Still here

I just wanted to write a quick post saying I’m still around. Florida Citizens for Science activities swamped me the past month or so, taking away from other work, family and college responsibilities. So, I am now taking a short time out from FCS to catch up on everything else in life. For instance, I just finished up a paper for literature class comparing and contrasting moral themes in the plays Hamlet and Dr. Faustus. Yuck.

Meanwhile, for your reading pleasure:

Liam Julian of the Fordham Foundation wrote a guest column for the St. Petersburg Times.

Let’s first dispense with the thought that adolescents should debate the merits of evolution in their science classes. This is silliness, akin to asking them to hash out the germ theory or the atomic theory. Until Florida’s students are taught the basics of science, it’s folly to demand they critically evaluate its finer points.

A Tallahassee Democrat columnist also talks about the state science standards approval fallout.

The standards refer persistently to the scientific theory of evolution, so should they not at least touch upon the implied nonscientific theories of evolution? Surely we should ask, “Are there any such theories?” No. Not for any serious scientific or any other educational purpose.

What then, pray, is the point of belaboring, with the pompous prefix “scientific theory of,” the following: evolution, cells, geology, atoms? “The scientific theory of cells!” Is there any other kind of cell theory worthy of consideration? I know of none.

The compromise is a political sop to a large and concerned population of Florida voters who believe that, on the core issues of science, some other way of knowing (religion, perhaps; surely not art or philosophy) is equal or superior to science itself.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
This entry was posted in In the News. Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Still here

  1. ABO says:

    The Tallahassee Democrat columnist has missed a fact or two. The scientific theory of evolution is not the only theory of evolution, you also have the religious theory of evolution where people believe they have descended from ape like creatures. It was Darwin who called it a religion.

  2. PC-Bash says:

    ABO –

    See, you seem to be getting your terms confused. Religion requires a belief in something without evidence. Religious people are considered to be good at what they do when they can blindly follow something through faith alone — when there are absolutely no facts to back them up. For instance, the belief that your god created life, where there is absolutely no evidence to back this up.

    Evolution, on the other hand, has overwhelming evidence to support it.

  3. PC-Bash says:

    Also, your blog might be slightly more credible if you could spell. It’s “while”, not “wile”.

  4. James F says:

    The Texas Freedom Network is on it:

    http://www.tfn.org/petition/evolution

    Interestingly, this is a considerably faith-based initiative to protect real science – I’ll happily stand shoulder-to-shoulder with religious and non-religious people in this fight.

  5. firemancarl says:

    Hey, I was just gonna post that! Oh well, let Texas lead the way. the did give us Dubbya after all and he likes ID.

  6. ABO says:

    PC-Bash

    Your implication there exist evidence that evolution created life seems to contradict the teaching evolution does not deal with the origin of life but with it’s diversity. What is the overwhelming evidence you have?

  7. PC-Bash says:

    Your implication there exist evidence that evolution created life seems to contradict the teaching evolution does not deal with the origin of life but with it’s diversity.

    No, it does not contradict with this. The origin of life is covered by a completely different scientific theory, completely outside of the scope of evolution and natural selection.

    What is the overwhelming evidence you have?

    You should probably start here:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-research.html

    This is by no means exhaustive.

  8. PC-Bash says:

    To clarify, evolution only covers how life evolved, not how it was created. There is overwhelming evidence to support evolution.

    There is no evidence to support many of the dubious claims made by creationists: that their god or gods created life, that there is no such thing as speciation, that evolution magically stops before it could produce species, that mutations are a reduction of genetic information, that natural selection eliminates mutants because they are impure, that the age of the earth is reflected in the genealogical data provided by a 3000 year old manuscript, ad nauseum.

    How did life begin? Scientists have some conjectures, but no one knows for certain yet. Scientists have shown that we can develop all of the building blocks for life in the lab, using conditions that existed while the earth was young. But, there is a gap between that and what we consider to be life. At this point, science has no answer for this, and that is okay. We don’t need to inject a god into the gaps, or place faith in something we do not understand. Furthermore, doing this would not be in the nature of science. Science cannot and will not accept supernatural explanations for things.

  9. Joe says:

    You give yourself away. You say there is plenty of evidence to support evolution. You are looking for support of your assumption of evolution. Not ” After review of the evidence I come to the conclusion that evolution is true.” Thereby showing your bias before you draw a conclusion.

  10. PC-Bash says:

    You give yourself away.

    How do I do that? I have said all along that I support evolution.

    You say there is plenty of evidence to support evolution.

    Yes, there is.

    You are looking for support of your assumption of evolution.

    I am defending the status quo, which is a bit more than an assumption. It is the current consensus among all scientists, and it is backed up by empirical evidence.

    Not ” After review of the evidence I come to the conclusion that evolution is true.”

    I did review the evidence. Part of learning science is going over why things are the way science says they are. This requires that we review previous evidence that backs up scientific theories and laws. Obviously, this is much different than a creationist classroom, where someone says “Oh, God did that.” and everyone else simply agrees. Evolution and other scientific theories are tested every day. Still, strangely, for such a “hotly contested theory”, there really isn’t any debate among scientists on whether evolution is valid or not.

    Thereby showing your bias before you draw a conclusion.

    Um. No. Having already come to a conclusion that something is valid before having a later discussion on it doesn’t mean that I am biased. You don’t know what process I went through to come to this conclusion, you are simply trying to paint a strawman.

  11. S.Scott says:

    I guess Joe has never had a flu shot …

  12. PC-Bash says:

    S. Scott –

    Obviously, the flu is magic. It doesn’t evolve, Joe’s god changes it to make people sick. What a mean god…

  13. ABO says:

    PC-Bash

    The site you indicated was off subject, but it had some good information on speciation. Back on your statement, “the belief that your god create life, where there is absolutely no evidence to back that up”.

    One of the things that I find funniest in the mom-bo jumbo generated by those who have evolved from monkey like creatures, is the reasoning that we know God didn’t create life, but we don’t know how it got here. Of course the word yet is added, such as, we don’t know yet, or as you said ,”but no one knows for certain yet.” as if you actually had a clue. The addition of the word ‘yet’ seems to be common among evolutionist, but it’s hard to see that term providing credibility to the conclusion that God didn’t do it. Indicating God didn’t do it is to say you know God and know what he has done. The fact is, there is no evidence that God didn’t do it and you have indicated you don’t know him.

    Evolutionary scientist may not accept the supernatural as science, but rejecting it because of ignorance doesn’t sound very scientific.

    And hopefully your not referring to the Miller-Urie experiment as a source for developing the building blocks of life or computer simulations which require programming and intelligence.

    So you’ll have to help me out here with information on the building blocks of life. So far the Chinese cosmic egg story has more credibility than any thing I’ve heard from so called scientists.

  14. S.Scott says:

    ABO – ” Evolutionary scientist may not accept the supernatural as science, but rejecting it because of ignorance doesn’t sound very scientific. ”

    I’m sure it was “un-intentional on your part”, but you just proved the case of valid scientists everywhwere.

    EVERYTHING supernatural is NOT SCIENCE!!! You finally understand!! Woo Hoo!! Yay for you!

    Science is RESTRICTED to things that are testable!

    HOWEVER – that does NOT mean that all scientists REJECT the supernatural.

    They just ACCEPT facts that have been proven.

    And just ONE MORE TIME …… Evolution does NOT touch on the moment that life began (abiogenesis).

  15. PC-Bash says:

    ABO –

    The site you indicated was off subject, but it had some good information on speciation.

    How, precisely, was that site off-subject? You asked for examples of the overwhelming evidence for evolution, and I provided it. You can’t just dismiss something as “off-subject” simply because you lack the ability to refute it.

    One of the things that I find funniest in the mom-bo jumbo generated by those who have evolved from monkey like creatures, is the reasoning that we know God didn’t create life, but we don’t know how it got here. Of course the word yet is added, such as, we don’t know yet, or as you said ,”but no one knows for certain yet.” as if you actually had a clue. The addition of the word ‘yet’ seems to be common among evolutionist, but it’s hard to see that term providing credibility to the conclusion that God didn’t do it. Indicating God didn’t do it is to say you know God and know what he has done. The fact is, there is no evidence that God didn’t do it and you have indicated you don’t know him.

    That was a bunch of circular logic, and I think that we are all a bit dumber for reading it. I’ll ask you again. What evidence do you have that your god created life?. Don’t quote me scripture, don’t give me rhetoric. Give me empirical evidence. The truth is that you can’t, because there is none. You rely on faith that your stories are true, not evidence. Garbage like this sort of reasoning based on faith does not belong in the science classroom.

    For something to be a scientific theory, it must be verifiable and falsifiable. We cannot disprove the existence of a mythical being that cannot be observed. Hence, creationism is not a valid hypothesis, or a theory. The fact that you say something so inane like “…there is no evidence that God didn’t do it…” only shows your ignorance of science.

    Evolutionary scientist may not accept the supernatural as science, but rejecting it because of ignorance doesn’t sound very scientific.

    Once again, science cannot deal in the supernatural, by the very definition of supernatural. It is outside of the scope of science. Any attempt to inject supernatural garbage into science destroys the fundamental principles of science. Creationism belongs in a class on religion, not in the science classroom where we deal with facts.

    And hopefully your not referring to the Miller-Urie experiment as a source for developing the building blocks of life or computer simulations which require programming and intelligence.

    You really have no idea what you’re talking about, do you?

    So you’ll have to help me out here with information on the building blocks of life.

    All of the information you need is in that link I provided you, the one you dismissed as “off-topic” without even bothering to read it. Here, I’ll give it to you again:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-research.html

  16. PC-Bash says:

    S. Scott –

    No one is really as dense as ABO. He is purposefully trying to be obtuse. He didn’t even bother reading the link I sent to him. He doesn’t want to have an intelligent conversation with us, he simply wants to blast his talking points over and over again.

  17. S.Scott says:

    @ PC-Bash – But what about Joe? 🙂

  18. PC-Bash says:

    S. Scott –

    Fair enough. Both of these trolls are cut from the same cloth.

  19. S.Scott says:

    And now – How about Helen? ugh!! If she really is a science teacher, that not only frightens me, but it pisses me off!!

    I have “standing” and I’m not afraid to use it!

  20. PC-Bash says:

    It makes me wonder how they would feel if we taught atheism or Buddhism in the science classroom. They think that their religion has the right to be taught in a science classroom, but they would certainly flip out if the tables were turned. In fact, they are freaking out because evolution, which has nothing to say about their religion, is going to be taught in the science classroom — as it should.

  21. S.Scott says:

    Well if the schools teach Christianity, then they MUST teach ALL other religions.
    I really don’t think that they understand that.

  22. S.Scott says:

    … and then of course – what time do you have left for science? …

  23. PC-Bash says:

    Apparently.

    They don’t even grasp that religion has no place in a science classroom.

  24. ABO says:

    PC-Bash Does just describing a hypothetical mechanism for change provide the testable event required by science? Those things which are testable can certainly be considered as evidence for evolution. But the straight and dotted lines of the phylogenetic trees representing the gazillions missing transitions between fully formed organisms do not provide the type of confirmation you propose, but rather show simply what is hoped for. I wouldn’t say this type of progression is supernatural but you’ve got to admit, it’s not natural.

    Gould was honest about this problem, recognizing that there was no evidence to support the type of evolutionary descent you believe, he and Eldredge proposed a new idea ‘punctuated equilibrium’ to help salvage the theory.

    Your mistaken, I did read much of the talk origins site you provided, but back to my question, I would be interested in the evidence you have that God didn’t create any thing. I know that’s not science, but you keep bring it up.

  25. PC-Bash says:

    I wouldn’t say this type of progression is supernatural but you’ve got to admit, it’s not natural.

    I don’t see that. We aren’t going to find every possible fossil from one ancient species to a modern species, but we can certainly see that these species are related through morphology, through genetics (when DNA can be recovered) and through geological timeline (e.g. we never see a later species appear before an earlier species in the timeline). Of course, fossil evidence is only one small part of the evolution puzzle. I recommend that you read that link I sent to you.

    he and Eldredge proposed a new idea ‘punctuated equilibrium’he and Eldredge proposed a new idea ‘punctuated equilibrium’

    This theory is not exclusive.

    I would be interested in the evidence you have that God didn’t create any thing.

    You are mistaken. I said that there is no evidence for creationism, not that there is evidence against creationism. Creationism, like most religious ideas, cannot be falsified as it requires that one disproves the existence of a mythical being that cannot be observed or measured in reality. As such, creationism and ID fall outside of the scope of science. They cannot be used in a credible science classroom.

  26. Jonathan Smith says:

    PC-Bash :”I would be interested in the evidence you have that God didn’t create any thing”.
    Come on PC, I would like to see your evidence that Santa,pixies,fairies,
    hob gobblins and pink unicorns are not real?
    Wow, what logic from ABO.

  27. PC-Bash says:

    Come on PC, I would like to see your evidence that Santa,pixies,fairies,
    hob gobblins and pink unicorns are not real?

    Again, there is no evidence that these don’t exist… of course, there is no evidence that these do exist either. That’s what I wanted ABO to provide. He implied that there was evidence for creationism. I’d like to see it.

  28. PC-Bash says:

    For what it’s worth, there is also no evidence disproving my ability to fly… I could just be choosing not to fly. Once we start adding a supernatural element to things, logic flies out the window. This is precisely what happens when we allow creationism in the science classroom. Suddenly, the entire topic of science has been derailed by inane comments like “Oh… my god did that…”

  29. PC-Bash says:

    Wow, what logic from ABO.

    Boy… I hope you are being sarcastic here…

  30. S.Scott says:

    Hey PC Bash – I think I found out what “ABO” stands for! LOL!!

  31. PC-Bash says:

    S. Scott –

    What’s does it stand for?

  32. S.Scott says:

    I’m trying to find the exact link right now – (I am on a different computer than before …) but I about Bust a Gut when I saw it.

    Something to do with our Blood Types 🙂

    They seem to have come from “Adam” – (I can’t remember what B is that’s why I’m looking) and the 2 sons – Cane and Abel – and their offspring “Others” 🙂

  33. S.Scott says:

    OK – I found it. Eve was the “B” blood type. (and, oops, I misspelled “Cain” earlier)

  34. S.Scott says:

    So its … Adam, Eve, and Others 🙂 “ABO”

  35. PC-Bash says:

    That’s just… wrong.

    Also, wouldn’t Eve have the same blood type, since she was made from one of Adam’s ribs? Perhaps the B is Lillith blood type? 😉

    Sigh… if this is true, then I am certainly wasting my time is arguing with this guy. If he truly believes this blood type nonsense, then there is no hope for him.

  36. S.Scott says:

    Here – I hate to do this but this is the link. http://www.icr.org/article/3647/

    I typed in a couple of Joe’s comments into my search engine and came upon the YEC website … had a look around and the ABO just popped out at me.

  37. firemancarl says:

    So, ABO has a problem believing we evolved but has no problem believing he came from a lump of clay? Interesting.

    BTW ABO, stop confusing abiogenisis with evolution….please.

  38. firemancarl says:

    Tsk Tsk
    #1 My type is B+ so who did decend from.

    #2 It’s obvious that ABO doesn’t understand that the onus is on HIM to PROVE his god created all of us.

  39. ABO says:

    firemancarl

    You’ve got me wrong, it’s PC-Bash who has the issue with abiogenisis. And proving God did or didn’t create all of us is your problem. Remember, you claim he didn’t. All I have mentioned was the Chinese cosmic egg.

    Just because Darwinian evolution is all you can dream up doesn’t make it real. Think fleas. But if you are concerned about God, well then you must not have the faith PC has. Perhaps you could encourage each other by telling monkey stories.

  40. PC-Bash says:

    And proving God did or didn’t create all of us is your problem.

    Bzzt! Wrong. Evolution is the status quo. You are going against this. You must provide evidence to back up your claims, not the other way around.

    it’s PC-Bash who has the issue with abiogenisis.

    Do I, now? I have repeatedly mentioned that this discussion is about the validity of evolution. YOU are the one who keeps confusing the two. YOU are the one who can’t tell the difference. Not me.

    well then you must not have the faith PC has.

    I have no need of faith. I have evidence. Just because faith is all you know doesn’t mean that everyone must have faith in something.

  41. Jonathan Smith says:

    Merriam-Webster,FAITH:: “belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion, firm belief in something for which there is no proof, complete trust in the unproven”. ABO needs faith because he has no other evidence,his mind set is subordinate to his religious ideologies.
    Perhaps ABO would like to tell us how life began on earth and how all living things came to be,and of course provide the evidencs to support his position.

  42. ABO says:

    Jonathan Smith

    Perhaps ABO would like to tell us how life began on earth and how all living things came to be, and of course provide the evidences to support his position

    Why sure I know that, nothing came together from nowhere for no reason and exploded. The explosion of nothing produced gasses and after billions of years through a process of self-transformation the gases changed themselves into mater. With this ongoing process of self-transformation which gives rise to an increase of variety, and an increasingly high level of organization, the process is essentially irreversible. So matter has the ability to transform itself from disorder to order and from simple to complex. From non living to living without outside instructional information. An ongoing process of self-transformation occurring in time, which has never been seen. And that is the evidence.

  43. PC-Bash says:

    And that is the evidence.

    Well, no. It isn’t the evidence.

  44. ABO says:

    PC-Bash

    So if it isn’t the evidence, then what is it?

  45. PC-Bash says:

    ABO –

    If I gave you the evidence, you wouldn’t bother to read it. Your creationist mind is already made up.

    If you want to read about the evidence for evolution (not “big bang” or abiogenesis), you should start here:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/

  46. Jonathan Smith says:

    ABO
    If you assume that all the evidence for evolution is invalid then provide an alternative hypothosis,if you would suggest that “god did it” then please show me the impericle,testifiable falsifiable evidence to support your position.This would include the exact manner in which God created time and matter and then implemented them to create the universe.(note,.debunking evolution does not count as evidence in your favor,if evolution is wrong it does not follow that your theory(goddidit) is true by default).Also placing God outside the laws of time and matter only creates a “fiat” and explains nothing.
    For 150years science HAS provided evidence,you have only offered a mindless opinion.”put up or shut up”

  47. ABO says:

    Jonathan Smith

    I’ve never said all the evidence for evolution is invalid, and are you saying my description of the big bang and life having unconsciously transformed itself to higher levels of complexity are inaccurate? If so then help me out here with some info. Please explain with impartial, testable, falsifiable evidence to support your position.

    I Don’t think I’ve mentioned God outside of responding to the false claims of PC.

    But I still think you guys should really consider the Chinese Cosmic Egg as a source for origins. It’s all there, with testable evidence to back it up,, you don’t fabricate anything. Go for it. It’s older than 150 years, so you know it’s true

  48. PC-Bash says:

    Go troll somewhere else ABO. You can’t provide any proof for your creationist nonsense, and you cannot provide, but have been continually asked, for proof against evolution. That laughter that you hear is not people laughing with you, it is the sound of people laughing at you.

  49. ABO says:

    PC-Bash

    Boy are you paranoid. I haven’t said I had proof for creationism and I haven’t ask for proof against evolution. You have said you have evidence for evolution. I simply ask to see something beyond speciation and you wet your pants. What are you worried about? Show me something that isn’t just imagination.

  50. S.Scott says:

    YOU have been asked to disprove evolution …

    “Go troll somewhere else ABO. You can’t provide any proof for your creationist nonsense, and you cannot provide, but have been continually asked, for proof against evolution.”

    Also,- What? – isn’t speciation enough for you?

    ” Speciation is the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise. There are four modes of natural speciation, based on the extent to which speciating populations are geographically isolated from one another: allopatric, peripatric, parapatric, and sympatric.”

    (from Wikipedia)

  51. PC-Bash says:

    I simply ask to see something beyond speciation and you wet your pants. What are you worried about? Show me something that isn’t just imagination.

    http://www.talkorigins.org

    There’s plenty of proof, if you are brave enough to read it. What do you want to see?

    Speciation?
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

  52. PC-Bash says:

    Crap. My post just got ate by the lameness filter again. Apparently, I can only post two urls at a time. This is going to take a while…

    I simply ask to see something beyond speciation and you wet your pants. What are you worried about? Show me something that isn’t just imagination.

    http://www.talkorigins.org

  53. PC-Bash says:

    Fossil evidence for evolution:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/

    Evidence for Macro-Evolution:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html

  54. PC-Bash says:

    Now, either refute the evidence I have presented to you, or go troll somewhere else, ABO.

  55. PC-Bash says:

    Even if by some miracle you are capable of refuting what I presented, which would win you the Nobel Prize for sure… this is only a fraction of the body of evidence for evolution.

    Boy are you paranoid.

    Of course, you won’t even bother to read the links I have posted. You will claim that it is, how did you put it? “bias athiest garbage.” Unfortunately for you, it cites references to published papers in peer reviewed scientific journals, or references that reference such papers. So, are you going to have to go into a paranoid rant about how the science community is keeping you down? Who’s paranoid now?

  56. S.Scott says:

    LoL 🙂

  57. ABO says:

    PC-Bash

    My reference to speciation is with the thought that natural occurring diversity within any given population dose not equate to a completely new form of creature. The Talk Origins sit you provided gave a pretty good count of the observed instances of speciation which presently exist. However the writer comments that, “The literature on observed speciation events is not well organized. I found only a few papers that had an observation of a speciation event as the author’s main point (e.g. Weinberg, et al. 1992). In addition, I found only one review that was specifically on this topic (Callaghan 1987). This review cited only four examples of speciation events. Why is there such a seeming lack of interest in reporting observations of speciation events?”

    I find it interesting that there is a lack of interest in reporting observations of speciation events. You would think a creditable report would be as notable as the first moon landing. Such a lack of interest can only come from the fact that there are no observations to report. Those examples sited could be questionable but I find it even more dubious to insinuate that these examples represent a change in order or class of an organism.

    I’m not trying to prove creationism, you’re the one with the theory, remember. To actually fully believe what has been proposed appears to remain a matter of faith. The fact is you simply have the faith, I simply don’t.

  58. PC-Bash says:

    I find it interesting that there is a lack of interest in reporting observations of speciation events. You would think a creditable report would be as notable as the first moon landing.

    No. You creationists are the only ones concerned with speciation, because if speciation exists, your literalist interpretation of your bible is wrong. Real scientists have already accepted speciation and moved on, with the copious evidence that exists. Reproducing speciation in the lab is not high on anyone’s priority, at this point it is nothing more than an academic study, something that graduate students do to confirm something already known. Just as reproducing Newton’s experiments in the lab would not get that much attention this day. You are merely attempting to say that since such things no longer receive that much attention, they must be invalid. This argument is completely asinine, and you know it.

    Such a lack of interest can only come from the fact that there are no observations to report.

    How the hell do you get that inane gem? If there were no observations to report, then they wouldn’t have reported them.. It is only your own twisted desire to discredit this that would lead you to say something this inane.

    Those examples sited could be questionable but I find it even more dubious to insinuate that these examples represent a change in order or class of an organism.

    Which shows your total lack of understanding of taxonomy, nothing more. Once a speciation event occurs, the two split species will continue to evolve separately. Given enough time, they would be different enough to place them in different families, different orders, different classes. Taxonomy is arbitrary. It is an ordering of species by humans based on their similarities. The more dissimilar two species become, the less likely they would be grouped together.

    I’m not trying to prove creationism, you’re the one with the theory, remember.

    A scientific theory that has already been proven. You are attempting to discredit it, which means that the burden of proof is on you.

    To actually fully believe what has been proposed appears to remain a matter of faith.

    Now we’re back to ABO’s inane non-argument: “evolution requires faith” If this is the best you can come up with, you should really give up. This is about the most unintelligent thing I have heard on this board, well, other than “Bam Bam” or Larry’s incoherent rants.

    And then, you provide this interesting twist:
    The fact is you simply have the faith, I simply don’t.

    So, following evidence, facts, logical conclusions, and a rigorous verification process is faith… yet believing a 3000 year old myth with absolutely no evidence is not? You truly are brainwashed ABO.

Comments are closed.