The creationist loonies have lost in Texas

Phil Plait reports that the creationist loonies trying to sabotage the science curriculum in Texas have only managed to scrape a 7-7 tie on a vote to incorporate a bogus “strengths and weaknesses” clause into the State’s science teaching standards.  Without a vote to carry the amendment, it fails.

Science has scored the narrowest of victories over the most blatant ignorance and stupidity.

They always lose, but they never give up.  The battle against this avoidable and self-inflicted damage goes on.

Reiss fried by Nobel laureate

The Guardian website yesterday carried a blistering attack on Michael Reiss by Nobel prizewinner Harry Kroto, over Reiss’s recent advocacy of teaching creationism as a “cultural worldview” in British science lessons.  Kroto is having none of it, and says the problem is that as a church minister Reiss was in the wrong job.   “It really does not matter whether one believes a mystical entity created the universe 5,000 or 10,000 million years ago – both are equally irrational unsubstantiated claims of no fundamental validity.”  All religious people, including Reiss, “fall at the first hurdle of the main requirement for honest scientific discussion because they accept unfound dogma as having fundamental significance.”

Kroto frames it as a matter of intellectual integrity:

“An ordained minister must have accepted that there was a creator (presumably more intelligent than he is?) thus many of us (maybe 90% of FRSs) cannot see how such a person can pontificate on how to tackle this fundamentally unresolvable conflict at the science/religion interface. Reiss cannot have his religious cake in church and eat the scientific one in the classroom. “

Reiss stepped down as Education Director of the Royal Society this month after his controversial comments.

Türkiye’de Yasaklandı. Türkiye’de Bakınız Richard Dawkins burada.

Banned in Turkey. Read Richard Dawkins in Turkish here.

Richard Dawkins’ website has been banned in Turkey, but mine has not.

For those living in Turkey, here’s an update from the website:

  • The Turkish edition of Dawkins’ book. The Ancestor’s Tale, sold out within a day
  • There is a Turkish translation of the offending article. See below.

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Very straightforward: Obama’s responses to Nature on an evolution and stem cell questions

PZ Myers reports on Nature’s election 2008 edition,  He is understandably very proud of Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s response to a question on evolution:

I believe in evolution, and I support the strong consensus of the scientific community that evolution is scientifically validated. I do not believe it is helpful to our students to cloud discussions of science with non-scientific theories like intelligent design that are not subject to experimental scrutiny.

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Examining a creationist argument on the fossil record

This is a followup to an earlier posting that examined the first part of this posting by somebody who calls himself Sirius Knott.  Creationists tend to make bold claims that attempt to rubbish the consensus of biologists, geologists and paleontologists, reveal their ignorance of the field, and wonder why nobody takes them seriously.  Sirius seems to follow the same pattern.

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Examining a creationist case against modern geology

I encountered this posting by Sirius Knott and asked him to read some textbooks.  After a bit he got bored with my patient requests that he educate himself, and even grew tired of taunting me.  Fair enough.  Time for me to deal in detail with his errors–because there are a lot of people who have ideas like this and they probably, deep down, are seeking some kind of response from the scientific point of view.  I’ll present my response by links to standard answers, for the most part, because these objections have been raised by creationists many times in the past, and they have no scientific credibility.  There is absolutely nothing new about creationism or intelligent design.  The same arguments have been raised again and again down the decades, but not one of them has convinced the scientific community.

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Just a theory

Remember its just a theory.

Remember it's just a theory.

This is from the reDiscovery Institute.