Science Marches On . . . Even In Texas

Charles Darwin

Submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

Last Thursday, July 21, the Texas Board of Education in an 8-0 unanimous vote opted to keep teaching evolution in high school biology classes using approved scientifically accurate textbook supplements from established mainstream publishers. They did not approve of the creationist-backed supplements from International Databases, LLC. Four times as many people showed up to testify in favor of the scientifically accurate texts as showed up to oppose them.

Although a creationist member of the Board objected to the supplement from textbook publisher Holt McDougal by releasing  a list of Holt’s supposed errors involving evolution and common descent, the Board responded by noting that the list had not been signed off on by the Board of Education’s review panel in full.  The Board went on to approve the Hold McDougal supplement, but submitted it for review by Commissioner of Education Robert Scott to look at the supposed errors and suggest changes to the Holt McDougal supplement.  Local educators and the National Center for Science Education are confident any of Director Scott’s revisions will show the current state of evolutionary biology.  In a statement released by the NCSE, NSCE Director Dr. Eugenie  Scott praised the Texas Board of Education, saying “These supplements reflect the overwhelming scientific consensus that evolution is the core of modern biology, and is a central and vital concept in any biology class. That these supplements were adopted unanimously reflects a long overdue change in the board. I commend the board for its refusal to politicize science education.”  This is squarely a victory in the battle to keep public education educational over the forces that would make public education into religious and/or political indoctrination.

Source: NCSE

~Submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

222 thoughts on “Science Marches On . . . Even In Texas”

  1. OS,

    You need to look at the work of Leonard Susskind. He found a solution for Hawking’s information paradox which led him to formulate the Holographic Principle. The information from objects entering a black hole isn’t destroyed. It’s encoded in the plane of the Schwarzschild radius (the event horizon).

  2. Gene H:

    yes I am aware of time dilation. I just wasnt aware that when it took place on earth it was measurable by a Timex.

  3. Gene, do not forget strings and wormholes for some mind-bending physics. I am still working on the black hole information paradox, and have been ever since I first heard of it.

  4. Roco,

    “You must interpret the hour.” Your interpretation is irrelevant to the fact that it is right twice a day. If it says 4:15 and you look at it at 4:10 actual time, the watch is still going to have a correct reading in five minutes.

  5. Roco,

    Google “spacetime”. The rate of time is affected by both the curvature of space and (relatively by) extremely high speeds.

  6. Gene H:

    a stopped watch is neither wrong nor right. It no longer functions as intended. You must interpret the hour. It is mere coincidence and not a matter of function of the watch itself.

  7. Gene H:

    “When and how often is a matter of the differential in its speed and the rate of local time.”

    That is very interesting, do rates of time change based on location? I always thought a minute was comprised of 60 seconds and had a set quantity which did not vary.

    Fascinating information.

  8. Roco,

    Two of the three states are not mutually exclusive. A broken watch can be both right and broken or it can be wrong and broken.

  9. Actually a slow clock is eventually right too. When and how often is a matter of the differential in its speed and the rate of local time. Logic is not your strong suit, kderosa.

  10. What are you talking about? What kind of evidence could it possibly be, if not scientifically derived evidence?

    Secondly, science is not “wrong.” Scientists can be wrong, their experimental design may be faulty, and/or their interpretation of the results may be wrong. But what is typically the case is that the evidence is inconclusive and the interpretation is based on an extrapolation of this inconclusive evidence which is subsequently sanctified by “consensus.”

    As I once told Gene/Buddha, I may be a stopped clock, but you are like a slow clock, and unlike a stopped clock, a slow clock is never right.

  11. Because you interpreted that as science being wrong, when you were actually describing how scientific progress is made. Your comment makes it clear that you did not realize your “evidence” was synonymous with scientific finding. As they say, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  12. You haven’t explained how my interpretation is wrong. Enlighten me with your wisdom.

  13. The “evidence” to which you refer comes from science. Newer experiments may either confirm or disprove older research. That is the way it works. Newton’s model worked well for all purposes until Einstein came along. Your ‘evidence’ is the result of scientific research working the way it is supposed to. Your argument is, no doubt unwittingly, correct. Unfortunately, your interpretation is wrong.

  14. Spin it all you want, it’s still just opinion, not science. And all the examples don’t merely show that the science was wrong and then got corrected by better evidence. The examples show that better evidence existed and was ignored, sometimes for decades, because the evidence went against the prevailing consensus. And that precisely is the problem with consensus. It has nothing to do with science. Aren’t you embarrassed? It like a mathematician not knowing how to add.

  15. The scientific consensus is not an opinion poll – it is what happens when the majority of scientist agree regarding the results of experiments and the interpretation of those results. Put another way, it is the sum total of all unfalsified hypothesis that have been vetted by repeated experiment. You like to focus on cases where it was wrong, but you ignore two important facts: Science is ultimately self-correcting and science has a far better batting average that anything else (nothing else even comes close). So continue to natter on and make up more straw men – it only demonstrates how poorly you understand science.

  16. Coyote V. Acme
    Wile E. Coyote, Plaintiff
    Acme Company, Defendant

    Opening Statement of Mr. Harold Schoff, attorney for Mr. Coyote:

    My client, Mr. Wile E. Coyote, a resident of Arizona and contiguous states, does hereby bring suit for damages against the Acme Company, manufacturer and retail distributor of assorted merchandise, incorporated in Delaware and doing business in every state, district, and territory. Mr. Coyote seeks compensation for personal injuries, loss of business income, and mental suffering causes as a direct result of the actions and/or gross negligence of said company, under Title 15 of the United States Code, Chapter 47, section 2072, subsection (a), relating to product liability.

    Mr. Coyote states that on eighty-five separate occasions he has purchased of the Acme Company (hereinafter, “Defendant”), through that company’s mail-order department, certain products which did cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper cautionary labelling. Sales slips made out to Mr. Coyote as proof of purchase are at present in the possession of the Court, marked Exhibit A. Such injuries sustained by Mr. Coyote have temporarily restricted his ability to make a living in his profession of predator. Mr. Coyote is self-employed and thus not eligible for Workmen’s Compensation.

    Mr. Coyote states that on December 13th he received of Defendant via parcel post one Acme Rocket Sled. The intention of Mr. Coyote was to use the Rocket Sled to aid him in pursuit of his prey. Upon receipt of the Rocket Sled Mr. Coyote removed it from its wooden shipping crate and, sighting his prey in the distance, activated the ignition. As Mr. Coyote gripped the handlebars, the Rocket Sled accelerated with such sudden and precipitate force as to stretch Mr. Coyote’s forelimbs to a length of fity feet. Subsequently, the rest of Mr. Coyote’s body shot forward with a violent jolt, causing severe strain to his back and neck and placing him unexpectedly astride the Rocket Sled. Disappearing over the horizon at such speed as to leave a diminishing jet trail along its path, the Rocket Sled soon brought Mr. Coyote abreast of his prey. At that moment the animal he was pursuing veered sharply to the right. Mr. Coyote vigorously attempted to follow this maneuver but was unable to, due to poorly designed steering on the Rocket Sled and a faulty or nonexistent braking system. Shortly thereafter, the unchecked progress of the Rocket Sled brought it and Mr. Coyote into collision with the side of a mesa.

    Paragraph One of the Report of Attending Physician (Exhibit B), prepared by Dr. Ernest Grosscup, M.D., D.O., details the multiple fractures, contusions, and tissue damage suffered by Mr. Coyote as a result of this collision. Repair of the injuries required a full bandage around the head (excluding the ears), a neck brace, and full or partial casts of all four legs.

    Hampered by these injuries, Mr. Coyote was nevertheless obliged to support himself. With this in mind, he purchased of Defendant as an aid to mobility one pair of Acme Rocket Skates. When he attempted to use this product, however, he became involved in an accident remarkably similar to that which occurred with the Rocket Sled. Again, Defendant sold over the counter, without caveat, a product which attached powerful jet engines (in this case, two) to inadequate vehicles, with little or no provision for passenger safety. Encumbered by his heavy casts, Mr. Coyote lost control of the Rocket Skates soon after strapping them on, and collided with a roadside billboard to violently as to leave a hole in the shape of his full silhouette.

    Mr. Coyote states that on occasions too numerous to list in this document he has suffered mishaps with explosives purchased of Defendant: the Acme “Little Giant” Firecracker, the Acme Self-Guided Aerial Bomb, etc. (For a full listing, see the Acme Mail Order Explosives Catalogue and attached deposition, entered in evidence as Exhibit C.) Indeed, it is safe to say that not once has an explosive purchased of Defendant by Mr. Coyote performed in an expected manner. To cite just one example: At the expense of much time and personal effort, Mr. Coyote constructed around the outer rim of a butte a wooden trough beginning at the top of the butte and spiralling downward around it to some few feet above a black X painted on the desert floor. The trough was designed in such a way that a spherical explosive of the type sold by Defendant would roll easily and swiftly down to the point of detonation indicated by the X. Mr. Coyote placed a generous pile of birdseed directly on the X, and then, carrying the spherical Acme Bomb (Catalog #78-832), climbed to the top of the butte. Mr. Coyote’s prey, seeing the birdseed, approached, and Mr. Coyote proceeded to light the fuse. In an instant, the fuse burned down to the stem, causing the bomb to detonate.

    In addition to reducing all Mr. Coyote’s careful preparations to naught, the premature detonation of Defendant’s product resulted in the following disfigurements to Mr. Coyote:

    1 Severe singeing of the hair on the head, neck, and muzzle.
    2 Sooty discoloration.
    3 Fracture of the left ear at the stem, causing the ear to dangle in the aftershock with a creaking noise.
    4 Full or partial combustion of whiskers, producing kinking, frazzling, and ashy disintegration.
    5 Radical widening of the eyes, due to brow and lid charring.

    We now come to the Acme Spring-Powered Shoes. The remains of a pair of these purchased by Mr. Coyote on June 23rd are Plaintiff’s Exhibit D. Selected fragments have been shipped to the metallurgical laboratories of the University of California at Santa Barbara for analysis, but to date no explanation has been found for this product’s sudden and extreme malfunciton. As advertised by Defendant, this product is simplicity itself: two wood-and-metal sandals, each attached to milled-steel springs of high tensile strength and compressed in a tightly coiled position by a cocking device with a lanyard release. Mr. Coyote believed that this product would enable him to pounce upon his prey in the initial moments of his chase, when swift reflexes are at a premium.

    To increase the shoes’ thrusting power still further, Mr. Coyote affixed them by their bottoms to the side of a large boulder. Adjacent to the boulder was a path which Mr. Coyote’s prey was known to frequent. Mr. Coyote put his hind feet in the woon-and-metal sandals and crouched in readiness, his right forepaw holding firmly to the lanyard release. Within a short time Mr. Coyote’s prey did indeed appear on the path coming toward him. Unsuspecting, the prey stopped near Mr. Coyote, well within range of the springs at full extension. Mr. Coyote gauged the distance with care and proceeded to pull the lanyard release.

    At this point, Defendant’s product should have thrust Mr. Coyote forward and away from the boulder. Instead, for reasons yet unknown, the Acme Spring-Powered Shoes thrust the boulder away from Mr. Coyote. As the intended prey looked on unharmed, Mr. Coyote hung suspended in air. Then the twin springs recoiled, bringing Mr. Coyote to a violent feet-first collision with the boulder, the full weight of his head of forequarters falling upon his lower extremities.

    The force of this impact then caused the springs to rebound, whereupon Mr. Coyote was thrust skyward. A second recoil and collision followed. The boulder, meanwhile, which was roughtly ovoid in shape, had begun to bounce down a hillside, the coiling and recoiling of the springs adding to its velocity. At each bounce, Mr. Coyote came into contact with the boulder, or the boulder came into contact with Mr. Coyote, or both came into contact with the ground. As the grade was a long one, this process continued for some time.

    The sequence of collisions resulted in systemic physical damage to Mr. Coyote, viz., flattening of the cranium, sideways displacement of the tongue, reduction of length of legs and upper body, and compression of vertebrae from base of tail to head. Repetition of blows along a vertical axis produced a series of regular horizontal folds in Mr. Coyote’s body tissues—a rare and painful condition which caused Mr. Coyote to expand upward and contract downward alternately as he walked, and to emit an off-key, accordionlike wheezing with every step. The distracting and embarassing nature of this symptom has been a major impediment to Mr. Coyote’s pursuit of a normal social life.

    As the Court is no doubt aware, Defendant has a virtual monopoly of manufacture and sale of goods required by Mr. Coyote’s work. It is our contention that Defendant has used its market advantage to the detriment of the consumer of such specialized products as itching powder, giant kites, Burmese tiger traps, anvils, and two-hundred-foot-long rubber bands. Much as he has come to mistrust Defendant’s products, Mr. Coyote has no other domestic source of supply to which to turn. One can only wonder what our trading partners in Western Europe and Japan would make of such a situation, where a giant company is allowed to victimize the comsumer in the most reckless and wrongful manner over and over again.

    Mr. Coyote respectfully requests that the Court regard these larger economic implications and assess punitive damages in the amount of seventeen million dollars. In addition, Mr. Coyote seeks actual damages (missed meals, medical expenses, days lost from professional occupation) of one million dollars; general damages (mental suffering, injury to reputation) of twenty million dollars; and attorney’s fees of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Total damages: thirty-eight million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. By awarding Mr. Coyote the full amount, this Court will censure Defendant, its directory, officers, shareholders, successors, and assigns, in the only language they understand, and reaffirm the right of the individual predator to equal protection under the law.

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