Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Check it out

Evolution News & Views picked up another one of my posts.


Addition to link list

Please note that I've added an additional link to my link list:

I'm from Missouri

Good stuff...

The Fall

As some of us are obviously struggling with our diet, I thought this little story was appropriate:

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Creme Donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.

So God said, "Try my fresh green salad." And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing, buttery croutons and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them." And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more
weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.

God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it "Angel Food Cake," and said, "It is good." Satan then created chocolate cake and named it "Devil's Food."

God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds. And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald's and its 99-cent double cheeseburger. Then said, "You want fries with that?" And Man replied, "Yes! And super size them!" And Satan said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

Then Satan created HMOs.

[HT to Gigi for the story.]

Monday, January 29, 2007

Why “You Evolved, Dammit!” Is Bad Ed. Policy

When checking out what other bloggers were saying about the recent Cato report, I came across this interesting opinion written by Andrew Coulson. It's worth considering.

Jan. 29 weigh in (week 4)

We've completed week four, with our total weight loss at 31 lbs.

Starving was the first one to lose 10 lbs., but she is continuing on.

Dieters, please use the comment section to post how much you lost (or gained) this week, and your ~total~ weight loss since day 1 of dieting. When everyone has done so, I’ll post the results.


Starving -1 this week, -11 total
Sparky -1, -7
Ftk 0, -7
Carb Princess 0, -4
Gigi 0, -4
Chunky Monkey 0, 0
Manna +1, +1


You can find our previous dieting posts at the links below:

Week 3
Week 2
Week 1
start up

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Am I being deceived?

I’ve been thinking about some comments posted by Jeremy in regard to my post on Methodological Naturalism. Jeremy is a Christian, and like Ken Miller, he believes that there is a designer of our universe, yet they also believe that we are not able to detect this designer’s hand in nature. What’s weird is that they believe that, for all we can tell, our universe is the result of an accident, and that design cannot be empirically detected.

Jeremy wrote:
“Those criticisms of the ID movement were not entirely directed at you. They were mostly directed at the leaders of the movement who I think sometimes mislead their fellow believers.”
So, in other words, you think those “leaders” are deliberately misleading their “fellow believers” in order to get them to accept something that they themselves do not believe (in other words they are merely “lying for Jesus”) for no other reason than to make a stand for their particular religious beliefs? Or, do you think they stretch the truth about their opponents position in order to make people stand up and take notice? Or, do you think they occasionally lie about their own position in order to get people to listen? I’m confused as to why exactly you think they feel the need to mislead their “fellow believers”.

I will say there have been a couple times when I have felt that a few people from my side have made remarks about the opposition out of frustration, and I remember emailing two people and mentioned my disapproval of their statements. I’ve also phoned a few authors of books and questioned them for clarification of their claims. Have you ever contacted those from your side who you believe have crossed the line? I’ve also emailed people who support your position who ~I personally~ feel have misrepresented ID supporters. I do that not because I want to accuse them of anything but because I truly want to try to understand where they are coming from. Ken Miller was one of them. We talked, but I certainly won’t share that conversation publicly.

I still believe both you and Miller are in the wrong camp. It’s quite clear that you support design on some level, but it appears that your arguments stem from the fact that many ID supporters question evolution. But, that questioning applies only to certain aspects of evolution, such as discussions on origins and macroevolution, not the entire theory. Like all other supporters of ID, I have never suggested that any portion of the ToE be removed from our student curriculum, so I don’t believe you have anything to be so worked up about.

Your other big concern is the definition of science, which you feel must invoke methodological naturalism. What has happened because of this term is that we have put ourselves in a position that we may never be able to attain truth in regard to origins. If we have a prior commitment to naturalism and reject any arguments against Darwinian evolution, we may find ourselves stuck with a dead end theory. Obviously, there are implications of design in nature as even the most staunch atheists will attest to this. Yet, the “scientific community” takes the position that any hypothesis inferring design should be scrupulously avoided, regardless of the evidence. It makes no sense.

There are two ways in which we can define science:

1. Science is the activity of seeking explanations for natural phenomena.

2. Science is the activity of seeking only natural causes as explanations for natural phenomena.

The first one is an objective definition. The second is a science stopper because we cannot be certain that all that we observe in nature is due to natural causes. On the other hand, it may be that there is a natural designer that is responsible for the design we see in nature. If we don’t consider a designer which is either natural or supernatural, that leaves us with the first cause of our existence as nothing other than a purely undirected, unintelligent chance occurrence. That is being rather close minded to the obvious design in nature that even the ardent atheist Richard Dawkins refers to time and time again.

“I do not think you are dishonest. I think you genuinely believe the things you write about ID. I just don't think some of those things are true. I am sorry to say that I think you are being deceived.”
No need to be sorry, I’ve known for quite some time that you think I’m “being deceived”, which in other words means that you believe my ability to research for the accuracy of the claims being made by ID advocates is sorely lacking. I’ve listened to the arguments repeatedly for about three years now and have witnessed many highly credentialed individuals (scientists included) question Darwinian mechanisms just as laypeople like myself have. If it were just me who was not able to wrap my head around the ~unquestionably factual~ evidence for Darwinian evolution, then I’d just have to get past it. But, the funny thing is that I’m not the only one, and I ~truly~ do not feel that this observation is based primarily on my religious beliefs. It seems extremely obvious to many of us that Darwinian evolution is sorely lacking in many respects.

Yet, for some of you, there is nothing to question. For you, the concept of Darwinian evolution seems to be based on solid unquestionable evidence, when in fact it is based on speculation which is inferred by empirical evidence. It is in this same manner that ID should be considered a scientific inference.

As far as the dishonesty accusation, it seems to me that when someone points out something from an article written by an evolutionist that supports the questionable aspects of evolution, Darwinists cry “quote mining” . Evidently, if a Darwin supporter writes a paper offering a possible explanation for something but it’s obvious that what they are offering is speculative, we are not allowed to point out that fact. It’s also interesting that often these papers in regard to Darwinian evolution are rife with phrases like “might”, “probably”, “perhaps”, “seems to be”, but if one brings this up, Darwinists deem them dishonest because they believe that since the author of the paper is offering a possible solution to the problem, that it is being deceptive to pull quotes which obviously support their speculation. Darwinists must realize on some level that their extrapolations of the theory are speculative, though the rest of us are deemed “dishonest” for pointing to these problematic areas.

“Please notice that nowhere did I claim that evolution supporters are always honest. Instead, I wrote that the promotion of ID is accompanied by an inordinate amount of intellectual dishonesty.”
“Inordinate amount” -- Statements like that make me realize just how far the chasm is between those who support ID and those who do not. I have to say that I cannot even fathom that statement because I read articles by ID supporters all the time, and one source that has been extremely helpful to me has been “Evolution News & Views”. I have read their material with a very skeptical eye and have double checked many things (especially what they’ve written about the Dover trial). I’m sorry, but they are exactly right about the extreme misrepresentation surrounding many issues in that trial. Yet, you and other Darwinists see none of these issues as misrepresentation and that is alarming.

“Of course there is dishonesty among evolutionists. But, as a group, evolution supporters do not go around speaking in churches and presenting themselves as representatives of Christianity. Creationists and ID promoters do that all the time. In fact, some of them make a living off of it.”
Well, first of all the reason that most of the ~leaders~ of the Darwinian plight don’t present themselves as representatives of Christianity is because most of them are not Christian, and it is unclear as to why it is wrong to speak in churches about intelligent design. Most of the people in churches understand that there is a first cause of our existence, so design would obviously be something they are interested in. I don’t see your point.

But, I’ve seen evolutionists scheduled to speak in churches as well. In fact, come to think of it, I see this happen quite often. Just a couple months ago there was a church here in town announcing a night of speakers with a background in science along with Christian leaders expressing their opinion that evolution and religion are not in conflict.

In fact, Eugenie Scott is a pro at this angle and she works with preachers all the time. My uncle is a supporter of Darwinism and he once sent me a tape with a series of short lectures that took place at a church, and one of the speakers was Eugenie. You might also note that Eugenie’s latest book, Not in Our Classrooms, offers a foreword by Rev. Barry W. Lyn, an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ. Another contributor to the book was Ted Peters, an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She ~absolutely~ *uses* the Christian church to further her own ~ministry~. Of course she, herself, supports the atheist church (ie. humanist organizations/humanist manifesto etc.), but she realizes that working within the Christian churches will further her mission of keeping “creationism” out of society in general. Hence her statement: "I have found that the most effective allies for evolution are people of the faith community. One clergyman with a backward collar is worth two biologists at a school board meeting any day!" (The link to that quote from Scott does not seem to be available at the moment. Interesting). Eugenie even mentioned in her KU speech that Steven Weinberg is an authority figure for her, and we’re all familiar with his take on religion. He wants it done away with. So, although she doesn’t “represent herself as a Christian”, I think what she is doing is FAR more underhanded than a Christian speaking in a church and offering *all* the reasons why they support the movement. So, I’m not sure your comment above holds water (at all).

Most atheists not only want their science firmly planted in the public schools, but they also feel that our students would be better off rejecting all "ancient myths" (religion), in exchange for “logic and reason” (ie. atheism). And, most philosophical naturalists (Dawkins, Scott, et. al) are not particularly worried about theistic evolutionists because they know that it’s a very small step from not being able to detect a designer to believing that there is no designer at all.

Take for instance this comment that I read which was written by an atheist at an on-line forum in reference to this exact topic.

"Ken Miller's God may be real, but Ken has stuck him/her/it in a permanently closed off part of the universe. Ken Miller's god lives in a giant, (or is it small?) unclosable gap, where science cannot go.

And what's the difference between a God that we can never detect - ever - and no god at all?"
There is no difference. Theistic Evolutionists close their eyes to the immense amount of design in nature (that even atheists accept, but deem an “illusion“), and attribute it to natural causes just as the atheist does.

“I am saying that they should be holding themselves to a higher standard. The fact that they are unable to do so speaks to the desperation of their position.”
It’s always mind boggling how we can look at the same situation and view it from completely different perspectives. From where I’m standing, the ID folks have been extremely honest about their position in this debate. In fact, when I made mention in one of my posts that there were over 600 scientists who have signed the “dissent from Darwinism“ document, I was not clear enough in my post that not all of those scientists support the ID movement, but that they all question Darwinian evolution. Robert Crowther, from the DI, left a comment on that post so that readers would clearly understand that. He was making sure there was ~no~ misunderstanding. I think that’s pretty impressive that someone would go to the point of making that clear on a little blog like mine.

I believe that ID supporters hold a very high standard for themselves and I think they do an outstanding job of being honest with the public. I follow many pro-Darwin discussion boards and blogs where members are absolutely cruel to supporters of ID or creation science. It’s horrible, and I can hardly believe some of the things that are said. On the other hand, I’ve read many threads on ARN, and they are always serious and professional. And, I’ve yet to find a blogger from our side of the debate who is anywhere near as venomous as some of the bloggers who support Darwin.

I’ve only stuck my head in at The Panda’s Thumb a few times, and I was called every name in the book. One person asked me what I was doing there, and shouldn’t I be home barefoot and pregnant since I am a conservative woman. Another referred to me as “foreskins” rather than forthekids. The name calling went on and on. I wrote nothing to deserve that type of response. I’ve watched some Darwinists comment at UD, and I’ve never seen them treated like that. So, it’s terribly unclear to me why you think that IDists are such horrible and dishonest people.

And, it’s also interesting that you believe there is “desperation” among the ID supporters. Funny, it seems to me that the Intelligent Design movement is growing by leaps and bounds. More scientists are signing off on the dissent form Darwin statement all the time, and the United States is definitely not the only country talking about these issues anymore. Even Sue Gamble (Kansas board of Ed) recognizes that ID has grown. At the KU panel discussion, she mentioned that in ‘99 she received emails from other countries wondering why the US has such a problem with “creationism”, yet in 2005, she was receiving emails from all over the world complaining that “the problem” is at their doorstep now as well. People are waking up, Jeremy...faster than I expected actually.

It seems to me that Darwin supporters are a bit more “desperate” than you care to admit. It’s interesting to consider the methods they are willing to resort to, like the recent demand that an entire freshman class (or at least a large part) at UCSD was required to listen to Robert Pennock speak on the evils of the ID movement with absolutely no time given to an ID advocate who would be able to explain what ID really entails.

So am I being “deceived”? I don’t know....are you being “deceived”? The better question to ask would probably be, “are you being used”?

I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that there are three perspectives on these issues and everyone falls into one of those three categories. I don’t think any amount of education or “enlightenment” is going to change anyone’s opinion. In fact, since I've been involved in this debate I’ve never ONCE seen someone change their perspective. So, I figure we can all keep fighting about it ‘till the end of time, or we can somehow work together to provide our students the opportunity to understand each view from the perspective of it’s supporters.

But, I certainly won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Myers/Miller Debate?

Boy, that would be a debate I'd like to see!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Happy Birthday

Carb Princess is having a birthday today!!

Hope you have as great a birthday as this little guy apparently did!

Just remember not to touch the cake...serious calories!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Second Life

Tired of you current life? Why not join your cyberspace buddies and live a Second Life.

Total Residents: 2,894,770
Logged In Last 60 Days: 1,007,488
Online Now: 23,666
US$ Spent Last 24h: $996,966

Okay, I spend a lot of time in cyberspace, but that place just gives me the creeps for some reason.

Public schools empowered by the parents - not the government?

In this thought provoking article, an interesting solution to the public school battles over what should be taught in regard to ID, homosexuality, sex ed, etc. was suggested.

Some issues to consider:
"So is American education doomed to eternal acrimony? Thankfully, it doesn't have to be. If public education were driven by free parental choice, it could escape the Balkanizing battles that plague our current system, because individual parents could choose schools that comport with their values, and there would be no need to fight over public schools for which all must pay, but only the most politically powerful can control."
Hmmm...parents choosing a school for their children that best suits their worldview. Interesting concept, but we already have private schools for that purpose. Of course, the difference is that they are not government subsidized, and many parents are not able to afford the tuition at those preferred school.

However, the truth is anything but that, the report said. "Public schooling forces everyone to pay for a single official system that does not – and indeed cannot – reflect the public's diverse and often conflicting views. The inevitable result of this system … is endless social discord over what is taught," the study noted.
True, and in many cases what is taught is not what the majority of parents support. The government evidently knows what is best in regard to these issues, and as far as science classes are concerned, we must appease those scientists from the all-knowing “scientific community”, and as I have pointed out in the past, the upper echelon are comprised of scientists who hold atheistic faith beliefs.

"Indeed, rather than bringing people together, public school often forces people of disparate backgrounds and beliefs into political combat. This paper tracks almost 150 such incidents in the 2005-2006 school year alone. Whether over the teaching of evolution, the content of library books, religious expression in the schools, or several other common points of contention, conflict was constant in American public education last year," McCluskey said.

"To end the fighting caused by state-run schooling, we should transform our system from one in which the government establishes and controls schools, to one in which individual parents are empowered to select schools that share their moral values and education goals for children," he said.
Sounds good - isn’t that what liberals always seem to be fighting for..the individual freedom to choose for oneself as to what is correct or moral?

In other words, attach the money that now is being allocated by state and local taxing districts to the students, instead of the schools. Schools then could compete for the students, teaching a reflection of the values those students' families hold dear, he said during an online forum on the report.
Well, that would certainly be interesting...schools competing for students based on family values. I think the schools would start to become lopsided as far as enrollment numbers are concerned. Skatje Myers recently did a little research on what the polls reflect in regard to where Americans stand on a variety of issues. Here are a few interesting results:

Regardless of what you may personally believe, which of these do you believe should be taught in public schools?” (Harris Poll. June 17-21, 2005. 1,000 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.)

Evolution only: 12%
Creationism only: 23%
Intelligent design only: 4%
All three: 55%
None of these (vol.): 3%
Unsure: 3%
“Would you generally favor or oppose teaching creationism along with evolution in public schools?” (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey conducted by SRBI. July 6-19, 2006. 996 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.5.)

Favor: 58%
Oppose: 35%
Unsure: 7%
“Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings? (1) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process. (2) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process. (3) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” (Gallup Poll. May 8-11, 2006. 1,002 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.)

Guided by god: 36%
No part: 14%
Present form: 46%
Other/no opinion: 5%
“Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?” (Quinnipiac University Poll. Nov. 13-19, 2006. 1,623 registered voters nationwide. MoE ± 2.4.)

Support: 34%
Oppose: 63%
Unsure: 4%
“What is your personal feeling about abortion? (1) It should be permitted in all cases. (2) It should be permitted, but subject to greater restrictions than it is now. (3) It should be permitted only in cases such as rape, incest and to save the woman’s life. OR, (4) It should only be permitted to save the woman’s life.” (CBS News Poll. Jan. 18-21, 2007. 1,168 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.)

All cases: 31%
Greater restrictions: 16%
Rape, incest, life: 30%
Only life: 12%
Never (vol.): 5%
Unsure: 6%
Interesting. It would seem that the conservative schools would probably out number the liberal schools as far as enrollment numbers. Of course, the scientific community would fear that our conservative schools would churn out bumbling idiots, but we’ve seen that their predictions are often inaccurate. We also know that, currently, private school graduates do every bit as well as children educated in the public schools.

"Imposing government-run schooling on every American – the opposite of freedom and choice – has been the cause of constant social and political conflict, while enabling people to select schools that reflect their own values, use the curricula they desire, and so on, is essential to defusing social conflict," the report found. [my emphasis]
As I pointed out in my post on religious indoctrination, public schools also have the opportunity to indoctrinate our children into a particular worldview. By only allowing children to consider natural causes for their existence, reading them stories about absolute acceptance of homosexual lifestyles, removing the consideration of sexual abstinence, etc., we are shaping their worldview.

I don’t know....I can foresee some problems with the concept of letting parents choose the correct school for their children, but on the other hand I can see quite a few benefits as well.

It’s certainly something to think about...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Why can’t we discuss Intelligent Design?

In an interesting article by J. Scott Turner, he wonders why ID is a topic that is so off limits.

Take note that Turner is not an ID advocate and even mentions that he believes ID is a “wrongheaded idea”, but in his article he points out that scientists should not be so up in arms over the subject.

Evidently, what instigated this article was a heckler at one of his lectures:

...what I'd learned from termites had got me thinking about broader issues, among them the question of design in biology: Why are living things built so well for the functions they perform? So I wrote a book called The Tinkerer's Accomplice, which was my topic that day.

The trouble started almost as soon as I stepped up to the podium: intrusive "questions" and demands for "clarifications," really intended not to illuminate but to disrupt and distract. In exasperation, I finally had to ask the heckler to give me a chance to make my argument and my audience a chance to hear it, after which he could ask all the questions he wished.

He was not interested in that approach, of course, and left as soon as question time began. I found out later that he'd complained at his next faculty meeting that the departmental speaker's program should never be used as a forum for advancing — what precisely? That was never quite clear, either to me or to my embarrassed host.

I think what stirred up the heckler had something to do with the word "design." Unless clearly linked to the process of natural selection, "design" can be a bit of a red flag for modern biologists. The reason is not hard to fathom. Most people, when they contemplate the living world, get an overwhelming sense that it is a designed place, replete with marvelous and ingenious contrivances: the beak of a hummingbird curved like the nectaries it feeds from, bones shaped to the loads they must bear, feathers that could teach new tricks to an aeronautical engineer, the nearly unfathomable complexity of a brain that can see — all built as if someone had designed them.

And that, in a nutshell, is the problem. Say "design," and you imply that a designer has been at work, with all the attributes implied by that word: forward-looking, purposeful, intelligent, and intentional. For many centuries, most people drew precisely that conclusion from the designs they thought they saw everywhere in nature.

Charles Darwin was supposed to have put paid to that idea, of course, and ever since his day biologists have considered it gauche to speak of design, or even to hint at purposefulness in nature. Doing so in polite company usually earns you what I call The Pause, the awkward silence that typically follows a faux pas.

If just one freighted word like "design" can evoke The Pause, combining two — as in the phrase "intelligent design" — seems to make otherwise sane people slip their moorings. If you enjoy irony, as I do, the spectacle can provide hours of entertainment. I wonder, for example, what demon had gripped a past president of Cornell University when he singled out intelligent design as a unique threat to academic and civil discourse. Aren't universities supposed to be a place for dangerous ideas?

This guy has it going on. He sees right through the Darwinist fear frenzy, and realizes that this fear goes beyond science and on to their own philosophical beliefs, and that is what has Darwin's staunch supporters fighting so hard.

Here’s a thought...
The strain's very persistence invites the obvious question: If Darwin settled the issue once and for all, why does it keep coming back? Perhaps the fault lies with Darwin's supporters. Rather than debate the strain on its merits, we scramble to the courts or the political ramparts to expel it from our classrooms and our students' minds.[my emphasis]

That is a pity because at the core of intelligent design is a question worth pondering: Is evolution shaped in any way by purposefulness or intentionality? Darwinism is clear in its answer — no way, no how — and that is not mere obstinacy, as some might charge. The banishment of purpose from evolution is Darwinism's sine qua non, which Darwin himself fought hard to establish, and which his descendants have defended stoutly ever since.

Read the article...quite interesting.

Hat tip to Larry Caldwell, Evolution News & Views.

Brownback off and running

To the complete horror of my extreme left readers, I’LL BE VOTING FOR BROWNBACK!

Yup, the guy represents good family values and I’m all for that, and, as yet, I haven’t heard about any skeletons jumping out of his closet.

So, I dug up some of the Topeka Capital Journal articles regarding his run for president for your reading pleasure.

Sam the All-American Kid

Brownback Launches his Campaign

Sam the Family Man

To Spank or Not to Spank

California is considering a ban on spanking young children.

Now, this is a little freaky, IMO. It’s like the government coming into my home and telling me how to discipline my children.

Granted, there are many ways to discipline your child and there are books galore on how to go about doing this without having to resort to spanking. But, as a mother of two boys who are *all boy*, I can tell you that a good spanking now and again is certainly not something that should be frowned upon.

Kids like to push the limits, and at times, a good swat on the behind makes all the difference.

From the article:
The proposal includes penalties of up to a year in jail and fines of as much as $1000 dollars.
That’s crazy.

I can understand if someone is physically abusing their child or leaving marks on them, but your average spanking is not something that a parent should go to jail for!

My sister recently went to Norway, where spanking is banned, and she had her four-year old son with her. I think it freaked her out a little bit that she could possibly get fined if she spanked her son while they were there.

The report also made the comment that:
The spanking ban won't likely win support from Republicans.
LOL....isn’t it the liberal voters who are always complaining that the religious right is trying to take all their freedom away? But, I suppose they’d support Big Brother watching our homes in case we spank little Billy.

I asked my 6th grade son if he remembered getting a spanking, and whether he thought spanking was a poor way to discipline. He said he remembered that we spanked him, but not a specific incident. He thought spanking was necessary if nothing else works, and he couldn’t believe that California is pushing to ban it.

From the mouth of babes...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Jan. 22 weigh in (week 3)

We've completed week three, with last week’s total weight loss at 25 lbs.

Last week’s big losers were Sparky and Starving again, so let’s see if someone can knock them off the top.

Last week Carb Princess provided some comments about eating carbs with a low glycemic index, and Gigi has been telling us to be careful about what type of vitamin you choose, as some are almost worthless. So hopefully we are learning a few things along the way.

I'm up for a workout challenge for any of you that need some competition to get you started in that area.

So here we go again...dieters, please use the comment section to post how much you lost (or gained) this week, and your ~total~ weight loss since day 1 of dieting. When everyone has done so, I’ll post the results.


STARVING HAS LOST 10 lbs.!!!! She is the first to hit the 10 lb. goal, but she has decided to keep going and lose some more! Great job, Starving.

Here are the rest of the results...

Ftk -2 this week, -7 total
Sparky -0, -6
Carb Princess -2, -4
Gigi -0, -4
Chunky Monkey -0, -0
Manna -0, -0

You can find our previous dieting posts at the links below:

Week 2
Week 1
start up

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Methodological Naturalism

A conversation I was having in the comments section of one of my posts got me thinking about this term again. Darwin supporters use the term as a weapon to fend off consideration of intelligent design.

For those of you not familiar with the term..
Many modern philosophers of science use the terms methodological naturalism or scientific naturalism to refer to the long standing convention in science of the scientific method, which makes the methodological assumption that observable events in nature are explained only by natural causes, without assuming the existence or non-existence of the supernatural, and so considers supernatural explanations for such events to be outside science. They contrast this with the approach known as ontological naturalism or metaphysical naturalism, which refers to the metaphysical belief that the natural world (including the universe) is all that exists, and therefore nothing supernatural exists.
I don’t know how “long standing” the term is. From this link, apparently Ron Numbers claims that the term was coined in 1986.

Nonetheless, I have to agree with Roddy Bullock, author of The Cave Painting, who wrote:

"Most evolutionists, no doubt, will object to being accused of purposely denying the possibility of intelligent design of living things, but such can be the case only when evolutionists attempt to limit science by definition to exploring only natural causes for all effects. Such an a priori boundary defining what “science” is and what it is not may be appropriate for certain fields of scientific endeavor such as applied science. But, when extended to exclude all but purely natural explanations for the origin of life, such a boundary must be recognized as being required by an assumed constraint, not an inherent limitation. Thus, the refusal to even contemplate the idea of intelligent design in living organisms is purposeful and irrational."
Here is another interesting article by philosopher, Alvin Plantinga, in regard to the Dover trial and methodological naturalism.

I believe the term is stifling to science.

Scientific literacy on the rise!

Check out this this report regarding scientific literacy in the United States. Apparently, scientific literacy has been dramatically on the rise since 1995. Boy, that sure isn’t what the Darwin crowd has been predicting. One of their most brutal scare tactics is that ID will turn us all into blithering idiots.


There are probably quite a few reasons for this phenomena. Primarily the availability of any type of information we are interested in is now at our fingertips due to readily available internet access.

But, guess what else has been on the rise since 1995? Conversations about the intelligent design movement! Michael Behe’s book, Darwin’s Black Box was first published in ‘98, and it certainly shook up the scientific community.

Luckily, the internet has helped us search for the answers to our questions in regard to the many issues in this debate. This is an emotionally stirring controversy that drives a person to search out answers, and while searching for answers, it’s very hard not to get really excited about science and all the fascinating topics surrounding this debate. The controversial issues include so many different fields of science.

I’ve mentioned this quote in a comment section somewhere, but it is worth repeating. Richard Alexander, an evolutionist, once made an outstanding point that:

“No teacher should be dismayed at efforts to present creation as an alternative to evolution in biology courses; indeed, at this moment creation is the only alternative to evolution. Not only is this worth mentioning, but a comparison of the two alternatives can be an excellent exercise in logic and reason. Our primary goal as educators should be to teach students to think and such a comparison, particularly because it concerns an issue in which many have special interest or are even emotionally involved, may accomplish that purpose better than most others.”

-Richard D. Alexander, “Evolution, Creation, and Biology Teaching,” American Biology Teacher, Vol. 40, February 1978, p. 92.
I know that is a fact in my case. The statistics show that women are less interested in scientific issues than men, which I would have to agree with. I never found science terribly interesting until I came upon these debate topics. Since that time, I’ve given up my romance novels and replaced them with science books and articles. Seriously...

To bad teachers can’t use this controversy to stir some interest in their students.

[Hat tip to Dave Scot at Uncommon Descent for pointing out the article.]

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Follow up on water intoxication incident

The radio station knew about the danger of water intoxication:

During the contest, a listener - self-identified as a nurse - called the live radio broadcast and warned that the game was dangerous.

"I want to say that those people drinking all that water can get sick and die from water intoxication," said the caller.

"Yeah, we're aware of that," replied a DJ, according to a broadcast news report. "They signed releases so we're not responsible, okay?"
Ten were fired (rightly so!)
[The] radio station fired 10 employees, including three morning disc jockeys, in reaction to a tragedy in which a woman died Friday after an on-air water-drinking contest at the station's studios.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Group aims to save living fossils

From the article:

The Zoological Society of London's program highlights 100 species selected because of the peculiarity of their genetic backgrounds and the degree of danger they face. The species' lack of close relatives make their preservation particularly urgent, society scientist Jonathan Baillie said. He described them as natural masterpieces.

...“There's nothing like them when they go," Baillie said.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Death by water intoxication

A woman in Sacramento entered a "Hold your Wee for a Wii" contest sponsored by a local radio station. Evidently, the contestant who drank the most water without using the bathroom would be awarded with a Wii (a Nintendo video game system). One contestant suffered a severe headache on the way home from the event and was later found dead at her home.

That radio station is looking at one huge lawsuit, IMO. Who comes up with a game like that? Hold your wee? That is obnoxious. What is really sad is that she was doing it so she could give the game system to her kids.

Water intoxication is caused when you drink excessive amounts of water which in turn dilutes the salt content of your blood to a level which can lead to organ problems (or death).

Just last night my husband and I were discussing how much water is too much. His cousin recently was told by her physician to stop drinking so much water because apparently she was drinking massive amounts and it was accumulating around her heart.

Since I'm on this diet kick, I've been trying to drink the suggested 8-10 glasses a day and have noticed that it has increased my energy level. I certainly believe that our bodies need that 8-10 glasses a day, but here is an interesting article that tries to refute that claim. The only reason I post it is because my huband is always telling me he doesn't think we need to drown ourselves in water.

Oh, btw, this is simply bizarre, but my husband brought home a Wii game system for my kids about 4 hours after I read that article. Weird. We had promised them one for Christmas, but they were sold out at every store. He finally found one.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Jan. 15 weigh in (week 2)

Okay… we’re on week two, with last week’s total weight loss at 17 lbs.

Last week’s big losers were Sparky and Starving, so let’s see how we did this week. Please use the comment section to post how much you lost (or gained) this week, and your ~total~ weight loss since day 1 of dieting. When everyone has done so, I’ll post the results.


Here is a recap of this week's weight loss:

Sparky -1 this week, -6 total
Starving -1, -6
Ftk -1, -5
Gigi -1, -4
Carb Princess -2
Chunky Monkey -0, -0
Manna -0, -0

We've gained an additional dieter this week. Welcome Carb Princess!

Our total weight loss is at 25 lbs.

You can find our previous dieting posts at the links below:

Week 1
start up

It’s the end of the world as we know it

Looks like those “crazy fundamentalists” aren’t the only ones looking towards doomsday…

WASHINGTON (Jan. 12) - The keepers of the "Doomsday Clock" plan to move its hands forward next Wednesday to reflect what they call worsening nuclear and climate threats to the world.

…The symbolic clock, maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, currently is set at seven minutes to midnight, with midnight marking global catastrophe.

…The clock was last pushed forward by two minutes to seven minutes to midnight in 2002 amid concerns about the proliferation of nuclear, biological and other weapons and the threat of terrorism.
Better grab your end times rations and head for that hole you’ve dug in your backyard.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Religious "Indoctrination"

I have been quite puzzled by the “indoctrination” accusations that atheists throw at religious parents so frequently lately.

Richard Dawkins, of course, has been the biggest instigator of this line of reasoning. He has made many statements refering to religious “indoctrination” as a form of “child abuse”. He has even signed, and promotes, a petition that seeks to ban faith schools.

The petition states that:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Abolish all faith schools and prohibit the teaching of creationism and other religious mythology in all UK schools.

Faith schools remove the rights of children to choose their own religious, philosophical and ethical beliefs. They also sanction ethnic segregation and create tension and divisiveness within society. Schools should be places where children are given a free education, not centres for indoctrination. Creationism and other religious myths should not be taught as fact regardless of the funding status of a school. Abolishing faith schools will provide children with more freedom of choice and help to promote a fully multi-cultural, peaceful society.

If Dawkins had his way, private religious schools would be banned, and parents wouldn’t have the right to teach their children anything in regard to their own personal religious beliefs.

I decided to give this “indoctrination” accusation some serious thought and wondered how or if atheist parents share their beliefs with their children just as religious folks might. Unfortunately, most of the atheists I know personally are not what I would consider strong atheists, and many of them I consider to be more agnostic rather than atheist, but they prefer the former title.

So, where to find a child of an strong atheist? Well, I didn’t have to go far (never even left my computer). PZ Myers, biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, is a “militant” atheist who has three children. His youngest, Skatje Myers, is a junior in high school and has her own blog site where she offers some interesting perspectives on many issues.

PZ agrees with Dawkins sentiments, and he prides himself on his lack of indoctrination with his own children. So, I spent some time reading the blog entries of his daughter Skatje.

She wrote a post on the topic of religious “indoctrination“, and I questioned her further about why sharing my beliefs with my children is considered “indoctrination”, yet the beliefs held by her father had no impact on her own belief system. She responded as follows:

You could have answered your own question by reading what I wrote. I said he didn’t talk about it. I didn’t even know what religion was until I was entering middle school. Like I explained, there was a LACK of talk about these things. In fact, he still doesn’t talk about these things at home. His blog stuff is almost completely separate from dinner talk. The only time I hear his opinions on things are if I ask.

Actually, I did read what she had wrote, but I questioned it, so I asked again in hopes that she might consider her statement with a bit more thought. I don’t doubt that her father didn’t “talk” about “religion” when she was a child because he seems to strongly believe that religious “indoctrination” (or what I would call sharing your beliefs, feelings, and thoughts about life and where we came from with your child) to be a very negative thing. But, most children have many child-like questions in regard to where they came from, what happens after they die, etc., etc. Unless one is a very unique child who has no interest in these type of questions, I would assume that all parents talk about these issues with their children from time to time.

So, I was still trying to understand why “militant" atheists (a phrase she uses to describe her Dad) are so adamant that children who are brought up by religious parents have been indoctrinated, but that they themselves have had no impact on their own child’s belief system whatsoever.

It is interesting that she doesn’t seem to consider her Dad's public blog site, which he has authored for the last 5 years and where he voices all his opinions on religion and science on a daily basis, as a form of indoctrination.

Skatje is obviously familiar with Dad’s blog and even provides a link to it from her own. She’s still living under Dad’s roof, so although she may not consider herself a child at 16, she’s a young adult living under the care of her parents who has probably been aware of Dad’s blog for quite a few years now. Whether or not her Dad ever mentions his belief system to his children through the spoken word, they certainly get their fair dose of “indoctrination” from his blogsite, unless there is some sort of parent blocker on his site to ensure that she is not being influenced this way. This I doubt, because Skatje‘s views on life are almost verbatim that of her Dads, and she links to his blog, so obviously she reads it.

So, although PZ may never ~talk~ about these issue at home, his feelings about religion are every bit as potent as those that I relay to my children about my religious beliefs.

But, let’s forget about PZ’s blog for a moment, and merely consider his conversations at home. If Skatje asked Dad, through a line of questioning, where humans came from, he would probably give her a naturalistic scientific explanation. Well, most kids will eventually go further back than the birds and the bees because it’s instinctual to wonder where our beginning arose from. Again, she would probably be offered a naturalistic explanation in which life essentially arose through evolutionary processes. He would not have mentioned a first cause (in the sense of a creator being), but perhaps noted that although we don’t know exactly how something initially arose from absolutely nothing, science has always been working on that particular problem.

Now, PZ & Skatje personally feel this particular answer to be more truthful than a religious explanation, but there are many who feel that it is simply not scientific to adhere to a belief that something can arise from nothing, so they consider much more than the evolutionary viewpoint to establish the truth of these issues. They consider history, archaeology, lines of evidence for various religious perspectives and the tremendous improbabilities that life arose by mere chance.

So, it’s not that we give up and say that “God did it, so I must indoctrinate my child in this manner”. No, it’s that we have established that science may not be able provide us with all of the answers to life’s questions, so we must research other areas of knowledge as well in regard to origins. That does not mean that we stop scientific endeavor (as evolutionists are so fond of accusing us of). I don’t know of any IDist or creationist that has ever considered something as ridiculous. But, in fact, ID digs even deeper. It looks further into the problems associated with evolution and tries to make sense of them. In fact, ID promotes scientific dialogue about these difficulties and pushes science forward urging the scientific community to answer these questions and look further into the question of origins (as is currently happening at Harvard University).

Rather than not talk about religious issues with our children at all, it seems to me that it is of benefit to our children to share our religious views with them and give them religious training just as we would enroll them in school and teach them math, science, reading, social studies, etc. I wouldn’t dream of eliminating math from their curriculum just as I wouldn’t dream of eliminating religious instruction. And, the benefits of a religious upbringing are numerous.

There is certainly nothing wrong with teaching your child a specific religious belief, but personally I’d encourage them to explore all religions. In saying that, I do not endorse comparative religion courses at the universities because they often throw in myths and every other forms of “religion” in a big pot. They have just enough time to touch on various religions and myths in a semester class which is horrendously misleading, and in the end they spit out a whole new group of agnostic youth. No, if you are interested in studying various religions, you should take it quite seriously and study them in-depth, IMO.

I encourage my children to learn about other religions, and when they ask me those hard to answer questions, I often explain to them the atheist viewpoint or what other religions believe in regard to the topic. Then I provide them with the reasons why I disagree with that perspective.

And, not to worry, my children are certainly exposed to the atheist creation story as well as their own, so they are quite well rounded in that area. Public schools only offer one creation story - that of the atheist perspective. Yes, I realize that theistic evolutionists would disagree with that, but their beliefs of a divine first cause are not to be mentioned in public schools either, so we are left with a solely naturalistic perspective being taught in our science classrooms.

It’s interesting that when I asked Skatje:
Is there the possibility that one religion made have more supporting evidence for it’s claims than another?

She responded that:
At the basis of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc, there is the supernatural. No matter how many more books I read, I’m not going to find any evidence to support the existence of flying rainbow-coloured monkeys that fire lasers out of their butts.

I guess I hadn’t been made aware that either Jews, Christians, or Muslims believed in flying monkeys. But, I would have to say that I am not sure which is easier to believe - that butt firing monkeys were the first cause of our existence, or that ~nothing~ caused that first something to appear which led to our existence. Perhaps Joe Carter over at the evangelical outpost can help PZ out with an atheist creation story to tell his kids.

What happens when we tell our kids that they arose through evolutionary processes from the animal kingdom is that they have no reason not to ~act~ like animals, and this is exactly what we tell them in public school science classes.

Someone commented to Skatje that:
You then render humans as little better than animals.
Her reply was:
Did you not pass biology class? Humans are animals, sweetie.

This conversation took place on her post regarding abortion.

Being that we are mere animals, Skatje didn’t see a problem with late-term abortion:

I don’t see people’s problems with late-term abortions. Nothing has changed except it looks more like a human. That’s not reason enough to ban late-term abortions.

I see no reason why late-term abortions should be banned. The only justification I see people giving for why they shouldn’t be done is because you can take the baby out and it’ll live. But we’ve already discussed the problems with this. Taking the baby out instead of late-term abortion is not a viable solution. Thus abortion must continue.

The REASON she has a late-term abortion is irrelevant, be it because she couldn’t get one earlier, health reasons, family reasons, or because she just changed her mind.

Let’s consider those late-term abortions in which nothing has changed “except it looks more like a human”. These look like human lives that deserved to live.

I realize that this type of discussion does nothing more than spawn more arguments, but I thought this needed to be addressed. My point is that if we take secularism too far and are no longer allowed to discuss our personal religious beliefs, we are no better off than the fear of an authoritarian religious takeover of the government, which seems to be the paranoid vision that the Dawkins/Myers crowd fear.

So, IMO, the way to solve this problem of the one-sided creation story currently being taught in our science classrooms would be to acknowledge the scientific inference of intelligent design. That way, we mention no particular religious belief, yet our children are taught the very real scientific probability that our origins arose from something other than a murky pond of nothingness, and that each human life is precious.

In conclusion, after reading Skatje’s blog, I believe that one could make very good arguments that atheist’s “indoctrinate” their own children into their faith beliefs just as those who hold religious beliefs might “indoctrinate” their children. It should be pointed out that all three of PZ’s children are atheists.

[It appears that PZ has some concerns about me reading his daughter’s blog, and his choirboys are again singing his praises (read the comments). What a shame. Well, I have some concerns about him pushing his faith based creation story in our public schools.]

Friday, January 12, 2007

Our teachers and school superintendents

I often wonder if many of our teachers and school superintendents have time to actually consider all the issues surrounding this debate.

I recently read this article in the Kansas City Star.

From the article:
Hays school district superintendent Fred Kaufman said it was important to get the matter resolved so it doesn’t keep coming up.

“I guess if it were up to me, I would leave that in the hands of the science teachers and the experts in science,” he said in a phone interview. “It would behoove us all to remember that other people have opinions, and recognize them as honorable and worthwhile and not put them down, but to leave the teaching of science to science teachers.

If we are going to start teaching religious preferences, we are going to have a real tangle trying to decide whose to teach.[my emphasis]”
Hmmm...tell us, Mr. Kaufman, whose religious preferences would intelligent design be supporting? And, what kind of "religious" teachings would be taught in the science class if ID were mentioned?

Mr. Kaufman's comment shows a complete lack of understanding about what ID actually is. But even worse, he seems to infer that our present science standards include teaching intelligent design. They don't.

If Mr. Kaufman is interested in learning more about ID and why it is not a "religious preference", he should listen to Michael Behe's (author of Darwin's Black Box) recent KU lecture, and my review covering it.

And, if he doesn't think that evolution supports faith beliefs (equivalent to religious beliefs), perhaps he would benefit from reading this, this, or this.

Consider a quote from H.J. Lipson, Prof. of Physics, University of Manchester, UK, who wrote in 1984:
"Evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to bend their observations to fit in with it."

Mom Strike

Well, I went and did it....I've been officially on Mom strike since last Sunday. The list of chores my men made for themselves are still sitting on the cabinet and they don't keep up with them by any means, but there has been somewhat of an attempt to talk amongst themselves about the things that they should be doing that are on the list.

Since Sunday, I've been keeping a portion of the basement (excluding the kid's play area) and my bedroom clean. When I spend time in other areas of the house I only pick up after myself. It's been interesting to see how much I pick up after them each week. The house is pretty much a wreck. Laundry is piling up in the laundry room and on the floors where the kids drop their clothes. The dishes aren't usually done, but they attempt to load and unload the dishwasher occasionally (out of pure necessity). My youngest had quite a dilemma before school yesterday because there were no clean jeans to wear. What a shame.

I don't think this strike is getting me anywhere though, because from what I understand, they seem to think the house looks fine. Sigh...

There has been an upside to this strike though. I've had extra time to workout, more time to spend talking and being with the boys, and no more pressure to hurry up and get everything done. I simply walk around or right over all the crap laying on the floor.

I hope to God that nobody comes to visit unannounced. Hey, actually that is a pretty good excuse for a dirty house. Maybe I'll just use that one forever since it doesn't look as though the boys are going to kick it into gear and keep the house as clean as I'd like it to be.

Yup, when people visit, I'll just tell them that the house is in shambles because "I'm on Mom strike". Then I'll take them to my room to visit in a clean area of the house.

Sounds like a plan...

Friday's Damning Quote

Krauze from Telic Thoughts provides us with this quote from Ian Lowe, who is on the committee of the British Center for Science Education.

It should be relatively easy to rally against the fundies.

Pick an obnoxious trait, focus on whatthat would mean for the public at large, exaggerate it, and demonise that trait to the point that no rational person would consider supporting them. Caricature the entire dominionist/reconstructionist movement as nothing more than an embodiment of that trait.

Then, in every public debate or discussion, keep returning to the same obnoxious trait, referring to it the same way, giving the media their sound bite, and making sure that even if someone can't tell you one single element of a group's actual beliefs or plans, they can tell you that they have this obnoxious trait.


Thursday, January 11, 2007



I have HAD IT with the downright dishonest portrayal of Kansas and the science standards issue. It seems that no matter how many times these inaccuracies in the media are addressed, one only need to wait a few weeks to see the same thing put into print somewhere else!

The latest comes from Ed Kimbrell in an article titled, American history slips into oblivion.

Ed tells us that he has…
…been doing research during the winter break about the First Amendment, especially in the area of religion. I have been very vocal about the decline in the quality of high school history textbooks, so I decided to reach into my groaning shelves of books to find the books I used at Northwestern University, the two-volume set, "The Growth of the American Republic" by Samuel Eliot Morison, Henry Steele Commager, and William E. Leuchtenburg. For 50 years, their work was the gold standard for university students.
Then he tells us what he values about these particular textbooks:
What I found was a history marked by lively writing, opinions that were tart, yet thoughtful, and woven with honesty about the nation. They made history interesting, challenging and inviting. [my emphasis]

Oh…the irony.

He goes on later in the article to dismiss the high standards he holds for textbook authors and writes something entirely dishonest about my home state of Kansas:

Turn to the sciences for a moment and look at Kansas and Georgia, where the boards demanded that intelligent design be taught along side evolution. Thankfully, the people dumped the Kansas board and the only major court decision ruled against intelligent design, calling it religion, not science, which it is.
What an absolutely dishonest thing to put into print. The Kansas Board of Education NEVER demanded that "intelligent design be taught along side evolution"!!! The new standards specifically made the point that:

The Science Curriculum Standards do not include Intelligent Design.
Rather, they focus on teaching the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolution. There was never a member on that board that “demanded” that ID be “taught along side evolution”!

Will the media ever get that straight????!

Something else that America and Kimbrell should note is that it is extremely hard to discern whether Kansans “dumped the Kansas board” in the last election. There were only three conservatives up for reelection who supported the new standards, and only one was not reelected. That particular board member had other issues she was dealing with in her district as well.

In one district, the evolution backing liberals elected Harry McDonald to run against a conservative who supported the new standards, and McDonald didn’t make it past the primaries. In the general election they stuck a moderate in the race to run against the same board member and lost again. So, at present, two of those three conservatives remain on the board.

It’s interesting to note that Harry McDonald was the former President of Kansas Citizens for Science, a very vocal anti-ID group in Kansas. If Kansans wanted to make a point about their disapproval of the new standards, it sure seems to me that they would have voted in this particular candidate, BUT THEY DIDN’T.

Nope, I don’t think the Darwinists have Kansas in as firm a grip as they believe.

But, back to Kimbrell…

He makes the point that:
Textbook companies have to deal with two major states that buy millions of dollars worth of textbooks annually: Texas and California.

…When the boards decide, or ask for changes, the book sellers respond instantly. Millions of dollars, for them, are at stake.
And, there you have it. ID is not only fighting against philosophical naturalism, but also against the problem of those “millions of dollars” worth of textbooks sitting in a warehouse somewhere. Can anyone say Ken Miller? - textbook author who has misrepresented numerous issues in this debate. Then there are countless books and articles written by scientists who are not about to take the chance of losing a bit of prestige and perhaps a lot of cash to actually give ID the consideration it deserves.

Some advice for Kimbrell - get your facts straight, and try a little of that honesty you cherish when relaying information about Kansas. THANKS!


[Hat tip to Casey Luskin at Evolution News & Views for pointing out this article, and for providing further documentation of how WRONG Kimbrell’s statements about the Kansas science standards are.]

Lee Strobel Interview

Back in October, I mentioned Lee Strobel's book and DVD, The Case for a Creator.

Hank Hanegraaff interviewed Lee on his radio program Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. I'll provide the links below so you can listen to the two part series.

I've viewed the DVD, and it's really excellent. For those of you who are new to the debate, you should pick up a copy, but at least be sure to take the time to listen to Hank's radio interview and you'll learn so much about various aspects of the debate over evolution.

Here are the links:

Part One

Part Two


Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Those 'ol Darwinists are just soooo naughty!!

(I've seen that one before, but I just discovered Rev Dr Lenny Flank uses the symbol as his profile picture in some forums....neato.)

The one I have on my bumper is a bit more tame...

Intelligent design is a science, not a faith

Richard Buggs writes in The Guardian that Intelligent Design is indeed science. many times will the obvious have to be repeated before the general public clues in to the bogus information being put out by the "scientific community".

The problem that the "scientific community" has with ID is not related to scientific facts, but stems from their own philosophical leanings toward naturalism. Some of them want to stiffle religion, others carry delusional fears that "fundamentalists" are taking control of government.

With so many things (porn, homosexuality, abortion, TV programs rife with violence, sex & profanity, prayer prohibited at school function, etc., etc., etc) that have become almost acceptable as the norm by our nation, it's hard to believe that some people actually think that "fundamentalist" Christians control our government. But whatever...

Here are some good points from Richard Buggs:

But, whatever the limitations of Darwinism, isn't the intelligent design alternative an "intellectual dead end"? No. If true, ID is a profound insight into the natural world and a motivator to scientific inquiry. The pioneers of modern science, who were convinced that nature is designed, consequently held that it could be understood by human intellects. This confidence helped to drive the scientific revolution. More recently, proponents of ID predicted that some "junk" DNA must have a function well before this view became mainstream among Darwinists.

But, according to Randerson, ID is not a science because "there is no evidence that could in principle disprove ID". Remind me, what is claimed of Darwinism? If, as an explanation for organised complexity, Darwinism had a more convincing evidential basis, then many of us would give up on ID.

Finally, Randerson claims that ID is "pure religion". In fact, ID is a logical inference, based on data gathered from the natural world, and hence it is firmly in the realm of science. It does not rely upon the Bible, the Qur'an, or any religious authority or tradition - only on scientific evidence. When a religious person advocates teaching ID in science without identification of the designer, there is no dishonesty or "Trojan horse", just realism about the limitations of the scientific method. If certain Darwinists also had the intellectual honesty to distinguish between science and their religious beliefs, the public understanding of science would be much enhanced.[my emphasis]

Monday, January 08, 2007

A meme

John Voisey, The Angry Astronomer, has evidently been included in a tagging meme game and has now tagged me!!! Okay, I’ll play...

Let’s see...I’m supposed to grab the nearest book, go to page 123, go to the fifth sentence, and write down the next three sentences. Then I’m to tag three more people, presumably ones that I think will play the game.

Okay, the closest book to my computer is Darwin Strikes Back by Thomas Woodward.

Here are three sentences from page 123 starting with the fifth sentence:

He circulated among the speakers, including three ID superstars: Michael Behe, Paul Nelson, and Jonathan Wells. Thus it was no surprise when several key quotes in the following week’s Time cover story came from our conference speakers.

When I first scanned the list of speakers in late spring, I was surprised that half were new names.

Ugh....I wish I could write the next few sentences.

Now I have to tag three people who might play along. Boy, that’s gonna be a hard one. Most of the bloggers who I’m familiar with seriously oppose my position in the ID/evolution debate, so I’m not sure they’ll wanna play with me.

Oh well, what the heck...

I’m going to tag Larry Fafarman because I’ve been popping in to read his blog lately and find it pretty interesting. He is an ID supporter as am I. I’m not sure if he ever reads my blog, but I guess we’ll find out.

Then I’ll tag Skatje Myers because she seems to enjoy memes (although she is apparently not fond of me at all). Lately, I’ve been quite curious about our youth who have come to the conclusion that there is no God, so I figured PZ Myers’ daughter would be an interesting subject. She certainly has some strong feelings about God, homosexuality, abortion, etc., etc.

Finally, I’ll tag Joshua Rosenau. I’ve no doubt Josh will ignore me completely, but he is a fellow Kansan so maybe he’ll look past our differences and play along. I don’t agree with Josh’s politics, nor do I understand how he can be so close minded to the intelligent design movement. But, even though he doesn't care for me much, he is usually willing to answer my questions about biology from an evolutionary perspective.

Well, there you go Jon. Oh, btw, it looks like you’ve had a birthday lately. Last I checked I thought I’d noticed that you were 22, and now your profile says you’re 23. So, if I read things right, Happy Belated Birthday! If not, well then have a happy birthday whenever.

Jan 8 weigh in (week 1)

We kicked off our '07 Diet last week, and now it's time for our first weigh in. Participants please use the comment section to post how many pounds you lost (or gained) last week. Our goal is to lose 10 pounds.

After you each log in your weight loss, I'll recap it on this post. Remember to check in periodically and give each other encouragement and advise throughout the week!!


Here are the results of how much we lost the first week:

Sparky - 5
Starving - 5
Ftk - 4
Gigi - 3
Chunky Monkey - ?
Manna - ?

Total = 17 lbs.

Well, we're off to a good start, but we've lost CM & Manna along the way. Time to fess up girls. Have you lost anything?

Sparky and Starving lost the most weight during our first week. Congratulations!!

Each week I'll also post the conversations from the previous weeks so you can reference them if you'd like...

Start up

Stem cell breakthrough

Maybe this will help with the stem cell controversy...

(Jan. 7) - Scientists reported Sunday they had found a plentiful source of stem cells in the fluid that cushions babies in the womb and produced a variety of tissue types from these cells - sidestepping the controversy over destroying embryos for research.

Researchers at Wake Forest University and Harvard University reported the stem cells they drew from amniotic fluid donated by pregnant women hold much the same promise as embryonic stem cells. They reported they were able to extract the stem cells without harm to mother or fetus and turn their discovery into several different tissue cell types, including brain, liver and bone.

"Our hope is that these cells will provide a valuable resource for tissue repair and for engineered organs as well," said Dr. Anthony Atala, head of Wake Forest's regenerative medicine institute and senior researcher on the project.

It took Atala's team some seven years of research to determine the cells they found were truly stem cells that "can be used to produce a broad range of cells that may be valuable for therapy."

However, the scientists noted they still don't know exactly how many different cell types can be made from the stem cells found in amniotic fluid. They also said that even preliminary tests in patients are years away.

Friday, January 05, 2007

“Where is the toilet cleaning brush?”

I kid you not. Those words actually came out of my son’s mouth last night. The toilet cleaning brushes have been located right next to the toilets in each bathroom in the house for the entirety of my son’s 10 years of life. scary.

He located the brush in one of the bathrooms and evidently took that one with him to clean the other bathroom toilets (only God knows why). Anyway, on his way to one of the bathrooms he apparently got in a small spat with his older brother and swatted the toilet brush at him (I heard this all second hand). “Toilet water” found it’s way onto the clothes of the older brother who did not take the situation very well. You can imagine what happened next. It wasn't pretty.

There is far too much testosterone in my household.

Delegation of the household chores has been interesting so far...

The Grand Canyon revisited

There was an interesting comment left on my post regarding The Grand Canyon. Let's consider it...

JRM wrote:
(quoting my post)"Recently, photographs were released showing that liquid may have recently flowed on Mars. The experts are baffled because Mars is colder than Antarctica in the winter..."

Does the truth matter?

Why yes, JRM, it certainly does. If you'll read my profile, you'll find that I’m very interested in finding truth.

You went on to inform me of the following:
Here is a scholarly study of water on Mars:

The fist sentence of the abstract:

"Current Martian equatorial surface temperatures are too warm for water ice to exist at the surface for any appreciable length of time before subliming into the atmosphere."[my emphasis]

After doing further research and talking with someone who actually knows something about the topic, I’ll offer the following:

From this link:
The average recorded temperature on Mars is -63° C (-81° F) with a maximum temperature of 20° C (68° F) and a minimum of -140° C (-220° F).

This maximum temperature on Mars rarely occurs, but when it does, it is (1) at the Martian equator, (2) during the summer, and (3) at the place in Mars orbit when it is closest to the sun (its perihelion). None of these three—let alone all three—conditions applies where liquid water has flowed during the past few years. Worst of all, the water flowed down crater walls—surfaces that are far from perpendicular to the sun's rays.

From this link:

9. The average winter temperature in Antarctica is -15 to -30 degrees Celsius.

Therefore, it is correct that:

1. Photographs were released showing that liquid water flowed on Mars during the last 2–5 years. Experts are baffled, because Mars is colder than Antarctica in the winter.

A simple explanation can be found at this link.

What about the irrelevant comment:

"Current Martian equatorial surface temperatures are too warm for water ice to exist at the surface for any appreciable length of time before subliming into the atmosphere."

Sublimation (or subliming) is the process by which a solid passes directly into vapor. For water, that would be ice or snow or frost evaporating without ever melting to become a liquid. That can happen on Mars because of its extremely low atmospheric pressure (about 1% that of Earth). What is at issue is liquid water flowing down crater walls. Frost will sublimate on Mars at all temperatures below 32 ° F.

Yes, scientists are baffled by what happens on Mars.

Thanks for your comment.

Anti-Darwin sentiment even in Russia

Quite interesting...

...The student who brought the case, saying the teaching of evolution offends her religion, has accused her school of trying to flunk her as punishment for speaking up.

...And people on both sides - including the Russian Orthodox Church and one of the textbook's authors - are locked in a debate that touches not only on Darwin's observations on the origin of species but on atheism, Marxism-Leninism and the fall of civilizations.

...The case revolves around 16-year-old Mariya Shraiber, who says her biology text presents a one-sided version of life's origins based on Darwin's theory and is dismissive of the view that God made man. The lawsuit challenges Darwin's theory as anti-religious, atheistic and unproven. It quotes the textbook as referring to biblical teachings as "legends" and calling it "stupidity" to assume that God created the world.

..."We consider it inadmissible when one theory - the theory of Darwin - is presented as the only true theory," Skripkin said. "Russia has always been presented as an atheist country. We are not all atheists.

A lawsuit over Darwinism in Russia? Hmm...that should go over well.

My ears are burning

Hi there all you Antievolution forum members...

If you must know, I think I'd prefer Sal, but Dembski's a close 2nd. I'm not even sure what Dave looks like!

Oh, btw, I've never had a run in with "NCSE" and I've posted at PT about 3 times. They've apparently banned me because I can't get in anymore. As far as PZ goes... gosh, I just love the guy to death but he's a bit of a militant atheist so I take everything he rants about with a grain of salt. It's kind of like listening to an over zealous televangualist.

And, Richard, all I asked is that you send me a tiny little email, darlin'. Is that to much to ask?

Hugs and kisses kiddo's...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

More misinformation on the horizon

A symposium on Evolution and Intelligent Design will be held at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA mid-March. One of the four presenters will be Dr. Wesley Elsberry, Ph.D.. He is the Information Project Director for the National Center for Science Education.

Should be interesting, but don't expect any accurate information whatsoever about the Intelligent Design movement.

Sigh....maybe I should plan a little spring break trip to Iowa. Nah, it's not worth a 6 hour drive to listen to the same song and dance I've heard from the NCSE for years. Misinformation abounds with this group, and even when they are called on it, they repeat it again, and again, and again...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Is it the diet or the full moon?

Okay, I'm getting grumpy. I called a family meeting today (first one ever) and told my three boys that if they don't start pulling their weight around here with the household chores, I'm going on strike. Seriously...I've heard of women going on strike over that kind of stuff. Why can't I?

I gave them a list of what I do around here and a list of what they do. The list was extremely heavy on my side. So, I told them they can figure out how to deal with this, and if things don't change, I'm going to live in the basement for 1 month. We have a kitchen down there and everything I need. I'll do my own shopping, cooking, laundry, etc. and they can fend for themselves. At first they thought the "family meeting" idea was pretty funny, but by the end of my little speech they were wide eyed and listening pretty intently.

I then told them to talk amongst themselves and figure out a plan to take some of the load off of me. Then I left for 2 hours. I was pleasantly suprised (shocked actually) when I returned and found that they had made a list of chores for each of them for every day of the week. It will be interesting to see if they actually keep up with them.

I'm afraid my dieting is making me bitchy...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Spoiled Brats

The citizens of the USA are a bunch of spoiled brats.

An article written by Craig Smith prior to Thanksgiving '06 makes that quite clear.

I keep trying to reiterate to my children how blessed they are. They take so much for granted, and it's hard to know how to get them to think about helping others rather than constantly seeking more for themselves from the materialistic world we live in.

Diet '07

January 2 weigh in...

Okay, there are 6 of us who are going to get this thing rolling. We’ll all start out with those 10 yucky pounds we want to shed, and each week (Monday) we’ll weigh in to see where we are at. Here are the participants:

Ftk 10
Starving 10
Manna 10
Sparky 10
Chunky Monkey 10
Gigi 10

You can post your plan to lose weight in the comment section, and remember to check in and give each other encouragement, advice, etc.

Good luck to all of you!

Timmer on the Behe lecture

I ran across this link last week. It’s an article written by John Timmer. I’m not familiar with the guy, but apparently he listened to the Behe lecture via internet and provided his thoughts on the lecture in this article. I’ve tried to just let his inaccurate portrayal of Behe’s words melt from my mind, but I’m finding that unless I vent via the written word, I’m not going to be able to let it go. are some thoughts on Timmer’s view of the lecture that I must purge to be able to move on with life.

Timmer writes:
Many of the presentations are old news if you've seen the people speak before (I'm quite familiar with Ken Miller and Eugenie Scott), but one of the speakers was Michael Behe, ID's only advocate that has done any research in biology.
False. If he’d been paying any attention whatsoever during the Dover trial, he’d know that biochemist Scott Minnich, testified about his own research. Of course, there are various other pro-ID biologists and other scientists doing research, but such a claim shows a complete lack of care for accuracy about the issues. Shoot, there is even a list of scientists who have signed "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" document. From merely scanning that list, it appears that there quite a few biologists on it who would be happy to share their research work with Timmer.

Behe spent nearly 45 minutes of his talk addressing other people's arguments, with over 35 minutes of that devoted to attacking the Dover decision.
Right, and perhaps that was because Behe was invited to speak as the LAST PERSON IN A SERIES in which he had previously been ATTACKED by Ken Miller, Eugenie Scott, and others. How could he possibly fail to rebut the incorrect information that had been put forth by those individuals?

Dover declared ID a form of creationism, which is inherently non-scientific, and suggested that the scientific arguments that it does use have already been revealed to be flawed.
Oh, please...this sound like a “Judge Jones said it, I believe it, that settles it” mindset. Judges get things wrong all the time, and there were some very significant problems with Jones’ decision. Those problems are carefully documented in the book Traipsing Into Evolution.

... Discovery has already published a book that challenges the legal and scientific underpinnings of Dover. This book, and many press releases, focused on claiming that the testimony of pro-ID witnesses (including Behe himself) was either misunderstood, ignored, or misconstrued.
Well, at least he got that part right. But these weren’t trivial misconstruals. These were relevant misconstruals which relate to key questions such as (1) Does ID require supernatural causation? (Behe, Minnich, and the Pandas textbook clearly said “no,” but Judge Jones ignored their testimony and claimed it does); (2) Is ID simply a negative argument against evolution? (Behe and Minnich discussed the positive argument for ID, but Judge Jones then made his own argument against their position and behaved as if their argument doesn’t exist); (3) Has ID published peer-reviewed articles? (Minnich and others testified about such articles but Judge Jones apparently ignored this testimony; (4) Has ID been the subject of testing and research? (Minnich and Behe both testified about their own research but Judge Jones apparently ignored this testimony as well.)

This approach seemed to gain very little traction, and Behe reveals the latest twist on it: the Dover ruling is simply not to be trusted. Discovery has latched onto something that has been obvious for over a year (so obvious, I noted it in my initial description of the decision). In the US legal system, judges typically ask both sides to submit proposed findings, models of how they wish the court to rule. The court then has the option of using whatever it wishes from the side it feels has best made its case. As Judge Jones rejected the defense's case in its entirety, his decision followed closely along the lines of the pro-science side's proposed findings, and included many sections taken directly from it.

This bit of standard legal practice has recently been termed plagiarism by Discovery.
Hmmm... Apparently Timmer did not read the report from the Discovery Institute which explains that they were NOT accusing Jones of “plagiarism” but were making a different point. Here’s what the report actually said .

“Proposed “findings of fact” are prepared to assist judges in writing their opinions, and judges are certainly allowed to draw on them. Indeed, judges routinely invite lawyers to propose findings of fact in order to verify what the lawyers believe to be the key factual issues in the case. Thus, in legal circles Judge Jones’ use of the ACLU’s proposed “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” would not be considered “plagiarism” nor a violation of judicial ethics. Nonetheless, the extent to which Judge Jones simply copied the language submitted to him by the ACLU is stunning. For all practical purposes, Jones allowed ACLU attorneys to write nearly the entire section of his opinion analyzing whether intelligent design is science. As a result, this central part of Judge Jones’ ruling reflected essentially no original deliberative activity or independent examination of the record on Jones’ part. The revelation that Judge Jones in effect “dragged and dropped” large sections of the ACLU’s “Findings of Fact” into his opinion, errors and all, calls into serious question whether Jones exercised the kind of independent analysis that would make his “broad, stinging rebuke”27 of intelligent design appropriate.”

Perhaps Timmer should read from the actual report rather than parrot a militant pro-Darwin blog site.

Behe doesn't take that inflammatory tack, but he clearly implies that Jones had no sense of the scientific arguments, and that the Dover decision mindlessly parroted the arguments of the plaintiff's attorneys. He terms Jones "the former head of the liquor control board who signed off on a tendentious brief by a product liability trial lawyer." Behe uses some self-deprecating comments made by Jones to suggest that he was in no position to judge scientific evidence. He also repeated his standard claims that his own testimony was ignored or misinterpreted.
His testimony was ignored, misinterpreted, and misrepresented. Judge Jones even put words into Behe's mouth that he DID NOT SAY. Read this book, or listen to the actual trial transcripts and you‘ll see for yourself, unless you’re wearing Darwinian blinders.

Some of these arguments over Dover are simply bizarre. Reading any of the ID web sites reveals that all of them regularly conflate ID and religion.
Hey Timmer, how about some documentation here? I mean, good...flipping...grief! ID is no more religiously motivated than Darwinian evolution. Both theories, in and of themselves, say nothing about God or religion whatsoever! ID doesn’t reference passages from the bible, the koran, the vedas or any other holy book for that matter. Nor does it make any indication whatsoever WHO or WHAT the designer may be. This is certainly an important question, but something that is out of the hands of scientists. I see just as much God or anti-God statements, humanist and atheist proselytizing, etc. associated with pro-Darwin scientists and web sites as I do with pro-ID websites. I’ve pointed this out in previous posts many, many, many times.

Shoot, Richard Dawkins uses his background in biology and his claims about the truths of ~all powerful~ natural selection as a reason to put an end to religion. The man signed a petition that states that:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Make it illegal to indoctrinate or define children by religion before the age of 16.”

Further details on the petition followed:

“In order to encourage free thinking, children should not be subjected to any regular religious teaching or be allowed to be defined as belonging to a particular religious group based on the views of their parents or guardians. At the age of 16, as with other laws, they would then be considered old enough and educated enough to form their own opinion and follow any particular religion (or none at all) through free thought.” [my emphasis]

After being called on his authoritarian attitude, he had his name removed from the petition feigning a misunderstanding of the petition due to not reading it thoroughly enough. What a bunch of baloney.

It appears to me that many Darwinists conflate evolution with their own form of religious faith beliefs.

Behe regularly acted as if the designer were God during the question session that followed his talk.
Let’s look at what Behe has said repeatedly in print:

"The conclusion that something was designed can be made quite independently of knowledge of the designer. As a matter of procedure, the design must first be apprehended before there can be any further question about the designer. The inference to design can be held with all the firmness that is possible in this world, without knowing anything about the designer." (Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box, pg. 197)

"The most important difference [between modern intelligent design theory and Paley's arguments] is that [intelligent design] is limited to design itself; I strongly emphasize that it is not an argument for the existence of a benevolent God, as Paley's was. I hasten to add that I myself do believe in a benevolent God, and I recognize that philosophy and theology may be able to extend the argument. But a scientific argument for design in biology does not reach that far. This while I argue for design, the question of the identity of the designer is left open. Possible candidates for the role of designer include: the God of Christianity; an angel--fallen or not; Plato's demi-urge; some mystical new age force; space aliens from Alpha Centauri; time travelers; or some utterly unknown intelligent being. Of course, some of these possibilities may seem more plausible than others based on information from fields other than science. Nonetheless, as regards the identity of the designer, modern ID theory happily echoes Isaac Newton's phrase hypothesis non fingo. (Michael Behe, "The Modern Intelligent Design Hypothesis," Philosophia Christi, Series 2, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2001), pg. 165, emphasis added.)

Yet the ID proponents testified at Dover that there was nothing inherently religious about it. Judge Jones simply didn't believe them. Now, oddly, this aspect of his ruling is being used as an indication that he was biased against ID. Of course, discrediting Jones, and claiming that the pro-ID arguments were not accurately assessed seem to be the only way for Discovery to cope with Dover. I expect that Behe's aggressive attack on the ruling is just the latest in what will be an ongoing effort to find something that will allow them to label the decision as seriously flawed and actually have someone outside of the ID community believe them.
Yes, the ruling was flawed. But until Timmer starts actually citing evidence and doesn’t simply take the “Judge Jones said it, I believe it, that settles it” approach, his entire discussion is worthless. As I’ve said before, The Discovery Institute painstakingly documented the flaws in Judge Jones’ ruling in their book, Traipsing into Evolution. Perhaps Timmer should consider an actual discussion regarding what the book says about these issues.

He also dismissed it because evaluations of design occur based on our knowledge of the capabilities and motivations of the humans doing the designing. ID, in contrast, steadfastly refuses to say anything about the designer of biology, making its claims impossible to evaluate.
Ah... but ID theory does say that the designer has intelligence, like a human, making the study of human designs entirely relevant to finding machine-like structures and digitally encoded information sufficient to warrant a design inference. It is also interesting that early in Timmer’s spiel, he stated that Behe conflates God with ID, and now he acknowledges that ID doesn’t say anything about the designer. Which is it, dude?

Three things struck me about the rest of the talk: explicit creationism, a flawed understanding of science, and a presentation of evolution that is a caricature of science's actual understanding. The creationism was apparent in several places. Despite ID's general attempt to abstract itself from any specific claims of the designer, Behe was happy to answer questions which specifically referred to God. He also happily claimed the design argument of William Paley, which dates from before Darwin and explicitly mentions God as the creator, as his own.
I sat through Behe’s lecture, and I didn’t hear anything that any creation scientist would claim as “creationism”. Also, Behe has carefully distinguished between himself and Paley in the past, and I provided a quote from Behe regarding this matter above.

He cites the use of cautious language in descriptions of evolutionary models as a sign of their weakness, rather than a recognition of the tentativeness of science.
Perhaps Behe is justified in questioning these tales! When scientific papers are riddled with “might have”, “could have”, etc. we should sit up and take notice. Just so stories don’t make for factual claims.

He also, as noted, runs into trouble when asked about testability. He suggests that both good and bad designs are compatible with ID, so that discoveries regarding extinctions and inefficiencies are perfectly okay as far as ID is concerned, raising questions about what aspects of ID are testable.
Timmer is presenting a false caricature of ID. His view is that “if evolution fails, we can accept ID. Design, in short, should be viewed as a default explanation until proven wrong, despite its lack of experimental support.” THIS IS FALSE—ID has a positive argument based upon the fact that we find structures in nature with the same informational properties as things commonly designed by human intelligence!

As with other creationists, Behe never bothers to actually calculate probabilities, nor does he ever consider potential intermediate states.
I wonder if Timmer has ever read Behe’s paper in Protein Science.

Instead, Behe favors what one of the questioners called the ultimate "just so" story: an unidentified designer with the capability of creating anything we now see.
Hmmm...I thought you said Behe said the designer was God. You keep flip flopping on this particular issue.

But beyond those failed arguments, the case for ID that they advance is striking. Based on Behe's talk, they've given up trying to dissociate themselves from their own creationist history: they openly embrace many creationist arguments and happily identify their designer as divine.
Documentation of Behe’s alleged statements about the identity of the designer is still lacking.

If I had to come up with a term for this strategy, I'd borrow one from politics: playing to their base. ID has lost in the courts and in the political arena, and it never went anywhere in the scientific community. As a result, its advocates have given up on any pretenses of addressing those audiences, and are trying to retain the interest of their non-scientific supporters, presumably including those who fund the Discovery Institute.

This dude evidently doesn’t read anything that doesn’t support his own views on this subject. The list of scientists who have signed the “Dissent from Darwinism” continually grows, and ID has spread throughout the world.

Interestingly, William Dembski is actively seeking a public debate with Barbara Forrest to discuss these issues further. If Eugenie Scott et. al. hadn’t laid down the law stating that Darwinists should not debate IDists, there would be much more opportunity to “address those audiences” in the scientific community. But, the authoritarian “scientific community” has done everything in their power to discredit ID.

Bet my bottom dollar Forrest will never agree to a debate with Dembski, because if she does, the misinformation she and her colleagues have been feeding the public may blow up in her face.

WHEW! I feel a 100% better now that I have all that off my chest. Now, it’s time for the last of the yummy spiked eggnog. Whoops, can’t do that because I’ve started my diet already.

Shoot....a fruit smoothie?

Guess that will have to work. Diets suck.