Texas Legislation To Facilitate the Creation of An Advanced Creation Science Degree

TexasThis may seem like a bit of an contradiction to some, but Texas legislators are sponsoring a bill to facilitate the creation of a master’s degree in Creation Science. While these degrees are traditionally called Divinity degrees, Texas politicians fighting against evolution theory want to help the Institute for Creation Research.

Behind the move is Republican Leo Berman, a member of the House Higher Education Committee of Texas, who is the sponsor of House Bill 2800. Educators in the state have balked for obvious reasons. Notably, Texas has some of the country’s leading educational institutions, but has always struggled with a misconception of the state being removed from the intellectual heartland. I am sure that this has serious academics in the state groaning as legislators rush to fulfill unfair stereotypes.

The Institute explains its certificate program as follows:

The Creationist Worldview is an innovative program of study designed to equip current and future Christian leaders with practical tools to effectively influence their world with the truths of Scripture. A formal science degree is not required, and those who can benefit from the Creationist Worldview program includes, but is not limited to, Christian men and women who hold various positions of influence within the community, educators, ministers and church leaders, business and industry experts, professionals in medicine and law, government officials, leaders in the fine arts, and high school and college students.

Designed for people on the go, the self-paced Creationist Worldview can fit into busy schedules. Course material is accessed online and through textbooks, so students can study from any computer with an Internet connection. The certificate program has been designed to be completed in under a year.

It would seem that Berman’s effort really falls short here. There are dozens of Divinity Schools that should be properly called “scientific laboratories.” More importantly, attendance at Sunday services should now be legislatively made credit worthy for science degrees.

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54 thoughts on “Texas Legislation To Facilitate the Creation of An Advanced Creation Science Degree”

  1. Bron,

    My only objection is the use of the word “control”. Control is an illusion, not just in economics, but anything. A human perceptual fallacy, probably rooted in the Savannah trait of aggression as a problem solving mechanism. I return to Heisenberg as the source that randomness rules the quantum and therefore everything else. I would prefer the term “influence”. Influence is possible whereas control is not. To suggest otherwise implies there is no such thing as free will. No amount of law would stop a bad enough actor operating out of choice. Other than that, I think we’re close to the same page.

  2. Buddha:

    I understand that and I wont disagree. Objectivism though, and maybe this is where I go wrong in my thinking, is about rational selfishness. And following the golden rule-namely treat others as you would want to be treated. The Bernard Madoff case is a good example of anti-objectivism. Mr. Madoff was not being rationaly selfish when he scammed those people, he was not practicing any form of objectivism that I know, he was merely being stupid and greedy. An objectivist would say that what Madoff did was not rational self interest it did him no good in the long run as he is a ruined man and will go to jail for the rest of his life. Now this is where I might diverge from objectivist thought in that I would not have done it because it was just not the right thing to do if one has a conscience not because of rational self interest.

    And maybe this is where others Like Mike S. and Rcampbell diverge too. It is too self oriented and maybe this is why I am not a 100% objectivist, I have a good deal of empathy for other people. So I honestly believe that free market capitalism does the most good for the most people, granted some people are going to get lost in the cracks and I agree they need to be helped. I can only imagine what Mike S has dealt with in his career. But do we reduce the standard of living of everyone so we are all in the same economic boat? This I just cant rap my mind around.

    I think Mike S would agree that some people are beyond help whether for emotional or organic mental health problems. These people need our help of that I have no doubt or problem with, we as a society need to take care of them. But there are many people that dont need to be taken care of, they need a kick in the ass to jump start them, they dont need our help they are perfectly able to fend for themselves they just dont want to do it.

    The one thing I do know is that people/intellectuals want to control their environment. I dont think people can control something as big or as complex as an economy and this is where I think most of the diagreement lies with conservatives and objectivists and liberals. And maybe because liberals are more intellectual than conservatives you think you can control human action. But maybe conservatives are smart enough to not try.

  3. Bron,

    While I agree with most of that, let me continue the analogy just a bit further. Consider objectivism as a genetic expression, a recessive trait if you will. When properly expressed in healthy cells, it results in say blue eyes. When improperly expressed, it results in Neocons, the cancer. While not all of objectivism is bad, it is a key component to the cancer because it’s (I’m going to coin a word here, if Patty knows a better one, I’ll take it) malexpressed. Much like mespo said earlier, there is a lot about objectivism to like . . . up to a point. That tipping point is where self-determination strays into blind selfishness that endangers us all. No, my point wasn’t to totally discredit objectivism, merely to point out that a key feature of it has been and continues to be used as a rationale for the actions of evil men. That’s why I called Neocons “Rand worshipers” and not objectivists. They are true objectivists like they are true conservatives or true anything for that matter. They use whatever they can hide behind to justify their sociopathic behavior – including your philosophy of choice. It’s not the use of objectivism that’s dangerous, it’s the abuse. It has been my contention all along that Neocons as sociopaths. They are, as my grandfather used to say, “crippled where a crutch won’t help.” It’s time to start judging them not by the position that that have attained or how much money that they have made, which is what they want us to do, but to call their evil what it is – a sickness in the body politic that must be forcibly removed.

    It may be that I hold out too much hope for humanity. Self-destructive selfishness may be too intermeshed into our genetics to overcome by conscious choice. But I’d sure like to try.

  4. Bron98, I agree with Mike S. We need a healthy and intellectually vigorous Republican Party. Overtures to the Christian right over the past 20 years produced votes for the Republicans, but at a heavy price. The evangelical wing was permitted to set the “family values” agenda and proceeded to crowd out any dissenting views. You can see the result geographically. The remaining core Republican states are now dominated by this wing. I suppose there is a sort of poetic justice in this. After all, the people who devised and fine tuned the southern strategy were only seeking votes. There was never any intention of permitting Christian conservatives to control all policy decisions. But it backfired, and the result is not good for the country in the long run.

  5. Mespo,

    I commend you on your dynamic side-step. If I view God as Creator of everything, then time would be included and He would transcend it. But, if my foundation of all that exists is eons of time, then I run into a problem.

    Now, back to my original question. What says you?

  6. Buddha:

    I agree with that, the universe will expand into nothing and then contract back to a single atom and Kaboom another Big Bang and another chance for life. And so the cycle goes for eternity.

    You could have been here before a trillion years ago.

    But then how did it all get started? Fuck it I give up!

  7. Buddha:

    I know for certain that while NeoCons may claim to be objectivists, objectivists reject neoconservative thought. Objectivists are mostly atheists or deists at best and they are actually very close to your(pl) thoughts on individual freedom. They believe in Gay Marriage, and legalization of drugs, they think we should have more liberal immigration laws (something I personaly am against), they are pro-abortion and think that people ought to be able to sell a kidney or a lung or part of a liver. I think were they digress is the economy, they are strong believers in the free market and think what has failed is the mixed economy due to regulations and the Federal Reserve’s control of the money supply and interest rates.

    On another topic, I read an article in Vanity Fair by Sebastian Junger (I have no idea who he is) about the fighting in Afghanistan. To all who are old enough to remember it sounds earily familiar to the Vietnam War. I dont know if Junger ment to do this, the article was pretty pro-troops, but the overall feel was Vietnam. After I read the article I was pretty upset.
    here is the link:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/10/afghanistan200810

  8. mespo and Bron,

    I see your Hawking and Wheeler and raise you a Robert Caldwell.

    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/big_rip_030306.html

    But that’s just the universe of this membrane. Life will go on elsewhere. VERY elsewhere. There are more universes than this one. I’m not sure we want to get in to m-Theory though. That water is deep and way off topic.

  9. Bron,

    I think you may be missing the whole analogy.

    Individual cells require the freedom to perform the tasks they evolved for – their purpose. Every cell has a different purpose. Just like a cell, every person has a purpose. The body politic, like the human body, is not just a totality of independent cells, but a series of interdependent sub-systems made up of many cells. Can a heart survive if the kidneys get cancer? No. Are the blood cells that leave your body through a cut alive or dead once they leave the body proper? They are dead. The body politic and the citizen cells serve each other. Far from being tyranny, it’s symbiosis. More than that, it’s a dependent symbiosis, not a parasitic symbiosis. The respiratory system cannot survive without a circulatory system which cannot survive without a nervous system which cannot survive without an endocrine system, etc. As far as the trolls go, I’m less cancer and more like an anti-body. I seek restoration of the balance that allows the whole body to survive where those in question will kill the body to fuel their uncontrolled growth. In their shortsightedness, the cancer will be killing themselves too because a tumor cannot survive absent a host. You are correct the trollkind would have be out of their way if they had their druthers. I am counter to their growth and metastasis. I seek to undo the damage and reverse their uncontrolled spread before systemic failure sets in, but I’d rather be hanging out in the circulatory system with little to do or at least a less serious infection or malfunction to be attacking.

    Individual freedom must be maintained up to the point that it threatens the survival of the whole. That’s just common sense. The behavior under discussion is an extreme (greed/lust for power) that puts the whole organism, themselves included, at great risk of failure. The way to cure this cancer is to remove those malfunctioning cells from the body. In this case, excising the tumor means removing them from the body politic (removing their right to participate) and reclaiming the resources they’ve co-opted for their own uncontrolled expansion in an effort to make the body healthy again. Whole.

    To carry the analogy further, cancer cells are just like normal cells. Except for one thing. They have no shut off for growth. Those genes are damaged. In the case of Neocons, it’s their thinking that’s damaged (the gene) and it has negatively impacted their behavior (uncontrolled growth).

    This is where you come in.

    Say conservatism is our body politic is the medulla oblongata. It’s a very conservative system and it has to be as it controls respiration and other automatic functions like vomiting, blood pressure and reflexes. True conservatives are like a normal neuron in the medulla oblongata. They provide a valuable service to the whole. But neocons, who are mostly Rand worshipers when it comes down to it, are like a brain tumor interfering with that proper function. Their uncontrolled growth is threatening the viability of the whole organism. The trick is to remove the cancerous cells while damaging as few of the properly functioning cells as possible. That is also why traditional conservative feel like they are under fire. The immune system is swarming the area and it’s stressing all the conservative tissues because telling the good from the bad can be an imperfect process.

    You and fellow true conservatives like FFLEO are the healthy cells. You perform your function and recognize that the other systems have to be free to perform their functions or the body dies and you’re out of a job and place to live. You provide value to the whole but you recognize that other do too and that you are dependent upon them just as much as they are dependent upon you. Neocons don’t care if the body dies as long as they get to grow – just like cancer.

    You can see this in action now as the GOP is self-destructing. The cancer is starting to interfere with your original function as conservatives. If the GOP/Conservatives are medulla oblongata, the normal cells are feeling the negative effects of this uncontrolled but closely related cell type – the neocon. The reflexes are starting to fail and BP is soaring. The question is can we remove the cancerous cells before respiration is impacted or it metastasizes, spreading to other critical systems. I think it’s already spreading to be honest. If those who run banking are bone marrow and finance is the blood, surely what is happening now is akin to the neocon cancer spreading to infect bone marrow. Some of the cancer may be forced into remission, but some of it is going to have to come out surgically. That’s where putting Bush Co. and bad corporate actors like the boards of Halliburton, BoA and AIG in prison and stripping them of their assets comes into play. And just like cancer, the removal process may be painful and it may make us sick in the short term. It may even be drastic. For the sake of the body as a whole though, it’s got to go for equilibrium and eventually health to be restored. Part of that health is a healthy and properly function medulla oblongata free from the interference of the unhealthy doppleganger neurons currently in their midst. As an anti-body, I don’t want to destroy the healthy cells. That’s not my job. I like healthy, be it the conservative cells of the medulla oblongata or the liberal cells of the pre-frontal lobes. All are required for the whole body to be healthy.

    This is also why I say our next step in evolution has to be a conscious step away from the competitive modes of behavior and adopting a more co-operative mode. The cancer is a mode of behavior, a thought process brought into action, that is the toxic carcinogen. We have to destroy some the offending tissues. That’s surgery. But making the conscious decision to change? That is chemotherapy.

    I hope this clarifies the original analogy for you.

  10. I wonder why religious debate is always so vitriolic. Is it the topic or the people?

  11. How did our oil get under the Middle East sand? These creationist people would love to have a Taliban style religous government making all the important decisions based and the Word of the Truth. Then we could have Rick “man on dog” Santorum in the Senate or maybe in the White House and all of our problems would be solved, because God will provide all the answers.

  12. Mespo:

    is that bubble or babble? I used to work with a buy we called babbleon Bob because he could not stop talking. No he was not a Mesopotamian

  13. Mespo:

    the north pole!

    I like the periodicity theory of the universe, it keeps expanding and contracting. Big Bang then big crunch then big bang into eternity. And that the universe is without end or beginning. And that it took many iterations for life to come forth.

    I see your Stephen Hawking and raise you a John Archibald Wheeler.

  14. Buddha:

    Yes I saw it and I did laugh. It was pretty good satire.

    Also I have thought about your cancer analogy. Can we look at society as a body and individuals as cells within that body? I think that if we do we are going down a path that leads to the exact tyranny that you and other members on this blog fight against. A society is made up of individuals and a free society encourages individual expression. If we look at society as the body and individuals as merely expendable cells, the cancer is whatever the body politic says it is at any given point in its evolution. So in one incarnation they may not like little green laughing men and in another they might not like blond haired jewish guys from New York City, or blue eyed conservatives from Virginia or fans of Cicero or Epicurus.

    The human races entire history is one of rebellion against the state in some form or another. The US has come closest to truly believing in individual freedom and the supremecy of the individual over the state. So I think if you start calling one philosophy or another a cancer that needs to be cut out you are going to end up giving too much power to the state, which is all about power for the sake of power anyway. Even the French Revolution was controlled by a small group of men and France has had how many governments since 1799? While the US has remained fairly stable.

    Individual liberty and not the body politic should be the supreme ruler of any society. The good of the one is the good of the many (to paraphrase Mr. Spok). Granted we may need to throw the rascals out from time to time but that is what we have elections for. That people are to stupid or apathetic to do this does not I think give someone carte blanche to cut the cancer out and anyway who determines what is or is not cancer? Many of you on this website would think a conservative like me is a cancer and I know from reading other posts from the trolls that you(pl) most assuradely, in their minds, are a cancer that they would cut out. So in the end individual freedom is the only bastion against the power of the state and should be protected.

    I usually say a silent thank you to the founders at least once a month for my ability to live in a country such as this, it may not be perfect but it sure beats whatever is in second place by one hell of a lot.

    ps How would it be to live in a country where you could not express yourself freely? Buddha, I may not know you personally but I know one thing, you would be an enemy of the state. No doubt in my mind they would consider you a cancer. You would have a printing press hidden away in your basement or a secret internet hook-up – Radio Free Buddha fighting the good fight against the power of the state.

  15. Clint:

    “Everything that has a beginning has a cause–so what is the cause of all things?’

    *********

    Let’s call it “God.” Now what caused him?

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