Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Archives for December, 2003

Political Corruption, continued

The LA Times continues its investigative series on politicians misusing their office with an expose` on Ted Stevens, the enormously powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and how he has become quite wealthy by starting businesses that benefit from legislation his committee passes. Among the other things they uncovered Armed with the power…

The Nature of Modern Cynicism

Having used the moniker StCynic for nearly a decade now in various places, I have often been asked what a cynic is. More often, I am simply presumed to be whatever the person asking the question presumes cynicism to be – unduly negative, hateful, unhappy, angry, etc. For myself, the best definition I have seen…

The ACLU and the NAMBLA Case

Much has been made of the fact that the Massachusetts chapter of the ACLU has taken on a case defending NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association, in a civil lawsuit arising from the kidnapping and killing of a 10 year old boy. There is no more controversial or emotionally-charged issue than this. NAMBLA is…

It has become a truism that the American people are “too cynical” about their government. We hear this repeated often, but I think the truth is quite the opposite. I think most Americans are still entirely naive about their government, even after having our trust betrayed by the government so many times. The nature of…

Science and the Media, part 1

As someone who is very involved in the fight for quality science education in the US, nothing is more frustrating than seeing how often and how flagrantly science gets distorted in the popular media. Most Americans get what little knowledge they have of science not from scientists but from journalists and TV producers. Unfortunately, much…

The Sex Police – Part

Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for finding this story: Joanne Webb, a former fifth-grade teacher and mother of three, was in a county court in Cleburne, Texas, on Monday to answer obscenity charges for selling the vibrator to undercover narcotics officers posing as a dysfunctional married couple in search of a sex aid. Glenn Reynolds is…

Teaching About Religion in Public Schools

I’ll quote just the first part of this article: Groups of students, teachers and administrators from five Oakland County school districts are taking part in the Religious Diversity Initiative – a program funded by the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan and sponsored by the Oakland County Superintendents Association, the Michigan Region of the National Conference…

I’ve long been active in the battle over the teaching of evolution in public schools. One of the arguments that we hear quite often is the “Fairness Argument”. It goes like this: There are two explanations for the existence of life on earth, either life evolved by “random chance” (evolution) or it was put here…

There is an e-mail making the rounds with a set of arguments alleging to prove that the US is a “Christian Nation.” The entire e-mail was taken directly, word for word, from this webpage: http://www.errantskeptics.org/hold_quotes_2.htm, which was in turn taken from an article in Worldnetdaily, and which is quoted verbatim on what seems like hundreds…

Continuing the theme from the last essay, we often hear this argument – “Separation of church and state isn’t in the constitution”. It’s a rather silly argument, but it’s very popular. Some people really do look at the first amendment and think, “Gee, those words really aren’t in there. I guess that settles it.” Well,…