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← The battle rages on in Texas

The battle rages on in Texas - Comments

ly_raya's Avatar Comment 1 by ly_raya

i recently moved to austin from san francisco (please don't ask why!) but i know i'll be moving before i have kids; i won't raise them in a state that believes proper education is trivial compared to religious teaching.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 09:26:00 UTC | #273683

polestar's Avatar Comment 2 by polestar

This is brilliant manipulation by the fundies, despite their crushing defeat in the Dover School Board case (, go straight to the Conclusion on p138, near the end). The best way to fight back is to go right to the core of their fallacious argument for academic freedom.

Academic freedom or the freedom of speech does not includes saying that 2 plus 2=5 in a maths class or asking about German declensions in a French class.

Idiotic Design merits no place in science classes, just as astrology has no place in astronomy and numerancy no place in maths.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 09:28:00 UTC | #273684

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 3 by Tyler Durden


I'm shocked and appalled. Texas? (ok, ok, at least it's Austin :)

I lived in San Fran for a short while, before heading to NY and then back home to Dublin, still miss it. Class city.

Wonder if the cretinists have come up with a wording for their, ahem, "theory" that "goddidit".

Bad science? It's not even good fiction.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 09:33:00 UTC | #273687

ly_raya's Avatar Comment 4 by ly_raya

tyler durden:

what can i say, i got a mad craving for BBQ ;-). austin isn't bad, probably because no one here is FROM texas!

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 09:38:00 UTC | #273695

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 5 by Tyler Durden

Conversely, the pro-science side wants to shut this kind of inquiry down, and just require students to be obedient little sponges soaking up whatever the textbooks say.
Well, it's better than teaching the Byebull in science class. Textbooks from the 1930s would still be light-years ahead of that nonsense.

ly_raya, BBQ is the devil's food... be sure to rinse your hands in holy water after ;)

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 09:52:00 UTC | #273702

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 6 by SaganTheCat

AF Comm Guy

I have to agree, every time they do this there's a so-called controversy until someone in authority points out "so basically this is exactly the same argument you tried and failed with last time, but you're using some different words.... again"

The beauty is they can't manage any discussion for any length of time before someone has to mantion "Jeeeyzuz"

would like to be a fly on the wall

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 09:53:00 UTC | #273703

heafnerj's Avatar Comment 7 by heafnerj

comm guy,

This is precisely what I've done. I teach astronomy and physics and one of the first assignments, done as an in-class activity, in the intro astro course is a critical analysis of the Wedge Document. However, I don't tell the students where the document came from or who authored it. I only reveal these things AFTER the class has shredded it.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 09:54:00 UTC | #273705

severalspeciesof's Avatar Comment 8 by severalspeciesof


...would like to be a fly on the wall

and you'd still have more intelligence than the creationists!

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 09:58:00 UTC | #273708

Ishruul's Avatar Comment 9 by Ishruul

Since when does science has to be PC' I say let's build somekind of bigass arena, get some scientist in a corner and creationist in another, give bible and cross to the IDiots and some modern science weaponery to the scientist, then let see who win the argument.

P.S. Violence will be incidental, yet not require.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:08:00 UTC | #273716

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 10 by Tyler Durden

AF Comm Guy,

We were allowed to watch "An American Werewolf in London" when we were 13 in Catholic school. The priest had no issue with teens watching a movie rated 18, containing blood, guts, murder, zombies (go figure!) and issues surrounding lycanthropy... but he hit the FF button soon as the kissing and (mild) nudity came onscreen.

Lycanthropy/Zombies = Good
Kissing/Nudity = Bad

Is it any wonder they're so out of whack with society?

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:15:00 UTC | #273719

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 11 by Tyler Durden


If it worked in Salem, Mass. in the 1600s it could probably work again... every believer receives a bible, a cross and a holy cracker, and then gets thrown to the wolves/fire-ants/crocs/R.O.U.S*/rattlesnakes - whoever survives, we shall believe. Else if, game over, you lying, deluded fool.

Let battle commence...

*Bonus point for the movie reference, no cheating :)

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:26:00 UTC | #273728

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 12 by Bonzai


The priest had no issue with teens watching a movie rated 18, containing blood, guts, murder, zombies (go figure!)

Why so surprised? Isn't that what Jesus' story is all about, down to the zombie part?

A kid in a Catholic school saw the crufix hanging on the classroom wall. He asked the teacher, "who is that naked guy nailed to the cross?" The teacher hesitated a bit and replied, "See, this is a guy who failed school, if you don't work hard it will happen to you too!"

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:32:00 UTC | #273733

Ishruul's Avatar Comment 13 by Ishruul

R.O.U.S. ' Isn't C.H.U.D. you were thingking about'

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:39:00 UTC | #273738

Eshto's Avatar Comment 14 by Eshto

Ugh. Yep, Christians acting like they're the victims when they're the ones trying to shove their shit down everyone else's throats. Turning reality on its head: it's what they do best.

...Oh no! I just criticized Christians! That must make me one of those insidious "Christian bashers" Mike Huckabee has been warning us about!!


Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:44:00 UTC | #273743

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 15 by rod-the-farmer

I suggest we take them at their word, and during the hearings, ask one of the fundie types to produce a document showing how THEY would teach the "strengths & weaknesses" of the evolution side, as well as the same for creationism.

One could reasonably expect them to have such a document ready to hand, and there should therefore be no delay in proceeding with the hearings. Then the scientists could produce a document showing how they would do the same for creationism. I bet money we already have such a document for our side. If the fundies cannot produce a document right away, it would seem they have little ground on which to stand. Once these documents were made public, then they can be viewed by all, and compared. I think that is the way to stop these guys in their tracks. Their arguments are so weak, that anyone given the chance to read both, will surely be convinced that we no more need creationism in science classes than we need Alchemy, Astrology and Phrenology in with Chemistry, Astronomy, and Anatomy. I think the killer argument for Old vs. Young Earth is the plate tectonics explanation of the gap between S. America and Africa, especially using the continental shelf. Even grade school types can understand that.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:46:00 UTC | #273745

SASnSA's Avatar Comment 16 by SASnSA

Well, welcome to Texas ly_raya, we need all the rational people we can get here.

Tyler Durden:
Rats Of Unusual Size (ROUS) - Princess Bride

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:47:00 UTC | #273747

JemyM's Avatar Comment 17 by JemyM

Texas isn't just a shame to the state, it's a shame to the western civilization.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:54:00 UTC | #273755

Sciros's Avatar Comment 18 by Sciros

I think it's "Rodents of Unusual Size"

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:56:00 UTC | #273757

InfuriatedSciTeacher's Avatar Comment 20 by InfuriatedSciTeacher


"Those can't be real"

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:57:00 UTC | #273759

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 19 by Tyler Durden


Rodents, A- ;)

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:57:00 UTC | #273758

Naturalist1's Avatar Comment 21 by Naturalist1

Hello everyone...I have just had the displeasure of reading THE WEDGE STRATEGY, CENTER FOR THE RENEWAL OF SCIENCE & CULTURE, a document published by our friends at The Discovery Institute.(now there's an oxymoron written by morons if I ever saw one)
I would encourage everyone on our website here to read this outrageous strategy game plan. It exhibits just how organized these people are...they don't seem to have much trouble herding their cats...or should I say sheep for fleecing.
Here is the link:

This education debate going on in Texas is in direct fulfillment of Article 6 of their "Five Year Objectives"...copied below:

6. Ten states begin to rectify ideological imbalance in their science curricula & include design theory

The Wedge document should be presented at all of these hearings as evidence of just how insidious these motives are.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:57:00 UTC | #273760

D'Arcy's Avatar Comment 22 by D'Arcy

plate tectonics

Is that when the creationist throws his dinnerware at his spouse?

(Sneaks away).

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 10:58:00 UTC | #273762

Ishruul's Avatar Comment 23 by Ishruul

Thank you Naturalist1, even if what I just read is a total toilet bowl of herpes infected manure.

I really can't understand how illogical and unimmaginative those proponent of creationism can be.

Really, some people just got too serious with the Flintstones, someone should tell them it's all fantasy-make-believe.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 11:10:00 UTC | #273775

Jeff (HandyGeek) Handy's Avatar Comment 24 by Jeff (HandyGeek) Handy

Comment #287497 by ly_raya

At least in Austin there is an excellent and very active group of freethinkers. Maybe you can help them to make some lasting change in Texas. In Florida, we're up against very similar odds. There is nothing like trying to be part of the solution.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 11:19:00 UTC | #273778

History_Junky's Avatar Comment 25 by History_Junky

Im all for critiquing science and making sure information is not suppressed, but I don't think some 18 year old kid who learned about natural selection the previous week is in any way qualified to judge whether Evolution is valid or not.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 11:26:00 UTC | #273784

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 26 by Border Collie

If any of you guys are interested in keeping up with this every day ... ...

Maybe the churchies won't win. This makes me unproud to be a Texan. These people are like the monsters we try to run away from during a nightmare or a bad smell in a small, hot, locked room with no ventilation.

Furthermore, they've always had the freedom to 'teach the controversy' ... at church, at Sunday school and at private church schools ... why the f'ck do they have to try to take over public schools?!

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 11:30:00 UTC | #273787

ly_raya's Avatar Comment 27 by ly_raya


i'm actually familiar with the ACA and have thought of attending one of their meetings; they're held at a restaurant i frequent. unforuntately my weekend job has gotten in the way of being able to go!


thank you for the welcome! texas is a beautiful state, it just needs to get its head out of the relgious right's butt.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 11:48:00 UTC | #273793

Nervous Wreck's Avatar Comment 28 by Nervous Wreck

I recommend everyone who hasn't to follow the link to Pharyngula on to The Athiest Experience website and read Martin's full story.

The Atheist Experience TV show shown locally (Austin, TX) on Cable Access is really a great program. You can find a lot of snippets on youtube.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 11:50:00 UTC | #273795

Evilcor's Avatar Comment 29 by Evilcor

You're making a terrible (but understandable and noble!) mistake in challenging ID on its merits. It has none. And to engage it demeans science and its practitioners.
Mockery and scorn are called for. As distasteful as we find the notion, this is not a scientific fight primarily, but a political one.
Political fights are not fair. Call them stupid. Accuse them of hating science because they're too thick to understand it. Ask your comedian friends (if any) to work this into their act and get the audience laughing at the faith-heads.
Use phrases like "Stealth-Jesus" to label them despite their protests. Point out their ugly kids, if you have to.

The idea is to show them up as chumps; not legit rivals.
Howls of derisive laughter are the most effective weapon. I assure you, truth is not a defense, it is almost a crime in itself.

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 11:57:00 UTC | #273799

chewedbarber's Avatar Comment 30 by chewedbarber

Their arguments are so weak, that anyone given the chance to read both, will surely be convinced that we no more need creationism in science classes than we need Alchemy, Astrology and Phrenology in with Chemistry, Astronomy, and Anatomy.


That is assuming too much. Most likely your arguments will be labeled as opinions, and as such they will be no better then the next persons.

I know how insane that is, but you're arguing with YEC's!

Thu, 20 Nov 2008 12:10:00 UTC | #273803