Pharyngula

A little ol’ Texas Poll

Texans need some wise advice. KTBX asks, How do you think science should be taught in Texas schools?.

Evolution only – 34.50%
Creationism only – 16.83%

Combination of both – 48.67%
Total Responses - 600

Those numbers don’t look quite right to me. I’m about to get on a plane and fly to Minneapolis…is there any chance there will be a significant shift by the time I land?

Comments

  1. #1 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 27, 2009

    Voted for reason.

  2. #2 Glen Davidson
    March 27, 2009

    I’m happy with the wording, though. No weaseling around with “strengths and weaknesses.”

    Only if they called creationism “woo,” though, would the wording be truly appropriate.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  3. #3 AJ
    March 27, 2009

    A poll! It’s been so long since the last time… can… barely… remember what… to… do.

  4. #4 Magic 8-Ball
    March 27, 2009

    is there any chance there will be a significant shift by the time I land?

    OUTLOOK GOOD

  5. #5 SLW13
    March 27, 2009

    Oh, Texas.

    *bangs head repeatedly against brick wall*

  6. #6 chancelikely
    March 27, 2009

    “Evolution Only” passed “Both” with the vote before mine.

  7. #7 broxster
    March 27, 2009

    a pointless poll indeed. science is much more than biology which is the implication of wording of the question.

  8. #8 Matt
    March 27, 2009

    Don’t despair, PZ – I voted for evolution.

    Honestly, Texas is deeply depressing me. Sixteen percent want creationism only thus far? With the scientific method, creationism ends at the very beginning. It has no scientific substantiation. Keep your religious theories out of the classroom, unless you want to teach all of the religious ideas on evolution. Even then, I would only support science.

  9. #9 Rowan
    March 27, 2009

    Voted and added to the lead for evolution.

  10. #10 Muzz
    March 27, 2009

    Man, that site a is a veritable riot of ads/links isn’t it.

  11. #11 cactusren
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only is now the majority, at 50.54%

  12. #12 BeamStalk
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only – 50.66%
    Creationism only – 12.36%
    Combination of both – 36.97%
    Total Responses – 833

  13. #13 MReap
    March 27, 2009

    Thanks PZ!

    Melanie in Winona

  14. #14 Scott S
    March 27, 2009

    Not a bad shift in this short amount of time. . .

    Evolution only – 48.56%
    Creationism only – 12.89%
    Combination of both – 38.55%
    Total Responses – 799

  15. #15 Christopher Letzelter
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution up to 51% currently – I just voted for the facts.

  16. #16 SC
    March 27, 2009

    That’s scary — 15 minutes after you post, there are already 160 new votes, of which 144 are for evolution only, 14 are for a combination of both, and 2 are for creationism. Good thing you use your powers mostly for good!

  17. #17 SteveM
    March 27, 2009

    and what part of creationism qualifies as science?
    Might just as well poll:

    How should science be taught:
    a) astonomy only
    b) astrology only
    c) combination of both

    How should science be taught:
    a) chemistry only
    b) alchemy only
    c) combination of both

    etc.

  18. #18 uksceptic
    March 27, 2009

    I voted. I don’t live there though.

    OH NO! Do you think maybe this means the poll is jeopardised?!

    Damn.

  19. #19 Laura, CA
    March 27, 2009

    I am heartened that the poll had an overwhelming 83% saying evolution should be taught, even if a bunch of them wanted “woo” taught along side it.

  20. #20 Bryn
    March 27, 2009

    Annnnnd at 943 votes, the score now stands:
    Evolution only: 55.57% (okay, what nimrod only voted .57%?)
    Creation only: 11.35%
    Combo pack: 33.09%

  21. #21 prudence
    March 27, 2009

    I’m ok with teaching creationism as long as ALL the creation myths are taught equally. In a separate class called “Creationism”.

  22. #22 rnb
    March 27, 2009

    SteveM,

    You should also add Geocentrism under astronomy……….

  23. #23 Evan
    March 27, 2009

    The related article, and its comments, have me weeping for humanity.

  24. #24 teammarty
    March 27, 2009

    Alchemy!! What a good idea. we can always use more gold.

  25. #25 wombat
    March 27, 2009

    It’s as if law never happens with these people. The state of Texas cannot AS A MATTER OF LAW teach creationism of any stripe in public schools. These thug theocrats prattle on all the time about the ‘rule of law’ until it’s inconvenient to their cause of evangelizing Jesus then they conveniently throw it out the window. It’s not even a controversial issue in judicial circles anymore but a clear and unambiguous violation of the 1st Amendment. I’m sure the Discovery Institute hates polls like these that unveil their agenda. They will kick and scream about how this isn’t about ‘creationism’.

  26. #26 BadSeed
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only – 64.53%
    Creationism only – 8.99%
    Combination of both – 26.48%
    Total Responses – 1246

  27. #27 Gaga
    March 27, 2009

    veni vidi votai
    have a nice weekend!

  28. #28 EMUAlgaeGirl
    March 27, 2009

    It’s 65% now. I hope your email is braced, I hear you don’t mess with Texas. Oh well!

    http://tinyurl.com/c8vcmp

  29. #29 aweb
    March 27, 2009

    I’d personally like to see a lot more science than just evolution. You know, the rest of Biology that isn’t directly related, Physics, Chemistry, Math, Stats, Computer science, etc… I mean, evolution is good and all, but it’s a long, long way from summing up “Science” as a whole.

  30. #30 God Retardent
    March 27, 2009

    What is wrong with our education system when a FUCK like Don McLeroy, a creationist, dentist and lier, who believes that the earth is only 6000 years old,has been given the power over the education of American children?

  31. #31 Karen
    March 27, 2009

    There’s a similar question on a Houston news channel’s site:

    http://www.click2houston.com/index.html

    It’s down in the left corner & wants to know if teachers should be required to teach scientific theories, including evolution.

  32. #32 Scott S
    March 27, 2009

    I don’t know why I read the comments on articles like the one attached to the poll. It just makes me want to pull out my hair.

  33. #33 Free Lunch
    March 27, 2009

    Dear Don McLeroy,

    What gives you the moral right to lie to students in Texas?

  34. #34 Desert Son
    March 27, 2009

    Voted. Sound science and reason now at 68%.

    No kings,

    Robert

  35. #35 Dawn
    March 27, 2009

    Just voted. Evolution only is currently at 67%.

  36. #36 Dr. J
    March 27, 2009

    Well, at least the poll is honest and not trying to call creationism something else like ID or “strengths and weaknesses”.

  37. #37 flaq
    March 27, 2009

    “Evolution only” seems a tad narrow to me. Call me old fashioned, but I still think chemistry and physics have a place on the high school science curriculum.

  38. #38 Mexican atheist
    March 27, 2009

    It is up to 72% now.

  39. #39 eddie
    March 27, 2009

    ‘s better’n it was. Now
    67/8/25
    evo/creo/both

  40. #40 Chico
    March 27, 2009

    Wow, so now I know. 65.5% of Texans are completely retarded.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  41. #41 pgpwnit
    March 27, 2009

    The discussion thread had the wonderful “WHY ARE THERE STILL MONKIES?!?!?!” argument.

  42. #42 lytefoot
    March 27, 2009

    I love the justaposition of other hard-hitting relevant polls:

    KBTX – HomePage; How do you think science should be taught in Texas schools? (Click here to learn more and voice your opinion); Mar 27, 2009

    KBTX – Seasonal; What is your favorite Easter candy?; Mar 25, 2009

  43. #43 And-U-Say
    March 27, 2009

    Evo at 74%. Things are looking up, for the poll at least. Texas in general… not so good.

  44. #44 Liberal Atheist
    March 27, 2009

    None of the above… Surely we should teach something else as well :) Yeah, I know, I know…

  45. #45 Rhysz
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only – 75.39%
    Creationism only – 6.30%
    Combination of both – 18.32%

    Well, at least they got the question right.

    Regards,
    Rhysz

  46. #46 Jim Tanger
    March 27, 2009

    creationist popping in.

    Answer this, evolutionists: if evolution is true, and if we evolved from monkeys, then why do they still exist? Why are there still apes/monkeys?

  47. #47 NoAstronomer
    March 27, 2009

    “is there any chance there will be a significant shift by the time I land?”

    Heck, I bet we shifted it before you took off.

  48. #48 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only – 77.16%
    Creationism only – 5.90%
    Combination of both – 16.94%
    Total Responses - 2119

  49. #49 Liberal Atheist
    March 27, 2009

    Jim Tanger, are you serious right now?

  50. #50 Flori-DUH Rob
    March 27, 2009

    It still amazes me how quickly these polls get themselves in line once PZ catches wind of them. Beautiful.

    My part is done.

  51. #51 Jim Tanger
    March 27, 2009

    Yup. Oh superior evolutionists, why are there still monkeys if we evolved from them?

  52. #52 Lee PIcton
    March 27, 2009

    My distant ancestors were German. Why are there still Germans?

  53. #53 Engr Tony
    March 27, 2009

    Voted for evolution.

    Hope you had a good flight, PZ.

  54. #54 Sailaus
    March 27, 2009

    Voted as I drive through the middle of Dunbar’s district. 76% makes the swerving worthwhile.

  55. #55 NoAstronomer
    March 27, 2009

    @Jim (#46):

    Oh that’s easy, for the same reason that we still have bacteria, fish, reptiles, voles and horseshoe crabs.

  56. #56 CS
    March 27, 2009

    77% now.

    Yes, Jim you are an idiot. You wouldn’t even understand the answer to your question.

  57. #57 Liberal Atheist
    March 27, 2009

    I’m not an evolutionist. Stop saying that word, btw, it makes it sound as though you believe it’s some sort of religion or ideology or something, when in fact it is not.

    And all modern apes, including us, have a common ancestor. Also, humans and fruit flies have a common ancestor as well.

  58. #58 ptduff
    March 27, 2009

    @Jim Tanger #46

    Hopefully you’re joking. If so, that’s a good one. If you’re serious that’s even funnier. Think tree of life, not telephone pole of life.

  59. #59 jon
    March 27, 2009

    Jim Tanger:

    Yup. Oh superior evolutionists, why are there still monkeys if we evolved from them?

    Because you touch yourself at night…

    /obvious troll is obvious

    But seriously, it’s because humans and apes actually are different lineages evolved from a common ape-like ancestor. You simply misunderstand how evolution works.

  60. #60 Josh
    March 27, 2009

    Oh superior evolutionists, why are there still monkeys if we evolved from them?

    That’s pretty good, Jim. It’s exactly the way these lunatic nutballs usually phrase the question. And it has all three kinds of win in it:

    1. The complete and total misunderstanding of what happens during speciation.
    2. The incorrect assertion that we evolved from monkeys.
    3. The veiled insult that those who accept evolution are elitists (that was a particularly nice touch).

    A+. You probably couldn’t have gotten it more perfect if you were serious…

  61. #61 Rhysz
    March 27, 2009

    We didn’t descend from a ‘current’ we have a common ancestor….*Facepalm.
    Did I just get POE’d?

    Regards,
    Rhysz

  62. #62 Jim Tanger
    March 27, 2009

    Why are you evolutionists so afraid of creationism? Your theory led to Nazi experiments on superior life forms. How could evolution lead to such a complex and beautiful word? Every watch needs a watchmaker…in this case, God.

  63. #63 Neil
    March 27, 2009

    LOLZ @ #46 and #51

    you have GOT to be kidding, right?

    Dont you know were you are?

  64. #64 KemaTheAtheist
    March 27, 2009

    “Oh superior evolutionists, why are there still monkeys if we evolved from them?”

    For the same reason most americans came from Europeans, yet there are still Europeans…

    Poll update:

    Evolution only – 79.40%
    Creationism only – 5.28%
    Combination of both – 15.32%
    Total Responses – 2461

  65. #65 jon
    March 27, 2009

    Jim Tanger:

    Why are you evolutionists so afraid of creationism? Your theory led to Nazi experiments on superior life forms. How could evolution lead to such a complex and beautiful word? Every watch needs a watchmaker…in this case, God.

    http://slowmotiondriver.com/images/myspace/ImminentRape.jpg

    In an intellectual sense of course…

  66. #66 ptduff
    March 27, 2009

    @Jim Tanger

    Oh your god!!!! You’re a parody of a parody. C’mon, who are you really? PZ? is that you?

  67. #67 Josh
    March 27, 2009

    Why are you evolutionists so afraid of creationism? Your theory led to Nazi experiments on superior life forms. How could evolution lead to such a complex and beautiful word? Every watch needs a watchmaker…in this case, God.

    *yawn*

    C-/D+

    The first one was good. This one, not so much. The creationists usually drool on themselves a little more, and usually don’t try to go to Hitler quite so sick.

  68. #68 Flori-DUH Rob
    March 27, 2009

    Jim Tanger@62

    Can’t be Poe, can it? Does Poe include this level of the ridiculously predictable?

  69. #69 Liberal Atheist
    March 27, 2009

    Why are you evolutionists so afraid of creationism? Your theory led to Nazi experiments on superior life forms. How could evolution lead to such a complex and beautiful word? Every watch needs a watchmaker…in this case, God.

    Right. So what superior life forms were experimented upon?

    I seriously can’t tell whether or not you really believe this utter garbage.

  70. #70 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 27, 2009

    Jim, show us creationism is scientific, and not a religious theory (as confirmed by US court decisions) by citing 10 papers in the last five years from the peer reviewed primary scientific literature showing that creationism is the only explanation for the described data. Until then, it remains a religious theory, and religion should not be taught in science classes, only science should be taught in science classes.

  71. #71 Bill Ringo
    March 27, 2009

    Hell yes

  72. #72 Badjuggler
    March 27, 2009

    Jim Tanger (if that’s his real name) is a dumbass.

  73. #73 ptduff
    March 27, 2009
    “Your theory led to Nazi experiments on superior life forms.”

    The Nazis experimented on space aliens?

  74. #74 FishyFred
    March 27, 2009

    Jim might have been restating the assertion made by KBTX commenter pb.

  75. #75 Marcus Ranum
    March 27, 2009

    I’m disappointed. I personally subscribe to the Yoruba doctrine of creation and I don’t want to be lumped in with all the other doctrines of creationism. :( They’re so obviously wrong.

    I guess I’ll vote for evolution instead, then.

  76. #76 Jim Tanger
    March 27, 2009

    Nazis experimented to make greater life forms that fit their criteria…this was derived from Darwin’s theories. How could evolution explain such a complex and beautiful world?

  77. #77 jon
    March 27, 2009
  78. #78 rob
    March 27, 2009

    we don’t try to teach science at churches. don’t try to teach religion in schools.

  79. #79 EMUAlgaeGirl
    March 27, 2009

    Jim, just because the Nazis took a good idea and did bad things with it doesn’t mean that it was a wholly bad idea.
    (and that’s coming from a former Jew)

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Mahatma Gandhi

  80. #80 Eire_atheist
    March 27, 2009

    Great googlymoogly Jim Tanger…why don’t creationists provide the evidence that supports their claims instead of using the redundant, unicellular, microcephalic fallacy of ‘God did it, In your face heathen!’

    Wow, ‘unicellular’?, ‘microcephalic’? I wonder how my language got so complex, and where did those Latin root words come from…was English designed? Don’t tell me Jimmy…God did it! (In your face, Jesus Boy!)

  81. #81 Randy Randy
    March 27, 2009

    Jim’s right, you know. Only a designer could have created incompetence on the scale of this (#76) Poe-wanna-be.

    If you are going to do a Poe well, you need to think of how you make smoove love to your lady friends. Start out slow, real slow. Whisper sweet nothings in their ear. Build up the tension, make them want more. Then hit it, freaky style.

  82. #82 DJMoore
    March 27, 2009

    I want an option to teach both, but to use Creationism as an example of a non-scientific, non-falsifiable model which does not class as a hypothesis even if it is correct.

    As a volunteer teaching assistant, I’ve used a less-controversial version, suggesting that a classroom surface tension experiment could be explained by invisible, undetectable pixies. Even if true, I say, we don’t care because we cannot examine pixies and figure out how they and their magic work; pixies are dead-end black boxes that do not connect in any way with the rest of science. Further, since it depends on unknowable pixie whims, we cannot use pixies to reliably predict the outcome of future experiments — the pixies may by tired, or petulant, or merely tricksy, as pixies are traditionally said to be.

    Atoms, on the other hand, do provide a reliable, repeatable explanation with very strong predictive powers. The atomic model comports well with other, apparently unrelated phenomena, and although we cannot directly see atoms, we can detect them.

    Nobody’s ever caught on that I’m really talking about Creationism. I’d like to be able to state that case explicitly — but being in Texas, it would be dangerous for me to do that.

  83. #83 Pete's Wicked
    March 27, 2009

    Looks much better:

    Evolution only – 81.12%
    Creationism only – 4.87%
    Combination of both – 14.01%
    Total Responses – 2813

  84. #84 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 27, 2009

    Jim, you avoiding showing the evidence that creationism is scientific. As long as you do, you have no further point. Religion is not to be taught in science classes.

  85. #85 Josh
    March 27, 2009

    Nazis experimented to make greater life forms that fit their criteria…this was derived from Darwin’s theories. How could evolution explain such a complex and beautiful world?

    Seriously, Jim. Now you’re not even trying. Overall, this is quickly devolving into, at best, a C- POE attempt*.

    Although putting “theories” in there as plural was a nice touch. But you’re on your third post and you haven’t yet referred to “gaps in the theory,” a lack of transitional fossils, or asserted that evolution hasn’t been proven. Seriously, C- overall so far.

  86. #86 Blake Stacey
    March 27, 2009

    Nazis experimented to make greater life forms that fit their criteria…this was derived from Darwin’s theories.

    No, it wasn’t. Farmers had been breeding plants and animals for “superior” traits for thousands of years before Darwin.

  87. #87 Woody
    March 27, 2009

    As of this moment, when i voted, we’d done freeped that puppy: 82% Evo Only!

  88. #88 KemaTheAtheist
    March 27, 2009

    we don’t try to teach science at churches. don’t try to teach religion in schools.

    Hmmmm…. maybe we should…..

  89. #89 Kitty'sBitch
    March 27, 2009

    “Nazis experimented to make greater life forms that fit their criteria…this was derived from Darwin’s theories. How could evolution explain such a complex and beautiful world?”

    Uh…NO…no it wasn’t…and uh…open a second book. The one you own is leading you astray.
    If you have any real questions, we would be happy to try and help. If this is all you’ve got, don’t bother.

  90. #90 Sherry
    March 27, 2009

    I think it’s great that I share common ancestors with hummingbirds and Tasmanian Devils and Blue Whales and canines and Bush Babies and Tigers and Pandas.

  91. #91 Becky w/a Y
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only – 81.75%
    Creationism only – 4.71%
    Combination of both – 13.54%
    Total Responses – 2991

  92. #92 Marc
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only – 81.85%
    Creationism only – 4.65%
    Combination of both – 13.51%
    Total Responses – 3035

  93. #93 SteveM
    March 27, 2009

    Nazis experimented to make greater life forms that fit their criteria…this was derived from Darwin’s theories

    *sigh*

    No they weren’t dumbass. People had been breeding animals for desired characteristics thousands of years before Darwin.

    and even if you are trying to “Poe”, you are still a dumbass for lack of creativity.

  94. #94 CG
    March 27, 2009

    Over 80% when I voted. Reason triumphs again!

    Jim, you’re the one who wants to give a single (selfish and petty) being credit for everything. Your world is simple and childish. Our world is complex and beautiful.

  95. #95 ShaggyManiac
    March 27, 2009

    Just voted. Currently “Evolution only – 81.80%”

  96. #96 Zorpheous
    March 27, 2009

    Why are you evolutionists so afraid of creationism? Your theory led to Nazi experiments on superior life forms. How could evolution lead to such a complex and beautiful word? Every watch needs a watchmaker…in this case, God.

    God is a watchmaker??? Does he do repairs?

    Seriously though, a watch is a mechanical creation that requires a creator to exist, there is no nature mechanics in the universe for a watch to evolve, duh!!!

    Ok, if the earth flooded and the entire earth was covered in water, where did all that water go? How do you explain fossilization happening in under 6000 years,… how to explain that God doesn’t follow the rules of the Universe he created,… Does this mean we can travel fast than speed of light? Do miracles follow the SLoT or break them? Does the soul follow the laws of energy conservation? What does god use as a power source? Is hell endothermic or exothermic? Is hell confind by the SLoT? Will Hell keep getting hotter or will it freeze over? If God can creae things out of thin air (so to speak) where does the energy come from? If God can create energy, what is he using to create it, and where does it come from?

    Oh if any of answers start with or contain “I believe,…” or “I have faith,…” you lose. Bonus marks if you can answer the questions without using the letter “E”

  97. #97 TomS
    March 27, 2009

    @Jim Tanger

    “Why are you evolutionists so afraid of creationism? Your theory led to Nazi experiments on superior life forms. How could evolution lead to such a complex and beautiful word? Every watch needs a watchmaker…in this case, God.”

    You do realize, don’t you, that the creationists complain about natural selection. And so did the Nazis. The Nazis thought that there had to be purposeful design to prevent the human “kind” from deteriorating.

    You do realize, don’t you, that creationists accept the idea of evolution within a “kind”, such as “human kind”. They call that “micro”evolution. And, like the Nazis, they deny “macro”evolution, such as the relationship between humans and the rest of the world of life, and the transmutation of species.

    But I don’t suppose that you realize that the Nazis were no fans of Darwin, that they burned “darwinian” books, that they denied common ancestry for all humans.

  98. #98 Jellofuel
    March 27, 2009

    Post 83 shows what I could consider to be drastically more statistically significant than the numbers PZ posted. No offence lol. But I look at PZ’s paragraph and though “wth?” 600? The newest numbers represent Texans better because of the drastically larger sample… so keep your chin up PZ :)

  99. #99 Josh in California
    March 27, 2009

    Re: #82

    As a volunteer teaching assistant, I’ve used a less-controversial version, suggesting that a classroom surface tension experiment could be explained by invisible, undetectable pixies.

    Nobody’s ever caught on that I’m really talking about Creationism. I’d like to be able to state that case explicitly — but being in Texas, it would be dangerous for me to do that.

    I suspect that no creationist has caught on because, to them, god is not undetectable and they know exactly what he’s going to do. (Hint: it’s whatever best suits their preconceptions and prejudices.) They’ve got a huge, Jesus-shaped blind spot. I’m betting that you could take your parody much further and they still wouldn’t catch on.

  100. #100 Jim Tanger
    March 27, 2009

    America was founded on Christian principles. Our founders believed strongly in the Bible.

  101. #101 Josh
    March 27, 2009

    How do you explain fossilization happening in under 6000 years,…

    Don’t use this one. I know what you’re going for, but the creotards don’t actually have to explain it in 100% of cases. What we call “fossilization” is a very broad series of processes and there isn’t any clear definitive dividing line between what we would call, say, a bone, and what we would call a fossil bone. There are certainly processes that would produce what you would probably call a “fossil” in less than 6000 years.

  102. #102 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 27, 2009

    Yawn, still no citations. Ergo, Creationism == religion. The rest is bullshit.

  103. #103 Woody
    March 27, 2009

    Posted by: Jim Tanger | March 27, 2009 1:40 PM

    Nazis experimented to make greater life forms that fit their criteria…this was derived from Darwin’s theories. How could evolution explain such a complex and beautiful world?

    “Just Lucky” works for me. Luck gave us this complex and beautifuyl world, and evolution gave us the creatures which can occupy it.

    Except that your “god-like” humans have been fucking it up so badly that evolution isn’t gonna have time to save all the beauty that’s now here. For that sin, I blame all you god-blighted fux, and hope you, your get, and gotten, get eaten alive by ravenous voles, very slowly…

  104. #104 Desert Son
    March 27, 2009

    To: ptduff at #73
    Re: outstanding balance

    Please remit the cost of one (1) Falcon (R) brand Dust-Off Monitor Wipe depleted from available stock to cleanse computer monitor of sudden and unexpected frosty-cold beverage expectoration.

    Thank you.

    (No kings,)

    Robert

  105. #105 MikeM
    March 27, 2009

    By the way, PZ, on your car question…

    Tesla Sedan.

    Pretty neat, but… I don’t see how they’re going to make money on it. I also think the only way to make this work in the long run is lots of nuclear power; even now, I think there’s too much opposition for that.

  106. #106 Ken Cope
    March 27, 2009

    America was founded on Christian principles. Our founders believed strongly in the Bible.

    I hope Tanger is a poe. Every new Congressman is presented with a Jefferson Bible, in which the Gospels have all its superstitious and miraculous nonsense redacted by the writer of the Constitution and one America’s first presidents, leaving little but some generic “Do as you’d be done by” words to live by. You’ll find the word “god” in the Declaration, which is only a divorce document; the word is missing from the Constitution.

  107. #107 Eric
    March 27, 2009

    Voted for science of course. For some strange reason I think that science should be taught in a science class.

    Also, Jim is either a horrible Poe or horribly stupid. Either way he’s not worth the effort.

  108. #108 Steve_C
    March 27, 2009

    Really Jim?

    How come Christianity, Jesus and the bible aren’t mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights or the Constitution?

  109. #109 Sam C
    March 27, 2009

    Wow, you guys really do bite on the bait, don’t you?

    Jim Tanger lives under a bridge and scares billy goats. He’s a … troll!

    Have a bit of self-awareness, this troll-feeding is embarrassing.

  110. #110 Josh
    March 27, 2009

    America was founded on Christian principles. Our founders believed strongly in the Bible.

    Yes, good! B+/A-! this is more like it. Neither of those statements, even if they were accurate, has fuck all to do with whether a given scientific theory is valid or not. This is better. More creative and further into nutjob land.

  111. #111 KemaTheAtheist
    March 27, 2009

    “America was founded on Christian principles. Our founders believed strongly in the Bible.”

    I think Jim Tanger is really Bill O’Reilly.

  112. #112 Ken Cope
    March 27, 2009

    Jim Tanger lives under a bridge and scares billy goats. He’s a … troll!

    Oh FCC, I just saw #51! No self-respecting poe would try to pass that off as work worthy of the title.

  113. #113 Screechy Monkey
    March 27, 2009

    Come on, Tanger, I just need you to mention thermodynamics, and I’ll have Bingo!

  114. #114 Kitty'sBitch
    March 27, 2009

    “America was founded on Christian principles. Our founders believed strongly in the Bible.”

    Alright, this has got to be a Poe.

  115. #115 Ray Ladbury
    March 27, 2009

    Jim Tanger, I realize that your family tree grows straight and tall, but in most of nature they branch. Humans and the other apes had a common ancestor with monkeys long, long ago. Both branched off of the same ancestor. Get it?

  116. #116 Michael
    March 27, 2009

    Why do you guys respond to an idiot like Jim Tanger? When someone says “evolutionist”, I know it’s a creationist nutter with an agenda, and my brain shuts off. I don’t “believe” in evolution, I accept the scientific research that supports the theory and fact of evolution.

  117. #117 Josh
    March 27, 2009

    Have a bit of self-awareness, this troll-feeding is embarrassing.

    Lighten up, man. It’s fun as a mid-afternoon coffee break.

  118. #118 jon
    March 27, 2009

    @ Sam C:

    Dude, trolls gotta eat too!

  119. #119 Jim Tanger
    March 27, 2009

    Something cannot come out of nothing. How could the entire universe come out of something so random and sudden? It speaks of a higher authority.

  120. #120 Jim Tanger
    March 27, 2009

    Something cannot come out of nothing. How could the entire universe come out of something so random and sudden? It speaks of a higher authority.

  121. #121 bojangles
    March 27, 2009

    how could god have come from nothing, then?

  122. #122 Kitty'sBitch
    March 27, 2009

    BINGO!!!

  123. #123 JBlilie
    March 27, 2009

    TROLL WARNING

    Y’all are letting Jimbo ruffle your feathers too much. I vote for no further posts addressed to the troll.

    DON’T FEED THE TROLL

  124. #124 jon
    March 27, 2009

    So where did God come from Jim?

  125. #125 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 27, 2009

    Jim, still no evidence, just a presupposition. Yawn, you creobots are boring.

  126. #126 Qwerty
    March 27, 2009

    JOSH @ 85 – I agree with your assessment that Jim’s posts are piss poor Poe.

    As for the poll, I voted for evolution but would be okay if creationism was taught as mythic explanations for origins of the earth and its inhabitants. Yes, Texas teaches should tell their students about the Iroquis myth about the earth on the back of a giant turtle.

  127. #127 SteveM
    March 27, 2009

    Tanger is just plain boring

  128. #128 Jim Tanger
    March 27, 2009

    God has always been here. He is the beginning of the cycle. I believe that his authority has come from a long line. However, the universe cannot come out of a random explosion that had seemingly no cause. What was there before the universe?

  129. #129 Marcus B.
    March 27, 2009

    DJMoore said:
    “As a volunteer teaching assistant, I’ve used a less-controversial version, suggesting that a classroom surface tension experiment could be explained by invisible, undetectable pixies.”

    My physics teacher used to talk about the tiny demons that cause friction. I don’t remember who first wrote about them, but there is a whole long list of properties for those demons, so that they can be used to explained more or less any phenomenon attributed to friction. And of course the inescapable conclusion that this doesn’t in any way mean that they are there.

  130. #130 KemaTheAtheist
    March 27, 2009

    Lastest poll:

    Evolution only – 83.50%
    Creationism only – 4.23%
    Combination of both – 12.27%

    Total Responses – 3593

  131. #131 Kitty'sBitch
    March 27, 2009

    Querty
    What about the Hopi creation story that says we were created by Spiderwoman? We can tap into the popularity of the Spiderman franchise.

  132. #132 Jim Tanger
    March 27, 2009

    Also, did you know that the man who proposed the Big Bang theory was very religious himself??

  133. #133 genesgalore
    March 27, 2009

    the god nuts vs the science nuts. one needs to be vasectomized.

  134. #134 Primewonk
    March 27, 2009

    Jim Tanger @ 62 said –
    Why are you evolutionists so afraid of creationism?

    PW – Jim, there are thousands of creationism myths.

    http://tinyurl.com/dyealj

  135. #135 KemaTheAtheist
    March 27, 2009

    “Also, did you know that the man who proposed the Big Bang theory was very religious himself??”

    Oh, really? So why don’t you believe it?

  136. #136 ptduff
    March 27, 2009

    Tanger’s a stoop, Tanger’s a stoop! Whoopee!!

  137. #137 bunnycatch3r
    March 27, 2009

    @Jim Tanger
    Higher authority? This is the part where you get to tell us that this higher authority must be the god of the christian bible.

  138. #138 Rhysz
    March 27, 2009

    [quote]@ 100 (and your other posts)
    And now Staatspräsident Bolz says that Christianity and the Catholic faith are threatened by us. And to that charge I can answer: In the first place it is Christians and not international atheists who now stand at the head of Germany. I do not merely talk of Christianity, no, I also profess that I will never ally myself with the parties which destroy Christianity. If many wish today to take threatened Christianity under their protection, where, I would ask, was Christianity for them in these fourteen years when they went arm in arm with atheism? No, never and at no time was greater internal damage done to Christianity than in these 14 years when a party, theoretically Christian, sat with those who denied God in one and the same Government.

    * speech delivered at Stuttgart, February 15, 1933[/quote]

    KK, thanks, goodbye

    Disdain,
    Rhysz

  139. #139 Primewonk
    March 27, 2009

    Jim Poe @ 100 said –
    America was founded on Christian principles. Our founders believed strongly in the Bible.

    PW – Jim, if we are founded on Christian principles then obviously your 1st commandment is in force – None of us can have any gods but yours. But (there’s always a but), we also have that pesky 1st amendment to the Constitution that says we are free to worship your god, or any god, or any gods, or no gods. Apparently we have a problem. You fundiots can try and repeal the 1st amendment if you want. Good luck with that. But for now, I win. Every freaking day. Every freaking time.

  140. #140 aratina
    March 27, 2009

    83.89% Evo-only, 4.19% Creo-only, 11.92% combo of 3767 votes. It has been pharyngulated. ((((grin))))

  141. #141 Kitty'sBitch
    March 27, 2009

    Jim
    The proverbial “nail in the coffin” for the “Christian nation” argument is located in the Treaty of Tripoli. This treaty was unanimously ratified by the U.S. Senate on June 10, 1797 and was signed into law by President John Adams. Article 11 of this document states, “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”

  142. #142 Bill Dauphin
    March 27, 2009

    Over 80% when I voted. Reason triumphs again!

    It’s sad to think it’s a “triumph” when just ~80% of respondents think Texas’ basic science education should comply with the supreme law of the land regarding not teaching religion in public schools (and that only after concerted Pharyngulation of the poll).

    BTW, what’s the deal with “Creationism Only”? Even the most ardent cdesign proponentsist wouldn’t advocate that (at least not in public), so <seinfeld>who are these people?</seinfeld>

    Re Jim Tanger (@everywhere): Do the IDists not have team meetings where they say “we’ve run this play too many times, and the defense has sussed it out; let’s try something different”? I mean, really….

  143. #143 Qwerty
    March 27, 2009

    Kitty’s bitch @ 131 – Yea, it sounds interesting. Also, totally off topic, but I’ve always wondered if Supergirl was impregnable as in the Webster’s definition of “incapable of being taken or entered by force”?

  144. #144 Randy Randy
    March 27, 2009

    Josh in California #99 said,

    I’m betting that you could take your parody much further and they still wouldn’t catch on.

    I suggest you glance at the onion for an example of just how far one can take it.

  145. #145 EMUAlgaeGirl
    March 27, 2009

    I think we need some distraction here. I would like to pose a question to everyone. I teach Bio at a university, and I teach it to people who are Elementary Education majors (i.e. I have to teach it at a level a 10 year old can understand. Don’t ask how I got into this…). And when we get to the evolution unit, the dueling opinions have always been handled with a great deal of civility on both sides. However, I don’t feel like I’ve been able to come up with a great answer to this situation. When talking about creationism vs. evolution, people on the creation side invariably say “I believe in creation” (or some version thereof) which leaves me saying as a reflexive reply “I believe in evolution.” This is wrong to say I know. I don’t believe it. It’s the answer and solution I accept because that’s where the evidence is. But how do you succinctly and strongly reply to the ‘believe’ statement? You can give the answer of evidence and support, but it’s long and tedious when you’re trying to keep a class interested. “I accept evolution” sounds to me like we’re just putting up with it. What is a strong, powerful, and contextually correct word that could be used in place of ‘believe’ when I’m having this discussion?

  146. #146 Jim Tanger
    March 27, 2009

    Did you know that Charles Darwin converted at his deathbed?

  147. #147 Rhysz
    March 27, 2009

    @ Jim Tanger

    No, did you know that he didn’t and it was just a mean lie?

    Regards,
    Rhysz

  148. #148 DaveB
    March 27, 2009

    I siced* my own little corner of the internet on the poll too. That should be another 500 or so votes for reason.

    *(sicced? sicked? sucked?)

  149. #149 SteveM
    March 27, 2009

    Did you know that Charles Darwin converted at his deathbed?

    And even if he did (which he didn’t), it wouldn’t mean a damn thing.

  150. #150 KemaTheAtheist
    March 27, 2009

    “What is a strong, powerful, and contextually correct word that could be used in place of ‘believe’ when I’m having this discussion?”

    “You’re wrong. Evolution is fact.” would be a good response.

  151. #151 Tom Ames
    March 27, 2009

    Jim Tanger: Did you know that Charles Darwin converted at his deathbed?

    And that seals it.

  152. #152 Carlie
    March 27, 2009

    “You believe in things that have no evidence. You accept things that are facts. I accept evolution.”

  153. #153 Matt
    March 27, 2009

    Tanger is an obvious troll, guys.

    As a fun fact: Did you know that Skandar Keyes, who portrays Edmund in the Chronicles of Narnia films, is the great-great-great grandson of Charles Darwin? He’s also an atheist himself.

  154. #154 George
    March 27, 2009

    How about the options being:

    Teach science in science class.

    Teach mythology in scince class

    Teach both

  155. #155 Shane
    March 27, 2009

    Command, Internet poll has been claimed.

    FOR SCIENCE!

    (I’ve always feel the need to yell that)

  156. #156 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 27, 2009

    What was there before the universe?

    How was your god made? He didn’t poof out of nothing did he?

  157. #157 rob
    March 27, 2009

    god was a boltzman brain vacuum flucuation that was annihilated by an anti-god a short time later in accordance with the heisenberg uncertainty principle. but before god was annihilated Forests, Streams and Mountains were created. and pirates.

  158. #158 Steve_C
    March 27, 2009

    A Poe Troll. You can’t pull out all the classic nonsense in such a short period of time and not be a Poe.

  159. #159 Kitty'sBitch
    March 27, 2009

    Yeah, the poe is now too strong to ignore.
    Do creationists ever even use the “deathbed conversion” anymore?
    Ah, it’s still a classic though.
    Thanks Jim.

  160. #160 Randy Randy
    March 27, 2009

    EMUAlgaeGirl #145,

    If you were being sarcastic, you could reply,
    “I believe in gravity.”

    That would get the point across (that belief is irrelevant), but at the price of pissing them off.

    A succinct, “You are wrong.” would accomplish the same thing.

    Perhaps you should consider the problem from another angle, such as should people teach what they believe or what they know? Should they be teaching what they can explain and justify?

    At some level, science is about belief, but it is belief grounded in materialism that can be observed and explained. So you don’t get a nice one-line quip, but you could respond:

    “Science is concerned with what we can observe and measure. Belief in creationism cannot be tested, and as such, it is not science. Evolution has been tested and is science.”

  161. #161 Qwerty
    March 27, 2009

    “Darwin’s Deathbed Conversion” – Jim, is this a bumper sticker on your Oldsmobile?

  162. #162 Monado in Toronto
    March 27, 2009

    PZ, the redeeming feature of O’Hare airport is the Spirit of the Red Horse kiosk of Native American jewellery. Good place to find presents for people who drive you to airports!

    Everyone, PZ is in Nature News, “Science Journalism: supplanting the old media?” for March 18th as a prominent science blogger.

  163. #163 10channel
    March 27, 2009

    If they are going to teach both, then they must teach both from the scientific perspective. Meaning, mention creationism a little, and then show its lack of evidence, and then teach evolution, and its evidence, and how some parts of the theory fail to stand up to evidence.

  164. #164 10channel
    March 27, 2009

    @#145 EMUAlgaeGirl
    “But how do you succinctly and strongly reply to the ‘believe’ statement?”

    The answer would be, “so what? Science is not about your beliefs, it is about reality.”

  165. #165 JBlilie
    March 27, 2009

    DaveB @148:

    “sicced” is the way I’ve always seen it spelled.

  166. #166 Rhysz
    March 27, 2009

    Is there some script floating around on the intertubez with C/P material you can post to annoy Pharyngulites?

    Regards,
    Rhysz

  167. #167 Monado, FCD
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only: 85%

    Both: 10%

    Creationism: 3%

    And if you enter KTBX.com separately in your browser, you don’t “come from” Pharyngula.

  168. #168 Monado in Toronto
    March 27, 2009

    Lytefoot [42]: “Halvah.”

  169. #169 JBlilie
    March 27, 2009

    ” ‘What is a strong, powerful, and contextually correct word that could be used in place of ‘believe’ when I’m having this discussion?’ ‘You’re wrong. Evolution is fact.’ would be a good response.”

    And then tell them that science does not prove anything, it only disproves. None of the evidence in biology, geology, chemistry, or physics disproves EBNS. EBNS explains many phenomena that no other hypothesis can.

    Their alternative is magic: Their imaginary friend poofed everything into existence, just as we see it today, including the fossils, sea floor magentic conditions, radioisotope conditions in the rocks, etc.,etc.

    Magic explains nothing and can explain nothing. If magic is invoked, then any effect can be equally well asserted to follow any cause and all rules of evidence and logic fail (there’s no way to determine which kind of magic is right!) Nothing can explained or learned. Magic explains nothing. (This is my little bit of consciousness-raising that I keep bringing up.)

    Religion is magic; and magic expl …

  170. #170 kamaka
    March 27, 2009

    JT @128

    What was there before the universe?

    For one possible answer, see Lee Smolin, “The Life of the Cosmos”.

    About something instead of nothing, see Robert Nozick, “Philosophical Explanations”.

  171. #171 Neanderthal allele
    March 27, 2009

    Another country and time zone has awoken!

    Cool a poll. Haven’t had one of those for a while.

    We’ll take the baton.

  172. #172 Steve
    March 27, 2009

    It’s nice to see this poll was pretty thoroughly crashed. Latest results were:

    Evolution only – 85.68%
    Creationism only – 3.92%
    Combination of both – 10.40%

  173. #173 The Biologista
    March 27, 2009

    Jim Tanger must surely be a troll. I mean, he’s just listing the Creation Canards one at a time for the laugh.

  174. #174 JBlilie
    March 27, 2009

    Biologista @ 173:

    Yep. Poe’s law.

  175. #175 rob
    March 27, 2009

    uh, stoopid question:

    what is C/P?

    charge parity? creationist poop?

  176. #176 kamaka
    March 27, 2009

    Egirl @145

    What is a strong, powerful, and contextually correct word that could be used in place of ‘believe’ when I’m having this discussion?

    Evolution is a fact and Natural Selection is a plausible explanation of how it happened.

    Creationism/ID is religion. Religion belongs in church, not science class.

    And if you want to play a little rough, include something about career advice in that second statement.

  177. #177 Rhysz
    March 27, 2009

    @ 175

    Copy/Paste. Not sure if it’s normal jargon here, sorry.

    Regards,
    Rhysz

  178. #178 Tom
    March 27, 2009

    Doubtless been mentioned a godzillian times already, but what the hell…

    ” How do you think science should be taught in Texas schools?” and the possible answers include only “Evolution only, Creationism only, or Both”

    Right. Screw physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology…

  179. #179 kamaka
    March 27, 2009

    rob @175

    uh, stoopid question:

    what is C/P?

    rob, between these two sites, you can usually find definitions for these abbreviations.

    http://www.netlingo.com/dictionary/c.php

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=C%2FP

  180. #180 Monado, FCD
    March 27, 2009

    If you’d like a diversion, a friend of a friend is doing a marathon swim for charity: the full length of a marathon (26+ miles or 42+ km) in 17 hours, the cut-off time for an ironman race.

    You don’t just jump out of bed one morning and swim 26 miles, so he’s been training for this for about a year and he was a good swimmer to start with.

    Proceeds go to a local charity, the CKNW Orphans’ Fund. It’s being live-blogged here: marathonswimlive.blogspot.com. Please drop in if you’re interested.

    There’s a YouTube video around somewhere.

  181. #181 Eidolon
    March 27, 2009

    Jim T baby:

    And from what did your “higher authority” come? You really don’t want to start the regression game. Twit.

    Troll or Poe – tough to tell – which is, after all the hallmark of a good Poe.

  182. #182 Mobius
    March 27, 2009

    Yipee!!! Evolution Only is over 86% now.

    Let’s hear it for another meaningless internet poll!

  183. #183 SkepTech
    March 27, 2009

    Your will be done, m’lord.

  184. #184 John Benton
    March 27, 2009

    I posted the poll on RichardDawkins.net. I’m sure the evil Darwinists across the pond love to Pharyngluate polls too.

  185. #185 JBlilie
    March 27, 2009

    Current status:

    Evolution only – 86.50%
    Creationism only – 3.71%
    Combination of both – 9.80%

    Total Responses – 5288

  186. #186 GaryB
    March 27, 2009

    EMUAlgaeGirl #145,

    There is no shame in admitting that you believe in evolution, because it is true, we all (at least most here do) have that belief. The difference between your belief and the creationist belief in special creation is in the underlying basis for that belief. Next time you hear that comment, simply cut to the underlying reason by saying that the current body of evidence supports evolution and only evolution.

  187. #187 JBlilie
    March 27, 2009

    @178:

    “a godzillian times” Ha! LMAO!

  188. #188 NoEtherealsAllowed
    March 27, 2009

    I’m so glad you posted this!

    I voted evolution only. I don’t think that religion belongs in the public schools AT ALL – in ANY form, in ANY classroom. I once thought that it might be okay to study the book as a piece of ancient literature, but I am now convinced that at the instant the book is opened the christian cult will fly swiftly out of the binding with 1200 feuding sects in its wake, and then proceed to batter the children senseless without any strictures on erroneous, bullshit content.

    I live in the rural area south of Ft. Worth, TX. This place is crawling with people who are afflicted with Creation Retardation. I would rather just have rats, or roaches. At least I can exterminate those vermin. Public education here is almost a joke. It is just so hard for me to believe that so many people can honestly want their children to grow up ignorant, unthinking, and unquestioning.

    I guess I am just one of those… those… those, uh… yeah… atheists.

  189. #189 Marcus B.
    March 27, 2009

    NoEtherealsAllowed:

    I must respectfully disagree with your opinion that religion shouldn’t be studied at all at school.

    I don’t know what the general opinion on the subject is around here, but I think it’s rather important that children learn about different religions. Not because I think there’s any value to the religions, but simply because there are so many out there who are driven by their beliefs, and we need to understand some things about those beliefs to understand people.

    Also, in Swedish public schools we have somewhat comprehensive classes in comparative religions, and I think it’s very valuable for skepticism. Once kids see that all religions are equally silly in their assertions, they understand that there’s no reason to trust any particular holy book :)

  190. #190 weaponsofmasssdeception
    March 27, 2009

    Looking Better. Is Texas evolving??? LOL

    Evolution only – 86.97%
    Creationism only – 3.59%
    Combination of both – 9.44%
    Total Responses – 5625

  191. #191 Alexis
    March 27, 2009

    If Ms. Smith marries Mr. Jones and changes her name to Ms. Jones, why are there still Smiths?

    #189 – If you tried to teach about “the wrong religions” in a Texas class room, instead of just the “one true religion”, you’d stand a good chance of being run up the flag pool without a paddle. Tain’t Sweden we’re tokkin bout hyear.

  192. #192 MrFire
    March 27, 2009

    At this rate, in fifty years’ time, Texans will be scrambling over the border to work as janitors for their well-adjusted, scientifically literate Mexican counterparts.

    I really think today’s TX kids are in danger.

  193. #193 JBlilie
    March 27, 2009

    Marcus B @189:

    Ever been to Portugal? I ran into a Marcus at Garda, POR in March 1992. He was a student at Goteborg …

  194. #194 Eric
    March 27, 2009

    Way to bring Texas in line.

    Evolution only – 87.63%
    Creationism only – 3.39%
    Combination of both – 8.98%
    Total Responses – 6105

  195. #195 Alison S
    March 27, 2009

    #189 – The province of Quebec is bringing a comparative religion/ethics course into the school curriculum and you should hear some of the die-hard Catholics squawking. They are outraged that they won’t be able to completely brainwash their children. This is a very secular province, so I can imagine that this kind of course would create a firestorm of hysteria in any of the deep south states.

  196. #196 Marcus B.
    March 27, 2009

    Alexis @#191:
    Yes, I guess that’s the problem. I have to ask though, are things really that bad?
    I’ve heard other Americans mention that they don’t study “other religions” in school, and to me that always seemed strange. I’ve always thought that children in most non-theocratic nations would at least get an introduction to the big world religions, as well as some influential sects, at school.

    JBlilie @#193:
    Nope, that’s not me :) The closest I’ve been to Portugal is Spain, and I never studied in Göteborg even though my siblings did.

  197. #197 Marcus B.
    March 27, 2009

    Alison S @#195:
    I see that I’ve been corrected about my assumptions about the world while I was still writing my comment :)
    That’s rather sad; I honestly didn’t think that things were that way. I certainly thought that Canadian schools already had a curriculum similar to what we have here, and I even thought that American schools had it even if it would some of the southerners complain a bit.
    I’m naive, I know :)

  198. #198 Big Mike
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only – 88.02%
    Creationism only – 3.29%
    Combination of both – 8.69%
    Total Responses – 6378

    ?It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.?
    Robert Green Ingersoll

  199. #199 spondee
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only – 88.03%
    Creationism only – 3.28%
    Combination of both – 8.68%
    Total Responses – 6393

    Pharynguloids strike again!

  200. #200 E.V.
    March 27, 2009

    How do you think science should be taught in Texas schools?” and the possible answers include only “Evolution only, Creationism only, or Both”
    Right. Screw physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology…

    You miss the point. Those sciences don’t threaten the layman and directly undermine the power of God? so they are a the default idea of what science is supposed to be, so don’t feel so slighted. Biology is okay as long as evolution and human sexuality aren’t brooched. All you should remember from science classes were cutting up a frog and making a volcano plus some jumbled memory of Avagadro Boyle’s Number Law – wait, and some guy called Linnaeus Mendel…

    Evolution directly contradicts a literal interpretation of the bible so it has to be attacked so that literalists, i.e. fundamentalists/evangelicals, can avoid their crisis of faith. With evolution in doubt, God is in his heaven and all is right with the world if you teach all those sciences without “you’re sayin’ my grandaddy wuz a monkey” bullhonkey or that global warming hogwash.

    Remember: Satan in the guise of Darwin invented evolution to lead people away from Jesus. That’s the level of idiocy we’re dealing with.

  201. #201 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 27, 2009

    Yawn,stretch… ok we’re now awake over here in the Antipodes.

    You guys can all go enjoy your Friday night socialising, we’ll take over the night shift of poll crashing for you.

  202. #202 Briode of Shrek OM
    March 27, 2009

    …and of course not forgetting all our brethren in the Asian region and the Pacific countries who of course can Pharyngulate polls as well as the rest of us.

  203. #203 SASnSA
    March 27, 2009

    Looks like they’re finally done trying to butcher the science standards document http://tfnblog.wordpress.com/

  204. #204 bobxxxx
    March 27, 2009

    Before PZ directed his minions to vote, it was Evolution only – 34.50%, which is disgraceful. Americans are bloody idiots.

  205. #205 Flamethorn
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only – 88.33%
    Creationism only – 3.23%
    Combination of both – 8.44%
    Total Responses – 6685

  206. #206 Monado, FCD
    March 27, 2009

    Quebec is a law unto itself in Canada. It gets away with having “National” ministries, its law is based on the Napoleonic Code instead of the British Common Law (meaning that a woman had to have her husband’s consent to medical treatment, among other things), it controls its own immigration, and its Catholic Church had something of a stranglehold for a long time. That’s because nationalist and religious goals coincided: Church and province co-operated a tactic called “the Revenge of the Cradle” In essence, “If you won’t allow any more immigrants from France, we’ll outbreed you.” It was every woman’s patriotic and religious duty to produce as many little Catholics as possible. If she didn’t the priest would come around to question her. Things have lightened up a lot in the last fifty years but there are still die-hards.

    EMUAlgaeGirl, I like to use accurate analogies to help reason through difficult questions. In the case of “I believe in evolution,” instead I would ask the students if they believe that when they open their front door in the morning, their front yard will still be there. I point out that belief in evolution is that sort of belief: that what was true and apparent yesterday will be true and apparent today unless something happened to change it. It is not a belief in supernatural assertions bolstered by special pleading.

    The short form of “don’t think supernatural unless you have to” is “when you hear hoofbeats in the forest, think Horses, not Unicorns.”

    The long form addresses some of the logic twisting that people engage in to support their favorite superstitions. In the case of miracles, ask them what they would say if they were ill and got better. Three people come up to them and say, “I knew she would get better because… (1) “I prayed to the Goddess of Mercy;” (2) “I prayed to Jesus;” (3) “I sacrificed a chicken for you.” Would they credit any of them and why? What if they didn’t get any better? Would they make excuses for any, none, or all of the deities?

    If that’s too close to the bone, what about good luck/bad luck and accepting as proof vs. making an excuse?

  207. #207 NoEtherealsAllowed
    March 27, 2009

    Marcus B. #189

    Alexis is right – this is Texas we are talking about, not Sweden. The only thing I know of more pious than Texas is the Vatican (well… the evangelists fit here too.) I was born and raised here, and yet I am an outcast in my own community simply because I do not believe in their one true god (or any other god/gods/goddesses/teapots, etc.)

    I was born into a fundamental, christian creationist family right here in Texas. I’ve lived with these people the majority of my life. I know what they are like and what lenghts they will go to in order to promote their agenda in the public schools and undermine science for the glory of an invisible, bloodthirsty, tyrant. I know just how fast they can dive into the tiniest of loopholes and suspend themselves there.

    ANY form of comparative religion, or use of the Bible in literature courses, particularly in this state, would be an open gateway for the christian cult. They would swarm to it like a horde of locusts. I was educated here… so to speak. So were my children… so to speak. Now they have my grandchildren. Oh dear!

    Evolution is not really taught in the majority of the schools in Texas. It is skimmed around. I assume that teachers down here, even science teachers, don’t like to lose their jobs any more than people in any other job market.

    Nuff said…

  208. #208 Tualha
    March 27, 2009

    Oh yes, of course evolution only. Because, you know, the origin of species is the only subject ever covered in science classes of any kind.

    Not only is it a stupid question, it isn’t even the question they meant to ask.

  209. #209 sioux laris
    March 27, 2009

    BTW, what shall we call ourselves when engaging in this silly activity?

    When thesub-goon squad does, I, very unfortunately, already refer to them as “flying monkeys” (ala “Wizard of Oz”).

    Are folks here the FSS (Flying Squid Squad)? The SSS (Special Squid Service)? Something Lovecraftian? WHAT???

  210. #210 BdN
    March 27, 2009

    >#189 – The province of Quebec is bringing a comparative religion/ethics course into the school curriculum and you should hear some of the die-hard Catholics squawking. They are outraged that they won’t be able to completely brainwash their children. This is a very secular province, so I can imagine that this kind of course would create a firestorm of hysteria in any of the deep south states.

    Well, actually the Catholics are note the only ones complaining. Many agnostics, atheists, etc. don’t agree with the new curriculum for various reasons. Some think that children are not ready for so much information and will get confused (not sure about the validity of this claim). Others have argued that the idea is good but that the actual material presented doesn’t quite get the job done and IS confusing because poorly designed (I tend to agree with this one). And the secular movement have complained that the word “atheism” have been banned because it sounded too negative (with which I agree completely (not the ban, the complaint)).

  211. #211 John Morales
    March 27, 2009

    Evolution only – 88.99%
    Creationism only – 3.08%
    Combination of both – 7.93%
    Total Responses – 7565

  212. #212 Laura, CA
    March 27, 2009

    “What is a strong, powerful, and contextually correct word that could be used in place of ‘believe’ when I’m having this discussion?”

    Belief isn’t relevant. Science teachers teach knowledge, not belief.

  213. #213 course8
    March 27, 2009

    The comments of Jim Tanger are of such low quality that I’m not 100% sure he’s human. Could there be such a thing as a trollbot, or would Pharyngula’s anti-spam measures block that?

  214. #214 Monado
    March 27, 2009

    “Believe” vs. “know”?

    “I know because of the evidence. Belief is irrelevant.”

  215. #215 PoxyHowzes
    March 27, 2009

    EMUAlgaeGirl:

    One approach might be to step back into the professionalism of being a Teacher.

    As a teacher of elementary-age children, they will almost certainly never be a position where they can teach what they believe rather than what their bosses tell them to teach. Whatever they believe, it will not be their option to teach that rather than the syllabus. That is, after all, one lesson of the Scopes trial, like it or not.

    So as professionals-to-be, it is their job to (1) understand the subject matter you are about to teach them, and (2) convey that understanding accurately to their students to be. What they believe in your class today and what you believe in your class today has no bearing on their tasks of understanding and conveyance.

  216. #216 nick nick bobick
    March 27, 2009

    Kudos to the KBTX webmaster. When I tried to get there from Pharyngula at 7:25 pm Pacific time, I received a “website not found”. I linked fom a new window with no problem.

    He must have determined the vote was being pharyngulated.

  217. #217 minusRusty
    March 27, 2009

    Not quite at 90% Evolution Only (89.52), by I was response 8666. Bwahaha. Yay, me!!

    -Rusty

  218. #218 Technik
    March 27, 2009

    Gettin’ there…
    Evolution only – 89.61%
    Creationism only – 2.94%
    Combination of both – 7.44%
    Total Responses – 9041

  219. #219 Blind Squirrel FCD
    March 28, 2009

    PZ, the redeeming feature of O’Hare airport is the Spirit of the Red Horse kiosk of Native American jewellery.(sic) Good place to find presents for people who drive you to airports!

    I can get it for you wholesale.

    BTW, has anyone else noticed that they are carrying the meaningless poll results to two decimal places?

  220. #220 Sean
    March 28, 2009

    Not noticing anymore. The poll existing an hour ago. Now it is an expoll. It is deceased. Kaput. Not even in their archives.

  221. #221 jONESEY
    March 28, 2009

    Funny how they archive every poll yet this one just seemed to vanish into thin air! That’s not poll crashing, that’s complete and utter poll annihilation!

    Oooooooh the power! I’m drunk of it! Wait….. no….. Thats just the scotch.

  222. #222 Kevin Beck
    March 28, 2009

    It’s archived. And as expected, it was, and remains, a rout.

    The funniest part is the aggrieved comments from addled Texans unaware of the reason for the lopsided results.

  223. #223 bobxxxx
    March 28, 2009
  224. #224 astrounit
    March 28, 2009

    EMUAlgaeGirl #145 asks, “”What is a strong, powerful, and contextually correct word that could be used in place of ‘believe’ when I’m having this discussion?”

    You might try “conviction” in place of “belief” as another word, but though it sounds more sophisticated and has marginal novelty it won’t get you anywhere. Don’t look for other words to describe what is essentially a habit of excusing oneself from thinking. Talk about belief or preconceived conviction as the lousy habits they are, that simply do not directly address the subject. Talk about the essential and crucial difference between objective and subjective approaches, and which of these best serves to instill an authentic scientific understanding. Try to inspire and energize any of your students who are in agreement with you into what they can chomp on as a worthwhile personal and emotional involvement that will encourage them to openly express their outrage against lousy thinking and the lousy thinkers who (as I’m sure you well know) exploit every opportunity to derail what you are trying to get across.

    YOU MUST BE IN CHARGE IN YOUR CLASSROOM. At the very least, ACT LIKE IT. YOU are the teacher and the commander, not the students.

    Follow Laura’s advice (#212): “Belief isn’t relevant. Science teachers teach knowledge, not belief.” She’s right. You cannot find better advice than that. It may not appear to assist you in your problem, but never EVER respond to contrarian opinions of your students by trying to be “fair” or “respectful” of their opinions. You need to be in control of your class in no uncertain terms. You are there to teach science, not to accomodate the beliefs or convictions of your students. Let them know who’s boss in YOUR classroom, and let them know how exciting science can be. Don’t hold back. Give ‘em all you’ve got and let ‘em have it right between the eyes. There’s nothing wrong with being the commander of your realm. That’s your job as an instructor. Be STRONG. If you get mad, let ‘em have it. Clear the air. There’s nothing wrong with remindin them who is in charge…and who grades their papers.

    I wish you well and root for you. You can do it. Let us know how you fare, okay?

  225. #225 Leigh Williams
    March 28, 2009

    Good advice, Astrounit.

    Boy Twin’s teacher, 9th grade biology in Austin, Texas, came into the classroom and announced right off the bat:

    “We will not be discussing creationism or intelligent design in this class. We will only discuss science.”

    Not that any of those kids would have been a problem; it’s the archetypical Austin hippie high school, as featured in Dazed and Confused.

  226. #226 ZK
    March 28, 2009

    EMUAlgaeGirl @145

    Student: “I believe in creationism”

    Teacher: “That’s nice dear, now let’s see if we can knock some of that stupid out of you”.
    :-)

  227. #227 jomega
    March 28, 2009

    Poll’s closed now. The final results:

    Evolution only – 89.62%
    Creationism only – 2.96%
    Combination of both – 7.42%
    Total Responses – 9126

    Pharynguloids triumph once more!

  228. #228 Caryn
    March 28, 2009

    AlgaeGirl, belief is simply a propositional attitude: true, or false? Knowledge arguably requires at least true justified belief.

    Beliefs should be revised to reflect reality, or so my philosopher friends tell me. :-) The students who believe the propositions about creationism still use observation, induction, and deduction to find their car keys in the morning, not just a belief that they’re on the kitchen table. Science is an epistemology *everyone* uses; we can go and check the real world and see whether or not claims about it are true. Creationism fails every test of the real world we have run. They can’t convince the rest of us by pointing to things in the real world, but have to appeal to faith alone — just the stance of believing a proposition is true –as justification. And in science class we teach current knowledge about the real world justified by observation, induction, and deduction.

    Epistemologists are useful people to have around when students make these claims.

  229. #229 young european
    March 28, 2009

    2. The incorrect assertion that we evolved from monkeys.

    Question to all the fine biologists on this blog:
    Is there any particular reason why our common ancestor with the monkeys shouldn’t be called a monkey itself?