Archive for the 'Creationism' category

Travis The Chimp, Humanity versus Chimpanzity, Evolution, and Responsibility

Mar 19 2009 Published by under Creationism

Denyse O'Leary is nattering on over at Uncommon Descent - and several other places - about some sort of connection between "Darwinists" or perhaps "Darwinism" and the recent and tragic case where a pet chimpanzee attacked and mutilated one of the owner's neighbors. A large portion of the various posts seems to revolve around Denyse's love of the tautology "only people are people." The rest seems to consist of an attempt to find some way to blame the attack on the scientific community as a whole, or at least on "Darwinists."

Frankly, I'm having an even harder time understanding O'Leary than usual. And that takes some doing.

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9 responses so far

Quality Education Wins Again in the California Creationist Case

Aug 11 2008 Published by under Creationism, Education, Religion

The initial phase of the California Creationist Lawsuit is over, and quality education is the decisive winner. Kevin Vicklund has Judge Otero's decision, as well as a very nice analysis of the ruling up over at his blog. If you've been following the case closely, you can probably jump right over there for the details. If you haven't been tracking the events closely, or want a quick review of the case, keep reading. I'm going to go over the history first, then I'll talk a bit about what Friday's decision means, and what is likely to happen with the case in the future.

The lawsuit (ACSI v. Stearns) was filed in federal court in August of 2005 by the Association of Christian Schools International, Calvary Chapel Christian School, and parents acting on behalf of their children, who were students at Calvary Chapel. They were challenging the University of California's decision to refuse to accept several of their courses as fulfilling UC's admissions requirements. The rejected courses covered the academic spectrum, with English, history, and science classes all failing to meet UC's scrutiny. The common element in the rejected courses was that they did not actually teach the material that UC requires from incoming students. Instead, the rejected courses taught a radically wrong "Christian perspective".

For most of us, the rejection of the courses was nothing more than the natural consequence of the Christian schools' decision to reject reality and teach fantasy. From their perspective, it represented an unconstitutional attack on their freedom of religion. The court, obviously, did not agree. To see why, we really need look no farther than the introduction to the biology textbook used in one of the rejected courses:

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53 responses so far

Disclosure and the Discovery Institute

Nov 12 2007 Published by under Church/State, Creationism, Intelligent Design, Religion

The fine folks at the Discovery Institute aren't happy with tomorrow's PBS documentary on the Dover Intelligent Design case, and they're doing their best to make sure that everyone knows just how unhappy they are. They've been frantically tossing articles up on their Media Complaints Division Blog trying to make sure that their version of reality gets some exposure. I'm not going to bother going through all of their complaints right now. Most of their new material consists of a rehashing of discredited arguments from when the ruling came out. There's one post that caught my eye, though, mostly because it's such a fantastic exemplar of the level of honesty and academic discourse that makes Discovery what it is.

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17 responses so far

More Bob Jones "Biology for Christian Schools" Howlers

A couple of weeks ago, I posted two ridiculous quotes that are found in the Bob Jones textbook that's involved in the California Creationism lawsuit. I'm still wading through these texts and Behe's report explaining why it's really a very good book for high school students to use to learn biology. It's a slow process, and a painful one, but I've found another couple of outstanding quotes to share with you.

This time, I'm including three different types of quote. There are a couple where the authors say things have absolutely nothing to do with science of any kind (and are totally out to lunch even by the standards of a lot of religious people I know). There's one where the book takes a brief detour into right-wingnuttery. I've also got one quote that I'm including as a special treat for those of you who might still want to claim that the book's fine if you just overlook the insane religious stuff - an example of a case where the authors manage to mangle a very basic concept from genetics.

We'll start with the insane, and move from there to the political, then conclude with the merely wrong.

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78 responses so far

Today's Bob Jones "Biology for Christian Schools" Howlers

I've been continuing to put some time into criticizing Michael Behe's expert report on the creationist texts involved in the California Creationism Case. This is a slow process, partly because I'm also working on other projects and partly because it's difficult to read the Bob Jones "Biology for Christian Schools" text without encountering a range of unpleasant side effects. I've been fighting the increased blood pressure and the nausea, and soldiering on. Along the way, I've encountered some real gems that I thought I'd share with you.

Today, I'm going to give you two quotes: one on Darwin, and one on sexually transmitted diseases. The two are connected only by the surreal nature of what's being said. As you read them, please remember that this is material that's being taught to high school students, and that the folks who are teaching this stuff are suing the University of California, because for some strange reason UC doesn't think that people who have been taught this stuff have adequately completed an actual college preparatory class in biology. All quotes are taken from the most recent (3rd) edition of the text. I'm transcribing by hand, so unless indicated otherwise, all typos are mine.

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66 responses so far