Har Mar is a funny little shopping mall in Roseville Minnesota. It is the home of the annual Twin Cities Creation Science Science Fair. Sometimes we visit the science fair, but it is not to laugh at the students….

… that would be rude and uncivil, and despite the fact that politeness and civility are EVILE, when it comes to children we should not be all in their faces.

Rather, we go to the funny little mall to enjoy each other’s company, those of us who wish we got together more often than we do, to browse through the Creation Science Fair displays, and to size up the local creationist scene.

For me, I will also be stopping at Radio Shack because I need a switch box to make my Roku work more seamlessly with my TV.

In my experience, there are the following kinds of displays at the science fair:

1) True creation science, like a poster on how Noah built the Ark, with a suitable biblical quote attached.

2) Regular science that is not too well done, presumably because the supervision on these Christian Home Schooler projects probably isn’t very good … such as a poster a few years back demonstrating that hot water freezes before cold water … with a suitable biblical quote attached.

3) Half way decent actual science projects. With a suitable biblical quote attached.

We have a facebook page for the event, coming up this SATURDAY.

We’ll be gathering around 10:30 or 11 in or near the Barnes and Noble, and later on, about 1:00, lunch most likely at Chicago Pizza. (But I note that Har Mar has a veritable cornucopia of dining options in case Pizza does not suit your tastes.)

As has been said many times by many people: Just observe, converse politely, do not lay ideology on the children.

Huxley will be there, if things go as planned. I’m hoping the creationists will have a baby named Wilberforce.

Comments

  1. #1 John S.
    February 10, 2010

    Har Mar has a veritable cornucopia of dining options

    Very funny. I suggest a bag lunch or a walk across the street to Perkins.

  2. #2 Former Rosvillian
    February 10, 2010

    Country Kitchen, Leanne Chins, Baja Sol. Wait, the Country Kitchen may not have survived the Har Mar Tornado… can’t remember

  3. #3 Stephanie Z
    February 10, 2010

    Actually, if we head up Snelling to Grumpy’s, we don’t have to worry about kids or parents overhearing us. And they have much better beer.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    February 10, 2010

    As long as they don’t read this blog post, we’ll be fine.

  5. #5 Stephanie Z
    February 10, 2010

    Pfft. They won’t follow us. It’s a [glances around, whispers] bar.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    February 10, 2010

    That just means they won’t follow us in groups or pairs.

  7. #7 Lor
    February 10, 2010

    Grumpys Grumpys Grumpys!!! Love that place, and the beer is outstanding although I only get the Furious these days.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    February 10, 2010

    Actually, although these are all great suggestions, I think we should stick with the plan of eating in house, for several reasons. This will be logistically easier, people are expecting it, it is all part of the Enhnaced Har Mar Experience, and …. we get to see if they follow us.

    (We are already scoping out nursing and baby changing zones, etc.)

  9. #9 Stephanie Z
    February 10, 2010

    Well, if we hang out at Old Chicago long enough that they start looking impatient, we can always move to the bar.

    And, Lorax, I’m looking forward to finally getting to meet you. Talking on the radio doesn’t count. :)

  10. #10 Jared
    February 10, 2010

    Huxley will be there, if things go as planned. I’m hoping the creationists will have a baby named Wilberforce.

    Am I the only one that got this? It’s freaking hilarious.

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    February 10, 2010

    He’s going to kick his ass, too, that Wilberforce kid.

  12. #12 Jared
    February 10, 2010

    Well, he was a good speaker…

  13. #13 Charles
    February 11, 2010

    Taner Edis has a fascinating blog on something similar (among Muslims) of quoting the Bible.

    But these Muslims believe that modern science was foretold by the Koran. So, of course, the quote the Koran, but they get to interpreting in interesting ways.

    Link: http://secularoutpost.infidels.org/2010/02/cardiologists-losing-it.html

  14. #14 Rokkaku
    February 11, 2010

    What a pathetic day out. Go to a creation science fair and sneer at children from a safe distance. Why bother?

  15. #15 Stephanie Z
    February 11, 2010

    Poor Rokkaku. Is that all you can think of to do at a kids’ science fair?

  16. #16 Greg Laden
    February 11, 2010

    Yes, it is true that we are pathetic.

    So, are you going to join us, Rok?

  17. #17 Rokkaku
    February 11, 2010

    Stephanie: I’d at least hand out flyers or something…

    Greg: Even if I lived in the same country,I wouldn’t go with the express purpose of wandering around, conversing politely, and then going for pizza afterwards.

  18. #18 Greg Laden
    February 11, 2010

    OK, Rokkaku, seriously. There are two reason we do this, and this has been discussed. Most of the people attending are people who are always trying to get together for something and rarely have the chance. We are using this event as an excuse. I’m not quite sure why that would be a problem. You’ll see half the people at this meetup next July on panels at Skepchicon, you’ll see some other combination on your local Public Access TV show talking about science or skepticism, you’ll see this same group plus others showing up at various deates, events, participating, being on the boards of things, and so on and so forth.

    And anyone who feels they’d like to be more a part of this community can come and meet some like minded folks.

    Second reason: It seems to me that every year we DON’T go look at the posters, the TCCSA announces that they had 60 posters . Every year we DO go look at the posters, there’s about a dozen. In the world of rhetoric, that matters. We are saving the Christians from their own hell by keeping them honest.

  19. #19 Rokkaku
    February 11, 2010

    Don’t feel that you need to justify it to me, I just find it pretty passive-aggressive and, as I said, pathetic. Only the second point is something I’d find worthy of the time :)

  20. #20 Andrew
    February 11, 2010

    “You are doing X! Pathetic!”

    “No, we are doing Y.”

    “You don’t have to tell me you’re doing Y! You’re doing X! Pathetic”

    (Insert stick figures to produce xkcd cartoon)

  21. #21 Rokkaku
    February 11, 2010

    Umm… all of X is included in Y. The fact that it’s being used as a meet-up was already included in X. The only new information – the only part of your magical ‘Y’ that I failed to divine – is the part about the posters.

    Please tell me what else I’ve missed from this event, i.e. an excuse for like-minded people to gather at a shopping mall and sneer at children from a safe distance, offering absolutely nothing of use (bar the poster-check) in the process.

  22. #22 toto
    February 11, 2010

    Regular science that is not too well done, presumably because the supervision on these Christian Home Schooler projects probably isn’t very good … such as a poster a few years back demonstrating that hot water freezes before cold water

    I suppose that’s another example of you making a meta-meta-meta-level joke, but for the sake of other readers who might take this at face value: in a wide range of circumstances, hot water really does freeze before cold water. Though apparently nobody’s quite sure why.

  23. #23 rob
    February 11, 2010

    there is always the chianti grill that moved into the old Ground Round spot.

    i hope to be able to go and meet some of you. i will have to resist the urge to wear a “teach the controversy” or FSM shirt.

    @Former Rosvillian: you talkin’ ’bout the tornado in ~1983? my neighbor drove by it on snelling as it was flipping cars around the Target parking lot. Country Kitchen was a mile north on Lydia wasn’t it?

  24. #24 kittywhumpus
    February 11, 2010

    Hoping to bring the 20-month-old tornado, if only to give him vast hallways through which to run and burn off some steam.

    Are we thinking near the cafe in the bookstore?

  25. #25 Simon
    February 11, 2010

    Could someone clarify this for a Facebook Luddite? The article says Friday, but the Fair’s site says Saturday and Sunday: http://www.tccsa.tc/fair.html

  26. #26 Stephanie Z
    February 11, 2010

    Simon, the event is Saturday.

  27. #27 Greg Laden
    February 11, 2010

    Rokkaku: there are three blog posts and two facebook pages discussing the fact that there will be no sneering at children.

    toto: Make two containers of identical makeup with identical amounts of water (the amount of water would be important, yes?) They have to be the same temperature in order to be the same amount. Then heat up one but not enough to boil it and don’t take a lot of time doing this or there will be differential evaporation (thus making different amounds of water … that’s a no no).

    Then cool them down under identical conditions.

    The cold water will reach freezin first. The hot water will reach freezing second.

    The way people fuck this up, and this is most definitely “known”, is by getting two different amounts of water, the smaller amount hot and the larger amount cold, and testing the hypothesis on that. That would be wrong.

    There are other reasons people find hot water to “freeze first” in the plumbing world, but those are other kinds of mistakes.

    Wikipedia does not actually know everything.

  28. #28 Greg Laden
    February 11, 2010

    I think that tornado was 81, followed by another in 82 with similar track but northward shifted, which hit Apache. Which is funny if you know about the history of Har Mar and Apache.

    I once lived in/owned a house that was affected by the 81 storm … trees taken down … but many years after. But a few weeks after buying that house a tornado with, again, a similar track but more so-westerly (and a much smaller twister) hit a tree on that propoerty. Skipped rosedale but messed up southern moundsview.

    There IS a country kitchen in Rosedale now, by the Wells Fargo and the ladies only gym.

  29. #29 Lorax
    February 11, 2010

    Kind of forgot about my spawn’s swimming lesson. Ill be around Har Mar closer to 11:30. People still in the cafe at that point?

    And Rokkaku, when are you going to stop driving while drunk? Its pathetic.

  30. #30 Stephanie Z
    February 11, 2010

    Around 11:30, we’ll probably be milling about the posters, I’d think.

  31. #31 Greg Peterson
    February 12, 2010

    My girlfriend and I can’t possibly get up early enough on a Saturday to meet you in the morning, but we’ll definitely try to catch up with everyone at Old Chicago at 1PM. I will probably be wearing my “Teach the Controversy” T-shirt with Satan digging a hole to put the fossils into. If we miss you, that’d be a shame. Unless I see otherwise by day’s end, I’ll assume our plan will still enable us to see ya’ll, and if not, we’ll definitely see you, Greg, when you introduce “Creation” at the MN Atheist Meet-Up in a week.

  32. #32 Ewan
    February 12, 2010

    Lorax, what are you talking about? I’ve never driven drunk, and I’ve never written a blog post indicating my intention to do so with a bunch of like-minded drunks on Saturday.

  33. #33 Lorax
    February 12, 2010

    Im sorry Ewan, I thought we were just making up shit about people and then calling them pathetic on it. My bad, I guess I haven’t figured out the game you’re playing….Ill keep trying to figure it out, while you can keep trying to learn to read in a less superficial fashion.

  34. #34 abb3w
    February 12, 2010

    Greg Laden: There are other reasons people find hot water to “freeze first” in the plumbing world, but those are other kinds of mistakes.

    Depends what you mean by “mistake”. I vaguely recall one of the papers on this topic tracked down that during the time while cooling to freezing the warmer water had significantly higher evaporative losses. So, if you’re trying to measure the time for mass X of water to turn solid from varying initial temperature when put in a sub-freezing environment, yes, it’s a mistake; but if you’re trying to observe what happens to a mass of water in an open container when put into a sub-freezing environment, it’s not necessarily a mistake to note that the warmer container is the first to have “all” ice and no liquid.

    If I’m right in my recollection (and the observation I recall valid), your experiment design also needs to specify a sealed container for your water samples. (Of course, freezing sealed containers runs into ice expansion issues.)

    This “mistake” distinction may tie into some philosophical subtleties about the nature of “experiment” and my usual spiel on Experience/Inspiration/Formalization/Testing/Design, but they really don’t seem that relevant here and now.

  35. #35 Greg Laden
    February 12, 2010

    Water that is 1 degree C cools to 0 degree C in the same amount of time no matter what that temperature that water may have been at some time in the past. g

  36. #36 Ewan/Rokkaku
    February 13, 2010

    I didn’t make anything up. The object of the morning appears to be to visit a creationist science fair, stand at a safe distance from children, and sneer. If anything more comes of it, such as a spirited debate with the adults present (I agree that trying to ‘convert’ children would be inappropriate) then I will be the first to extend my heartfelt congratulations. Somehow I’m not holding my breath.

  37. #37 Stephanie Z
    February 13, 2010

    No, Ewan. Sneering may be all you would do, but that isn’t our goal (see comment 27). We’ll go talk to the kids about the science part of their projects. There won’t be any showy “coming away from Jesus” deconversion moments that would apparently give your life meaning, no. There will just be kids who know that, outside the family that is ever so carefully shielding them, it isn’t the bible verse they have to put on their poster that gets them attention and approval.

  38. #38 Greg Laden
    February 13, 2010

    I didn’t make anything up. The object of the morning appears to be to visit a creationist science fair, stand at a safe distance from children, and sneer

    No, it is not, and I will appreciate it if you do NOT show up and do that WE have had open and detailed conversations about this (on this blog and on the two related facebook pages). Everyone is on the same page.

    No safe distances, no sneering. Just polite engagement, with minimal to zero engagement with actual children.

    Also, most of the people going have experience here, and those who don’t will be with those who do. Yet another reason for the meetup.

    If anything more comes of it, such as a spirited debate with the adults present (I agree that trying to ‘convert’ children would be inappropriate) then I will be the first to extend my heartfelt congratulations

    Unlikely. They are usually not there. But it can happen and it does. Without going, of course, it would not.

    There is however a longer term spirited debate going on. It happens across a range of venues and even different contexts. I find that he creationists are increasingly not present at these discussions as time goes by.

  39. #39 Ewan/Rokkaku
    February 13, 2010

    Well, if I misinterpreted the meaning of this mission, perhaps you should phrase your posts more carefully, and refrain from couching them in language that could potentially in some possible iteration of the multiverse provide a shield for people who would wish to sneer at children.

  40. #40 Greg Laden
    February 13, 2010

    if I misinterpreted the meaning of this mission, perhaps you should phrase your posts more carefully

    Yea, every now and then some moron misreads something I wrote, and then fails to engage in the straight forward conversation that might reach a point of understanding. Instead, the conversation veers into unnecessary and annoying argument, name calling, and sophistry.

    The truth is that for meaning to be transmitted from one person to another in a way that does not garble and distort that meaning, those on both sides of the conversation have to be prepared to engage. Suggestions: If, as a reader, you are not willing to put in the effort, don’t read it. If, as a reader, you find yourself not liking what you are reading because the way it is written does not jive with you (that happens to me all the time) opt out if possible. If, as a reader, you’re not feeling comfortable with what you are getting and you still need to read it for some reason, work harder. If, as a reader, you say something that indicates your particular understanding of something and the person who wrote it or someone else with a good reason to understand it contradicts you, step back and consider that you and the purveyor of the information might need to go back and forth a bit. And if that happens consider the possibility that if you start off insulting the writer the writer might tell you to kiss his ass.

    Oh, and kiss my ass.

  41. #41 Lorax
    February 13, 2010

    Ewan/Rokkaku How fucking illiterate are you? This is from the post, right near the beginning…

    Sometimes we visit the science fair, but it is not to laugh at the students….

    from this you get sneer from a safe distance?

    … that would be rude and uncivil, and despite the fact that politeness and civility are EVILE, when it comes to children we should not be all in their faces.

    maybe it was this part you got sneer from a safe distance?

    Rather, we go to the funny little mall to enjoy each other’s company, those of us who wish we got together more often than we do, to browse through the Creation Science Fair displays, and to size up the local creationist scene.

    or was it this?

    I’ll stick by my assertion, you just like making shit up so you can be righteously indignant about something. And that is pathetic.

  42. #42 Ewan/Rokkaku
    February 13, 2010

    All I’m saying is the way the initial post was phrased would make it easy for a child-sneerer to infiltrate the group – certainly that’s the impression some people might get.

    What is more, the “size up the local creationist scene” could potentially even provide safe harbour for terrorists gathering information on local religious sects. Of course I’d never accuse anyone on this blog of actually DOING that but to some people that may be a “dog whistle” phrase that allows bigots to blend in to something that isn’t really directed at them.

    Anyway, what say we have a few bars of “we are the world” now that the well is nice and poisoned? After all, it’s fine to completely misrepresent someone’s views as long as you’re doing it on someone else’s behalf!

    Apparently.

  43. #43 Greg Laden
    February 13, 2010

    All I’m saying is the way the initial post was phrased would make it easy for a child-sneerer to infiltrate the group – certainly that’s the impression some people might get.

    Fair enough. We did have failsafes in place, though, like the other posts, and the fact that we were getting together first.

    I will say that in the past individuals have acted poorly in this context. (I did not witness that, but I did hear about it from an excellent source.)

  44. #44 Ewan/Rokkaku
    February 13, 2010

    Touché ;)

    FWIW I hope it is a good, productive time.

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