Take a good long look at the dim-witted fool in the above picture. He just turned Florida into an international joke. His name is Alan Hays.
A nebulous bill that allows teachers “to poke holes in the theory of evolution” passed in the Florida House. The bill passed 71-43. The full story can be read in the Miami Herald.
State Rep. Alan Hays, the republican who sponsored the bill, commented:
That’s a fancy way of saying it allows the teachers, without fear, to expose the holes in the scientific theory of evolution, No fossils have been found and no witness has ever seen one species turn into another. This is only a theory. [emphasis added]
Alan Hays is a retired dentist. The reasons given for the legislation were “to protect teachers’ jobs” and to ensure “academic freedom”.
Asked which teachers fear that teaching the ”holes” in evolution will lead to trouble, Hays acknowledged he didn’t have any names. ”This is being done as a preventive measure,” Hays said.
I know where I’m not spending my next vacation. If you want to voice your opinion to the Florida Board Of Tourism, GO HERE.
If you want to support the Florida Citizens For Science, GO HERE.
Perhaps Alan Hays D.D.S. will comment on string theory next.
I guess actually reading Darwin’s books was too difficult for Ben Stein, so instead he stood in front of a statue and contemplated what evolution might be like. This is, of course, Stein trying to mark evolution as a religion, and not a science, something the Intelligent Design crowd has been trying to do for years.
Arthur Caplan, a Bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, has written a stinging review of Expelled: The Movie titled Intelligent design film far worse than stupid: Ben Stein’s so-called documentary ‘Expelled’ isn’t just bad, it’s immoral. It really gets at the root of Intelligent Design propaganda. In the movie, Ben Stein links Darwinism with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Never mind that other creationists blame Darwin for communism as well as capitalism. Doesn’t Stein like capitalism?
The challenge for creationists is for them to make their point without mentioning evolution. I know scientists can speak of evolution without even broaching the subject of a creation or design. But propagandists like Ben Stein cannot further their cause without tearing down evolutionary biology. The reason is they have nothing to support their claims. Intelligent design isn’t a science and cannot stand alone.
And I want to know why Stein brings religion into the Intelligent Design argument, when for years other Intelligent Design proponents have tried to keep the two completely separate. Is ID science or religion? You creationists need to make up your minds.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rejected the Institute for Creation Research’s bid ” to offer an online master’s degree in science education”. Basically, the ICR’s credit is no good, and teachers who only have an ICR degree are not qualified to teach in public schools.
The Dallas Morning News
Citing the group’s teaching of creationism rather than evolution in its science curriculum, Dr. Paredes said it was clear the school [ICR] would not adequately prepare its graduates to teach the scientific principles now required in Texas public schools.
“Evolution is such a fundamental principle of contemporary science it is hard to imagine how you could cover the various fields of science without giving it [evolution] the proper attention it deserves as a foundation of science,” he said.
“Religious belief is not science. Science and religious belief are surely reconcilable, but they are not the same thing.”
How beautifully honest is that language? Raymund A. Paredes is the commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Most often government officials tap dance around evolution and creationism with soft appeasing words, so as not to offend anyone. An example is John McCain and his stupid fence sitting answer at last year’s Republican Debate. So I have to applaud Raymund for getting to the crux of the matter.
Credit also has to go to the Texas Citizens for Science.
Before the vote, the board heard comment from several persons, most of whom urged rejection of the proposal. Among them was Steven Schafersman, president of Texas Citizens for Science, who said the ICR was a Christian ministry rather than a science organization that was primarily interested in promoting pseudoscience.
Pseudoscience doesn’t spread when good people do something.
A few weeks back Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers attempted to sneak into a screening of the creationist movie Expelled. Dawkins was successful, while Myers was expelled from the theatre. (Religious people are suspicious of men with beards). But while trawling for creationism on the net, I came across a religious site which described the events that unfolded. Get a load of the crazy terminology: Atheists Infiltrate Events For Intelligent Design Film. Infiltrate, they say? Is toilet papering a house sabotage? Is a flaming bag of poop biological warfare? I guess Dawkins made off with valuable ID secrets and sold them to the highest bidder. I just hope he didn’t spend all those pennies in one place.
I haven’t even seen the full movie and I’m already sick to my stomach. This clip from Expelled: The Movie is frightening. It’s blatant propaganda. And the stooge “population geneticist” giving the first interview is a fraud. Hardly the impartial scientist, Maciej Giertych is actually an ultra-conservative politician from Poland, who has a PhD in dendrology, the study of trees. He’s also a creationist author. The second guy, David Berlinksi, is a member of the Discovery Institute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. I’m just curious why Ben Stein had to import a creationist from abroad. Maybe, most of the American ones are recognized liars. New faces, same old lies.
Now to comment on the lies.
“Natural selection does not provide any new genetic information”
Modern biologists don’t claim that natural selection is the source of ‘new genetic information’? Various types of mutations (along with the recombination of DNA during sexual reproduction) are what create novel genes. Natural selection acts on mutations. But there’s plenty of copying errors and reshuffling of DNA for natural selection to work on.
“Mutations spoil” and “We don’t know of any mutation which is positive”
Most mutations are neutral, not harmful. And there are plenty of examples of positive mutations. The fact that insects become resistant to pesticides is just one example. What creationists fail to understand is that life and the environment interact. For an animal a harmful mutation in one environment may be beneficial in another. So stating categorically that all mutations are harmful is just stupid.
“If you analogize a computer program to the DNA inside a cell…”
Some analogies shouldn’t be made. This is one. Computer programs don’t sexually reproduce. They are written and optimized (except Vista which sucks) by programmers. If the best programs were selected from a population of programs over thousands of generations, then that could be considered a type of evolution. But DNA isn’t written by programmers (or a designer); it’s fragmented and full of superfluous junk, which speaks to its evolutionary history, not its design.
Is it just me, or do these stooges come across as completely insincere on-camera? It’s almost as if they know what they’re doing is wrong. The smug bastards!
Evolution is truly fascinating. There’s a video of a squirrel tap dancing around a snake and bravely nibbling on its body. The quality isn’t that great, so the identity of the snake is a bit of a mystery. It acts like a rattlesnake, but it doesn’t have the arrow shaped head, which is characteristic of the viper family. However, non-venomous gopher snakes mimic the behavior of rattlers to scare away predators. And on top of that, even if it were a rattlesnake, the squirrel has a genetic advantage. Adult squirrels have a partial immunity to rattlesnake venom. They can take several hits of venom and still survive. They even have a physiological mechanism to heat up their tails, which fools with the snake’s heat sensing ability. The moral of the story is that our human preconceptions about what’s going on in the natural world are often wrong.
Teacher: “OK class, who doesn’t know the difference between science and cheap emotional propaganda?”
Little Benjamin Stein: “I do, I do.”
Teacher: “Well, that ashame, Benjamin, because this is a science class, not Washington politics 101. Now go wait in the hall, you little loser.”
Little Benjamin Stein: “When my father hears about this, he’ll have Senator McCarthy put your Darwinist liberal commi ass in prison.”
Teacher: “Give it a rest, four-eyes. When it comes to Darwinian Evolution you’re confusing scientific knowledge with the misapplication or misunderstanding of that knowledge. Are you so stupid that you can’t see the difference? Or is nuclear science false because of its many possible, evil applications? Now stop telling lies about Charles Darwin and evolution, you little freak.”
Little Benjamin Stein: “Yes, teacher. I’m very sorry for wasting everyone’s time.”
Teacher: “Why don’t I believe you?”
Go Ricky Go. The Bible is a perpetual source of comic material. With naked people and talking snakes, what do you expect? In contrast, Darwin’s book, On The Origin Of Species, isn’t funny at all. But it is a lot more intellectually stimulating. So, if you want a laugh, read the Bible. If you want science, read Darwin.