http://www.barbaracargill.com/

    Read it for yourself to decide how “open-minded” she really is.

    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. They state, “Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” In The Origin of Species, Darwin himself wrote, “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”

    The debate about whether to teach evolution’s scientific strengths and weaknesses presents an incredible opportunity for good science instruction that will develop great thinkers. Having taught biology for many years, I assure you that high school students are smart, savvy, and curious. 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). We must educate our students — not indoctrinate them by letting them hear only one side of an issue.

    Presently, Texas’ science standards contain key process skills like analyzing, comparing, gathering information, and drawing conclusions. Students should practice these skills at each grade level, but too often the tendency is to teach rote memorization of accepted facts. Instead, teachers must encourage independent thinking. By applying the scientific process, students will be challenged to think “outside the box” and form their own conclusions about topics like common ancestry. Evolution proponents should not mind if students ask questions; after all, if evolution is the best explanation, then the data should only point to its validity.

    Science is full of mystery and constant discovery. Headlines such as cloning, DNA testing, and gene mapping are prolific. Science classrooms are the perfect place to brainstorm about current science events! With that in mind, how can teachers pick and choose which scientific evidence to teach or ignore? Teaching students to believe that evolution indisputably holds the answers to life’s big questions undermines the very essence of scientific inquiry. Many students will ask about the weaknesses of evolution anyway. Teachers must be prepared to help students examine all of the data, whether it supports evolutionary theory or not.

    > This was taken from the bottom of her web page. If if walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. <

    "He only asks thee to yield thyself to Him, that He may work in thee to will and to do by His own mighty power. Thy part is to yield thyself and His part is to work; and never, never will He give thee any command which is not accompanied by ample power to obey it." – Hannah W. Smith

  278. Danthrax

    LOL!!!

    Creationists are so funny, they make all these claims but they have no real proof!!!!

    …yet scientists… Yes, the same people that made it possible for me to write this comment on my computer, let alone live past 30 (unlike 2000 yrs ago) can provide evidence and make alot more sense!!

  279. Luthekar

    I’m reminded of the Family Guy episode “Petarded.”

    When Peter takes an IQ test, he falls into the category below retarded. And below Peter’s category is Creationists, which is the lowest of them all, lol.

  280. Travis Hybl

    If we came from monkeys……where did monkeys come from and why do we still have them???????

  281. Luthekar

    And as a side note, creationists never do any science of their own. They pick and choose which subjects and categories of published scientific material they disagree with, then twist and distort the facts, and even outright lie or spread disinformation in order to make things fit in with their idealogies.

    See Ken Hamm and Kent Hovind on youtube for example. Then find all the videos that refute their ridiculous “theories.” <– And in context, that is not the same definition as "Scientific Theory"

  282. Cargill said “They will be taught about 12 to 14 billion years ago but this leaves it open just a little bit to discuss just… how many billions”

    Language like that isn’t about appealing to the inquisitive nature of kids or to teach critical thinking it is about instilling doubt, to create controversy where there is none, to create an opening to allow alternative “theories” a chance to rear their ugly heads.

    As Stuart L. Riley said, read her web page. There is no doubt about what she wants.

  283. And to continue, the creationist trolls that come here have no doubt what she meant either even though she gives the appearance of being conciliatory.

  284. Travis Hybl

    It’s quite a funny thing in science. If the majority of people agree, then people assume it is right for everyone, and the minority must be crazy. However, this same thing happened when people thought that the world was flat many, many years ago. Today…….it seems like nothing has changed in this regard. You think that we would have “evolved” a little bit further then that, to be a truly “open minded” society.

    I just hope that for sciences sake, truth still governs as what’s right is still right, and not opinion polls. Is that too much to ask?

  285. Greg in Austin

    platypus Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    “There is no PROOF that the earth is that old. There is a lot of speculation, there is a lot of huffing and puffing by people who don’t want to believe in God, but there is no real proof.”

    Wow, I seriously hope you are joking. Not only do you have things backward, but you’d fail Geology 101. Or Astronomy 101. Or Biology 101.

    Not to mention you fail to understand the basic scientific method.

    8)

  286. @ Travis:

    If we came from monkeys……where did monkeys come from and why do we still have them??????

    Jeebus, you clowns make this easy.

    As anyone who who has even an elementary understanding of our evolutionary history can tell you (hint: try high school kids in areas where they actually teach science), we did not “come from monkeys.” Humans and apes share a common ancestor. Different lines branching off the same ancestral tree. That hoary old “I dinna come from any durn ol’ monkey” line is so pathetically stupid. Honestly.

    It’s quite a funny thing in science. If the majority of people agree, then people assume it is right for everyone, and the minority must be crazy.

    Wrong again, Travis! The minority just has to show its evidence and prove its theory is better.

    And I guess we can assume that the creationist nitwits have a new buzzword. Now its “open mind society.” Scientists need to be “opened minded.” Students need to learn to be “open minded.” Which as the creationist idiots know is code for, “allowing our stupid creationism nonsense be taught alongside real science, despite the fact we have no evidence and nothing but the bible to back it up.

    No thanks, Travis. Let’s stick to reality, shall we?

  287. Greg in Austin

    Kenneth Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    “This is a good move on behalf of all Texans. This not only opens the door for Christians but it finally breaks the stranglehold evolutionist have had on this countries education system since the department of education a.k.a. (ministry of truth) was created.

    Personally, I would like that door to be nailed shut once and for all. Remember, we have that little piece of paper called the Constitution, which prohibits my government from forcing a religion on me.

    8)

  288. Travis Hybl

    kuhnigget,

    Is that your real name?

    By the way, could you answer me this:

    Where did the “COMMON ANCESTOR” come from?

    I know that all y’all friendly evolutionist out there are extremely wise and are above reproach, ‘cause ya already know it all, but I’m sure that you would have no problem answering this elementary question for this, right?

  289. Erik Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    “I heard nothing in that video that argued for creationism. The writer of this blog post is on a witchhunt for religious zealots, and content to attack without full information.

    If you had been to, or read about, any one of the several public hearings that the SBoE have had lately, I think you would have a different opinion. At the hearings, the board members blatantly opposed the conclusions of the professional scientists, and brought members of the Disco Institute to support Young Earth Creationism.

    You can read more about that here:
    blogs . chron . com/sciguy/archives/science_education/
    January 20, 2009
    Debate over evolution in Texas schools heats up
    UPDATE: Steve Schafersman’s blog is now live, from Austin.

    Or click my name for a more direct link.

    8)

  290. Sorry, that link didn’t work.

    Try this one, instead.

    8)

  291. @ Travis:

    My real name, email, and other details are always available by clicking the link associated with my screen name. There for the whole world to see.

    Where did the “COMMON ANCESTOR” come from?

    From the one that came before. And on down the line.

    The real question you want to ask is where did the original form of life come from?

    The modern theory of evolution, contrary to what creationist morons claim, does not address the origins of life, only how it evolved. Yet another reason why creationism has no place in science classes.

    BTW, how long does it take to learn that fake drawl typin’ thang y’all got goin’ thar?

  292. Darth Robo

    platypus, how exactly is accepting the scientific consensus that the Earth is old equivalent to rejecting God? I think I missed something there…

  293. Greg in Austin

    Travis Hybl Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    If we came from monkeys……where did monkeys come from and why do we still have them???????

    Who said we came from monkeys? Biology 101 FAIL. Evolution 101 FAIL. Reading comprehension FAIL.

    Please read these links, then come back and try again.
    en . wikipedia . org/wiki/Human_evolution
    en . wikipedia . org/wiki/Mammal_evolution

    8)

  294. Darth Robo

    Travis, as an “evolution skeptic”, can you please tell us what scientific alternative you propose instead? That would include what evidence it has, how to test it, what scientific predictions it makes, and how to falsify it? Thanks.

  295. Davidlpf

    “I heard nothing in that video that argued for creationism. The writer of this blog post is on a witchhunt for religious zealots, and content to attack without full information.

    add to the list
    moon hoaxers
    antivaxxers
    periodola
    anyone who does not back up what the say with evidence

    I would not call it a witch hunt but calling people for what they are and voicing his side of the issue. I think there is a peice of paper over two hundred years that says he can.

  296. Travis Hybl

    kuhnigget,

    So this so called modern “theory” of evolution, which is fool-proof and has no holes does not address the origins of life, but we need to take it at face value? That is shocking! How can this be taught in school? I thought you would need proof………………I guess not.

    In fact, how could a highly educated person like yourself believe in such, dare I say,……..A FAIRLY TALE. Ha!!!

    By the way, I do like talking to you, so don’t take anything I say the wrong way. I’m actually from around San Francisco, CA and not Texas. I just dropped a y’all in there ’cause this issue originated in Texas.

  297. Greg in Austin

    Travis Hybl Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    “It’s quite a funny thing in science. If the majority of people agree, then people assume it is right for everyone, and the minority must be crazy.”

    Actually, that’s not the way it works at all. The scientific method was designed to remove the human factors (errors, bias, previous beliefs, etc.). It doesn’t matter how many people agree, what matters is if the conclusions are independently repeatable. You mistake repeatability for consensus. The results must be repeatable by you and me and anyone else who wishes to repeat the experiment before the conclusion is accepted. Just like you and I can repeat experiments with gravity and electricity, so can we repeat experiments in biology, geology, paleontology, and even evolution.

    “However, this same thing happened when people thought that the world was flat many, many years ago.”

    This part you have correct. What happened when more people learned to sail around the earth themselves, and gather their own data? They were able to confirm the hypothesis that the earth was round, and soon after, more people accepted that fact, based on the evidence. That is the way science works… This is what we know. If new evidence is discovered that contradicts previous evidence, that is great. Now we know more.

    See how that works?

    8)

  298. Travis Hybl

    Darth Robo,

    I don’t have all the answers, no one does, but evolution (especially macroevolution) makes absolutely no sense. So from a common sense look at things, let’s say that dinosaurs are 200 million years old (a solid round number). I think that most evolutionists would roughly agree, plus or minus a few gallizion years. And today we have a TON of bones from them, all from that time long, long ago. Pretty remarkably.

    So let’s say that people “who can walk” came from a “common ancestor” or monkeys, much more recent recently. So we should we have a TON more bones of these evolutionary man? Right? Cause it took millions or billions of years to evolve into this amazing human being we have today? Just thinking of this in a common sense fashion here. We are still allowed to think here right, I believe? Hopefully this is still America.

    I do enjoy keeping the evolutionist zombies in check.

  299. Davidlpf

    Remind me never to plsy the Travis Hybl character in any zombie games.
    The problem with fossilazation it depends on the enviroment in which the orginal organism died in. If the died near/ in a river mud quickly covers the remaims. But in drier areas the conditions for fossilazation are not there so therefore no fossils. Plus also scanvengers do a lot of damage to bones.

  300. Davidlpf

    sorry that is “never to play”

  301. Travis Hybl

    Listen, I enjoy all of your comments posts, but I wanted to say that I believe that it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does creation. Creation, at least, has a starting point and this perfectly running earth and universe is proof of that (unless us humans find a way to screw up the place before I finish writing this). This is why I’m confounded that evolution is widely accepted and can not be questioned.

    Ultimately evolution takes something from nothing and then makes it into a super, super, super to the power of infinity, superbly amazing working world and people and etc… So far, we have seen nothing remotely on the order of this, but a lot of people believing in this theory and simply move on. Which is quite profound, because science needs to refer to something, which isn’t done, but some people really, really do try very hard to come up with something backing this theory. I do give them credit for that. You would think that at least some animals or people out there would be starting into another state of evolution, if it was actually going on, because we would be constantly changing over “time”. I just want people to be open and not closed on looking at this, including myself. I think that if we can, this is when we can start to get some where, as the truth is out there. Please think and look into and question for yourself, and don’t go along with the mocking lemming reporters. It’s important.

  302. Davidlpf

    What evidence does ID or creationism use?
    NONE.
    Evolutions coms from carefully studying the fossil record and other lines of evidence.

  303. TheBlackCat

    I don’t have all the answers, no one does, but evolution (especially macroevolution) makes absolutely no sense.

    Your inability to understand something the middle schoolers have no problem with says more about you than it does about the it.

    So from a common sense look at things, let’s say that dinosaurs are 200 million years old (a solid round number). I think that most evolutionists would roughly agree, plus or minus a few gallizion years. And today we have a TON of bones from them, all from that time long, long ago. Pretty remarkably.

    So let’s say that people “who can walk” came from a “common ancestor” or monkeys, much more recent recently. So we should we have a TON more bones of these evolutionary man? Right? Cause it took millions or billions of years to evolve into this amazing human being we have today? Just thinking of this in a common sense fashion here. We are still allowed to think here right, I believe? Hopefully this is still America.

    You do realize that dinosaurs are entire, large group of animals, right? If you were going to do that sort of comparison, you would need to do it between, say, dinosaurs and mammals, not dinosaurs and one tiny group of mammals. For humans were are dealing with 1-2 dozen species, tops, all but maybe 3 of which lived in an extremely narrow geographic range over an extremely short period of time (7 million years total). All in all there were 2 or 3 genera, depending on how you count, each with a half dozen species or so. On the other hand there were approximately 3,000 dinosaur genera, each probably with similar numbers of species on average, living for 150 million years all over the world. So we have approximately 1000 times more types of dinosaurs spread over 20 times longer and an immeasurably larger geographic range. I think the “common sense” conclusion from that is pretty clear.

  304. Travis, your dinosaur vs. human fossil “problem” is based on your own ignorance.

    “Dinosaurs” were around for over 150 million years. That’s a hell of a long time. Modern humans have been around a few tens of thousands of years. Our australopithecus ancestors were around maybe a few million years. Given the rate at which fossilization occurs, what do you think the odds are that more “dinosaur” fossils are going to be found than humans?

    I appreciate your claim that you enjoy talking to me. Please note that I do not enjoy your ignorant posts in any way. You come across as uneducated, even ignorant, and–worse than either–proud of that fact. You are the nadir of the American public education system.

    Go away. Get a basic education in the subjects you claim to be able to discuss. Try to open up your own mind, instead of miring it the idiocy you seem to enjoy. Then and only then come back.

  305. Yeah, what BlackCat said. ;)

  306. TheBlackCat

    Listen, I enjoy all of your comments posts, but I wanted to say that I believe that it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does creation.

    Just because you believe something does not make it so. There is one big difference between creationism and evolution: evolution matches the evidence, creationism directly contradicts it. Accepting the evidence does not require faith, rejecting it does.

    Creation, at least, has a starting point and this perfectly running earth and universe is proof of that

    Perfectly running? 99% of species that have ever existed have gone extinct. Pretty much anywhere you go in the universe is completely and totally inhospitable to life. The universe is set up in such a way that life can only exist over a finite period of time. At least 50% of all species on Earth have been suddenly wiped out no less than 5 times, the most serious of which wiped out over 90% of all life (perhaps as high as 95%), and it was not the one that killed off the dinosaurs (actually, the one I am talking about nearly wiped out our ancestors). It will happen again (actually, it is already well underway). The universe is a dangerous and extremely inhospitable place, it is only our tiny insignificant corner of it that is even remotely cozy.

    This is why I’m confounded that evolution is widely accepted and can not be questioned.

    We have not problem with evolution being questioned. But we do expect the questions to be based on evidence, not the oral stories of cattle-sacrificing bronze-age shepherds.

    Ultimately evolution takes something from nothing and then makes it into a super, super, super to the power of infinity, superbly amazing working world and people and etc…

    Uh, no it doesn’t. The origin of the world is something else entirely, evolution has nothing to do with that. Creationists seem to love to re-define evolution as “all science we don’t like”. Evolution is a very specific set of theories dealing with a very specific set of phenomena (how populations of organisms change over time). It does not deal with the origin of life, the origin of the universe, the origin of the Earth, radioactive decay, basic chemistry, weather, or anything else that contradicts the biblical creation story.

    It also does not start from nothing, it starts with basic organic chemicals (simpler versions of the same stuff we are made up of) that had the ability to self-replicate. Self-replicating molecules that have errors in their duplication that include changes in their size WILL increase in complexity, it is chemically and mathematically impossible for them NOT to increase in complexity.

    So far, we have seen nothing remotely on the order of this, but a lot of people believing in this theory and simply move on. Which is quite profound, because science needs to refer to something, which isn’t done, but some people really, really do try very hard to come up with something backing this theory. I do give them credit for that.

    There are literally mountains of evidence backing up evolution. Absolutely everything we have learned about biology supports evolution.

    You would think that at least some animals or people out there would be starting into another state of evolution, if it was actually going on, because we would be constantly changing over “time”.

    Evolution does not go in stages, and it does not start and stop. All species are evolving all the time. And in fact the evolution of species right now is an extremely well-studied and well-documented subject. In fact we even have documented cases of species turning into other species, sometimes in a matter of decades.

    Please think and look into and question for yourself, and don’t go along with the mocking lemming reporters. It’s important.

    What makes you think we haven’t already? Some of us here even have advanced degrees in related subjects.

  307. Travis Hybl

    Here are some facts: (check it out if you want to learn something today)

    http://freehovind.com/watch-3954156199145885147

    By the way, this dude is only a high school teacher, but he makes some very good points. You think that he shouldn’t be able to find any truth, if non existed. He’s definitely corny, but if you can get past it, he’s definitely worth checking out, especially to get both perspective sides, since the American education system doesn’t want to give you that. But please, make your own judgment after looking into, but that does means you have to think – instead of blindly following. However, I’m confident that you can.

  308. mike shults

    opinions are like ass**les, everyone has one. This whole debate is like trench warfare. If everyone is right, who is wrong? Ideology is simply another form of religion.

  309. @ Black Cat:

    Oh, yeah, but other than that, what have you got to say for yourself?! :)

  310. Oddy

    Damn,

    Texas you remind me of Taliban.
    Ruling with relgion is the same stuff you are figthing over there is’nt it?

  311. Greg

    “to wedge open the door to allow the teaching of young-Earth creationism in the classroom, ”

    Why should the door need to opened? Why is it closed in the first place? Why does there need to be a door at all? What are you so afraid of? If you’re so smart and we’re all so stupid why not just let us have our say?

  312. IVAN3MAN

    Travis Hybl:

    If we came from monkeys……where did monkeys come from and why do we still have them???????

    Torte/Re-Torte

  313. FraaJad

    She said “…there are different estimates [of the age of the Universe]… they will be taught about 12 – 14 billion years ago, but this leaves it open a little bit to discuss how many billions.”

    So, let me get this straight…

    A cop catches a driver speeding in 50 mph zone, the driver’s argument is “my speed was about 70-80 miles an hour?, but that leaves open a little bit to discuss how many miles per hour”

    Let us know how that flies with the police officer.

  314. @ mike shults:

    This whole debate is like trench warfare. If everyone is right, who is wrong?

    Uh, maybe the people who don’t have a shred of evidence to back up their “opinions,” and a trench full of evidence that goes against them?

  315. Hey Travis, links to creationist websites that try to pass off unsubstantiated opinion and religious “proofs” — however folksy — as science are hardly the way to get people to “open their minds.” Do you ever follow your own advice?

    Try reading a book that hasn’t been sanctioned by your religion, or filtered through the lens of creationism. Switch off the internet and go to a library. A good book to start with would be “Wonderful Life” by Stephen J. Gould. Another might be the one Dr. BA plugged the other day, “Why Evolution is True,” by Jerry Coyne. Go ahead. Your brain won’t explode.

  316. TheBlackCat

    Why should the door need to opened? Why is it closed in the first place?

    A silly piece of paper called the U.S. Constitution.

    Why does there need to be a door at all? What are you so afraid of? If you’re so smart and we’re all so stupid why not just let us have our say?

    If you’re so smart and we’re so stupid why does your side refuse to present any evidence backing up their position? Why do you have to rely on stacking school boards instead of convincing the world you are right with evidence?

  317. kamber

    What difference does it make what the textbooks say? or the teacher, for that matter. It’s not like kids can actualy fathom millions or billions of years any better than they can fathom 6000 years. Is it really going to help them get a job or keep a wife? No.
    How about teaching them how to play a game in first person view? If you’re going to gripe about something, why not pick something really ridiculous?

    Waah Waah Wahh, My kid’s might learn something incorrect in the School System! W T F is new!? I learned that Columbus was a wonderful guy ! And look how that turned out!

  318. Terry

    If you think this is bad, wait until these people enact laws that say one may not criticize religion.

  319. Steven

    “Them scientists say the Universe is 13 billion years old”

    “Wait. The Expanding Universe model is made in New York City!”

    “NEW YORK CITY?!”

    “Get a rope…”

  320. Stuart L. Riley

    There have been some who would say that Ms. Cargill is not pushing creationism.

    That seems to be correct, given the careful wording she uses in the video.

    So on the surface, there is really no reason to get all up in arms about this specific wording.

    But, it is obvious that this specific type of wording is consistent with the Discovery Institute’s Science Education Policy (see link below).

    Based on recent court rulings, they have appeared to have abandoned the full-frontal assult on true science in favor of an apparent neutral stance.

    Here’s the problem….

    First, it remains obvious that the so-called “Discovery Institue” has no clue what a “theory” is, or they purposely twist the term to their agenda. (If they are ignorant, then they have a defense. If they are really educated people, then they are purposely twisting the term to their agenda. Which is it?)

    Second, there does not appear to be any way that these folks really want an “open discussion”, because their side is faith-based, not evidence-based.

    Side note here — while most know that faith-based opinions can easily fall into dogma, it is also true that scientists have often been dogmatic in their opinions. The difference is, once the evidence becomes clear, scientists either abandon their dogma and follow the evidence, or risk losing their credibility among their peers.)

    Science already has a built-in way to be self-critical, promotes open discussion. It’s the scientific method.

    Why then, does the state of Texas feel the need to add carefully-worded text in the TEAKS to provide an “open discussion” of evolution, unless they want to “open the discussion of a faith-based view that god created the universe, and is constantly tweaking creation to some end.

    If the “open discussion” part really bothers Ms. Cargill, then why not ensure that a clearly-worded section on discussing the scientific method is in the TEAKS?

    Could it be that the scientific method is an entirely secular approach?

    Ms. Cargill and her type have an agenda. You can see it on her web site, and compare notes with the “Discovery” Institute’s policy.

    Keep the focus on teaching the scientific method.

    If one day there is proof of an intelligent designer, I’m sure there will be plenty of scientist just scrambiling to be the first to publish the evidence. Who doesn’t want that Nobel Prize for such a discovery?

    But remember, if that day ever came, then by definition, we’d all loose our faith.

    Stuart

    Discovery Institute’s Science Education Policy:

    http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=3164&program=CSC%20-%20Science%20and%20Education%20Policy%20-%20School%20District%20Policy%20-%20MainPage

  321. Travis Hybl

    I can’t believe that this site is trying to block me. Who knew the truth couldn’t be told.

    Statement from his own book:

    “The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.”

    -Stephen Jay Gould (Professor Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University)

  322. Julian

    “I can’t believe that this site is trying to block me. Who knew the truth couldn’t be told.”

    Another idiot with a persecution complex. How hard is it for people to realize comments can get eaten up by spam filters and might take a while to show up?

  323. @ Travis:

    Statement from his own book:

    Too bad, moron, Gould goes on to point out THE SOLUTION to that problem in his own book.

    See, that’s what happens when you replace reading with quote mining (from articles published 27 years ago, no less) from creationsist websites?

    Get a frakkin education, idiot. Gods, I sure as heck wouldn’t want you project managing any construction job of mine.

  324. Extract from the Quote Mine Project (click on my name for the link);

    Or, Lies, Damned Lies and Quote Mines (“Large Gaps”):

    The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualist accounts of evolution. (Gould, Stephen J., “Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?” Paleobiology, vol 6(1), January 1980, p. 127)

    “This is a rather unspectacularly predictable mined quote, as everyone who has had a few hours exposure to Gould’s writings on evolution can instantly see that he’s arguing against gradualism and probably in favor of punctuated equilibrium, a theory that he co-originated with Eldredge in 1972. Contrary to possible first impressions of the uninformed, Gould is presenting a problem FOR gradualist evolution, and countering WITH solutions to this apparent ‘problem’ later in the paragraph.

    “And, in typical quote-mining style, this sentence has been taken out of its natural ecosystem. In this section of the paper, Gould is outlining the challenge to gradualist models of macroevolution in three loosely united themes. He is not challenging evolution itself nor is he discounting the vast wealth of fossil data that already exists.

    “Therefore, someone unfamiliar with Gould who would read the quote alone, above, who does not understand Gould’s argument in the paper nor his scientific history will not realize he’s just questioning gradualism as a theory of evolutionary change, and not realize he’s simultaneously proposing a better idea of evolutionary change to fit the observed data.

    “As far as the paper goes, the quote above is actually from point #2 in his argument, and you’ll have to see the full context to see where it’s been selectively snipped. Here’s the full context, starting with his point #2 but not encompassing the entire section #2 (which goes on in the same vein a while longer):

    2. The saltational initiation of major transitions: The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary states between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution. St. George Mivart (1871), Darwin’s most cogent critic, referred to it as the dilemma of “the incipient stages of useful structures” — of what possible benefit to a reptile is two percent of a wing? The dilemma has two potential solutions. The first, preferred by Darwinians because it preserves both gradualism and adaptation, is the principle of preadaptation: the intermediate stages functioned in another way but were, by good fortune in retrospect, pre-adapted to a new role they could play only after greater elaboration. Thus, if feathers first functioned “for” insulation and later “for” the trapping of insect prey (Ostrom 1979) a proto-wing might be built without any reference to flight.

    I do not doubt the supreme importance of preadaptation, but the other alternative, treated with caution, reluctance, disdain or even fear by the modern synthesis, now deserves a rehearing in the light of renewed interest in development: perhaps, in many cases, the intermediates never existed. I do not refer to the saltational origin of entire new designs, complete in all their complex and integrated features — a fantasy that would be truly anti-Darwinian in denying any creativity to selection and relegating it to the role of eliminating new models. Instead, I envisage a potential saltational origin for the essential features of key adaptations. Why may we not imagine that gill arch bones of an ancestral agnathan moved forward in one step to surround the mouth and form proto-jaws? Such a change would scarcely establish the Bauplan of the gnathostomes. So much more must be altered in the reconstruction of agnathan design — the building of a true shoulder girdle with bony, paired appendages, to say the least. But the discontinuous origin of a proto-jaw might set up new regimes of development and selection that would quickly lead to other, coordinated modifications. (Gould, Stephen J., “Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?” Paleobiology, vol 6(1), January 1980, pp. 126-127)

    “Gould then goes on to show that Darwin conflated gradualism with natural selection, and then talks more in point #2 about future work in the field of evolutionary development that yields testable hypothesis for small changes in developmental pathways (corresponding to small evolutionary changes) yielding large changes in adult body plans. Gould states that this is the kind of approach that will give forth real information rather than adaptive stories or hypothetical intermediates. Gould was probably not exactly a ‘visionary’ for proposing this in print, but evolutionary developmental biology seems to be giving plenty of support to the theory of evolution these days.”

    —Deanne (Lilith) Taylor

  325. TheBlackCat

    Echoing kuhn’s statement, I think it would be useful to look at Gould’s own statement on the issue:

    Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists—whether through design or stupidity, I do not know—as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups. Yet a pamphlet entitled “Harvard Scientists Agree Evolution Is a Hoax” states: “The facts of punctuated equilibrium which Gould and Eldredge…are forcing Darwinists to swallow fit the picture that Bryan insisted on, and which God has revealed to us in the Bible.”

    You can see the quote in context here:
    http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/gould_fact-and-theory.html

  326. Stuart L. Riley

    If anyone is interested, you may want to view the posts at:

    http://texas.teachers.net/chatboard/topic13559/5.06.09.16.24.26.html

    I’ve been throwing my 2 cents worth in on that posting also.

    Not all Texas teachers agree with Ms. Cargill.

    But those that do agree with Ms. Cargill’s view offer a chilling set of notions.

    I only hope schools have more of the former than the latter.

    Stuart L. Riley, Texas

  327. AJ

    People, just remember that complaining on this blog really doesn’t do too much good. I suspect everyone here knows exactly what science is about, and what creationism is about. I hope that many of you (I am myself not an American), will raise some real noise about this absurd decision. They are able to do this simply because rational people don’t object forcefully enough.

  328. Stuart, some of those comments were really, really creepy.

    I guess I was incorrect, above. People like Travis and his ilk probably would experience their brains exploding if they tried to read a book.

    Thankfully, they would be very small explosions.

  329. Darth Robo

    Travis is linking to (fake doctor) Kent Hovind? Srsly?!?

    BWA HA HA HA HAAAAAA!!!

    Sorry about that Travis. Oh, did you know that SJ Gould was an “evolutionist” who thought creationism was nonsense? The creationists who quote-mined him did. Which makes them dishonest. Did you? Or did you just gullibley swallow down their nonsense whole? What was that you said about “thinking and not blindly following”?

    At least we agree that you have no “alternate theory” other than your own incredulity.

  330. Jim

    I am a average person. I live in Michigan,And I don`t really care how old the earth or Texas is….

  331. Jim, if you’d actually read Dr. BA’s post, and all his previous posts on this topic, you would know that the issue is not about what “average” people think about the age of the earth (or Texas).

    It’s about not substituting religion for science in…wait for it…science classes. It’s about not dumbing down school curricula with magical mumbo-jumbo from people pushing their fundamentalist political agenda.

    ‘And I think we all know what fundamentalist theocracies look like, don’t we?

  332. Jim

    Kuhnigget I have not read Dr.BA`s post.
    From what I understand it is leading to the abolishment of Science. I`m 40 and I think people will make up their own minds on what to believe. I`m not a Creationist and beleive in evolution.From the things I`ve read and studied,we evolved. I have studied the religious aspects of How we came to be,but I beleive the facts.
    I would think that a person that had common sense would see that things did not magically appear.

  333. Stuart Riley

    Here’s a good video.

    It’s a lecture by Dr. Ken Miller.

    Some of you may know of it already.

    His talk is just over an hour, with Q&A going on another 50min.

    But, it’s interesting to watch.

    Stuart

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

  334. The texas teachers net site has this poll on it too…
    Should teachers be allowed to carry a gun in the classroom?

    Holy frackin’ sh…. What kind of state do you have over there?

  335. Personally I think that it is time to move the Johnson Space center out of Texas. Seriously. I intend to write to my Senator about it.

  336. Darth Robo

    >>>”I would think that a person that had common sense would see that things did not magically appear.”

    Unfortunately Jim, there are many without common sense, who also have enough political clout to be able to push for “magic” to be taught in public school science classes. This has been happening in Texas, Florida, Louisiana and others. Since they failed to get ID into schools, they are now attempting to bring unreasonable doubt into the classrooms, under the guise of “fair play”, “academic freedom” and “teach both sides”. This is despite the fact that science does not support their claims that the universe is 6,000 years old or that evolution has “flaws”. If Donny McElroy and his ilk succeed in their goals, they could get away with teaching such nonsense.

    It could then go to court, which the creationists would most likely lose (again) when it was found that their “academic freedom” bill was religiously motivated. The schools may then end up with a large fine, just like what happened at Dover in 2005.

  337. The schools may then end up with a large fine, just like what happened at Dover in 2005.

    Which would suit these bastards just fine, as that would give them an excuse to shift gears and push for their damn “school vouchers” program, which is yet one more stealth attempt to get the government to fund their religion.

  338. kendall

    Even if Darwins theory could be found completely false this would in no way “prove” the existence of a christian god.
    Its sad for christianity that the veracity of their belief is hinged so delicately on Darwin, rather than their own dogma.
    Anyone in that ISD could and should sue, this is an obvious attempt at inserting ID in public school.

    That mental midget really needed her high priest behind her sacrificing a goat and feeding her lines, apparently public speaking skills are as important to her as rational thought.

  339. Travis Hybl
  340. Greg in Austin

    Jim said,

    “I`m 40 and I think people will make up their own minds on what to believe. I`m not a Creationist and beleive in evolution.From the things I`ve read and studied,we evolved. I have studied the religious aspects of How we came to be,but I beleive the facts.
    I would think that a person that had common sense would see that things did not magically appear. “

    The problem is that creationists want ignore the facts, and teach creationism in our public schools instead of science. While you and I may think that facts and evidence are sufficient enough to support evolution, there are too many people (and definitely too many people with massive political backing) who choose to ignore the facts, and steadfastly believe in religious dogma.

    8)

  341. daMamma

    I will not agree or disagree with the existence of a “God”. However do these people not realize that thousands of years ago when their book was written (and re-written and re-written) that the concept of “Billions” was honestly too difficult a term to think about?

    Six thousand certainly is a much easier number to grasp (for the uneducated mind) than 6 Billion. As the earth is approximately 6 billion years old. Six days to create? Try 6 billion years instead and during the 7th Billion their God rested.

    Obviously math is not within the realm of their skill set either. Take the Easter story for an example. “He rose from the dead after 3 days…” The last time I looked at a calendar, it is only 2 days from Friday to Sunday.

  342. daMamma, the resurrection is a bit like my local cat boarding kennel, they charge by the day. Friday to Sunday is only 2 nights but it is 3 days. Of course they charge for 3 days.

  343. CW

    So we have the YEC’s who say, “Fossils were put on the earth by God to test our faith.” Then there are the ones who say, “Fossils were put on the earth by the Devil to test our faith.” And then there are the ones who say, “Fossils are real, but they’re only a few thousand years old, so dinosaurs and humans co-existed.”

    How ’bout we lock them all in a room together and let them do each other in?

  344. the54thvoid

    Golly gosh.
    Fact- Jesus did not write the bible.
    Fact- Mohammed had his Qu’ran burnt by his own and two differing copies emerged.
    Fact- The books of god were written by men.
    Fact- The books of god contain much excellent morality.
    Fact- The books of god contain sanctioning of some awful morality.
    Fact- The western worlds bible (king james) is a translation which by necessity does not contain the same wording as the original accummulation of works which were sanctioned and ‘diefied’ by the Romans. If it does not contain the same wording it is most definitely not the word of god.
    Fact- God is comforting to some.
    Fact- The thought of god is terrifying to some.
    Fact- Some people will always believe. Some people cannot question their own systems. Some religious people need God.
    HERE IS HOW SCIENCE WINS…
    Science is based on theories. These theories can be tested. If a theory stands up to immense unbiased scrutiny, it is held as fact BUT only until it can be disproved. If a theory is fallible, it is altered or removed. Science tries to be as real and solid as possible but by its nature it must be tested and validated constantly. Even if the theory isn’t 100% there (evolution) it’s still pretty damn solid – it’s been tested and observed and is mostly complete.
    HERE IS HOW BIBLE ‘THEORY’ LOSES…
    “It says so and it’s the word of god so it must be true.” In truth the term bible ‘theory’ is a misnomer stop using it. Theories can be tested, you can’t test what these crack pots say. Its more like philosophy.
    WHAT A GOOD CHRISTIAN DOES…
    The book is a very good guide to morality and i will follow it to be a better person and God will accept me and if you’re not a christian well, thats cool you have the free choice to do your own thing- god will judge you on your merits.
    WHAT A BIBLE ‘THUMPER’ DOES (AKA EVANGELISTS/FUNDAMENTALIST)
    Dismiss all logic, abandon all self respect and give themselves to delusional and fanatical belief in an entirely questionable sequence of stories not properly recorded for 300 years after the death of its main subject. Imagine a biography on Obama written 300 years from now!

    I’m an atheist by the way.

  345. Teacherview

    As everyone else, I too, laugh/groan at the vote on this issue and what it means for the teaching of Science. As a Christian and a former teacher, I assert that God and evolution are not incompatible. There are those of us who believe in evolution by devine design. The irony in all of this is that it IS God who gave us the intelligence to “figure out” much of the world around us, including the estimation of Earth’s age. I am smart enough to believe in the undeniability of Science and have only the highest respect for Scientists, but I’m also smart enough to know that the universe can only be the work of an almighty God. From my perspective, I don’t know how anyone can look at the intricacies of life and all that surrounds us and still deny God. As for some of the admittedly strange aspects of the Bible, everyone needs to remember that even the best translations are not perfect and it was written during a period in history in which SOME aspects of life were so far removed from what we know today that we have absolutely no context in which to place them. As someone who tends to be highly skeptical, I find that once placed into context, some of the most troubling aspects of the Bible become easily explained. From a strictly historical perspective, unbiased study will show you that secular history does parallel biblical events. There are also some “common sense” perspectives such as why Jesus’ disciples were so willing to die for their beliefs in Him (and most did in fact). Whether Christian or Atheist, who can argue against what Jesus emphasized as the most important message of all – “to love one another”? What a different world it would be if we could all follow that directive! My Christian beliefs help me to simultaneously vehemently disagree with this Texas BoE member, yet feel no hatred or animosity towards her for her sincere belief, as misguided as most of us believe it to be.

  346. Chris

    @the54thvoid.com

    You’re quite inaccurate in your “representation” of the Christian faith. A “good Christian” does not act that way. That’s how you would want them to act. I would agree that Fundamentalists are “Bible Thumpers”, but that’s because they are legalistic and take the Bible out of context all the time. However, Evangelicals as a whole are not “Bible Thumpers”. Just because a Christian tells you what the Bible says doesn’t make them a “Bible Thumper”. You talk about how close-minded Christians are about reality and life around them, but aren’t you just the same when it comes to the Christian faith? I believe the word for that is hypocrite.

    And the representation of the Bible that I’ve seen so far in these comments is due to misinterpretations and taking the text out of context (not using proper exegesis and hermeneutics). And your “Bible Theory” is ridiculous and Biblical events have been proven accurate and that they really occurred, both by faith-based and secular sources.

    And just because a translation of the Bible doesn’t say what the original Greek did verbatim doesn’t negate it as God’s Word. Now, there are some translations I would never recommend b/c I think they are a waste of time. However, if you know the Greek language or are familiar with it, you’d know that many of the words used in the original language we don’t have words that equal it that would make it a direct translation (as in, verbatim). But regardless of that, most translations, especially the ESV and the NASB, are close to the original Greek and its meaning.

  347. # Alias Undercover Says:
    …and I misspelled “not”. That looks real good…

    I thought that was just a Texas accent..

    ;)
    Luthekar Says:

    And as a side note, creationists never do any science of their own. They pick and choose which subjects and categories of published scientific material they disagree with, then twist and distort the facts, and even outright lie or spread disinformation in order to make things fit in with their idealogies.

    As a rule, most ‘fundamentalists’ pick and choose from their own Scriptures. e.g. homosexuality is forbidden, but eating shellfish is not?

    J/P=?

  348. Samuel

    This isn’t strictly relevant… but in 2 Samuel 12:11 God orders some innocent women raped.

    I’m going to use that the next time someone tells me God loves us, or that we get our morality from God, or we’ll be reunited in Heaven.

    Just tell them that quote and READ YOUR DAMN BOOK. And say No to rape gods.

  349. TheBlackCat

    but I’m also smart enough to know that the universe can only be the work of an almighty God.

    Evidence please.

    From my perspective, I don’t know how anyone can look at the intricacies of life and all that surrounds us and still deny God.

    Evolution, which you say you accept, explains how life became like it is without any need for anything supernatural. With evolution, God is unnecessary for life to be as it is.

    As for some of the admittedly strange aspects of the Bible, everyone needs to remember that even the best translations are not perfect and it was written during a period in history in which SOME aspects of life were so far removed from what we know today that we have absolutely no context in which to place them.

    That means the Bible is unreliable as a source of information. How are we supposed to tell which parts we should believe and which we shouldn’t? Especially when it is so self-contradictory even on fundamental issues (like what it takes to get into heaven).

    From a strictly historical perspective, unbiased study will show you that secular history does parallel biblical events.

    In some cases, yes. In other cases, not in the slightest. And in many cases, the biblical history contradicts itself.

    There are also some “common sense” perspectives such as why Jesus’ disciples were so willing to die for their beliefs in Him (and most did in fact).

    That is assuming, of course, that they even existed, the evidence for which is dubious.

    Whether Christian or Atheist, who can argue against what Jesus emphasized as the most important message of all – “to love one another”? What a different world it would be if we could all follow that directive! My Christian beliefs help me to simultaneously vehemently disagree with this Texas BoE member, yet feel no hatred or animosity towards her for her sincere belief, as misguided as most of us believe it to be.

    This is a nice notion, but does not work in the real world. Some people deserve our scorn and anger. I feel it is perfectly justified to feel animosity towards someone who I feel is doing a great deal of harm to others for her blatantly dishonest and underhanded attempts to force everyone else to conform to her beliefs. There is nothing wrong with being justifiably upset at someone who is doing something wrong.

  350. TheBlackCat

    And the representation of the Bible that I’ve seen so far in these comments is due to misinterpretations and taking the text out of context (not using proper exegesis and hermeneutics).

    The same could be said for the prophecies Jesus supposedly fulfilled. And those mistakes were made by the very people who wrote the Bible.

    And your “Bible Theory” is ridiculous and Biblical events have been proven accurate and that they really occurred, both by faith-based and secular sources.

    Some have. Others have been proven to have not occurred. Still others there is no evidence for (at least no contemporary evidence).

  351. After reading this post and all the subsequent comments, as a student of physics and astronomy, I honestly feel bad for you guys. So diluted, so puffed up, and all (most likely) without reading a single chapter of the Holy Bible to even know or attempt to understand what God says about His creation. I don’t have enough time in the day to attempt to explain all the conveniently out-of-context statements about Biblical Creation just from this page alone. The true irony, however, is that the same applies for even your own “scriptures”, being the conjectures of other similarly diluted individuals from little to sometimes no evidence at all.

    It’s absolutely astonishing every time I come across a page like this (after so many times I’m not sure why), which is, unfortunately, quite often.

    May the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy and open your hardened hearts before your time is up,
    Texan

    http://www.needGod.com

  352. bobcarp

    I wish I was a writer, or a poet, so that I could put precisely into words just how crazy this woman is, but I’m just a guy living in the real world.

  353. bobcarp

    Chris says: “And your “Bible Theory” is ridiculous and Biblical events have been proven accurate and that they really occurred, both by faith-based and secular sources.”

    There is no magical event that has occurred in the bible that has ever been proved. Now if you are saying that the bible is true if it says some human existed, or some city existed, or this army beat that army, ok, may be true. That means nothing when it comes to the magic. Prove manna was dropped from the sky. Prove the Red Sea parted. Prove Mary was a virgin.

    I could write a story about a guy that jumped from the Statue of Liberty and magically floated down to earth safely. Just because I can prove the Statue of Liberty exists, doesn’t prove some guy jumped off and survived.

  354. I am sorry… all I can do is laugh. Things like this are so ridiculous.

    What is next? Voting on the political correctness of the term “Nobel Gases”?

  355. Stuart L. Riley

    Sad some of this has degraded into faith-bashing. Faith is not the issue.

    The problem are people who selfishly mis-use their political positions to push an agenda that is damaging to our children.

    There is nothing wrong with anyone having faith.

    I will continue to fight promoting the tenants of the scientific method in our schools over superstitious nonsense. The scientific method, for all its strengths and weaknesses, IS science. If you disagree with the scientific method, then you are talking about something other than science.

    But I will also fight for a person’s right to have their faith, and exercise it.

    For you atheists – I’d argue that you too have faith. You BELIEVE there is no god. Belief is faith.

    Science can neither prove, nor disprove, the existence of any god. Anyone’s position on a god MUST be and act of faith.

    So, I’d ask you all to please keep this in perspective.

    Don’t give the ID folks their ammunition. They constantly think evolution is an attack on their faith. This type of discussion is falling right into their hands.

    The real problem is their own doubts and ignorance.

    We should really feel sorry for them, but continue to fight them at the ballot box.

    Stuart L. Riley, Texas

  356. Greg in Austin

    AndTheEveningAndTheMorningWereTheFourthDay Says:
    May 12th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    “After reading this post and all the subsequent comments, as a student of physics and astronomy, I honestly feel bad for you guys. So diluted, so puffed up, and all (most likely) without reading a single chapter of the Holy Bible to even know or attempt to understand what God says about His creation.”

    What evidence have you seen here that suggests none of us have read a single book of the Bible? Why would you make such an assumption?

    Does it not say in Genesis that God created Man from dust, Woman from Man’s rib, first Heaven and the Earth, and then Day and Night, and THEN the Sun? Does it not say in the first chapter that Man was created after the animals, and then in the second chapter, that Man was created first, and then the animals? Does the entire biblical story of creation take place in literally 6 days, or are the days a metaphor for eons?

    “I don’t have enough time in the day to attempt to explain all the conveniently out-of-context statements about Biblical Creation just from this page alone.”

    Ok, if you don’t have time for all of them, how about just picking two or 3, and explain to everyone, in short detail, what you think? Or, just pick the most important one and we can start from there. That way, we can have an open-minded discussion about your point of view, instead of your apparent unwillingness to have a debate.

    8)

  357. Greg in Austin

    @Stuart L. Riley,

    I agree with most of what you say. But I think I will take you up on your offer to argue two points:

    “For you atheists – I’d argue that you too have faith. You BELIEVE there is no god. Belief is faith.”

    I think you mistake the word “believe” for “accept.” You do not have to have faith to accept science. It does not take a leap of faith to accept gravity, electricity, or biology, would you agree? However, it does take a leap of faith to believe in God. Atheists simply refuse to take that leap. I refuse to accept that the moon is made of green cheese. Is that faith? No. I accept the fact that the moon is made of rock because the science has shown that the moon is made of rock, and not green cheese.

    “Science can neither prove, nor disprove, the existence of any god. Anyone’s position on a god MUST be and act of faith.”

    I disagree wholeheartedly. I, and probably any logical person here, would gladly accept that there is a God (or Gods) if there were evidence to support that hypothesis. It would be simple. Just have your God (or Gods) come down here and demonstrate a supernatural ability, or perform some miracle. Turn water into wine. Change a rock into a tree. Snap a finger and cure cancer. Walk thru walls. Make it rain beer. Anything. It seems simple. Until someone can demonstrate something only a god can do, there is no logical reason to accept that there is a god.

    It only requires faith to believe in God, not to say there is no evidence for God.

    Oh, and no matter what you choose to believe (or accept), it does not change the fact that the Constitution of the United States prohibits my government from forcing a religion on me, or my children.

    8)

  358. Stuart L. Riley

    To the person who says there is a god, I say, “prove it.”

    To the person who says there is no god, I again say, “prove it.”

    You can’t.

    So, by definition you “believe” there is no god.

    And the belief in something you cannot prove is — faith.

    Otherwise, you are fooling yourself as much as the person who “knows” there is a god.

    I cannot convince you any more than I can convince the other side.

    Arguing with a person who takes your stand is just as fruitless.

    Stuart L. Riley, Texas

  359. José

    @AndTheEveningAndTheMorningWereTheFourthDay

    So diluted, so puffed up, and all (most likely) without reading a single chapter of the Holy Bible to even know or attempt to understand what God says about His creation.

    We haven’t read the Bible? If there was anything which drove me to atheism, it was reading the Bible. I don’t understand how you can read the Bible and still believe there’s anything divine in it.

    The true irony, however, is that the same applies for even your own “scriptures”, being the conjectures of other similarly diluted individuals from little to sometimes no evidence at all.

    What exactly are our scriptures? What things do we believe with no evidence at all?

  360. Crap. This just goes on and on, huh?

    Stuart L. Riley, Texas said:

    To the person who says there is no god, I again say, “prove it.” You can’t. So, by definition you “believe” there is no god.

    No, imbecile, there is a difference. I do not “believe” there is no Yahweh, any more than I do not “believe” there are no leprechauns. There simply isn’t any evidence to support the existence of Yahweh. That is not belief. It is simply accepting the state of things as they are.

    I cannot convince you any more than I can convince the other side. Arguing with a person who takes your stand is just as fruitless.

    It needn’t be fruitless. Just produce some evidence for the existence of omnipotent beings (or leprechauns) and I’d be happy to consider it. If it’s compelling, I’ll accept the existence of one or more gods (or wee little Irishmen).

    “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
    –John Maynard Keynes

  361. José

    @Stuart L. Riley

    So, by definition you “believe” there is no god. And the belief in something you cannot prove is — faith.

    Do you know why I don’t think you’re a half lizard man with laser beam eyes? Pure faith. It has nothing to do with the fact that there’s no evidence for the existence of lizard men or laser eyes.

  362. Stuart L. Riley

    Last post….

    This all started with complaints about how the ID folks “don’t get it.”

    But now anyone who reads this blog can now see the extremists atheists “don’t get it” either.

    You cannot prove a negative. Just because no one has been able to prove the existence of a god, does not mean one cannot exist. So, that does not make an atheist any different from the religious person.

    Science demands proof. It is faith-neutral. It is not on the side of atheists any more than it is on the side of those believing in a god.

    Faith does not require proof. You say you know there is no god. Then, prove it. But if you believe there is no god, it is a matter of faith and does not require a proof.

    Without the proof in either direction, you must have faith in your convictions.

    Ok you zealots. Go at it. I’m out of here.

    Stuart L. Riley

  363. Not believing in the supernatural is not a faith based position. It is faith-neutral. Give the god other names like zeus, odin or osiris. How does your opinion that it takes faith not to believe in them stack up now?

  364. Greg in Austin

    @Stuart L. Riley,

    Typical troll behavior. Come back when you are ready to have an adult conversation.

    I never said I believed there is no god. I said there is no evidence for one.

    8)

  365. Buh-bye, Stuart. Thanks for setting us all straight. What a maroon.

  366. José

    @Stuart L. Riley
    You cannot prove a negative. Just because no one has been able to prove the existence of a god, does not mean one cannot exist. So

    Who’s claiming to have proof that God doesn’t or can’t exist? And what the heck is an extremists atheists? Is it someone who really, really, really doesn’t see any evidence for the existence of God?

  367. IVAN3MAN

    …… So diluted, so puffed up, and all (most likely) without reading a single chapter of the Holy Bible to even know or attempt to understand what God says about His creation…… May the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy and open your hardened hearts before your time is up, Texan.

    Au contraire, it is you who has not read a single chapter in Matthew…

    Jesus mistakenly tells his followers that he will return and establish his kingdom within their lifetime:

    Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

    Jesus predicts the end of the world within the lifetime of his listeners:

    Matthew 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

    Jesus says the gospel will be preached to all nations “and then shall the end come”. Well, according to Paul, the gospel has been preached to everyone (Rom.10:18) via the media (satellite TV, Internet, etc.) and yet the end hasn’t come:

    Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    Jesus is a false prophet, since he predicts that the end of the world will come within the lifetimes of his disciples:

    Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

    Now, nearly 2000 years later, and long after the gospel had been preached throughout the world, his followers still wait…

    *Crickets* *Crickets* *Crickets*
  368. All these things shall come upon this generation

    A very liberal interpretation of this generation could be what is called generation now or gen Y. Thusly Jesusususus’ coming is imminent. Look busy.
    Jeebus I hate doing all the work for the fundies.

  369. Flying sardines

    Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

    Hmmm.. Could be a Trek reference there …? ;-)

    Which generation – Original? Next Gen? Voyager / DS9? ;-)

    Aha! its a sign the prequels will lead to yet another spin off trek series which will be ‘Trek : This Generation’ with an odd alien crew memebr who can walk on water (holographic?), turn water into wine, (capable of internal nucleosyntheis?) and have “God-like powers” … !!!

    … Or not! ;-)

  370. Flying sardines

    Prequls meaning the current Trek prequel movie natch.

  371. JarJya Binks Killer

    There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death

    Well I guess we *could* quibble and say while the people of Jebus’es gnerationlong since died we don’t know whether they all tasted of death (or sampled some death flavoured snacks …) or just plain died. ;-)

    If we want to cut the fundy’s some slack … which I don’t! ;-)

    Nah. Its pretty clear Jesus failed the prediction test – he was going to come back 2,000 years ago. The vedict’s been in that long atleats and the verdict is … Bzzzzt! Fail. ;-)

  372. JarJya Binks Killer

    what the heck is an extremists atheists?

    That would be an athiest that is particularly adored by BASE jumpers, extreme snowboarders, BMX riders, stuntmen, sky-divers, thrill-seekers, etc .. I’d guess! ;-)

  373. JarJya Binks Killer

    @ Stuart L. Riley :

    Science demands proof. It is faith-neutral. It is not on the side of atheists any more than it is on the side of those believing in a god.

    Science demands claims be backed by real solid evidence.

    Religion fails to provide such proof.

    The burden of proof is on those making the claims – and as Carl Sagan famously noted “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    Therefore the burden of proof rests with those claiming the existence (inactual reality & not just human imagined literature) of Seth, Osirus, Ganesha, Allah, Yahwah or Jesus.

    Same as it applies to those believing in invisible pink unicorns, invisible helicopters, fairies in the garden, those evil trolls in European mythology …

    No wait, trolls we have evidence for!

    Thanks for demonstrating their existence if nothing else Stuart! ;-) :-P

  374. Flying sardines

    Prove Mary was a virgin.

    Okay, that can be managed :

    Man in crowd (MIC) to Brians mother (BM) : “If its not a personal qestion are you a virgin?”

    BM [shrieking] : “What!!? Not a personal question? Not a personal question?How can you get any more personal than that!”

    Crowd [Looking at each other & BM, nodding & muttering] : “Yeah she is, must be!” ;-)

    – shamelessly quoted from ‘Monty Python & the Life of Brien’ probably the best and most accurate movie when it comes to religion, e-vah!

  375. Flying sardines

    Off topic but then this went off-topic a while ago anyway ..

    In reality the “Virgin” Mary’s “Immaculate Conception” probably came about -setting supernatural balderdash aside – from her being raped by a temple guard or, perhaps more likely, just her having premarital intercourse with Joseph leading to the usual pre-contraceptive consequence of kiddy outta wedlock.

    Realistically, biologically speaking we all know the “immaculate conception” simply *has* to be bunk – & even if one somehow did take place it would mean Jesus would have to be a female clone of Mary! ;-)

    Plus believing that whole “Mary was a Virgin” nonsense gets even more absurd when you consider even the Bible, that notoriously self-contradicting and unreliable source, admits Jesus had several brothers (& possibly some sisters) notably James. So “virgin” Mary clearly wasn’t.

    It also raises one more interesting point albeit tangentially :

    Is Christianity actually a monotheist or really a carefully disguised pantheist belief system?

    After all, despite using sophistry and double talk to hide the fact, it actually claims three gods for the price of one “triune” Invisible Sky Fairy – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Make that four counting the “goddess” Mary for the Catholics – or should we make that five by counting the “infallible” Pope .. Or *five thousand* (plus?) counting all those demi-god like Catholic “saints” and “saintesses” (term?) …

    …Argh! Their “gods” are breeding like rabbits! ;-)

    Then again, I guess that’s what Catholics famously do! :-P

    ——-

    Yeah, I’m poking fun a bit and treating some laughable claims with the humour they deserve at the end there. Yet there is a serious point & question here. It does seem that they can’t even decide whether they beleive in 1 / 3 / 4 or more deities – but they expect the rest of us to take their word as “gospel”! Humph, bah humbug. ;-)

  376. This is in HTML because I plan to add to it and post it on my dittobusters page:

    Atheists don’t know about Religion (specifically Christianity)

    Most Atheists were raised in religious households, mostly some form of Christianity. Usually, they learned about that religion (and often other sects) and moved to asking questions that have no answers other than ‘God wants it that way’ [Usually revised to ‘God’s ways are not for Man to understand’ or similar language

    Atheists don’t know about the Bible

    First, as mentioned above, the majority of Atheists have undergone the training and dogmas of the religion they were raised in, and are quite familiar with the use of selected quotes used by their particular sect.
    Secondly, many Atheists read the entire Bible (as it is: orally passed down, written, revised, translated, revised, re-edited, bowdlerized, and "interpreted") rather than the select quotes that each sect focuses on. The Song of Solomon is usually "interpreted" as ‘love of God’ rather than the straightforward ‘love of man/woman/sex’

    Atheists have no moral compass because they do not believe in God/The Bible/my sect

    Most Atheists live by "The Golden Rule", which is usually quoted as ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.* This precedes the Biblical version (Luke 6:31) in several other older religions, as well as the ancient Greeks (WikiPedia link).
    *In an article in ANALOG magazine years ago, there was a revision: Do unto others as they would have done to them, which can be viewed as more precise, as, for example, a Masochist would be willing to accept actions that others would not consider appropriate for themselves.

    Science is faith based

    Faith requires that the claims are based on no evidence, whereas Science requires reproducible results, plus the ability to make predictions based on a Theory – which is a set of facts derived from evidence.

    Atheists will not accept scientific discoveries from the Discovery Institute or Answers In Genesis

    True. This is because claims by DI and AIG are not based on research and The Scientific Method of observation, hypothesis (which is the equivalent of what Religions call’theory’), verification and prediction. DI and AIG have performed none of these.

    Atheists want to destroy Religion

    A person’s right to believe that there are monsters under the bed, an old man in the sky, or a purple dragon in their garage is perfectly fine with Atheists. When Theists insist that their personal beliefs should be taught, in preference to (or, as they say ‘equal to’) factual information, Atheists (as well as other Theists, in theory) oppose that because the personal beliefs of one person do not supercede others’ beliefs, and none supercede factual information. e.g. if I believe the color of the sky is orange, I should not be allowed to force others to at least pay lip service to that belief.

    Atheists are unable to argue their side without name-calling

    In the vast majority of cases, the Theists will begin any ad hominem attacks, usually in response to comments on the failures of Theism.

    Atheism is a religion

    While some religions do not require a ‘god’, a definite rejection of a requirement for a ‘god’ defines Atheism. Without some form of ‘belief’, there is no Religion.

    Atheists are close-minded

    An Atheist will accept any claim which can be proven through unbiased testing, and is reproducible.

    It will be “Myths about Atheism” – pending (spending a lot of time doing housework and job hunting)
    J/P=?

  377. Flying sardines

    O &Ieven forgot to count the angels & demons …

    Hmm.. Honestly, it seems to me that the Catholics give even the Hindu pantheon a run for their money when it comes to “god & goddess” numbers .. ;-)

    Not that this would be bad if they’d justbe upfront about it rather topass off their pantheism as monotheism. Clearly one Imaginary Sky Fairy just isn’t enough! ;-)

  378. Flying sardines

    CORRECTION :

    Oh & I even forgot to count all those angels & demons … ;-)

    Hmm.. Honestly, it seems to me that the Catholics give even the Hindu pantheon a run for their money when it comes to “god & goddess” numbers ..

    Not that this would be bad if they’d just be up front & open about it rather than trying to pass off their pantheism as monotheism.

    Clearly one Imaginary Sky Fairy just isn’t enough for them! ;-)

  379. TheBlackCat

    @ Flying sardines: I should point out that the “immaculate conception” is in reference to the conception of Mary, not Jesus. There is no basis for it in the Bible, my understanding is that Mary was conceived in the normal way, but without original sin, or something like that.

  380. @ BlackCat:

    You are correct, regarding immaculate conception. It refers to the mother of jesus being free of sin, thus paving the way for the “son of god” to be free of sin as well. While the belief was around since the middle ages, if not earlier, it didn’t become official catholic dogma until the mid 19th century.

    One has to wonder, if god can free mary from original sin, which is what he did from the moment of her conception, why can’t he free everybody else from sin, too? Oh, right. Free will. I guess being a woman, her will didn’t matter.

  381. Does god have Munchausen by proxy?

  382. Science has nothing to do with beliefs. Beliefs have no business in the classroom, only facts.

  383. Facts?

    Going back and reading her quote:

    she says “…there are different estimates [of the age of the Universe]… they will be taught about 12 – 14 billion years ago, but this leaves it open a little bit to discuss how many billions.”

    Are there different estimates? Yes, this is a fact. According to wiki:
    “Current theory and observations suggest that this is between 13.5 and 14 billion years.”
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_universe

    On top of that, the only thing holding this theory together is inflation theory.
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizon_problem

    But According to the New Scientist:
    “The first reason to doubt inflation’s majesty is not a positive result, but the lack of one. The rush of inflation would have likely created gravitational waves, patterns of distortion in the space-time fabric of the primordial universe. Detecting them would mean inflation is very hard to dismiss. So far, though, we haven’t – and this may soon become a difficult issue for inflation’s supporters, according to Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University in New Jersey, one of the original architects of the theory.”
    Source: Inflation deflated? The big bang’s toughest test. 06 June 2008 by Michael Brooks

    And that is just ONE problem (and the scientist quoted above orginated the theory!)

    So basically, there may be even further updates on the age of the universe and the theory is not as solid as you all make it sound. In the future, it could be modified again, so actually, Texas students are going to be more informed than the rest of the country.

  384. Stuart L. Riely

    Response to “Facts” May 15th…

    Thank you for bringing the discussion back to the original subject matter.

    I looked at Michael Brooks web site. He’s an interesting guy with a lot of good points.

    There are no inconsistencies with his points, and scientific theories.

    In earlier posts, you may find discussions about misconceptions on the definition of the word “theory”.

    To the scientist, a theory is a way to explain observable phenomenon, given measurable, repeatable data.

    It is based on facts that have been gathered. Then the scientists pieces the information together to explain how those facts are connected.

    A theory can be used to predict the expected outcomes of additional observations, given the existing theory holds true. But tests still need to be run to prove or disprove this new theory.

    Example: The theory of evolution did not fully explain how apes have 24 pairs of chromosomes & humans have 23. But, the theory did present possible answers that had to be tested. So, researchers set out to run the tests. And behold, one of the possibilities was discovered. The chromosomes are there in humans, but fused. (see the ken miller video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg).

    Theories, evolution, cosmology (includes age of the universe), and others all have foundations in fact.

    There are weaknesses to a lot of theories. Some are weaker than others. Still, the facts must line up to explain them.

    Science and the scientific method (includes theories), must remain secular.

    So, when it comes to teaching children in public schools, we need to keep science secular.

    Of course, there is the occasional philosophical discussion. :-)

    In closing, I’ll point you to an author whose books I have always enjoyed.

    His name is Paul Davies. Here’s a link: http://cosmos.asu.edu/

    In his writings, he discusses how it is compatible to be a secular scientist, but still remain in awe of the universe & having faith in something.

    Thanks again for providing your viewpoint.

    Stuart

  385. Greg in Austin

    Stuart L. Riely said,

    There are weaknesses to a lot of theories. Some are weaker than others. Still, the facts must line up to explain them.”

    If you look at the many attempts by creationists and ID’ers to inject religion into public schools, you will see that they purposefully twist your definition of “weaknesses.” Where you and I understand that we don’t know if the earth is 4.5 billion or 4.55 billion years old, these folk (including several on the Texas SBoE) want to say that since we don’t know if the earth is 4.5 billion years old, we should teach the possibility that it is only 6,000. The levels of uncertainty in the Theory of Evolution, or the Theory of Relativity are not something that could be debated in a regular High School science class.

    The term “weakness” should not even be used. The current Theory of Evolution is based on these facts that we have observed for 200 years. If, or when, we discover new information, the Theory will be changed to fit those facts. But for a 9th grader, it is more than sufficient to say, “these are the facts.”

    8)

  386. Greg in Austin

    Oops. Only High School should be in bold.

    8)

  387. Stuart L. Riley

    Resp to Greg in Austin…

    You are correct.

    My use of the phrase “There are weaknesses to a lot of theories.” can be mis-interpreted.

    What I was trying to say was that theories may be adjusted, based on new evidence, but there must be evidence to make the adjustment. (Not just a belief in something.)

    I’ve been looking for a link to explain this, so here’s one: http://phyun5.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node6.html

    Step 5 in the link is what I am talking about.

    Yes, there are many who’d use the fact that adjustments in theories can be made, to wedge in the argument that something like evolution isn’t perfect, so it’s no good.

    BTW- the adaptability of theories just proves the open-mindedness of the scientific community.

    But, the theory of evolution, and the 13-14 billion year age of the universe are theories that are extremely solid, and based on solid evidence. It would be highly improbable that there would ever be new evidence to dispute these theories.

    Sorry for the confusion…

    One last thing…

    In case anyone out there is still confused about Ms. Cargill’s “insight” about the age of the universe, please do your own research. You can start with: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2002/10

    See for yourself how these theories are developed. Scientists don’t just pull these theories out of thin air.

    Stuart L. Riley, Texas

  388. Christina Viering

    My brain hurts.

  389. Patrick

    Why is Texas the only reasonable state in the Union. “…there are different estimates [of the age of the Universe]… they will be taught about 12 – 14 billion years ago, but this leaves it open a little bit to discuss how many billions.” what is wrong with this comment? 12-14 billion years, how can you prove any different? Also, Aetheism is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. If there is no God, Where did matter come from? Your own scientists say it can be neither created nor destroyed. If you believe that there is no after life, you are really screwed. Just think, If I am wrong, I will never know it. If you are wrong, You will know for all eternity as you suffer in hell. How does that appeal to your logic?

  390. alo

    so ….since Texas is so horrible…I guess all the other states are just awesome, smart, and know a lot more than the average joe? I live in Texas and have a lot of intelligent friends. not all of Texas residence agree with Texas politics so quit lumping all of us together like we are all in agreement here! hell I can name more than a few states I would rather avoid than live in besides Texas!

  391. alo

    BTW I am not a christian…but have my own beliefs.

  392. Remember the famous words of Texas Gov. Ma Ferguson during a 1920s debate on teaching Spanish in Texas schools: “If the King’s English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.”

  393. Philip T. Downman

    This was a successful troll, wasn’t it? 423 comments!
    You really believe someone can be that stupid and ignorant and still know how to eat?
    PD

  394. Mark B.

    The funniest part of this, to me, is that Scripture doesn’t even give a timeline for the age of Earth, much less the universe! (In case someone else has pointed this out, sorry, but I’m not reading 400+ responses; a piece here and there paints the picture) She’s running off the garbage put together by the Roman emperor Constantine 1700 years ago. **And the comment from Ma Ferguson is PRICELESS!**

    People like this are a strong indication that negative IQ numbers exist, cuz there sure seems to be no limit to how stupid a person can be. Check ‘em for headphones that whisper, “breathe in…breathe out…”; if you find ‘em, yank the headphones and run, cuz they’re about to die from asphyxiation!

  395. @Patrick

    Just think, If I am wrong, I will never know it.

    Unless, of course, there is some other god that exists which rewards believers and punishes non-believers, in which case, you will know for all eternity as you suffer whatever punishments that god doles out.

    If you are wrong, You will know for all eternity as you suffer in hell.

    Unless, of course, God (or some other god) rewards based on works, rather than belief, or simply neither rewards nor punishes at all.

    You are making a couple assumptions with no clear, rational basis:

    1) That only one deity exists.
    2) That that deity is the God of the Bible.
    3) That the Bible is an infallible record of God’s character.
    4) That the biblical God rewards only belief and that actions count for nothing.
    5) That your particular interpretation of the biblical God is, indeed, correct.

  396. Smarter Thanyou

    You adherents to scientism, would I be foolish to believe in anything not directly observable? You know, like God?

    Ok, how about you show me a direct observation of ….

    the God Particle? aka Higgs Boson

    Dark Matter? It’s everywhere but nowhere and never actually observed but golly, it just has to be there for our theories to make any sense!!

    Dark Energy? It, too, is everywhere and is pushing on everything except it’s never been directly observed or measured or quantified but golly, it just must be there because what else could explain every galaxy accelerating away no matter which direction one looks!!

    Inception of life just happens!! Let’s consider a single cell. A single cell contains on the order of 100 million protein molecules. Please instruct me how random chance can account for that number of protein molecules successfully self-assembling through random chance. Please explain how even such a successful event could occur when the odds of such a thing happening are less than 1 in a number exceeding the number of atoms in the universe 10^67.

    Yes, you adherents to scientism are not hypocrites.

    Or are you?

  397. Xak

    To Mark Hansen, do a google search for “Thymerasol” You should be able to find that it is a mercury based preservative used in vaccinations, for at least the past 25 years. Your comment is funny after reading that, huh?

  398. Mike

    Holy Science! I am so sick of dealing with these bible thumping freaks in Texas. I am a Texan all the way but the BTF’s (bible thumping freaks) drive me nuts. Give good ol’ Texans like me a bad name. I am a tech geek and love science. My 2 young boys might do learn science the right way. Jesus is more muted in my home than others.

  399. The bigger question might be, “Is this really how educational matters are decided?” Do they spend an hour debating and voting on every sentence of every text book?

    When government runs our schools, politicians will take every opportunity to tweak the system, whether for ideological reasons or just to win votes. Lucky for them, the two almost always overlap. It works both ways. How many thousands of cumulative child-years have been wasted by the kids of this nation watching their choir teacher put a condom on a zucchini in “health” class? (Is it really so damn difficult?)

    For a significant portion of the nation’s children, government schools are nothing more than publicly funded, babysitting robot factories. And just about everyone sees them as a GREAT BIG SUCCESS! Honestly, for me and just about everyone I know, living on the street for twelve years would have been more rewarding than throwing away the best years of our lives in the prison that is public school.

    Hoping that one day “smart people” will assume permanent control of our government and bring about a centrally-planned utopia is a disastrous experiment that’s going to take centuries to fail. How many more USSRs, North Koreas, and Cubas do we need before we start to notice the pattern?

    …but yeah, no doubt. She’s definitely a dummy. There’s no defending that knuckledragger.

  400. Brad

    These people are not stupid, they are brainwashed, huge difference. I use to be extremly religouse, now I’m atheist. It was very difficult getting over religion, especially dealing with a religiouse family. Point is, calling them names, belitteling them, does nothing for you, only makes them look at you as a fool. There are more and more people wising up to religion, so just be patient, and science will slowly win the war, after all, our sun is only half it’s age, we got another 4 billion years to figure this out.

  401. james

    So instead of teaching that the universe is 12-14 billion years old, they are going to teach that it is theoretically 12-14 billion years old. OH NO KICK TEXAS OUT OF THE UNION

  402. Michael

    I’m from Texas, born and raised.
    I was not taught creationism in school.
    I hate the stereotype that all Texans are ignorant bible thumpers.
    For the most part that mind set is dying out with the generations before mine.

  403. the earth is not created in the first day but in the beginning,there are long period of time between the beginning and the initial time on earth. when the earth was created and turned around 360 degree this is the first day. there is already earth before the creation on the first day, but if we assumed that age of the earth is 6000 years . don’t forget the earth is the first object in the universe followed by the moon and sun , next is the billion billion matter and the creator is god according to the vision of mosses. my question is…why there are matter in the universe that separated with a distance of billion light years away from each other. is it possible that zero time from god these matter are separated from god and surpassed the speed of light and the 6000 years is enough to reach their own location. one day in the bible is not one day literally if you read the genesis 1:27 god created the male and female in the 6th day but Adam only and not eve was created in the six day .

  404. curious

    Just out of curiousity since science is all about asking questions..how old is science (i want hard proof) and how reliable is the big bang since it was formulated in the 60s? also..why doesn’t this person have the right since they live int he same “rights” based system that we do to believe what they believe since some seem to believe in a “question” and “answer” based system based on “language” and “reason”. “theoretically” any one of us “could” be “correct”.

  405. jane

    @Wybe —

    I feel your pain. Although, I went to Catholic middle and high schools in Texas, and was never confronted with creationism in science class. In high school, the first day of freshman year, our biology teacher announced to the class that if we thought religion and evolution (and by extension science) were mutually exclusive, we could basically go F*** off and have our parents enroll us in a different school, because they’re not mutually exclusive and she was going to teach us science whether we liked it or not. Needless to say, no one transferred schools.

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