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Should Strident British Atheist Richard Dawkins Dictate Education Policy to US States? Barbara Forrest Apparently Thinks So - Comments

Drew's Avatar Comment 1 by Drew

"God did it" is not a scientific argument against Darwin.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:21:00 UTC | #187059

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 2 by mordacious1


I hate the word strident constantly being used to describe Richard. It rarely, if ever, fits. Passionate, OK. I wish the Discovery Institute would discover that they are a bunch of fucktards. Now that's strident.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:22:00 UTC | #187060

astroprof's Avatar Comment 3 by astroprof

They have commandeered our own language! the DI pushing for "academic freedom" and "scientific inquiry"? you've got to be kidding me. In the spirit of academic freedom, let's have science teachers teach THE FACT that the Discovery Institute is a think-tank of religious lawyers (christian of course) who are trying to undermine the Constitution by violating Separation of Church and State. I used to avoid creationist bashing in my classes, but I will exercise my academic freedom from now on!

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:25:00 UTC | #187061

Quine's Avatar Comment 4 by Quine

Orwellian doublespeak.

P.S. Richard Dawkins isn't doing anything on this; we who come here are doing it. Some of us are in the US, even Louisiana.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:29:00 UTC | #187062

8teist's Avatar Comment 5 by 8teist

Newsflash the US needs all the help it can get combating the dumbing down of education by creotards. Even if it is from your former colonial masters.
Dumbing down is a worldwide problem . Fortunately religious fucktardism aint the problem here in NZ as it is in the US . The creomorons tend to be ignored here ,which seems to work quite well,it
stops them getting any traction for their beliefs.
Tho I can`t get thru to the jehovahs witless who turn up on my doorstep every couple of months , used to be you could tell them you were a cato-holic and they would run away.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:40:00 UTC | #187064

Janus's Avatar Comment 6 by Janus

As is obvious to anyone who posts here, there are no valid arguments against evolution, there are only creationist lies and blunders, and that is what this act is meant to allow in American science classes. But how can we make the average Joe realize this when he's been fooled into believing that evolution is "just" a theory, that there is a real scientific debate going on between intelligent design and evolution, and that science is some kind of democratic enterprise where all points of view deserve equal consideration?

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:42:00 UTC | #187065

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 7 by mordacious1


I keep an empty beer bottle by my door. When the JW's or Mormons show up (for some reason they're always women here), I rip off my shirt, grab the beer bottle, open the door and slur, "Are you duh hookers I ordered?" They actually run to their van.

You'd think they'd put me on a list to avoid by now.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:48:00 UTC | #187066

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 8 by irate_atheist

Perhaps they want to teach about alternatives to the Theory of Gravity, too.

Adding myself to the list of those calling 'fucktards' on this issue.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:53:00 UTC | #187067

8teist's Avatar Comment 9 by 8teist

Haha they aint the brightest lightbulbs on the planet .

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:54:00 UTC | #187068

8teist's Avatar Comment 10 by 8teist

There is no gravity.......GOD sucks

Budda boom

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:55:00 UTC | #187070

King of NH's Avatar Comment 11 by King of NH

These people sicken me. Discovery Institute is humiliating America and undermining the efforts of the intelligent all for personal glory and wealth. Sickening!

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:56:00 UTC | #187072

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 12 by Richard Dawkins

For the record:-

1. published an article by Barbara Forrest, who lives in Louisiana, called "We urgently need your help now." The "We" in that title referred to Barbara herself and the Louisiana Coalition for Science. It did not refer to me, nor to, nor to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. This website publishes articles by a diverse range of people, some of whom we agree with, some of whom we don't. For example, we are publishing the above article by the Discovery Institute, and we have published many other articles by people and organizations with whom we disagree.

2. I have never expressed an opinion on the Louisiana bill, and I am not one of those who has written to Governor Jindal urging him to veto it.

3. The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science has not expressed an opinion on the Louisiana bill, even though three out of the Foundation's four trustees (Karen Owens, Andy Thomson and Claire Enders) are US citizens.

4. is run by Josh Timonen, a US citizen, and is not the website of the Richard Dawkins Foundation. The Foundation has its own website, also run by Josh,, which has not mentioned the Louisiana bill at all.

Those are the facts at the time of writing. However, there is no reason whatsoever why I personally, or the Foundation, should not, at any time we choose, express an opinion on this matter. I am a professional educator whose subject is evolution, and a Professor of the Public Understanding of Science. Although I have so far chosen not to say anything about the Louisiana case, it would be entirely reasonable for me to say something about science education anywhere in the world, especially where evolution is concerned. And the same applies to the Foundation, whose mission is to foster reason and science and whose Trustees, as I said, have an American majority. All I am doing above is pointing out factual errors in the Discovery Institute's article.


Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:03:00 UTC | #187074

LochRaven's Avatar Comment 13 by LochRaven

I fail to see why the DI is so incredulous about criticism of the LSEA coming from people outside the borders of the United States. Does this somehow, to them, lessen the legitimacy of such criticism? Or are creationists organizations just really getting scared of Dawkins and other outspoken rationalists? Let's hope it's the latter.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:05:00 UTC | #187075

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 14 by mordacious1


And darn it, there is no reason that you should.

I don't think that your foundation is a political action committee.

edit: I might add that there is no law in the U.S. or its states, forbidding foreign citizens from writing letters to political leaders.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:08:00 UTC | #187076

8teist's Avatar Comment 15 by 8teist

Hmmmm, Strident ,I dream of being Strident, Oh the shame, what a put down.
A bit like lawyers calling each other "my learned colleague."

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:11:00 UTC | #187078

Elles's Avatar Comment 16 by Elles

Oh for cryin' out loud! This is absurd!

The "Academic Freedom" bill is obviously anti-intellectual anti-science mush which is going to screw up science education even more in this country which happens to have a foreign policy that involves extending beyond its borders.

Pardon Richard Dawkins for caring about the dung pile of ignorance I'm sitting in whose stench is continually being carried across the seas.

I for one am glad that we're getting help from the rest of the enlightened world. The Discovery Institute is just upset because they can't get anybody outside of this nation of backwardness because the world is shooting ahead of us while we fall back into the 16th century.

Kudos to Richard.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:12:00 UTC | #187079

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 17 by irate_atheist

Richard - Do we detect more 'Lying for Jesus?' here. One of those 'honest mistakes', or was it 'wilful mendacity'?

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it's over to you.

Edit: Just read this on the Financial Times online a few minutes ago:

There is no room for complacency in dealing with the religious mindset, especially when it is backed up by 'tradition' and a few billion quid. A delusional Prime Minister or two also helps in the progress of this madness.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:15:00 UTC | #187080

8teist's Avatar Comment 18 by 8teist

Lying for cheesus ,never..........could it be? I don`t believe it ...christians don`t lie they? I thought not...wot would cheesus say?

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:21:00 UTC | #187081

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 19 by mordacious1

Hey, irate's link didn't work either. Now I don't feel so stupid, I've been having this problem all day and thought it was me (probably was actually).

edit: so irate, how did you go back and make your link work. I'm embarrassed to say that I can build a computer from assembled parts, repair any problem on a computer, but I'm new at blogging and suck at it. I'm always asking my kids how to do things.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:22:00 UTC | #187082

8teist's Avatar Comment 20 by 8teist

Now for something completely different, time to watch the All Blacks thrash England in the rugby.
back in 90

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:26:00 UTC | #187083

quill's Avatar Comment 21 by quill

These people are such losers. Reading this thing I'm reminded of Dembski's pathetic Flash animation he made of Judge Jones in which he inserted fart sounds because he thought it would make Jones look stupid and not himself.

Just let them pass their law, as soon as it gets to trial it'll just be slapped down just like their last one, and the one before that, and the one before that. They're never going to fool a Federal court with this transparent nonsense.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:27:00 UTC | #187085

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 22 by irate_atheist

19. Comment #197024 by mordacious1 -

Hey, irate's link didn't work either. Now I don't feel so stupid, I've been having this problem all day and thought it was me (probably was actually).
The problem is definitely not you. Normally links 'just work' on this site. I wonder if Josh has been playing with the css settings or something. Anyway, I've now edited the link myself to make it more easily accessible.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:32:00 UTC | #187087

fitzyp's Avatar Comment 23 by fitzyp

So incredibly stupid its rich.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:33:00 UTC | #187088

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 24 by huzonfurst

How come these "equal time" crusaders never offer to have evolution taught in Sunday school?

Could it be they're lying hypocrites...?

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:39:00 UTC | #187091

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 25 by mordacious1

I was waiting for the backlash from the DI. I'm just suprised (though I shouldn't be) that they imply that Richard's foundation is behind this and leading a bunch of wild, godless foreigners to "dictate education policy to the states". It's a ploy aimed at the ignorant masses of religious sheep.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:40:00 UTC | #187092

epeeist's Avatar Comment 26 by epeeist

Comment #197022 by irate_atheist

Edit: Just read this on the Financial Times online a few minutes ago:

There is no room for complacency in dealing with the religious mindset, especially when it is backed up by 'tradition' and a few billion quid. A delusional Prime Minister or two also helps in the progress of this madness.
At the moment they can use the pseudo-entry criterion of adherence to their faith. Given that they are taking state money for these academies they ought to have the same entry criteria as state schools. I suspect that not being able to cherry pick which children they admit might have some effect on their results.

EDIT: While Blair, Brown, Balls and Kelly have screwed this up I am not sure that Cameroon would be any different.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:43:00 UTC | #187094

infidel_michael's Avatar Comment 27 by infidel_michael

This bill is not about creationism or religion. That's a red herring from desperate Darwinists.

No, the "academic freedom bill" is a red herring from creationists. Here is the history:

1. Book of Genesis - pure religion
2. Creation science / Scientific creationism - argument against evolution based on 1.
3. Intelligent design - similar arguments as 2., but without reference to Bible and God (unknown "designer" used instead)
4. Teaching the "controversy" / Academic "freedom" - same arguments as 3., but without reference to ID

The same people, the same old tired arguments, only the trademark and marketing strategy is new.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:49:00 UTC | #187096

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 28 by Steve Zara

What a bizarre claim.

By having an internationally accessible public website, run by a US citizen, where the facts are simply reported and discussed, allowing people to make up their own minds, Richard is apparently personally telling Americans what to do. All he is doing is enabling us to "discuss the controversy"!

Their knowledge of how the internet works is either extremely poor, or they are lying.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 00:14:00 UTC | #187102

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 29 by mordacious1


I pick lying.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 00:17:00 UTC | #187103

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 30 by Steve Zara

Comment #197008 by irate_atheist

Perhaps they want to teach about alternatives to the Theory of Gravity, too.

I wonder if you aren't actually on to something.

How could "teach the controversy" campaigners possibly object to a bill which insisted on the teaching of critical thinking skills in general, including the philosophy of science and reason. Perhaps even add some theories of ethics as well in there. That would, I believe, be far more corrosive of superstition than the creationists fear evolution is, yet could hardly be objected to, as "an understanding of differences of opinion" is what the creationists claim is all they are after. Let the children be taught how to rate different opinions; how to make their minds up, how ethical frameworks have and can be established without any mention of God.

What a positive campaign that might be, and in being so, it might attract more support than "stop the bill" alerts, as important as those are.

Athough such a change in education would be wonderful in itself, the implicit message would be "hands off evolution or we'll philosophize your ass!"

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 00:30:00 UTC | #187104