Pharyngula

Detectives needed — in Florida

This is getting weirder all the time: the Miami Herald claims that 12 Florida counties have passed anti-evolution resolutions in their school boards. They all sound awfully similar, too, as if…

…as if there is intelligent design behind this campaign.

…as if there is some money backing this effort.

…as if someone has specifically targeted Florida as a good venue for the next evolution-creation trial, and is sowing the seeds.

So, anyone out there on a Florida school board, or knows someone who is? Have you got any information on the source of the anti-evolution boilerplate that’s being disseminated in your state? Let me know!

Comments

  1. #1 Wes
    January 10, 2008

    Yeah, based on the reporting from Florida Citizens for Science, you really can’t help but notice how carefully crafted some of the language coming from these school boards is. Each one claims to be opposing “teaching evolution as a fact” and is calling for “fair and balanced” teaching. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if some of this language is coached. It really is like they’re following a script (as it is in many creationist school board cases).

    Just look at these statements coming from different school boards:

    Baker County:
    “Approval of the Resolution Urging State Board of Education to Direct Florida Department of Education to Revise the New Sunshine State Standards for Science Such That Evolution is Not Presented as Fact.”

    Holmes County:
    “The Holmes County School Board recognizes the importance of providing a thorough and comprehensive science education to all the students in Holmes County and to all students in the state of Florida, it recognizes as even more important the need to present these standards through a fair and balanced approach, an approach that does not unfairly exclude other theories as to the creation of the universe.”

    Taylor County:
    “Whereas, the Taylor County School Board recognizes the importance of providing a thorough and comprehensive Science education to all the students in Taylor County and to all students in the state of Florida, it recognizes as even more important the need to present these standards through a fair and balanced approach, an approach that does not unfairly exclude other theories as to the creation of the universe.
    NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Taylor County School Board of Taylor County, Perry, Florida, that the Board urges the State Board of Education to direct the Florida Department of Education to revise the new Sunshine State Standards for Science such that evolution is not presented as fact, but as one of several theories.”

  2. #2 jeh
    January 10, 2008

    I would not be surprised to find out that someone with deep pockets is funding a scattershot challenge to the teaching evolution in Florida *and* Texas. Their strategy may be to overwhelm the scientific community and educators with multi-prong attacks in two generally conservative states. They know they can’t succeed in individual battles as in Dover, but what will happen if a dozen challenges are made in different jurisdictions at the same time?

    Religious conservatives should never be underestimated–they are in it for the long haul. In fact, I think they would rather eliminate the teaching of evolution than overturn Roe v. Wade.

  3. #3 Sigmund
    January 10, 2008

    Don’t be silly.
    Its Jesus, of course!

  4. #4 RamblinDude
    January 10, 2008

    I propose a new strategy for dealing with the ‘born again’ crowd: whenever they start denying evolution and other scientific findings because it’s not what the ancient Hebrews believed, or want to put Jesus in the constitution, or want to start Armageddon–you know, basically, whenever they open their mouths–we just throw our hands in the air, squeeze our eyes real tight (like Pat Robertson) and start shouting “PRAISE JESUS!! PRAISE YOU JESUS!! THANK YOU FOR SAVING US FROM OUR SINS!!! (And don’t worry about overacting and looking ridiculous in front of them…As long as you’re praising Jesus, you can’t!)

    In short order, they will join in and be all distracted praising and praying and weeping and dancing with joy. (They won’t be able to help themselves; after all, we’ve raised our hands high and closed our eyes tight and uttered the name of Jesus!)

    Now, at this point, we sneak away and get busy investigating the universe, governing, dealing with problems, teaching our children about the real world, etc. etc.

    And here’s the beauty of this plan; they’ll fall for it every time!

  5. #5 Ichthyic
    January 10, 2008

    And here’s the beauty of this plan; they’ll fall for it every time

    sorry, I suck at acting.

  6. #6 Kseniya
    January 10, 2008

    RamDude, does your plan involve a large black sack and some rope?

  7. #7 Glen Davidson
    January 10, 2008

    Break out the EF, PZ. It’s so good at detecting design and doing science that it’s never been used, it quite obviously being a holy thing from the Great Designer. But surely an atheist can make use of it, for all manner of evil is acceptable to him.

    However, don’t make too much of the “intelligence” behind it. Apparently it’s the same sort of intelligence that made vertebrate wings out of forelimbs, for it is amazing how stupid the first resolution we saw was.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  8. #8 RamblinDude
    January 10, 2008

    sorry, I suck at acting

    Doesn’t matter!

    RamDude, does your plan involve a large black sack and some rope?

    Nah, just raising our hands high and praising Jesus! Although, I suppose it could. There are a lot of things we could do while their distrated…

  9. #9 RamblinDude
    January 10, 2008

    Oops, “they’re”

  10. #10 Brando
    January 10, 2008

    They can’t afford another ruling like Dover, so are they treating that as an anomoly or just hedging their bets?

  11. #11 AlanWCan
    January 10, 2008

    What’s all this relating evolution to the creation of the universe crap? It’s as if none of these sock puppets has the vaguest idea what the theory of evolution is actually about before they oppose it (say it ain’t so, I’m shocked). Channeling someone else from an earlier thread: So let’s also not teach metalworking to the exclusion of other economic theories, or arithmetic to the exclusion of other versions of the Gettysburg address, or phys ed to the exclusion of other theories regarding the square root of 2…all equally irrelevant pairings. Your country is deeply infested with morons.

  12. #12 Reginald Selkirk
    January 10, 2008

    As I read it, they are not resolving to teach this stuff in their classrooms. They are simply urging the state board to do something. That might get them clear of lawsuit potential, but on the other had they’re not actually accomplishing anything.

    Because this is the way science usually gets done; county boards of education tell the state board what the best science is, then the state boards go and tell all the scientists what they should be researching.

  13. #13 Matt
    January 10, 2008

    I am sooo glad that I will be leaving Florida soon before my kids start school! This is getting ridiculous. At least my destination (Georgia) specifically mentions teaching evolution in its guidelines…although I’ll probably be doing most of the teaching of evolution on my own. They mention teaching evolution, but I don’t know if it gets taught much….sigh…

  14. #14 AllanW
    January 10, 2008

    We may be guilty of underestimating these loonies. Tell me where this is inaccurate; the State standards have been drafted but will not be officially adopted until January. What support would it be to the waiverers or outright deniers on the State board to be able to point to 15 or 20 of the 47 (?) county schooll boards in the state having already passed resolutions against the draft as written? Does it embolden them? Does it give them the chance to change the draft standards at the last moment? Makes me think this has been co-ordinated but not with the aim of a trial atm. If they can force some change before the drafts are adopted then why have a trial?

    Food for thought?

  15. #15 Rey Fox
    January 10, 2008

    The Evil Atheist Conspiracy is way more stealthy than these bozos.

  16. #16 Johnny in NC
    January 10, 2008

    Beware, this could be the start of litigation that is directed at the US Supreme Court. With the Bush appointments and the other whack jobs, the ban on creation science could be overturned and the ID -proponents win.

  17. #17 Tom K
    January 10, 2008

    I am not an American and I am stunned by the amount of time some of your school boards spend trying to create standards that diminish the teaching of biological evolution without getting sued instead of actually doing something productive.

  18. #18 David vun Kannon
    January 10, 2008

    I think we should stop hyperventilating about 12 until this number can be confirmed. If you look closely, this number only appears sourced to Taylor Supt. Lundy, who has previously shown ignorance of his own posterior. He could easily have confusd twelve with two. If God didn’t want you to count mod 10, He would have made it easier to take off your shoes. or something…

  19. #19 David vun Kannon
    January 10, 2008

    I think we should stop hyperventilating about 12 until this number can be confirmed. If you look closely, this number only appears sourced to Taylor Supt. Howard, who has previously shown ignorance of his own posterior. He could easily have confusd twelve with two. If God didn’t want you to count mod 10, He would have made it easier to take off your shoes. or something…

    mea culpa Danny Lundy

  20. #20 Pierce R. Butler
    January 10, 2008

    That figure of “eleven other” school boards passing anti-science resolutions came from Taylor County’s school superintendent and school board vice-chair.

    What reason is there to consider their number as any more factual than routine blatheration you’d hear from any other self-proclaimed advocate of “fair and balanced” verbiage?

  21. #21 Pierce R. Butler
    January 10, 2008

    …as if there is intelligent design behind this campaign.

    …as if there is some money backing this effort.

    …as if someone has specifically targeted Florida as a good venue for the next evolution-creation trial…

    Florida hasn’t had any really good detectives since Travis McGee retired – but personally I suspect the Vast Left-Behind Conspiracy.

  22. #22 Infophile
    January 10, 2008

    You know what I think this is? We’ve spent so much time arguing that design can’t be empirically detected in nature that ID proponents think we’ll be blind to human design, such as this campaign. Of course, this is completely ignoring the point we make, again and again, that we’d have to know something about their designer before we could detect its design.

  23. #23 craig
    January 10, 2008

    Well, we could confuse them. Atheists, scientists and educators could vocally get behind a federal law banning outright any teaching of evolution as the cause of the creation of the universe.

  24. #24 Curt Cameron
    January 10, 2008

    I don’t know whether the campaign was designed, but it certainly is designoid.

  25. #25 Lledowyn
    January 10, 2008

    You know, this makes sense. Think about it, Texas and Florida are both right leaning states that also happen to be very populous states. If they somehow become creationist teaching states, this would affect the book publishers in a very large way in that it would almost force them to include creationism in their textbook offerings to other states. This definitely sounds as if it’s an attempt to ram down creationism down everyone’s throat by making the publishers have to cater to such populous states, which limits their offering of reality based books.

    The good news is that no matter how they try to paint it, it’s *still* creationism, and thus it’s patently unconstitutional. Plus, you also have the Dover precedent that states that ID == Creationism, so even if these idiots manage to get the standards changed, it will not survive a court challenge. It just irks me that these morons will only accomplish the massive waste of my tax dollars over something that is so ridiculous as creationism.

  26. #26 mothra
    January 10, 2008

    The message that earnestly needs to be disseminated is that state backing of religious principles inexorably leads to regimes like Iran. Any acceptance of one religious view will stifle others. I had a discussion with a local fundamentalist recently and this was the only point (obviously) of agreement. He phrased it succinctly: “The message changes when government is involved.”

  27. #27 Greg Peterson
    January 10, 2008

    I wish I shared the optimism of some that the Constitution is the final arbitar of what will or won’t happen in this country. Seven years of Bush makes me far less sure that mere Constitutionality is a guarantee of anything.

  28. #28 ChrisKG
    January 10, 2008

    Well, let’s post their email addresses and spread their stupidity around the internet. Embarrass them completely and inundate them with requests to teach ‘other alternatives” (FSM anyone?) as well as demand equal time in their churches as well. Let us make it too painful to consider trying to teach ID as science, stick it in a comparative religion class or better yet a critical thinking class that uses ID as an example of what not to do.

    C.

  29. #29 Mooser
    January 10, 2008

    He phrased it succinctly: “The message changes when government is involved.”

    So naturally, he’ll be swearing off all those “faith-based” grants, lest his pure message of Christ’s saving power be diluted.

    As long as the churches have those hundreds of millions in grants, they’ll have plenty left over to push intelligent design.
    And of course, I haven’t heard a single candidate promise to reduce, let alone eliminate, this subsidy to Christian churches. So it’s here to stay, folks.

  30. #30 SEF
    January 10, 2008

    anyone out there on a Florida school board

    How many are there? Is there an official listing of them somewhere? Do they all have websites where resolutions might be announced?

    Have you got any information on the source of the anti-evolution boilerplate that’s being disseminated in your state?

    Is it the sort of thing that any of the main creationist organisations might be behind and possibly even be disseminating on their sites or in their literature (which some people once said they received)?

    If the intent is to use previous “successes” to boost waivering possibilities, then surely they’ll be boasting about the whole lot there too. Although, if the list of alleged creationist scientists is anything to go by, any such list of school boards will include many which aren’t even school boards and others which didn’t pass the resolution at all!

  31. #31 DrFrank
    January 10, 2008

    May I apply for Randi’s $1 million dollar prize with my psychic prediction of it all stemming from the Discovery Institute, or does stating the bleeding obvious not qualify?

    Of course, as this is science, I’m happy to be proved wrong, but I suspect I won’t be ;)

  32. #32 negentropyeater
    January 10, 2008

    12 out of 67, that’s less than 20%. Doesn’t seem that surprising.
    If Americans were asked to vote for or against such a general motion, I guess the results would not be very good, to say the least.
    It’d be interesting to see the demographic profile of the counties involved, the educational level, etc…
    Moreover, does being a school board member entail any legally enforced academic requirements ? Most probably not. Does anybody know ?

  33. #33 holbach
    January 10, 2008

    That wacko state of Florida is causing our country to
    retrogress to the Dark Ages. Perhaps we don’t give our
    animal species the credit they deserve for not copying
    our deranged methods in trying to figure it all out.
    Here is a a defining text by Aldous Huxley from his
    “Texts and Pretexts”, 1932:

    “Man is so intelligent that he feels impelled to invent theories to account for what happens in the world.
    Unfortuneately, he is not quite intelligent enough, in
    most cases, to find correct explanations. So that when
    he acts on his theories, he behaves very often like a
    lunatic. Thus, no animal is clever enough,when there is a
    drought, to imagine that the rain is being withheld by
    evil spirits, or as a punishment for its transgressions.
    Therefore you never see animals going through the absurd
    and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion.
    No horse, for example, would kill one of its foals in
    order to make the wind change its direction. Dogs do not
    ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do
    the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy
    to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence
    from cats’ meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into
    benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly.”

  34. #34 whenwego
    January 10, 2008

    And the Flying Spaghetti Monster waits, a smile on His Noodly Appendage.

  35. #35 negentropyeater
    January 10, 2008

    12 out of 67, that’s less than 20%. Doesn’t seem that surprising.
    If Americans were asked to vote for or against such a general motion, I guess the results would not be very good, to say the least.
    It’d be interesting to see the demographic profile of the counties involved, the educational level, etc…
    Moreover, does being a school board member entail any legally enforced academic requirements ? Most probably not. Does anybody know ?

  36. #36 negentropyeater
    January 10, 2008

    …sorry, hit twice on the same message…

  37. #37 Bad
    January 10, 2008

    The null hypothesis here is simply that Florida’s new science standards have sparked a reaction from creationists: they don’t need to all be organized to all share a common recognition that state requirements to teach evolution would prevent them from continuing to deliberately by quietly neglect teaching the subject in their own curricula.

  38. #38 negentropyeater
    January 10, 2008

    Also, what are the legal prerogatives of a school board as far as defining the science curriculum ?
    Can someone provide some light on the matter ?

  39. #39 Wes
    January 10, 2008

    The null hypothesis here is simply that Florida’s new science standards have sparked a reaction from creationists: they don’t need to all be organized to all share a common recognition that state requirements to teach evolution would prevent them from continuing to deliberately by quietly neglect teaching the subject in their own curricula.

    Posted by: Bad | January 10, 2008 6:43 PM

    I’d agree with you if it weren’t for the fact that the resolutions all use exactly the same language. Different school boards all repeating the exact same phrases makes me think they might be getting advice on what to say from some creationist organization.

  40. #40 Ichthyic
    January 10, 2008

    @37
    I’m not so sure that qualifies as a null-hypothesis, but it is a good point, nonetheless.

    OTOH, there is are prior patterns we can examine to make the assumption that they did see this coming, and went looking for specific organizations that deal specifically with coordinating strategy and wording. Which, btw, is most likely what “DrFrank” is basing his guesses on in #31.

    so, going by your interpretation, we already have past information that would immediately challenge the “null hypothesis”.

  41. #41 James Douglass
    January 10, 2008

    Sounds like a job for the investigative journalism of Carl Hiaasen. I wonder what his take on it is?

  42. #42 dogmeatib
    January 10, 2008

    The good news is that no matter how they try to paint it, it’s *still* creationism, and thus it’s patently unconstitutional. Plus, you also have the Dover precedent that states that ID == Creationism, so even if these idiots manage to get the standards changed, it will not survive a court challenge. It just irks me that these morons will only accomplish the massive waste of my tax dollars over something that is so ridiculous as creationism.

    I’d be very careful about assuming that the Dover decision would have any impact on a potential case in Florida or Texas. Dover took place in a different federal district than either Texas or Florida. Judges in those districts are not under any requirement to agree with judge Jones. In fact this could be precisely what creationists want. If they can get even one different ruling, say the 11th district says ID is constitutional while Jones in the 3rd district said it wasn’t, they could then get this to the Supreme Court. In fact, if the side of reason and science lost at the district level they would almost certainly file an appeal. With just Dover and the 3rd district, the ID side would be reliant on the Dover school district, which already lost big money, to file an appeal that the SC might not hear, Jones’ decision is basically in line with previous SC ruling. On the other hand if either one of these courts (11 or 5) rules against science, the science side would appeal and, with multiple, contradictory rulings, the SC would have a legitimate reason to hear the case.

    The current composition of the Supreme Court leaves such an appeal very much in the open. I hate to say this, but if this is their plan, it isn’t a stupid one.

  43. #43 Dinzer
    January 10, 2008

    I wonder if the timing of this sudden “surge” is meant to coincide with the release of “Expelled”

  44. #44 Inoculated Mind
    January 10, 2008

    One possible way to determine whether or not they were contacted by the discovery institute is figure out who are the people pushing for the new verbiage in the school boards, and contact them by phone posing as a member of the Disco Institute to “follow up” on some previous conversation. Offer the Disco legal services, ask if they have any questions, congratulate them on doing a service for their kids, and emphatically say Amen.

    Then, see if they respond in a comfortable manner, like, oh yeah, I remember talking to you folks, thanks so much. Or “what’s the Discovery Institute?” It’s chancy, but it might work. It would have to be done by someone who can be deadpan about it, and the conversations should be recorded.

    Otherwise, we could get someone like Barbara Forrest to do an analysis of the language used, and compare to any recent publications made by the Disco Instutite.

  45. #45 dweb
    January 10, 2008

    The solution is already at hand. It is time to call in

    THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

  46. #46 SEF
    January 10, 2008

    This site lists only 66 Florida school boards (although someone above got the number 67 from somewhere) but includes their phone numbers, should anyone want to try the direct approach tomorrow:

    http://www.floridaguide.com/schoolboards/

  47. #47 negentropyeater
    January 10, 2008

    Well, for sure, they didn’t come up with the idea, “on their own”. And several at the same time does seems toindicate that someone has been manoeuvering behind.

    But on another hand, is this forbidden ? If the Discovery Institute is now operating in a “bottom-up” strategy, we need to know what kind of effect it can produce. Especially if, as it is quite to be expected, most school board members in rural USA are not going to be scientifically literate and therefore shouldn’t be regarded as competent to judge what is a scientifically valid theory or not.

  48. #48 SEF
    January 10, 2008

    The Florida School Boards Association has many individual names (with snail-mail addresses, phone numbers and even email addresses) for people to try out the simple “ask them” approach:

    http://www.fsba.org/schoolboardmembers.asp

  49. #49 SEF
    January 10, 2008

    This site has a larger list of Florida schools / districts – including a Virtual one! So does a virtual school have real pupils and what’s its image like? ;-)

    http://www.fldoe.org/schoolmap/flash/schoolmap_text.asp

  50. #50 Fernando Magyar
    January 10, 2008

    Don’t be silly.
    Its Jesus, of course!

    I just spoke to my friend Jesus Garcia and he swore it wasn’t him.

    On a more serious note, as a parent of a scientifically gifted kid, currently in the Florida public school system, I’m beginning to get a little worried. It might be time to get ready for a fight.

  51. #51 Lawdog
    January 10, 2008

    Hmmm….”a fair and balanced approached”…Fox News…must be Rupert Murdoch behind all of this!

  52. #52 noncarborundum
    January 10, 2008

    Therefore you never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion.

    For a contrary viewpoint, see Skinner’s ‘Superstition’ in the Pigeon:

    If a clock is now arranged to present the food hopper at regular intervals with no reference whatsoever to the bird’s behavior, operant conditioning usually takes place. In six out of eight cases the resulting responses were so clearly defined that two observers could agree perfectly in counting instances. One bird was conditioned to turn counter-clockwise about the cage, making two or three turns between reinforcements. Another repeatedly thrust its head into one of the upper corners of the cage. A third developed a ‘tossing’ response, as if placing its head beneath an invisible bar and lifting it repeatedly. Two birds developed a pendulum motion of the head and body, in which the head was extended forward and swung from right to left with a sharp movement followed by a somewhat slower return. The body generally followed the movement and a few steps might be taken when it was extensive. Another bird was conditioned to make incomplete pecking or brushing movements directed toward but not touching the floor. None of these responses appeared in any noticeable strength during adaptation to the cage or until the food hopper was periodically presented. In the remaining two cases, conditioned responses were not clearly marked.

    The conditioning process is usually obvious. The bird happens to be executing some response as the hopper appears; as a result it tends to repeat this response. If the interval before the next presentation is not so great that extinction takes place, a second ‘contingency’ is probable. This strengthens the response still further and subsequent reinforcement becomes more probable. . . .

  53. #53 BaldApe
    January 10, 2008

    I’m with dogmeatib. I wonder if there is a particular federal judge or court they think they will win in?

    Good news is, in 50 years or so Florida will mostly be underwater anyway.

  54. #54 negentropyeater
    January 10, 2008

    Found the following on the Florida DOE office of Math & Science website :

    Input for the revisions to the Sunshine state Science standard : closing January 2008 !

    Recommendations :

    http://www.fldoestem.org/Uploads/1/docs/FLDOE/Townmtg_Presentation_King_Science_Standards.pdf

    Please note page 24/33 :

    Refer to AAAS and National Research Council
    (NRC) literature to imbed Nature of Science (NOS)
    concepts within the standards as well as NRC
    materials on teaching evolution and the nature of
    science.

    So I guess we’re seeing a backlash of this process.

  55. #55 RBH
    January 10, 2008

    Fernando Magyar wrote

    On a more serious note, as a parent of a scientifically gifted kid, currently in the Florida public school system, I’m beginning to get a little worried. It might be time to get ready for a fight.

    It’s past time, friend. Get in contact with Florida Citizens for Science tonight!

  56. #56 Lucy
    January 10, 2008

    Wow….

    This is fucking terrifying…..

    *grabs Galileo’s Daughter and a flashlight, and hides under the covers indefinitely*

  57. #57 Lucy
    January 10, 2008

    dinzer may have a point…..those loonies in florida (and elsewhere, especially those on school boards) are going to be deadly when Expelled comes out……I pray (to the FSM, of course) that it won’t be widely released……

  58. #58 Dr Zen
    January 10, 2008

    “other theories as to the creation of the universe”

    I must have missed the bit in the theory of natural selection that explained how the universe was created.

    When will these fucktards learn that using “evolution” as a codeword for “rationality” just points up their only crazedness?

  59. #59 Dr Zen
    January 10, 2008

    “other theories as to the creation of the universe”

    I must have missed the bit in the theory of natural selection that explained how the universe was created.

    When will these fucktards learn that using “evolution” as a codeword for “rationality” just points up their only crazedness? We have to teach children that evolution is a fact because, erm, it’s a fact.

  60. #60 JasonTD
    January 10, 2008

    Re:38

    “Also, what are the legal prerogatives of a school board as far as defining the science curriculum ?
    Can someone provide some light on the matter ?”

    I have been teaching science (chemistry and physics) in Florida for 5 years now, so I think I say a few things about this.

    The way it works here is that the state creates standards for each subject. The individual districts are responsible for designing the full curriculum themselves, aligning it with the standards. I suppose that a district, or individual school, perhaps, could choose not to teach a given standard or teach it differently than it is worded. However, even if there are no legal repercussions for doing so (I don’t know what the law says about this), there are two practical consequences for the districts that go this route.

    First, the standards are used to design the state tests given at every school to every student in grades 3-11. (the science test is given for grades 5, 8, and 11, reading and math 3-10) Any school or district that did not teach evolution would then see their students’ science scores suffer compared to what they would otherwise be, since there would be questions on the test relating to evolution. Since this last year, the scores of the science test do count toward a schools “grade”. (George’s little brother Jeb instituted a plan that gives a grade for each school based primarily on the results of the FCAT testing, but that also includes a few other factors like graduation rate. These grades are reported to the public and an “A” grade can mean bonuses for the school, and repeated “F” grades can mean drastic measures including having the state take over the school from the district.)

    Second, publishers who want their books bought by schools in Florida have to be sure that their books cover the Florida standards. We even have Florida editions of the books which list the standards covered by the textbook in the teacher’s editions to aid us in our planning. The state approves books that match up well with the state’s standards, and then individual districts can choose from among the approved books.

    So, as another commenter pointed out, Florida and Texas are good battleground states for the creationists since so many textbooks are bought by us.

  61. #61 B
    January 10, 2008

    Florida: America’s wang.

  62. #62 zinc
    January 10, 2008

    I was just wondering if anyone knows how to milk a dinosaur or where I can get a used dino saddle….. I hear you can get practical advice from the retards running the creationist museum in Kentucky.

    Duh.

  63. #63 RamblinDude
    January 10, 2008

    The conditioning process is usually obvious. The bird happens to be executing some response as the hopper appears; as a result it tends to repeat this response. If the interval before the next presentation is not so great that extinction takes place, a second ‘contingency’ is probable. This strengthens the response still further and subsequent reinforcement becomes more probable. . . ..

    I remember seeing this behavior in pigeons in a video that Richard Dawkins(?) made that was linked to a few months ago. I remember thinking it was the one thing in the whole video that was likely to have a real impact on the average person.

    A lot of religious/superstitious people aren’t generally inherently stupid. They’ve just been fed a great deal of misinformation (like the lies that creationists and rapture preachers feed them) and they don’t know any different. But these are the very people that need to be educated, (there’s still hope for them) and this kind of experiment, presented properly, is exactly the kind of thing that average people can get their heads around. Seeing things like this can cut through a lot of crap and show, simply and graphically, how the world works. In this case, how superstitious behavior gets reinforced.

    This kind of communication is an art that we don’t often see taken to a high level. Carl Sagan was quite good at this, but he’s dead.

  64. #64 Bad
    January 10, 2008

    Again: the timing issue may simply be because the new state science education are forcing the issue in a way that hasn’t been done before. And the similar language may simply be, well, the fact that creationists have very very few arguments and cliches, endlessly recycled. I don’t think either of these things are, even together, good enough for more than a hunch. If there’s an organized effort here it would be good to root it out, but we also don’t want to be jumping at shadows and ascribing to design what might better be explained by common ignorance.

  65. #65 Fernando Magyar
    January 10, 2008

    Re #55
    I joined up. Thanks RBH.

  66. #66 Thomas Anoymous
    January 10, 2008

    I’ve figured out the perfect way to get these people to start teaching & believing in evolution, if not the scientific method. Tell them that every

    Muslim
    Homosexual
    European
    Hippie
    etc.

    wants them to believe that evolution is not true.

  67. #67 Cthulhu
    January 10, 2008

    FSM?! Ha! With PZ as a devoted follower, my success in dominating the world is assured!

  68. #68 MAJeff
    January 10, 2008

    With PZ as a devoted follower, my success in dominating the world is assured!

    Beware the Mouse and Disco Ball.

  69. #69 Skeptic8
    January 11, 2008

    Ladies & Gents please HELP we Texans who will be in the sights of the Creos. Please note the “teaching evolution as a fact” language. And a “fair and balanced” course is then proposed.
    This is baloney. This old geologist habitually inserts “speciation” instead of “evolution” just to get thinking room back to the rocks AND the modern species. I’ll bet that most of the posters here are happy with either slant. The literalist theocrats imply that we make a devotional sign whenever the Magical Word is uttered. Speciation evidence is overwhelming. Might it be useful to do a name change so we can say “common descent” before the IED goes off? The idea that I propose is their own “wedge” thesis of forcing a position which can be defined in common terms. Make ‘em seamless with a 6000 year old observable universe. Tie all paleology to the “flood” hypothesis as a noose.
    Make ‘em work instead of recycling bullshit. Or they could have appropriate jobs in Texas in the “manure-to-methane” project set up by the LCRA.

  70. #70 Escuerd
    January 11, 2008

    I don’t know whether it’s intelligent design, but it sure looks like those statements are the product of common descent. :)

  71. #71 Kami
    January 11, 2008

    Somebody should write a short book to counter all this nonsense. One you could print off from home and hand out wherever it is appropriate. Since ID has been regurgitating the same arguments over and over, this should only be a matter of time-consumption rather than difficulty.

    I’m not an expert on any science, but I would be willing to spell-check and be an editor for such an important project.

    Besides, a lot of it could probably be gleaned from past posts on this very blog…

  72. #72 H. Humbert
    January 11, 2008

    Kami, try checking out the ID section at Talk Origins.

  73. #73 moops
    January 11, 2008

    Evolution is a much more problematic field of science as it strikes at the deepest core belief of Christians. This has nothing to do with fundamentalist and their literal interpretations of the Bible.

    at it’s core, Evolution is not compatible with the Christian model of dualism. The existence of a personal immaterial soul. If we share common descent with apes, and ultimately all living creatures, you either have to grant them all a form of soul (strong induction: creatures with souls are born of parents that have souls), or you must pick a point in history where proto-humans obtain souls (someone gets a soul, but their parents were soulless creatures).

    neither of these alternatives are addressed or even possible in Christian theology. the former is explicitly rejected, and the latter, despite the fact that it would be of fundamental importance, is not even touched by doctrine.

    the first alternative is compatible with Hinduism, but they argue about it. some pre-Abrahamic religions are compatible with the latter model, and allude to such a moment.

    Christianity ? Islam ? Judaism ?

    nope.

    The horrifying truths in the Scope’s trial was not that evolution contradicted Biblical stories. Their horror was the abyss that being monkeys’ cousins meant to the view of the soul.

    You need a whole new religion if you want to accept evolution. That is why they fight. They have figured this out and know what it means. Most dualists have not really thought this through. I don’t care how liberal or contemporary or progressive your flavor of Christianity is.

    the fundamentalists are just the vanguard. ALL Christians are eventually going to have to either reject evolution, or generate a new philosophy of spirit that is compatible with it. Currently most Christians would rather not think too hard about it and just get on with life…knowing that you are holding two incompatible views of reality in your head and just switching between them.

  74. #74 Sigmund
    January 11, 2008

    moops, the catholic church does indeed recognize this problem and its official position is that, although biological evolution (under God’s guidance) might have occurred, Adam and Eve were real people and ancestors of everyone alive today. In addition, although Adam and Eve may have come from prior humans, those humans did not have a ‘soul’ – this was introduced (or injected) into humanity by God at that moment in an act of special creation.
    The catholic church is very ambivalent about biological evolution. Technically speaking catholic evolutionists such as Kenneth Miller go much further than the church accepts (if this was 500 years ago his degree of dissent would have got Miller burnt at the stake).
    If you have a strong stomach try reading this article about evolution on the official catholic website.
    http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0309fea3.asp

  75. #75 Leigh
    January 11, 2008

    @moops #73 “ALL Christians are eventually going to have to either reject evolution, or generate a new philosophy of spirit that is compatible with it.”

    Nope. All done already. Most of us are of the opinion that the Adam and Eve story is about achieving human-level sentience, and thus the ability to tell right from wrong. Then we immediately went right on with slugging it out over water and game, but we felt kind of bad about it. Really, it’s the most natural thing in the world, when you consider all the monkey-folks who demonstrably understand fairness. And that soul thing? If you can conceive of a God or Gods, you’ve got one. And that’s true whether you’re Homo sapiens, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla beringei, a cetacean, or a cuttlefish. Now, what you’re gonna do with it beats the hell out of me. A lot of folks act as is they don’t have one. Their meat machine with its built-in and preprogrammed operating system is all they want or need. But some like to add some application on top of the OS, and maybe call it Soul 1.0, and try to interact with unseen people on an individual basis. We can only hope that the vendor who pushed Soul 1.O out the door was a humanistic gentle, wise person of integrity.

  76. #76 G. Tingey
    January 11, 2008

    #50, Fernando Magyar said:
    “I’m beginning to get a little worried. It might be time to get ready for a fight.”

    Wrong verb at the end, without the “l”, you also included an indefinite article – you SHOULD have said:
    “I’m getting worried. It will soon be time to get ready for FLIGHT.

    My prediction is that, unless y’all very lucky, after 2 terms of the godless whore of Babylon (Hilary) the 2016 election will, like 2000, be disputed, with an ultra-right-wingnut-christian “winning”.
    At which point it will be 1933-in-Germany time.
    And you had better be ready to leave, before the inquisition come knocking on your doors.

    See:
    “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Revolt in 2100″, by Margaret Attwood, and Roabert Anson Heinlein, respectively.

  77. #77 DrFrank
    January 11, 2008

    #75
    And that soul thing? If you can conceive of a God or Gods, you’ve got one.
    …and that follows how, exactly?

    Or are you making the standard conflation of consciousness with some kind of immortal and magical spirit with absolutely no evidence?

  78. #78 Matt Heath
    January 11, 2008

    Questions from a European?
    Is it fairly easy for ID folks pack the school boards? Do not many people put themselves forward? How hard would it be to organise reality-based candidates to stand?

  79. #79 Matt Heath
    January 11, 2008

    I hit “?” one to many times then and made myself seem a bit backward?

  80. #80 Fernando Magyar
    January 11, 2008

    I don’t believe in souls but I still think I’d like to hear Francis Collins’ reaction to this little story, excerpted from the Minds I.

    http://themindi.blogspot.com/2007/02/chapter-7.html

    Chapter 7: The Soul of Martha a Beast

  81. #81 Albatrossity
    January 11, 2008

    Frankly, I think that this has more to do with the recent publication of TWO ID “textbooks” aimed at the high school level; Explore Evolution and The Design of Life. The language of those school board resolutions could have come directly from the blurbs for one or both of those textbooks, and, as we all know, DI fellows are behind both of those textbooks. In the end, it’s more about the money than anything else, I suspect…

    When one or another of these school boards wants to adopt either of those books, it will be important to have serious, thorough, and accessible critiques of those books available for concerned parents and citizens to use in the skirmishes. Certainly none of that will convince the Buckingham clones on these school boards, but it may convince the folks who can vote them into or out of office.

  82. #82 Flex
    January 11, 2008

    To Matt Heath, who is apparently questioning whether he is a European (just kidding),

    There are many factors which affect school board elections, and indeed most local political elections.

    The primary problem, as I see it, is that with the rise of suburban developments in the United States, most citizens do not work or play in the municipality they are nominally resident in. For example, in the office I work in with about 100 engineers, only three of us live in the same municipality as where we work.

    A related problem is that sources of information which would give the residents some inkling of what is happening in the municipality they reside in are typically overlooked by the residents themselves.

    Local television, radio and newspapers don’t get nearly the attention from residents as national media. Even things happening at a state-wide level are ignored. Not because of a media conspiracy, but because it pays better to make a show that can play nationally.

    The result of all this is that residents are not only woefully ignorant of what is happening in the municipality where they reside, but they often don’t even know who to talk to if they have questions.

    As far as I can determine, school boards are local, entirely local, organizations and do not answer to any other government entities in their municipality. They can often even set their own election dates. (IIRC, this changed a couple of years ago in Michigan, now they can only choose 4 days during the year for elections, millages, etc. (corresponding with other local elections), unless they want to pay the municipality the cost of running an election. And the cost to the municipality to run an election is not cheap.)

    Whether school boards should be entirely local and independant is a completely seperate issue. I tend to think they should be, and I concentrate on trying to get people engaged in their local politics. Other people argue that state or federal standards should trump local requirements, which they argue would (should?) ensure a more consistent education.

    So, we have a situation where school board elections may occur at times unrelated to other elections. Further, residents spend little time in their own municipality. For these reasons, voting at school board elections is abysmally low.

    The result of all this is that school boards are uniquely positioned be influenced by a small organized group of voters. Such as those belonging to a church. It would be worse than it currently is except that people often attend a church outside of their own municipality, so even churches can have a hard time affecting their local politics.

    Which brings up an interesting possibility. There are three school boards which have passed resolutions with surprisingly similar language. Are these school districts close enough geographically that some of members from each board share the same church?

  83. #83 holbach
    January 11, 2008

    # 52 Skinner’s experiments with pigeons involved human
    intervention. Huxley’s description of animal behavior,
    or non-behavior did not involve humans in any way, just
    a description of what animals did not do in the way of
    human-like nonsense. So your point, contrary or otherwise,
    is immaterial and should have been pondered before offering
    it as a contrary viewpoint.

  84. #84 SEF
    January 11, 2008

    Are these school districts close enough geographically that some of members from each board share the same church?

    Holmes, Taylor and Baker counties are all along the top edge of Florida but not particularly close. The other 9 of the alleged 12 have unknown locations. However, TV and internet creationist ministries transcend mere geographical opportunities for spreading such corruption and infection among already evil or gullible religious people.

    http://county-map.digital-topo-maps.com/florida.shtml

  85. #85 Flex
    January 11, 2008

    Thanks SEF, for the information.

    That’s one thing I really like about the commentors on Pharyngula. When I don’t take the time to do the research myself, someone else not only has done it, but often will politely show where they got the answer from. Thanks again, SEF.

    My question was not to suggest that creationist ministries are not pervasive (why did I want to write perverse there?) across the nation. That contagion is truly a national phenomonon.

    The map SEF provided strongly suggests that this is not a single church which services several communities. This still allows for many possibilities, ranging from a number of independant people being annoyed with the wording in the state standards, and using the internet to get similar phrasing; all the way to mass mailings to known creationists in Florida from a national organization, including suggested phrasing of the resolution.

    Interesting.

  86. #86 Sigmund
    January 11, 2008

    #81
    That Explore Evolution textbook is a pretty insidious piece of work. The DI has been heavily promoting this over the past few months. Its basically creationism with a new name – Evolution!
    http://www.exploreevolution.com/

  87. #87 Greg Forest
    January 11, 2008

    I was thinking about Texas (home) and Florida. What would happen if the Supreme Court decided that ALL education was completely a state’s rights issue?

    What would happen if Texas and Florida decided that biblical (no caps on purpose) science is the only thing to be taught in public schools?

    Fifteen – twenty years go by and Texans are wondering why they are all so poor and can’t find decent jobs. Everyone is doing manual labor or cleaning pools except of course their corporate and secular bosses. That’s my silver lining – the world is generally run by the smarter and better educated. The theocons are grooming their kids for slavery. They want conformity – not ingenuity.

    I submit that the theocons would get even more irate because they would perceive their corporate employers as discriminating against Texans and Floridians because of their religion; not their ignorance. Corporate HQ needs people that can think and these states can’t provide thinkers.

    I know that the big corporations love compliant, dumb and low-paid workers but somebody has to run the office and make strategic company decisions. I doubt that there are many sane stockholders, Christians included, that want corporate policy to be faith driven.

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why Christian parents would want to hobble their children into a life of menial and low-paid jobs. Only so many of them can punch tickets at the Creation Museum – even at minimum wage.

  88. #88 Rich Stage
    January 11, 2008

    The IDist in Florida are back
    to mount a creationist attack
    let’s hope that we find
    someone of sound mind
    to pick up the rational slack

    Armageddon will surely come soon.
    Like Damocles’ sword it looms.
    Threatening to fall,
    and destroying us all
    if you listen to evangelistic loons.

    Some day, one would hope, they will act
    as if they’ve read just one single fact.
    But I won’t hold my breath,
    for it would be a quick death,
    because this IDiocy keeps coming back.

  89. #89 moops
    January 11, 2008

    Leigh: And that soul thing? If you can conceive of a God or Gods, you’ve got one. And that’s true whether you’re Homo sapiens, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla beringei, a cetacean, or a cuttlefish.

    that’s all very beautiful, but if you believe that, then what’s the point calling yourself a “Christian” ?

    you’ve gone and made up a whole new metaphysics.

    do the cetaceans get Heaven too if they imagine it ? How about Homo Erectus ?

    is the Homo Sapien soul immortal even though when you are dead you are not imagining things anymore ?

    It’s like threads of a tapestry.

  90. #90 moops
    January 11, 2008

    Sigmund: http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0309fea3.asp

    the article starts well enough, but then devolves into old fallacies, like the “problem” of punctuated equilibrium, and irreducible complexity. Both of which have been handled well for a long time now by evolution.

    Still, at least they are trying (currently still failing, but trying).

  91. #91 thwaite
    January 11, 2008

    #82 Yes, Skinner’s experiments were human interventions, but they were motivated on naturalist’s observations – Skinner simply set up situations which could be quantified. (Admittedly, he stopped there rather than continuing other naturalistic studies such as one-trial learning, but that’s a separate critique.)
    A lucid generalist’s summary of learning contingencies per Skinner and others is at this Animal Behaviour tutorial site.
    This site makes a more cogent criticism of calling them ‘superstitious’ behaviors: the behaviors are actually based on data observed by the animal, merely over-generalized. Human superstitions needn’t ever involve data.

  92. #92 Matt Heath
    January 11, 2008

    @Flex: Thanks [no question mark]

  93. #93 Shenda
    January 11, 2008

    “In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards.”
    Mark Twain – Following the Equator; Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, 1897

    School Board idiocy is nothing new, and is not going away anytime soon. :(

  94. #94 Happiness Longview
    January 11, 2008

    Look. Let ‘em have it. In a few generations the American madrassas will have us so technologically inept we won’t be able to bomb anyone else.

    All civilizations die eventually. Currently, there appears to be an ecological need to reduce the human population by 90%, and to scale back technology while the planet recovers. Governor Huckabee merely wants to lead toward that goal for a couple of presidential terms. What’s wrong with that?

  95. #95 Peter Ashby
    January 11, 2008

    The problem Happiness Longview is that over the pond in the country divided from yours by a common language, our nukes need your guys to target ‘em for us. Our govt keeps trying to tell us we have an ‘independent’ nuclear deterrent and sure we have some ignorant idiots who swallow it but we have I think better media than you, even our tabloids get irate about this occasionally.

    There are often many apparent reasons to go live in France. Except that up here in the country of the Auld Alliance with La Belle France we have a new govt that is strongly anti nuke, and it has control of planning and transport. Watch this space.

  96. #96 Brandon
    January 11, 2008

    Holmes, Taylor and Baker counties are all along the top edge of Florida but not particularly close. The other 9 of the alleged 12 have unknown locations. However, TV and internet creationist ministries transcend mere geographical opportunities for spreading such corruption and infection among already evil or gullible religious people.

    A couple more counties have now been identified: Clay, Hamilton and possibly St. Johns. Check the latest post on the Florida Citizens for Science blog. All of these counties are in north Florida. Interesting, don’t ya think?

  97. #97 Camby
    January 11, 2008

    It seems the Florida Baptists are heavily involved – aided substantially by the law firm of David Gibbs – the same David Gibbs who was instrumental in both the Terry Schiavo and the Woods Hole Creationist cases (as Scienceblogs’ Ed Brayton has previously detailed.)

    Here’s an article from the boneheaded site: Idiots Opposing Evolution

    The article references a memorandum from the Gibbs Law Firm, P.A. which is co-authored by Gibbs and someone touted as a curriculum expert, Dr. Francis P. Grubbs, PhD. The pdf can be viewed here: More Creationist Nonsense

    Another Florida nutjob who has his hand in this is Terry Kemple. He distributed the above referenced letter and memorandum to members of the State Board of Education. Kemple has made a name for himself fending off civilization’s impending destruction by opposing gay marriage and bikini bars.

    There is no smoking gun here for the actual boilerplate of these various resolutions, but perhaps these names and organizations will give our more thorough ‘Florida Detectives’ a jumping off point.

  98. #98 Ichthyic
    January 11, 2008

    A lucid generalist’s summary of learning contingencies per Skinner and others is at this Animal Behaviour tutorial site.

    neat; I bookmarked that one for several of my younger acquaintances who have general questions about behavior.

  99. #99 milkbone
    January 11, 2008

    All of these counties are in north Florida. Interesting, don’t ya think?

    Predictable. The panhandle is often referred to Floribama and is much more “Deep South” than the rest of the state.

  100. #100 Ichthyic
    January 11, 2008

    Here’s an article from the boneheaded site: Idiots Opposing Evolution

    from that article:

    For Kim Kendall, a stay-at-home mom and former air traffic controller, joined by three other concerned mothers in St. Johns County, the new standards deny academic freedom to teachers and students to explore both the proofs as well as the faults of evolution.

    so i guess they have no problems lying about their actual agenda, over and over and over again.

    yes, the language certainly does smack of the Disinformation Institute.

  101. #101 dogmeatib
    January 11, 2008

    Another problem with local politics is that you don’t really have to have any real qualifications to hold the office. To serve on a school board you have to be “interested” in education and effectively, have a pulse.

    There have been a couple of reports showing that anti-public education groups, generally Calvinist/ultra-fundamentalist Christian organizations, run for board positions (without mentioning their goals) and then intentionally run school districts into the ground because they believe that all education should be done by the churches. I had some very old links related to this, but couldn’t find them doing a search, etc.

    To make matters worse, many school district board members are unpaid volunteers or lowly paid “part-time” positions. You have to find someone willing to run for an office where effectively everyone thinks they can do a better job, where you are going to have to do additional work to research issues, etc., have to deal with and potentially worry about legal issues, and you’re not going to get paid. Most professionals don’t have the time or energy to do this so you get retirees and stay at home moms who often happen to be fairly conservative Christians.

    Put that all together with the lack of media attention, often lack of interest, the incorrect belief that the big national elections are more important than the small local elections, and you have a recipe for disaster. Only 60% of Americans voted in the last presidential election, something like 45% voted in the last congressional election (because Americans were PISSED). Something like 20% bother to vote in local elections.

  102. #102 RubyGlare
    January 12, 2008

    Too bad all those out-of-work rocket scientists don’t run for the school boards; & those engineers who’ve been outsourced. I wish someone with money, credibility to all concerned, & charisma would organize ‘Humanist Breakfasts’, where people other than creationists can meet regularly.

  103. #103 dc
    January 17, 2008

    The Clay county school board just approved a modified version of the resolution by a 5-0 vote. One of the board members asked about the origins of the resolution, who wrote it and who brought it to the board, and our superintendent, David Owens said he was responsible for, “all of the above.” He said later (off camera) that he worked with Paula Barton, Superintendent of Schools for Baker County, to write and distribute it. A couple of us are working to get a copy of the recording of the meeting (video and audio). Earlier in the meeting Owens said that everybody in the room was obviously passionate about their ideas and beliefs. He asked how many concepts in science changed over the years when the information changed? How did we know evolution wouldn’t do likewise? We shouldn’t be so dogmatic about this. We should pass this resolution because it reflects our beliefs. What a concept?! Beliefs equals experimental data. No wonder we have such low science scores down here. Detectives tracking resolutions also should notice that the quote of the standard in all the resolutions has the same typo. The resolution reads, “the fundamental concept underlying all of biology and is supported in multiple forms of scientific evidence.” The actual standard as we wrote it says, “…is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence.” These things all came from one source and, according to the county attorney, the resolutions barely stay away from violating the Kitzmiller decision.

  104. #104 Ichthyic
    January 17, 2008

    the resolutions barely stay away from violating the Kitzmiller decision.

    Kitzmiller is only applicable to the federal district of the court it was heard in, so they can “violate” it all they want.

    obviously they THINK they would like to see the same court case happen in their neck of the woods, but I’d wager a hefty sum (or maybe a case of scotch – don’t ask unless you are familiar with William Dembski) that the end results would disappoint them mightily.

  105. #105 dc
    January 19, 2008

    Ichthyic wrote, “Kitzmiller is only applicable to the federal district of the court it was heard in, so they can “violate” it all they want.”
    All present, including the board attorney, were aware of the limitations of Kitzmiller but the lawyer made it very clear that if the board stepped over the line it drew they were facing a lawsuit that would cost them a minimum of half a million dollars (lawyers are cheaper down here than in Pennsylvania). Nobody wants a test case in this district. I think the board was a little frustrated by the whole thing. They obviously weren’t expecting the comments from 22 opponents to the resolution. They also conveniently forgot to mention that they had already made two significant changes to the wording of the resolution that were not made public until AFTER the public comment period. The comments of several of us would have been significantly different if we had known. They spent several minutes disagreeing on the relative definitions of “concept” and “theory” while trying to decide whether to tell the state to change concept to theory in the standard. The attorney wouldn’t help them with this because he hadn’t brought a dictionary. It was suggested that they ask one of the two actual writers of the standard in question in the room but that didn’t sit well either. Apparently it was too difficult to go get a dictionary from a nearby classroom so they just muddled on without resolving anything. The body language of at least two members was saying, “Can we please vote on this and get it over with?” It was not an evening to inspire confidence on local school board.

  106. #106 Ichthyic
    January 19, 2008

    but the lawyer made it very clear that if the board stepped over the line it drew they were facing a lawsuit that would cost them a minimum of half a million dollars (lawyers are cheaper down here than in Pennsylvania). Nobody wants a test case in this district.

    just to be clear, that’s not based on Kitzmiller, that’s based on already well established federal law, upheld in SCOTUS.

    Kitzmiller is just exactly the end result they should expect based on current SCOTUS position.

    that so many creobots think that continuing lawsuits is somehow going to become a positive thing for them (yes, they don’t listen to their own lawyers), is not unexpected given that they so often insist on shooting their own feet.

    so i see what you are saying in that kitzmiller should serve as a good warning, but just want to be clear that no new law was set there.

  107. #107 Ichthyic
    January 19, 2008

    Apparently it was too difficult to go get a dictionary from a nearby classroom so they just muddled on without resolving anything.

    again, certainly not surprising from a group of people who are desperately trying to maintain living in denial.

    I think you got an excellent eyeview of just how messed up these people are.

  108. #108 rahulk
    July 31, 2008

    Well friends i read this blog and i think its very cool and nice.

    ——————————————————

    rahulk

    Florida Treatment Centers

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