I love the interwebz.

Youre just playing Google Goonies, searching for treasure in the internetz sewer tubes, and you find the neatest stuff. Like yesterday, I was Googling ‘Paul Wesselhoft’, cause he was one of the twats behind OKs ‘Academic Freedom’ bill, and he hates puppies, and I found this neat blog post by PastorDude:

Oklahoma University is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of OUR tax money celebrating Darwin Day and forcing godless evolution onto the students. For example, they are paying Richard Dawkins, the world’s leading atheist, $30,000 for a one hour lecture!

LOL! God these people are IDiots! I know how much Dawkins got paid, and it wasnt $30,000, but lets pretend it was. Lets see, the state of Oklahoma only contributes, what, about 14-15%% of OUs budget (the rest comes from sports, insurance companies/clinics, tuition, research grants, private funds/endowments/stocks/land, etc)? If Dawkins ‘got paid’ $30,000, 15% of that is $4,500. So the taxpayers ‘spent’ $4,500. But Dawkins gave $5,000 to the state of Oklahoma via OESE. So technically, the taxpayers of Oklahoma *made* $500, if Dawkins got paid $30,000. And he didnt. So the taxpayers actually made… almost $5,000 from Dawkins visiting, and thats ignoring the money we made from sales tax from all the people who drove in from TX, KS, and AR, and ignoring that OU didnt pay for Dawkins visit.

LOL! Creationists no gud at teh mathz. But you keep reaching for that rainbow, Norbert!

The Arguments Regarding Design flow from this post like manna from the heavens:

Some of these events will have eternal consequences. As a former biology professor, I saw countless young Christian students lose their faith and stop attending church and reading the Bible as they became indoctrinated with godless evolution dogma. For lost science students it is even worse. Evolution erects barriers blocking ALL roads to the Cross…barriers that can ONLY be dismantled by careful reason.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Let me add that we already know OU will be a VERY hostile environment. Last year we had the world’s leading Intelligent Design advocate, Bill Dembski attend and lecture. He said he has been to hundreds of university campuses around the world and he had never been treated so harshly as he was at OU.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I will also attach a report from Oklahoma University in response to the bill we helped write to protect teachers in our public schools in Oklahoma who want to discuss controversial issues in class. The bill does NOT mention creation or intelligent design, but Vic seemed not to understand…if he actually read the proposed bill. Oh, Tuesday night I met the Oklahoma Senator that introduced the bill…he is a good Christian man and said, “We must be doing something right to get so much response from the evolutionists.” I agree. Judy is Representative Paul Wesselhoft’s wife and a dear friend of mine. Yes, she has heard my Scientific Evidence of Creation lecture. She is also a member of our OBSE board of directors.

So, the guys who keep introducing the Academic Freedom bills in Oklahoma are Paul Wesselhoft and Randy Brogdon. They, evidently, not only regularly consults with pastors like Norbert here, who think evilution is a road to eternal damnation, when writing bills on ‘Academic Freedom’, but actively let them ‘help write’ these bills (huh, I figured they were just copy/pastes of Discovery Institute memos). Norbert just Twittered “Holy Cow! 1st time I’ve been called by a Senator who was on the Senate Floor just now! Calling about my blog. Can’t wait to preach tonight!”. Neato. Randy Brogdon thinks going against the entire scientific community is ‘doing something right’. Wesselhofts wife is on the board of Oklahomans for More Gooder Science, and finds Creationist Claims about evilution persuasive. All they need to do now is to take a little field-trip to Turkey to figure out how they can finally turn their religious fascism into science.

Remember folks, its all about leading people to The Cross.

All science so far!!

HURRRR!

“It befuddles me,” Senator Brogdon says. “It’s amazing that people who believe in human secularism don’t want to have an open discussion…. My gosh, what kind of system do we have if we only teach one set of information, one piece of the puzzle?”

My gosh, Senator! My gosh!!!!

**befuddled**

Comments

  1. #1 CV
    March 12, 2009

    What is the most effective way to counter the annoying “teach both sides argument” from the creationist lot? Is it just saying that there ID Creationism is not science? Suggestions – I live in AZ and we have a lot of crazies.

  2. #2 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 12, 2009

    I’m not sure your math is so great. The money that’s going to OESE is still going to a partisan organization. Thus, no matter how you slice it, some tax money is going to something with a partisan interest. The more serious issue is: would they complain if a university pay Dembski to speak? Almost certainly not. Universities paying people to speak is a perfectly reasonable use of the money that goes to them.

  3. #3 Raynfala
    March 12, 2009

    I never cease to be amazed by the level of disconnect from reality that these people have. The quote “We must be doing something right to get so much response from the evolutionists.” just captures so much. It says:

    * that evolution is, somehow, a religion (despite a lack of deities, rituals, dogma, clergy, etc. etc. etc.)
    * that finding resonance with the evidence for evolution somehow instantly DQ’s you from being a Christian.
    * that taking actions that are so reactionary that they cannot be ignored is somehow an indication that you are doing something right. (Reductio ad absurdum: the attacks of 9/11 should then be considered a valid action, as it got so much response from the United States)

    *sigh*

  4. #4 ERV
    March 12, 2009

    Josh– Im being silly, because his bitching is silly :P Every department of every university in the US has a budget (‘tax payers money’!!1!onesz!!) for bringing in visiting professors/researchers as speakers. We usually have ~a dozen a semester. While all of these speakers research involves evilution, IDiots dont care about them because they dont recognize the names of non-celebrity scientists.

    And, at least at my Uni, researchers bring in funding at about the same % as tax payers contribute. If Creationists REALLY want to baaaaaaaaaaaw about contributing a collective $20 to bring Dawkins to town for a free lecture open to the public, they can ‘take’ it from the researchers side of pooled money…. assuming OU contributed anything to bringing Dawkins to campus.

  5. #5 Jim
    March 12, 2009

    CV:
    The argument against ID is very simple. Scientific theories are only accepted if there is experimental evidence to support them. There has never been any experiment (not a single one) that supports ID. So ID is simply not science.

    The argument against creationism is even stronger scientifically, but unfortunately is socially sensitive. Biblical creationism has been tested experimentally, and the experiments prove it is false. The scientific evidence directly contradicts a 6 day creation, it directly contradicts Noah’s flood, and it directly contradicts creation of species ex nihilo. The trouble with saying the truth straight out in a science classroom is the anger it would provoke from the religious conservatives.

    So the compromise most scientists and teachers use is to just not mention biblical creationism, and let the students figure out the implications of evolution on their own. Most scientists are trying to be sensitive to the religious beliefs of their students by not being confrontational.

    The purpose of ‘academic freedom’ bills is to provoke this confrontation, hoping that the anger of the faithful will overcome the evidence of science. Creationists want to frame the issue as ‘choose god or science’ before students have a complete education in science and without allowing students to learn the options to this false dichotomy.

  6. #6 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 12, 2009

    Some of these events will have eternal consequences. As a former biology professor, I saw countless young Christian students lose their faith and stop attending church and reading the Bible as they became indoctrinated with godless evolution dogma. For lost science students it is even worse. Evolution erects barriers blocking ALL roads to the Cross…barriers that can ONLY be dismantled by careful reason.

    He shoots, We score!

  7. #7 cicely
    March 12, 2009

    I had Anatomy and Physiology under Dr. Smith, at Tahlequah. At least, I assume it was the same Dr. Smith; “Norbert” is a kinda unusual name, I doubt there are two of them….

  8. #8 Blake Stacey
    March 12, 2009

    CV:

    What is the most effective way to counter the annoying “teach both sides argument” from the creationist lot?

    This is where some people bring out the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Or, as Roy Zimmerman put it, “Teach the Norse Odin myth. Teach the Karmic wheel, and teach the Scientology version which says that the world was created on a bet between God and L. Ron Hubbard.”

  9. #9 Pierce R. Butler
    March 12, 2009

    Joshua Zelinksy @ # 2 – please look up the meaning of “partisan”, then tell us why you think OESE is a partisan organization, and which party you believe it belongs to.

    Bring evidence.

  10. #10 Ritchie Annand
    March 12, 2009

    barriers that can ONLY be dismantled by careful reason

    I did not know that the antonym of ‘reason’ was ‘careful reason’; I learned something today.

  11. #11 Pierce R. Butler
    March 12, 2009

    CV @ # 1: What is the most effective way to counter the annoying “teach both sides argument” from the creationist lot?

    Hammer a little more on the “ID creationism is not science” riff: they ain’t got no testable hypotheses, no working model, not even any measurable phenomena, nothing but a (bad) PR machine.

    Mention how they’re just an attempt to shove a minority religious opinion into publicly-funded science classrooms, as shown by the Kitzmiller decision from Dover, previous US Supreme Court cases, Barbara Forrest’s history books, their own “Wedge” document, etc.

    Ask if your dialog partner supports “teach the controversy” regarding communism, gay rights, atheism, sexual activity, or other genuinely hot-button issues; or regarding settled debates such as flat-earthism, racial differences in intelligence & morals, the four-elements model of matter, germ theory of disease, astrology, etc.

    Remind your opponent(s) that there isn’t enough time in a class year to cover solid, unchallenged science necessary for students’ future college acceptance, jobs, etc, and that all they’ll get from learning creationist talking points is negative evaluations from interviewers everywhere they go (outside televangelists’ “universities” & other career black holes).

  12. #12 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 12, 2009

    Bigdumbchimp, but remember ID has nothing to do with Christianity. Nope. No sir. No connection at all.

  13. #13 Prometheus
    March 12, 2009

    “Let me add that we already know OU will be a VERY hostile environment.”

    wut?

    Those people just refuse to gobble up my nonsensical garbage and applaud my efforts to brain rape all the children in the state. How hostile. Humpf!

    *craps in a library book*

    Why can’t they be civil!

    *explains hell to a toddler*

  14. #14 vhutchison
    March 12, 2009

    OESE partisan? As founder and former President I can assure you that the OESE Board of Governors consists of members that include Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. In additon there are ordained ministers, agnostics, atheists, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, etc. on the Board, a broad umbrella of members representing many views. However, all members are strong supporters of evolution and dedicated opponents of creationist attempts to place unconstitutional material into public school science classes.

    OESE does more than oppose unreasonable legislation
    that harms science education, such as workshops for science teachers, provision of speakers to give talks, etc. Check the website: http://www.oklascience.org

  15. #15 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 12, 2009

    Pierce, partisan doesn’t need to refer to supporting a specific “party” but can also refer to supporting a specific group or even a cause. In this case, the OESE is clearly partisan in that they support specific elements in science curricula. If you prefer, you can think of them as partisan supporters of sanity. But that doesn’t make them less partisan. They are a partisan, advocacy group.

    CV,
    Simple. There’s isn’t any controversy. No substantial fraction of biologists have an problem with evolution. It is akin for geocentrists, or hollow-earthers, or flat-earthers to have their views taught. Moreover, if there were any substantial debate it isn’t appropriate to resolve it in the high schools. The way to resolve it is through peer reviewed literature. Indeed, the fact that one of the witnesses in the Dover trial had to argue that ID deserved “affirmative action” by being taught in schools because scientists weren’t paying any attention shows how vacuous it is. (This last argument works very well at persuading conservatives who really dislike affirmative action). But the most serious issue is that there is no real controversy. One can’t hammer that home enough.

  16. #16 ERV
    March 12, 2009

    Whats the deal with this, Vic?

    Weve got a Creationist, unprovoked and in his own words, saying that evolution cant be taught because it blocks the road to Christ, and that he helped write the Academic Freedom bill at the request of several state senators, and that these State Senators equate Creationist Claims with science.

    I saved his page, should Norbert take it down, but is this useful to you all at all, legally? Or is if just good for some sad laughs?

  17. #17 Chayanov
    March 12, 2009

    What is the most effective way to counter the annoying “teach both sides argument” from the creationist lot? Is it just saying that there ID Creationism is not science? Suggestions – I live in AZ and we have a lot of crazies.

    Suggest other areas where “both sides” could be taught, where one side has as much evidence supporting it as ID does:

    The stork theory of human reproduction
    Holocaust denial
    The geocentric model of the solar system
    Illness is caused by demonic possession
    Intelligent falling

    The list goes on…

  18. #18 Prometheus
    March 12, 2009

    “Pierce, partisan doesn’t need to refer to supporting a specific “party” but can also refer to supporting a specific group or even a cause.”

    Yes it does.

    You don’t get to redefine a common usage of a word because you made a poor choice.

    1. A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.
    2. A member of an organized body of fighters who attack or harass an enemy, especially within occupied territory; a guerrilla.

  19. #19 pdiff
    March 12, 2009

    CV: What is the most effective way to counter the annoying “teach both sides argument” from the creationist lot?

    It may depend on the audience you are aiming at. If they are halfway intelligent and simply ignorant or unaware of the facts, evidence, etc, then the “ID is not true science, not testable, has no tested hypotheses, etc” approach can be useful. Certainly worked in the Dover courtroom.

    On the other hand, you may be faced with Creotons that refuse to even consider science, evidence, etc, no matter what you throw at them. Arguments about testability, hypotheses, and true science will go completely over their heads. It is beyond their frame of rationalization. This is often, unfortunately, the case with school board members (e.g. Dover) or legislators (e.g. OK, TX, FL, …). In such cases the Nordic gods, FSM, anything not Xtian, but still “religious” type arguments are a good line of attack. These people can usually quickly grasp the concept (and catch-22) that their proposed laws are too broad and will allow anything to be taught, yet if they try to make it specific to their flavor of Christianity, they’ll hit the legal road blocks. This worked well in KS, from which, I believe, the FSM movement was born.

    I hadn’t thought of the Scientology example mentioned above, but I like that. It is much more real and scary to these folks and already has a popular image as a “cult”, yet is practiced by several high profile celebrities. It even sounds like, shudder, science! Geez, who would have ever thought Scientology would be good for something.

    Pdiff

  20. #20 Prometheus
    March 12, 2009

    “I saved his page, should Norbert take it down, but is this useful to you all at all, legally? Or is if just good for some sad laughs?”

    If the legislation passes a test case will undoubtedly involve the intent of the authors to circumvent the separation clause and the Jones opinion in Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area will undoubtedly be the testing mechanism.

    It will be useful to save it because there will be a flurry of covering tracks but creationists are usually too dumb to work the Wayback Machine. I have noticed lately how lousy the “God Warrior” lawyers are at electronic discovery.

  21. #21 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 12, 2009

    Prometheus, you seemed to use the definition for the noun form rather than the adjective form. Take what you just said and apply it as an adjective: To be a proponent of a “proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.” “cause” and “idea” both fit in this context.

    Vhutchinson, see above. I didn’t claim that OESE was partisan in the sense of supporting any particular political party (obviously it isn’t) or any particular religion(again, obviously it isn’t). And certainly the OESE does have activity that isn’t strictly about advocacy related to legislation. That doesn’t mean the organization isn’t partisan.

    (I’m wondering if part of the reason for the reaction here is a perceived negative connotation to the word “partisan.”)

  22. #22 Wes
    March 12, 2009

    Blatantly sectarian statements made by the Dover area school board members (such as “2000 years ago, someone died on a cross for us.”) were used as evidence to show a religious intent in the trial, if I remember correctly.

    If this doofus Norbert was actually involved in writing the bill, his statements might count as evidence. But I’m not a lawyer, so someone better versed in court procedures would know better than I.

    Regardless, even if it isn’t enough to be brought before a court, it’s certainly enough to show the real intent behind these Orwellian “Academic freedom” bills. As Norbert makes clear, it’s not about academic freedom. It’s about promoting Christianity.

  23. #23 Prometheus
    March 12, 2009

    (I’m wondering if part of the reason for the reaction here is a perceived negative connotation to the word “partisan.”)

    Yes. Because it is loaded word. The expression has it’s most frequent application in a purely political context. Describing OESE as partisan could cause your reader to infer that their positions are aesthetically based and statements rhetorical, as is the case with most political entities. They are not a lobbying organization in the traditional sense but already bear the onus of being perceived that way.

    I would prefer we not create any additional hurdles for them

  24. #24 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 12, 2009

    Wes, one of the central tests for whether a government action violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause if the Lemon test which has three prongs: 1) The action must have a secular legislative purpose. 2) The action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion. 3) The government’s action must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion.

    This sort of issue goes to both the first and the second prong. However, the current Court isn’t very sympathetic to the Lemon Test as it currently stands so we may have a different standard soon.

  25. #25 The Backpacker
    March 12, 2009

    CV @1

    I agree with pdiff, there are a lot of people who are otherwise smart but have just bought into the ID propaganda and you can work with that. A useful tactic with them is to point out that evolution is an observable fact. We know it happens we have watched it happen. It is natural selection that explains it and then you can walk down the very long road of genetics and inheritance and population isolation and yeah. If they are the real cool-aid drinking god bots then you might as well point, laugh and move on, your time can be better spent on any number of things. Find a dog that needs a good belly scratch or something.

  26. #26 rditmars
    March 12, 2009
  27. #27 vhutchison
    March 12, 2009

    ERV: Yes, Norbert Smith’s post may be useful, if only to show that the bill was written in part by a creationist outside the Legislature – the creationist DI does this all the time for legislatures in several states. I expect that Smith’s post has little ‘legal’ value, but sometimes such things can turn out to be useful, e.g., items entered in the Kitzmiller trial. It is good, however, for a good hoot laugh.

    On the use of ‘partisan’: Yes, Joshua is correct about the several applications of the word and OESE is partisan in one sense and without apology! OESE promotes good science. In the current dust-up over the resolutions in the OK House, perhaps I mistakenly assumed that partisan was meant in the purely political sense. In Oklahoma the Republicans are almost always in total lockstep for creationist inspired bills, joined by some DINO’s (Democrats In Name Only), trolling for the perceived numerous votes of fundamentalists in their districts.

    We have been told by legislators many times that they agree with our opposition to creationist bills, but if they voted against them they would lose the next election – and they could be correct in this reddest of states. However, they also could be wrong, since the loud clamor of the religious right may overly emphasize their numbers. We do have legislators that are strong supporters of evolution, mostly all Democrats that are now outnumbered in both houses of the legislature for the first time in the history of Oklahoma.

  28. #28 Sean McCorkle
    March 12, 2009

    Pierce, partisan doesn’t need to refer to supporting a specific “party” but can also refer to supporting a specific group or even a cause. In this case, the OESE is clearly partisan in that they support specific elements in science curricula. If you prefer, you can think of them as partisan supporters of sanity. But that doesn’t make them less partisan. They are a partisan, advocacy group.

    Um, if so, then are any of the activities which normally take place at a university not partisan? I’m hard pressed to think of any class where the instructor doesn’t teach what they think is the correct perpesective on a subject. i.e., how many astronomy instructors present geocentrism as the correct theory? Is a math teacher partisan when he marks 5 as the wrong answer for 4 + 4 = ?

  29. #29 Pierce R. Butler
    March 12, 2009

    Joshua, your “definition” of partisan is so broad as to render the term almost meaningless (“taking a side on any question”?). As noted above, it’s particularly malapropos in the context of controversy within a state legislature.

    You could make a case that our hostess was a bit sloppy in saying, “… Dawkins gave $5,000 to the state of Oklahoma via OESE.” I mentally stumbled a little there in mis-reading that as a claim that he gave $5K to “the State of Okla” (that is, the entity unto which erv & neighbors render their taxes), rather than there being 50 more Benjamins than before now taking up residence between Texas & Kansas.

    Even before having been introduced to the thought processes of Rep. Thomsen, I would have felt that money in the hands of OESE would do more for the citizens of the state than equivalent funds disbursed by said citizens’ elected leaders. Arguably, the only better gift Dawkins could have made to Sooners in general would have been a truly partisan one, to any sane and intelligent challenger seeking Thomsen’s seat. (A donation not legally within the scope of the Dawkins Foundation, of course.)

  30. #30 Anton Mates
    March 12, 2009

    Pierce, partisan doesn’t need to refer to supporting a specific “party” but can also refer to supporting a specific group or even a cause.

    By that definition, though, all of Oklahoma’s tax money goes to partisan interests. Some of it presumably pays the salaries of Reps. Thomsen and Wesselhoft, for instance.

  31. #31 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 12, 2009

    Partisan may not have been the best word in this case. It might be more accurate to use advocacy rather than partisan.

  32. #32 William Wallace
    March 13, 2009

    Yes it does.

    You don’t get to redefine a common usage of a word because you made a poor choice.

    MW:

    partisan:
    1 : a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance
    2 a : a member of a body of detached light troops making forays and harassing an enemy b : a member of a guerrilla band operating within enemy lines
    synonyms see FOLLOWER

    No redefining.

  33. #33 Prometheus
    March 13, 2009

    Joshua Zelinsky

    “It might be more accurate to use advocacy rather than partisan.”

    Works for me. Organizations that self identify as partisan, call entities like OESE ideological unions or ideological advocacy groups. Bureaucratic culture has its own strange taxonomy and shorthand and since I spend a ridiculous amount of time swimming in those waters I can be a bit of a dick about semantics. Sorry.

  34. #34 Rich
    March 13, 2009

    oh you plageristerizer! “All science so far!” is of course a meme born from Dave “DaveTard” Scott’s review of Behe’s epically shite book.

  35. #35 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    March 15, 2009

    “We must be doing something right to get so much response from the evolutionists.”

    I’ve always loved this argument. “We must be smart, because they are always pointing out how stupid we are.”

  36. #36 phantomreader42
    March 18, 2009

    CV @ #1:

    What is the most effective way to counter the annoying “teach both sides argument” from the creationist lot?

    Try pointing them to this very case. Richard Dawkins did a lecture on evolution at OU at no charge. What was the cdesign proponensists response? They made no effort to “teach both sides”. They made no effort to demonstrate their supposed “theory of intelligent design”. No, they attacked Dawkins on religious grounds, LIED about how much he was paid, and went whining to the legislature demanding he be censored. The Dishonesty Institute TALKS about teaching both sides, but they don’t mean it. They are frauds. They want their side, and only their side taught. And, as mentioned above, “their side” has no evidence, no attempt at an experiment, not even a wild guess at an explanation beyond GODDESIGNERDIDIT. “Their side” is as credible as astrology, phrenology, alchemy, Holocaust denial, geocentrism, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. “Their side” has nothing but bullshit religious apologetics and baseless attacks on evolution.

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