So a lot of you saw my recent ‘debate’ with Pastor Steve Kern.

People who do not live in this part of the US often say that religious radicals like Kern, and his infamous wife Sally Kern, dont really exist. When people like me address/confront people like the Kerns, people who dont live in this part of the US like to say that I am misrepresenting Christianity/Christians, a beautiful, elegant, intelligent, thoughtful religion, that Christians take very seriously, spiritually and academically.

But, as you can plainly see, spiritual and academic dullards like the Kerns not only exist, but they hold a lot of political sway in this part of the US. You remember me talking about HB 1551, introduced by politician Sally “Evolution undermines Christian principles. Period.” Kern a while back, allowing Creationists and Anti-Global Warmers to inject their personal religious, political, and social beliefs in the science classroom (curiously, none of the topics that actual working scientists would call scientific controversies, like whether quasispecies is a valid model for the population dynamics of very large populations?)? It was resurrected this year, and it passed in the House.

It goes to the education committee on Monday.

It might pass there too.

If you want to help, please send a short email to the following members of the OK education committee, from your Big Kid email addresses with your real names. If you are from Oklahoma, please emphasize that.

Senator John Ford (R) (Chair)
Senator Gary Stanislawski (Vice Chair)
Senator Cliff Branan (R)
Senator Josh Brecheen (R) (sponsor of similar bills)
Senator Greg Childers (R)
Senator Kim David (R)
Senator Judy Eason McIntyre (D)
Senator Earl Garrison (D)
Senator Jim Halligan (R)
Senator David Holt (R)
Senator Clark Jolley (R)
Senator Charlie Laster (D)
Senator Richard Lerblance (D)
Senator Mike Mazzei (R)
Senator Jonathan Nichols (R)
Senator Susan Paddack (D)
Senator John Sparks (D)


  1. #1 venividirisi
    March 29, 2012

    The failure is ours for not getting the message across in a way that’s relatable to those who are more receptive to religion/new agism/etc. Confrontational approaches just widens the divide. I think Alain de Botton has the right idea. The tangible benefits that science has given us is not enough. Many need to feel a connection to the community/universe/divine that religion provides. We will continue to fail in reaching these people until we steal a few pages from religious texts (metaphoraically speaking) and offer a science based substitute.

  2. #2 Guardian of the Poll
    March 29, 2012

    Ruh Roh. looks like poll fornication to me. I must warn the webmaster at once.

  3. #3 Kamizushi
    March 29, 2012

    I feel like the expression “Anti-Global Warming” is misused as it should normally apply to everyone who think global warming is a bad thing which includes most climatologists. I think “Global Warming Denial” would be closer to what you mean.

  4. #4 Raving
    March 29, 2012

    A bill in Oklahoma that would, if enacted, encourage teachers to present the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of “controversial” topics such as “biological evolution” and “global warming” is back from the dead. …

    And there is some problem with this? Science isn’t always so excellent. Religion and politics can be down right silly.

  5. #5 Childermass
    March 29, 2012

    If you are from Oklahoma, you might include your real name and mailing address. And be polite.

  6. #6 David
    March 29, 2012

    Thanks for posting this! I urge everyone to drop what your are doing and send messages against HB 1551 to the all the email addresses ERV lists.

  7. #7 vhutchison
    March 30, 2012

    Thanks Abbie for this post! In the influencing of legislation NUMBERS DO COUNT and, so far, the response against HB 1551 has been tremendous with many individuals, as well as national (AAAS, AIBS, NABT, etc) and state (OAS, OSTA, OESE, OMRF, etc.) organizations. HUNDREDS of messages in opposition have already been received by members of the Senate Education Committee and the results are likely to be major.

    Look for final results after noon on Monday! Results of the committee action will be posted om the Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE) web site ( ) shortly after the Committee meeting.

  8. #8 Ritchie Annand
    April 2, 2012

    Raving -> “Strengths and weaknesses” means it’s okay to teach that evolution, geology and global warming have no strengths and fabricated weaknesses, because that’s what creationists do with science.

    Freshwater, anyone? Dover school board? Terry Mortenson’s claims taught as fact?

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that precisely zero of these legislative efforts are by or at the behest of anyone interested in scientific, skeptical thinking.

    Sure, there will end up being yet another legal battle. To their mind, as far as I can tell, school boards can be martyred to the cause because they believe that somewhere, they will somehow win the case – without having to fork over any of their own money – and open up science classrooms everywhere for their execrable material.

  9. #9 Raving
    April 2, 2012

    Ritchie Annand -> There are 2 kinds of skeptics. There are autistic skeptics and there are those skeptics who aren’t autistic.

    For autistic skeptics I hold deep full sympathy. They are trapped in a lifelong challenge, incapable of understanding how intelligent beings are theists. The overly rational outlook prevents them appreciating what comes easily to non-autistic people.

    Those who aren’t ‘subjectively’ retarded ought not be silly buggers who play games of “calling bullshit”. They risk being shown as hypocrites

  10. #10 dustbubble
    April 2, 2012

    Oi! Pisspot!
    ?..overly rational outlook..?
    Autie Boyz sez:
    “Does not compute”
    Now fuck right off.


  11. #11 Raving
    April 2, 2012

    @#10 That’s the right attitude. Now if only it were so easy to take subjectivity less seriously.

    It helps to ‘rave’ and learn but that wouldn’t be rational. Sorry

  12. #12 NJ
    April 2, 2012

    @puster number 3

    No one is denying “global warming” exists. The argument is that the “warming” that we experience is caused by nature – the sun, mostly. When the sun cycles die down your global warming cycles wil die down.

    The earth’s climate coincide with Sun cycles. And you call yourselves scientists. They teach this stuff in 7th grade or were you not paying attention?

  13. #13 pixiedustbubble
    April 2, 2012

    @ 12 NJ:
    Good god!
    Please, tell me, you haven’t got a passport, have you?

  14. #14 EvilYeti
    April 3, 2012
  15. #15 Wow
    April 3, 2012

    “Confrontational approaches just widens the divide.”

    And anything that isn’t agreement is considered by these nutcases to be confrontational.

  16. #16 Wow
    April 3, 2012

    “The argument is that the “warming” that we experience is caused by nature – the sun, mostly.”

    Since the sun wouldn’t cause the warming of the earth by itself without the greenhouse gas effect, then nature includes a GHG effect. Nature has CO2 as a GHG. And Nature means that CO2 from combustion of hydrocarbons such as fossil fuels increase CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

    So nobody who says “climate change is the result of the natural processes” is disagreeing with AGW either.

    Humans are causing CO2 increases that naturally lead to a warming effect.

    Deniers, however, deny that human produced CO2 produces the same effect as “natural” sources of CO2.

  17. #17 Ritchie Annand
    April 3, 2012

    Raving -> Quite frankly, I find LD kids all over the spectrum have more finely tuned bullshit detectors.

    They are trapped in a lifelong challenge, incapable of understanding how intelligent beings are theists.

    What backhanded nonsense. Of course intelligent beings can be theists; they just can’t be epistemologically thorough: intelligence does not imply knowledge of all fields nor a need for it. Weighing in on educational subjects with any authority, however, requires considerably more knowledge on the subjects than legislators typically deal with, and in the course of seeing commentary on legislation like this in particular, profound ignorance is on display.

    They may have graduated cum laude. Heck, Santorum has several degrees. That doesn’t matter. Even Stephen-freaking-Hawking has weighed in somewhat boneheadedly on biology.

    It’s privileged ignorance, too, as though a district attorney, having come to trust that Bill Gates will send them $1000 if they forward a message could enforce a “strengths and weaknesses” teaching of the “hoax theory” where opposition was mostly partisan and teachers routinely taught that the e-mail was true.

    Those who aren’t ‘subjectively’ retarded ought not be silly buggers who play games of “calling bullshit”. They risk being shown as hypocrites

    Are you the resident postmodernist?

    Sure, I can call bullshit; my epistemology is better, because it doesn’t start with the conclusion.

  18. #18 NJ
    April 3, 2012

    I agree. Humans are causing polar ice caps on MARS to melt. Must be all those coal plants and SUVs we have up there.

    No I do not have a passport. Traveling within the confederacy I see no need for one. If i ever travel to the sodomite nation known as california I may apply for one. Thanks for asking.

    Again, the SUN is repsonisble for climate on earth. Better yet God is Responsible. In the last days that we are in things will get worse and human have no control over it. Of course some pesky humans try to manipulate weather through sulfur and aluminum nano particle atmosphere seeding and through HAARP, but God just watches and laughs at their mistakes and stupidity.

  19. #19 NJ
    April 3, 2012

    “NJ” alias Rob Hood, the undertreated mentally ill denizen of SB @ 18:

    Of course some pesky humans try to manipulate weather through sulfur and aluminum nano particle atmosphere seeding and through HAARP

    Still on that HAARP kick, eh, Rob? And now you aren’t even waiting for me to out you before borrowing my ‘nym. I imagine your next post will just be a copy pasta of what I’m writing here, as you seem to think it bothers me. Sadly, all your behavior does is demonstrate that your family has been lax in getting you the treatment you need.

  20. #20 NJ
    April 3, 2012

    pixiedustbubble @ 13 & Evil Yeti @14:

    Sorry you got fooled. Since I have been outing Rob Hood (as I did @19), he has been posting under my ‘nym periodically. Fortunately he is easy to spot – just look for the crazy.

  21. #21 dustbubble
    April 3, 2012

    @ the mysterious #18:
    “Again, the SUN is repsonisble for climate on earth. Better yet God is Responsible.”

    Ah, yes, er .. quite. I see.

    Tell me, my good man, is it possible that the sort of tanistry you have so convincingly outlined is, perhaps, open to disruption, nay discord over slight differences of opinion between the entities comprising this omnipotent dyad?
    Or have I failed to grasp your essential assumption, that “SUN” and “God” are indeed indistinguishable?

    Is “SUN” quite content to rise every day at sparrowfart, and trudge about all over the place, shining at all sorts of ghastly common people, while that idle sack of ill-humour “God” festers in his pit till “Countdown” appears on the box?

    I am, in truth, most grateful and relieved by your assurances that you are indeed not permitted to exceed the confines of whichever Penal Colony His Majesty’s officers have, in their wisdom, transported you.
    Good luck! Do you possess a decent hat? I’m told that constant exposure to the tropical sun can wreak the most awful havoc on the old brain, you know.

  22. #22 Wow, God
    April 4, 2012

    “I agree. Humans are causing polar ice caps on MARS to melt.”

    Nope, that would be because Mars is getting closer to the sun. Here’s a little hint for you: Mars is not in the same orbit as Earth, and has a different pattern to summer and winter.

    Will be yet more help.

    PS, No, I’m not doing it. I’m just not interfering with your muck-up of the planet I gave you to see if this “free will” thing works. I’ll just create a smarter species when you’re all fried.

  23. #23 Raving
    April 4, 2012

    Ritchie Annand -> By autism I mean a single functional habit of thought shared by upwards of 20% humanity; not the spectrum of dysfunctional symptomatology that labels some LD kids.

    We are who we are. Whatever that ‘thing’ may be, it’s effective and functional. It is even predominantly functional and efficient in those for whom it is secondarily and severely disabling.

    Given that 20% of humanity is inherently ‘objective’ (autistic) it is necessary to appreciate what makes objectivity different from the remaining 80% of humanity that is ‘subjective’ in various other ways.

    Objectivity has a single essentialism. There is the ultimatum of being ‘objective’ or being meaningless

    The adamant feature of being ‘objective’ is more profound than the insistent literalness of fundamentalism.

    In fundamentalism, the ultimatum is constrained to the description of historical events. The subjective inference is provided by the believer. For the habitually objective person, subjective inference is meaningless.

  24. #24 NJ
    April 4, 2012

    Hi my name is NJ (Willie Flowers) and I apologize for my dual personalities. I am from Canadia and enjoy drinking pure flouride from a lead cup and listening for HAARP waves. My neighbor makes it difficult for me to accept HAARP frequencies becuase of his extensive Orgone cloudbuster collection and scalar wave modulator machines.

    When I am not enhancing my IQ with colloidal lead and flouride laced swamp water I enjoy daydreaming about Robin Hood and his band of merry men.

    I also enjoy making rich people pay most of the taxes and letting poor people like George Soros not pay any taxes. In addition to this new secular opppresive hobby I like to post on blobs and poop in breadbaskets and hand out samples on the streets of canadia. I love hardlined communism and would love to force everyone against their will to purchase a product from a private company and bar any judge who rules it unconstitutional.

    I enjoy most any secular oppressive activities such as throwing rocks at police, starting fires, crapping on cop cars, rioting, destroying Hummer dealerships, and joining labor thug unions and supporting terrorists like Van Jones, Bill Ayers, and the Muslim Brotherhood. I love the New World Order and globalization in general and love supporting mass sterilization programs and HAARP induced mind control.

    MY favorite secular oppressive hobby is enjoying HAARP destroy the weather and then blaming it on global warming in order to fund a global misfit commie government to rule over all mankind.

    And last but not least I enjoy forcing deadly toxic mercury laced vaccines on innocent little kids – at least the ones that were not murdered in the womb. My name is NJ and I approve this message. Vote for me for world DICKtator!

  25. #25 NJ
    April 4, 2012

    “NJ” alias Rob Hood, the undertreated mentally ill denizen of SB @ 24:

    I am from Canadia and enjoy drinking pure flouride from a lead cup and listening for HAARP waves.

    Well, at least you aren’t trying to hide your insanity in this post Rob. Hitting all of your demons at once…”flouride”, HAARP, Canada, vaccines, “secular oppressives”, communism, New World Order, George Soros, abortion…

    Hey! You left out climate change and evolution. Don’t forget those!

    Perhaps soon you will be getting the treatment you need. It would have been nice if your family had stepped up sooner.

  26. #26 NJ
    April 4, 2012

    I definitively believe in evolution. Liberals are direct descendents from monkeys.

    I definitively believe in climate change as well, but I just refer to it as seasons. No need for extra drama over changing seasons of the year.


    My name is NJ and I approve this message.

  27. #27 Chauncey Gardiner
    April 4, 2012

    NJ @ 26 is correct. The sockpuppet NJ at 19, 20, and 25 are a complete misrepresentation of normal humanity. The NJ at these posts clearly have a mental defect. The canadian must either be retarded or overdosed on sodium fluoride extensivley.

    The NJ at 19,20, and 25 is an impuster. A clear downgrade of evolution in the making.

  28. #28 NJ
    April 5, 2012

    Reference “NJ” aka Rob Hood @ 26 & 27:

    Do we really need more evidence this guy is in dire need of treatment?

  29. #29 Vladamir Klaskiveskv
    April 5, 2012

    Canadian commentors stangely behave. I will not understand. Seems NJ 19,20,25,and 28 mentally defective engaged in deciet. Where a parcel? Strangely behavior leads to goverment concentration camp in my country. Why behave so badly. Where a parcel?

  30. #30 Ritchie Annand
    April 9, 2012

    Raving -> If I can chop up that word salad with your own special definition of autism at all, my takeaway is that you think that atheists, prizing an objective view of the world, are actually Objectivists, in the “view that makes a religious fetish of selfishness and disposes of altruism and compassion as character flaws” manner.

    Stuff it; you’ve made a categorical error about as flimsy as the religious sot who asks “why aren’t you out raping and pillaging?”. It’s as insulting to the religious as it is to the non: threats from myths are required else you could not possibly want to help your fellow man.

    Fundamentalism, contrariwise, is not constrained to the description of historical events. Fundamentalism is constrained to the treatment of mythical events as historical events and values authority over forensics.

    The science in science class was not verified and ossified into its final form by myth and revelation; benzene’s structure may have come in a dream, but it is not by that dream’s authority that we accept it. Even the scores of theist scientists do not submit – as the creationists like Humphreys do – that as God is under no obligation to keep a zero magnetic moment, that we can include the God-altered magnetic moment k in our equations. It’s not a science class if the very methods by which the knowledge was attained is vilified, yet that is what this legislation hopes to allow.

    All this posted in light of the possibility that by “objectivity”, you may actually have meant “fudge cake”.

  31. #31 Raving
    April 12, 2012

    Ritchie Annand -> You are(e)motives

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