Ongoing witch-hunt against Oklahoma scientists

Though only a handful of ERV readers are from Oklahoma, I know all of you are familiar with the handiwork of Senator Randy Brogdon.

He was the fellow who recently tried to get Creationism taught in Oklahoma public schools (FAIL).

Dude is a fucking IDiot (and just plain old idiot) who hates science:

I am also disgusted with the yearlong one-sided celebration of Darwinism that OU is sponsoring on their campus.

Disgusted? Really? Not ‘disappointed’, or ‘dismayed’, or ‘intrigued, so Im going to check it out’, but disgusted? Fantastic.

So what happens when you combine:
1. Anti-science
2. New found hatred of the US federal government
3. Xenophobia/racism
4. Infantile inability to delay immediate gratification for long-term goals

Attacks on university professors performing federally funded research!
(link— might not work, video #1 isnt embedding, and is occasionally disappearing, way to go ‘News 6’)

Video #2

Senator Borgdon is running for governor next year. Thus he is using all of his ammo, distrust of scientists, distrust of MUSLIM NEGRO OBAMA federal government, hatred of non-America, appealling to the lowest common denominator of the human psyche to ensure his otherwise unemployable breathing carcass has a job for four more years.

Dr. Cecil Lewis is trying to help Oklahoma as a community, through science. Wanna read the abstract of the grant he got funded?

Title: CAREER: Research, Education, and Capacity Building – Genomic Structure of Native Peruvian Populations

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

The CAREER project integrates next-generation molecular genetics with an aggressive education strategy to prepare students and professionals in genomics and to communicate the importance of science to the public. The research questions asked are: What is the geographic pattern of human population diversity? and, How have migrations, the environment, and culture shaped this pattern? Addressing these questions provides a foundation for numerous fields of biological and medical science including the study of natural selection, the search for disease predisposing genes, and the handling of confounding factors in disease association research that are attributed to modern genetic exchange.

The country of Peru will serve as a ideal case study: 1) to date, only one population in Peru has been studied at a genomic level; 2) Peru is ecologically diverse, with deserts, high plateaus, and the Amazon Jungle; 3) Peru has an extremely rich cultural prehistory and extensive present-day linguistic and ethnic diversity. The genomic data will be informative of sex-biased patterns of migration, the extent of genetic admixture between native and non-native peoples, and the role of geographic and linguistic barriers on patterns of human genetic diversity. The genetic data includes mitochondrial genomes and a genome-wide survey of 800 repeat motifs for 15 geographically dispersed native populations. These novel data will be integrated with previously published data providing the most extensive genomic sampling of human populations to date.

Education activities will reach a broad audience by accounting for varied levels of training in biological science. They include an annual professional development workshop for high school and community college teachers, a course and hands-on experience in genetics for undergraduate students, courses and hands-on training in genomics for graduate students, capacity building in Peru, public education using an online course, and the dissemination of the research by a project website. This project will employ one professional, full-time technician who is Hispanic, and a number of undergraduate and graduate students will participate as research interns during the duration of the research.

Dr. Lewis is helping Oklahoma by bringing hands on science experience and education to the general public, high schools and community colleges, undergrads… INSPIRING kids to go into research, bringing about the innovations of tomorrow! All while advancing our knowledge of the human genome! WIIIIIN!!!


Well, no. Apparently, educating Oklahoma residents and making scientific breakthroughs is ‘nonsense’ to our Borg Senator.

“The people of this state should be outraged to hear about this kind of nonsense going on right here in the great state of Oklahoma,” Brogdon said.

There is a poll to crash at the bottom of that article

Poll crash?

Just file this incident next to our do-nothing, anti-science legislators trying to ban scientists from the state, and make federally funded research illegal.

*high-fives the other scientists in the state*


  1. #1 Moderately Unbalanced Squid
    November 6, 2009

    At the moment, it’s at 53% yes in favor of funding the research and 45% no. Let’s get more egg on Borgdon’s face, shall we?

  2. #2 rfguy
    November 6, 2009

    Up to 59% yes now. I find it incredibly disappointing to see such anti-science sentiments, especially from politicians.


  3. #3 BeamStalk
    November 6, 2009

    Voted. I look out for the state I was born and raised in. Although our government really hurts my brain at times.

  4. #4 sbh
    November 6, 2009

    62% yes; 37% no.

  5. #5 Optimus Primate
    November 6, 2009


    Clearly, this is no one’s fault but your own. Your poor communication skills and snotty attitude left Borgdude no choice but to hate science. He’s obviously the victim here.


  6. #6 BGT
    November 6, 2009

    Voted yes. Do you think you could get a Pharyngulation started?

  7. #7 MikeMa
    November 6, 2009

    The ‘Borg’ is one scary pile of stupid. Up to 72% yes now.

  8. #8 elucifuga
    November 6, 2009

    This sort of garbage from the anti-science crowd (Kern, Brogdon, Thomsen and most [with major exception of Sen. Halligan from Stillwater] of the other repuglicans)in the legislature damages the State’s efforts to promote high tech med tech industry. This point is one of the few that makes sense to these dead heads. The economic impact of such behavior is something we need to push. As Governor Sebelius pointed out a few years ago in Kansas, the efforts of creationist members of the State School Board damaged Kansas’ efforts to recruit scientists and science-related industry.

    BTW, I know from personal experience that Ogle is a devout creationist, as is his brother on another channel. The anti-science slants are no accident.

  9. #9 Ritchie Annand
    November 6, 2009

    Though it is a lesser effect, what’s the verb equivalent of Pharyngulation for ERV?

    ERVing doesn’t quite sound right. mERV would sound like MIRV.

    ERVacuated? ERVangelized? 😉


  10. #10 Optimus Primate
    November 6, 2009


  11. #11 Brent
    November 6, 2009

    How about ‘pERVerted’?

  12. #12 Optimus Primate
    November 6, 2009

    “pERVerted” would be great…

    If it didn’t evoke strap-on bananas.

  13. #13 Sili
    November 6, 2009

    Sheesh. 650k? That wanker reeeeeaally doesn’t have any sense of proportion.

  14. #14 Ritchie Annand
    November 6, 2009

    Abbie can have (sorry, I mean haz) ‘ERViscerated’ when she grows in power. Or, maybe when a poll is totally smooshed just by her readers 🙂


  15. #15 Raul Spurlock
    November 6, 2009

    78%. SwERVed?

  16. #16 scripto
    November 6, 2009


  17. #17 Uncle Glenny
    November 6, 2009

    Is Borgdon the one who, in some senate hearing, asked Steven Chu how it was possible for oil to have gotten to northen Alaska (if it formed in more tropical climes or something like that), Chu looked at him funny and said something about plate techtonics, and then Borgdon dismissed the answer? And then bragged on Twitter (and then his web site) about how he had stumped Chu?

    Obviously, God put it there.

    I think there was another similar such incident but I can’t think of it.

  18. #18 Prometheus
    November 6, 2009

    I’ve never met him. My friend Melyn has and says he probably has a chuck in his back where they put the key to wind him up.

    Apparently he is a tiny little person.

  19. #19 Dustin
    November 6, 2009

    If it didn’t evoke strap-on bananas.

    I can think of no mental image better suited to this blog than of strap-on bananas. Especially when the commentors are up to shenanigans.

  20. #20 ERV
    November 6, 2009

    Started out at ~40% yes this morning, now we are up to 86% yes!

    Respectable crash, yall! Thank you!

    *high-fives everybody*

    Now Im going to start taking bets on whether they are going to mention the poll results on tonights news…

  21. #21 vhutchison
    November 6, 2009

    Good job folks! AND there are some good comments on the TV9
    web site as well. If you haven’t voted, please do so and consider adding a comment.

  22. #22 Drew
    November 6, 2009

    Let us know if they mention it on the news. Should be interesting to find out if and how they report it.

  23. #23 Stephen Bahl
    November 6, 2009

    87% now.

    And I like “ERViscerate.”

  24. #24 Aseem
    November 6, 2009

    Is News9 a conservative news channel? It looks like they are OPINING that money being spent on research is bad, rather than merely stating the same as news, very much like Fox News would.

  25. #25 elucifuga
    November 6, 2009

    Aseem: Like most other OKC media News9 IS quite conservative and often emphasizes such political viewpoints, but may well be more far right than the other main outlets. However, they likley view that they are serving the conservative majority of their coverage area. That, however, should not let them slant actual news items, as they often do. See comment #8, Channel 4 in OKC is not much better, since the Ogle brothers are religious YECs that often comes out.

  26. #26 a lurker
    November 6, 2009

    How about GAGed and POLed?

    Those who don’t get it, scroll back up to ERV’s blog header.

    /I know, technically misspelled but proper spelling ruins it.

  27. #27 elucifuga
    November 6, 2009

    News9 just did give the results of the poll at the 10 PM news! To their credit, they also gave a short and positive comment about the way grant funds would be spent. Also, they quoted parts of three of the comments, two approving the grant funds and one short one against.

    This example shows that the number of responses to such things do have influence. The same applies in messaages to legislators, letters to editors, etc. NUMBERS DO COUNT.

    Good show folks – or should we say ERVisceraters?

  28. #28 Hu
    November 7, 2009

    I’m happy to participate both in a pharyngulation and an ERVisceration, or even ERVersion. What an inky ERVert I am!

  29. #29 equisetum
    November 7, 2009

    Off topic, but their freaking video player managed to totally crash firefox.

  30. #30 cml
    November 7, 2009

    I would love to have seen the retraction on News9 at 10. Anyone have it recorded? I don’t see it online. Economic stimulus from a “CAREER” grant should have been a no brainer.

  31. #31 Michael Simpson
    November 8, 2009

    If Oklahoma keeps this up, good researchers and professors will head to other locations, where academic freedom is a fundamental right. Eventually, the University of Oklahoma will be know for its football team, and that’s about it.

  32. #32 TheDailyJokelahoman
    November 8, 2009

    Wow, the reporters from news 9 sound so objective in this report.

  33. #33 Karl
    November 8, 2009

    @17: That was Joe Barton. His district includes Houston. But your memory is quite accurate.

    The common factor of course is that anything that happens outside of the bible belt is inherently unreliable. After all in Perú the water goes down the drain in the opposite direction. How can you trust a place like that?

  34. #34 Karl
    November 8, 2009

    .. whose district includes Houston *county* which is in fact well north of Houston. Stupid census maps.

  35. #35 Alan C
    November 9, 2009

    For some reason (probably since I’m out of state), I haven’t heard of his investigation of the (obviously) wrongly spent $60K for the Ben Stein lecture last term. Bad money ill-spent should cross party lines, right?

  36. #36 Saddlebred
    November 10, 2009

    I’m so glad I live in Milwaukee, all our news consists of is crime, drinking related activities and Green Bay Packer updates. Not anti-science drivel.

  37. #37 Jim H.
    November 10, 2009

    Today’s SMBC seems oddly appropriate:

    “Daddy, why are we running? He looks like a normal person!”

    “He’s an evolutionist!”

  38. #38 Daniel J. Andrews
    November 11, 2009


    Just found your blog. Can’t believe I’ve missed it for this long, being a biologist and all. You’re bookmarked now.

  39. #39 Yogi
    November 13, 2009

    I linked over to your blog from “Mainstream Baptist”. I am not a scientist, (I’m one of those ignorant chemical engineers by training) and don’t understand most of your pure science posts but I found your posts concerning evolution and science education to be a breath of fresh air.
    I have lived in OK for over 20 years and love it but I totally underestimated the extent of the anti-evolution sentiment here. The fuzzy thinking that they use leads directly to all the goofball theories out there about “Obama is a secret Muslim” etc.

  40. #40 vhutchison
    November 13, 2009

    Yogi. Glad you found this blog. I also check ‘Mainsream Baptist.’ If you are not familiar with Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE)check out the web site at and sign up for the Oklahoma Evolution List Serve for news and information on efforst to uimprove science ed and to stop efforts to place religion into science courses in public schools. Bruce Prescott (Mainstrwam Baptists blogger) is a valuable member of the OESE Board.ERV is a supporter and participant also.

  41. #41 Michael Caton
    November 15, 2009

    Once again I’m jealous that I don’t live in Oklahoma. I’m actually not being sarcastic. You guys get to fight the good fight, by virtue of having a super-motivating concentration of teh crazy that the rest of us can only dream about. We got your back, but it looks like teh crazy doesn’t have a chance against rational Oklahomans anyway. Sic ’em, and let the rest of us live vicariously through you!

New comments have been disabled.