Friday, October 28, 2005

I Think I Remember This Book Report.....
Think back to grade school, when you had to give a book report, or write an essay on something.....didn't it sound like this?

The questionnaire that she filled out is an important questionnaire. And, obviously, they will address the questions that the senators have in the questionnaire as a result of the answers to the questions in the questionnaire.

Fourth-grader? Nope, just Dubya speaking again in Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 2005. Go to DubyaSpeak.com for more verbal fun from "one of the most brilliant men I've met," according to Harriet Miers. That judgement alone should tell you a lot about her qualifications!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Another Humorless Right-Wing Nut
Bill O'Reilly's appearance on The Daily Show last night reinforced a couple of things I've noticed about the current crop of mad-as-hell right-wing talking heads: they aren't funny, nor do they understand subtle, ironic humor. As O'Reilly attacked Jon for making fun of people impacted by Katrina with The Daily Show's hurricane coverage (does Bill even watch TDS?), he threatened an audience member, let the crowd get to him, and called Jon a "pinhead." And the apparent reason Bill was there was to pimp his "O'Reilly Factor for Kids" book! I wouldn't want my two kids to act like O'Reilly during his interview on TDS: name-calling, combatitive, insulting......nice example for the kids, Bill! Go to The Daily Show's website and see the interview once it's posted.

Thanks to Crooks and Liars, here's a video clip of O'Reilly's appearance.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Another Blog Joins the Ranks
Go and check out The Disgruntled Chemist......good stuff....

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Darker Dark Age
What's new in Pennsylvannia this week? How about folks not caring for this nation's return to the dark ages?

"A federal trial began Monday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvannia, on a suit challenging the mandatory teaching of "alternatives" to evolution in Dover, Pa., public schools.

The lawsuit was brought by 11 parents in the Dover Area School District after the school board voted to require high school biology teachers to present intelligent design as a legitimate alternative to the theory of evolution."

Yep, their school board voted that the science teachers include intelligent design (the sleeker, less dogmatic version of creationism) as a "fair and balanced" alternative to evolution. Wow, I didn't realize that students get to demand that they have a say in what's taught......funny, I thought that qualified science teachers actually teach students science! If I had known I had a choice as a student, I surely would've demanded that the "intelligent design" form of mathematics be taught in my calculus class (so that my answers, however wrong they were, were given the "fair and balanced" treatment as well!).

So, are we heading towards the dark ages again, or as Carl Sagan once said, the "demon-haunted world" of superstition? You would think that in this day and age of science and accessible information, we would be turning out more scientifically-minded folks. But, just turn on the tv and catch the latest faith healer and "natural medicine cure" book and you see it isn't so.

Mel Seesholtz from The Smirking Chimp summarizes this all so well:

Who'd have thought that in the early twenty-first century so many supposedly educated Americans would be turning off their brains and embracing Jerry Falwell's notion that "The Bible is the inerrant . . . word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc."

On September 25, The Washington Post ran a story entitled "In Evolution Debate, Creationists Are Breaking New Ground: Museum Dedicated to Biblical Interpretation Of the World Is Being Built Near Cincinnati." The opening lines of the piece acknowledged the radical rewriting of history, biology, anthropology and archeology the museum represents:

The guide, a soft-spoken fellow with a scholarly aspect, walks through the halls of this handsome, half-finished museum and points to the sculpture of a young velociraptor.

"We're placing this one in the hall that explains the post-Flood world," explains the guide. "When dinosaurs lived with man."

"Velociraptor" refers to a genus of theropod dinosaurs that thrived in the Late Cretaceous period, 95-65 million years ago. The period is called the "heyday" of dinosaurs. It ended with their mass extinction 65 million years ago. That's at least 64,000,000-plus years before homo sapiens appeared on planet earth. The oldest fossil evidence for anatomically modern humans is about 130,000 years old.

But the "science" offered by the museum dedicated to Young Earth Creationism--which holds that the world and the universe are but 6,000 years old and that baby dinosaurs rode in Noah's ark--gets even more bizarre.

In referring to a replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex "with its three-inch teeth and carnivore's grin," museum guide and vice president Mark Looy said "We call him our 'missionary lizard.' . . . When people realize the T. rex lived in Eden, it will lead us to a discussion of the gospel. The T. rex once was a vegetarian, too."

Eden? T. rex a vegetarian with razor-sharp teeth and a carnivore's jaw capable only of rip, tear and swallow actions, not the chewing, grinding motion of herbivores? But then again, the Young Earth Creationist museum also features a display of "sauropods playing with [human] children" in Eden.


Holy crap! Incredible, when trumped-up fairy tales hold reign over objective science. I've always kept up with the latest creationist literature over the years to see how it is presented to the public. This is the latest tactic; to use children's fascination with dinosaurs to get them to read all about how dinosaurs and kids played together! Alley Oop was a cartoon....or was it???

But here is what I find so incredible:

As disturbing as these results were, the "interpretations" offered by commentators reported in The New York Times were even more so. John C. Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum, said, "It's like they're [respondents] saying, 'Some people see it this way, some see it that way, so just teach it all and let the kids figure it out.'"

Aren't students in science classes there to learn what science is, not define it as they see fit? Using the science-is-whatever-you-think-it-is model, perhaps public schools should teach alchemy alongside chemistry and astrology alongside astronomy, and then let the students decide which is "science." Should that science-is-whatever-you-think-it-is mentality be carried into higher education, and beyond? How about into medical school? Instead of using the latest medical science to treat epilepsy, your physician would write you a prescription for an exorcism.

Exactly. Why, even the theory of gravity is under attack:

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

Rev. Gabriel Burdett (left) explains Intelligent Falling.
"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.

Burdett added: "Gravity—which is taught to our children as a law—is founded on great gaps in understanding. The laws predict the mutual force between all bodies of mass, but they cannot explain that force. Isaac Newton himself said, 'I suspect that my theories may all depend upon a force for which philosophers have searched all of nature in vain.' Of course, he is alluding to a higher power."

The above article, is from The Onion, and of course is great satire. If you didn't know that, how easily could folks be fooled into saying that "Intelligent Falling" must be taught in physics classes, to be "fair" and let the kids decide!!

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