Is this is what Creationists mean when they put forth 'Academic Freedom' legislation?
Sure enough, I just received confirmation today in a letter from the Open Records Office at the University of Oklahoma. The letter confirms that on the day of Dawkins' speech, Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton requested substantial information relating to the speech from Vice President for Governmental Relations Danny Hilliard. Representative Hamilton's exhaustive request included demands for all e-mails and correspondence relating to the speech; a list of all money paid to Dawkins and the entities, public or private, responsible for this funding; and the total cost to the university, including, among other things, security fees, advertising, and even "faculty time spent promoting this event."
This rotten twat sent irate emails hours before Dawkins presentation, ie the content of his presentation was meaningless. The problem, evidently, was 'Dawkins' as a symbol. Rebecca Hamilton believes that not only should Dawkins not have the right to speak in OK, he should not have the right to exist in this state, because she is against what he symbolizes. Her rant touches everything from demanding to know how much money was spent on security the night of the event, to how much time faculty spent supporting the event. Thought police much, bitch?
Oklahoma: Where Democrats are Republicans, and Republicans are batshit insane.
Meanwhile, EXPELLED star Ben Stein spoke last fall at the Oklahoma State University to the tune of $60,000, and no one seems to have cared at such an expense to 'the tax payers'.
This is what 'Academic Freedom' means to Creationists. Creationism gets a free pass, and evolution supporters are to be subjected to witch hunts. Im sure this will be the topic of Walt Ruloffs next documentary. Right?
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For reasons that the resolutions against OU Department of Zoology and Dawkins's visit will have no impact on OU finances and why the attempted intimidation will fail, see my post (#87) on Pharyngula at:
When thinking about the fundies' forays into high school biology standards, I always took solace in the belief that they couldn't ever apply their craziness to the university system....
Boy was I wrong.
Bah, filthy pots, clean kettles.
Fuckers never learn.
Like I just said on Pharyngula, this kind of mental retardation makes me want to move from Oklahoma. I really want to be proud I was born here but this, this is shit.
Don't be mad; they're just doing unto Dawkins and the Evil Atheist Conspiracy of Meanie Scientists Who Think They're So Great What With Their Test Tubes Telescopes And Remember When We Used To Beat Those Nerds Up After Football Practice In High School That Was Awesome! But Seriously, I Hope They Cure Mom's Cancer for Expelling Gonzalez and the rest of the thinkers so free they don't need evidence.
It's like their holy book says: "And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you."
What? You were expecting relevance from the Bible?
I am having trouble understanding how you can honestly characterize a polite Open Records Request as irate, based on the linked email.
Are you against Freedom of Information and Sunshine laws?
Thanks for letting me know about Rebecca Hamilton. It brings hope to learn of a pro-life and pro-family Democrat. I am surprised she wasn't kicked out of the party.
How is stifling respected speakers protecting academic freedom?
I wish I could put together a group to send each and every member of their legislature a copy of Orwell's 1984.
Totally disregarding www above, as always:
What did you expect, Abbie?
In that state anything must be OK.
Fuck off, WW, you moronic, hypocritical asshat.
Love and kisses,
I don't often agree with William Wallace, but I also read nothing irate in the link to the open records request. A letter of that tone could have come from any legistator who wanted more information, a supporter or opponent of Dawkins. The request was very pertinent considering the censure bill that circulated in the Oklahoma legislature at that time.
The problem with that, Aaron, is that they probably dont read too well. If they did, would they really believe everything they are being told teh bable sez? And if they could, wouldnt they just as soon believe this much more recent novel as gospel?
Hey wait a minit, there must be a great bidniz opportunity in that!
I'd like to know how much money Rebecca Hamilton is wasting while investigating this.
Jim, the question should be why are they singling out Dawkins. There are speakers at all the publicly funded schools all the time. Do they do a comprehensive study of each one of those? No, so why Dawkins?
So, Cowardheart, I take it you think the far greater expenditure of state funds on creationist huckster and third-rate actor Ben Stein should be investigated and prosecuted? And a demand for every single email circulated about THAT visit, along with resolutions in the legislature condemning Stein and everyone associated with him would be completely reasonable in your eyes?
No, of course not, you'd scream bloody murder if a creationist propaganda talk had to endure a tenth the scrutiny Dawkins' visit has had, and you'd never stop screaming. You've never given a flying fuck about freedom of information, all you care about is promoting your cult.
Thanks for illustrating the utter moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the creationist movement.
Also, "pro-family"? What the fuck does that mean?
Are some democrats Anti-family?
/obvious WW troll is obvious...
And when did you stop beating your wife?
Like the non-existence of God, you can't prove he stopped.
Ahhhhhh our most Catholic Representative Rebbecca Hamilton. I wonder if she has consecrated her efforts to "Our Mother" as she has done with so many other forays.
I find this all very odd with the Pope having unfurled a banner heralding Darwin's birthday in the Vatican City....but perhaps she is old fashioned and is sitting at home in the dark thinking the church lost its way with the adoption the vernacular, a heliocentric model and suspending the torture of Jews.
I suppose the church will forgive her eccentricities, considering her aptitude for playing ball with baptists to divert state funds to its coffers.
Watch for "Our Lady of Perpetual Help" to sport some snazzy new rose bushes and shiny statues of martyrs on the grounds.
Oooooooh I hope they buy a theca with a sliver of Christ's foreskin, I love those. So tasteful.
I suspect it's more the "atheist" part than the "evolution supporter" part that upset Rebecca Hamilton and the likes.
Jim, taken on it's own, you are correct. I would think, however, that ERV makes her judgment from the complete context of Hamilton's record which is one of consistent conservative Pro-Life, Pro-NRA, Anti-Science Ed positions. Not to mention her previous complaints about the Dawkins visit. As Beam mentions above, there also have been no similar requests regarding other speakers which include prominent creationists. It would be hard to see how this representative would be undertaking these investigations without intended malice. She is trying to use her position to threaten and lean on the Higher Ed system, and given her unfortunate position on the Committee for Higher Ed, probably has some clout there. It is also interesting that these legislators suddenly became so involved right after the DI carnival came through town.
Hang in there OK!
Wallace, Jim, Others.
Which part of "they didn't whine when stein got 60 grand" don't you understand?
Ridiculous. So now the Democrats are also trying set up a theocracy? What in the FSM's name is going on? OK will be the first state with its own religious police.
It came as no surprise to me to see that Hamilton's bio had nothing listed under 'education'. Her behaviour is the kind I'd explain from the worst kind of hardcore Christian fundie Rethuglican. She's a disgrace to her party and an embarrassment to her state.
After further reflection, I particularly love how 'Dr.' Rick Farmer wanted proof Dawkins didnt get paid, after he found out Dawkins didnt get paid.
Like it was a big Atheist scheme to steal money from Good Christians.
I'd love to see someone take Hamilton's request and replace Dawkins' name with Ben Stein, insert correct date of speech, then email the request to University of Oklahoma Open Records Office. Who knows what gems might pop up...
Oklahoma still has a lot of "yellow dog" Democrats, who tend to be more conservative than Republicans in other states.
#23, wotty: Just for the record, Ben Stein received #60K from Oklahomasm State University, not the University of Oklahoma.
The hypocrisy of Rep. Hamilton, the Oklahoma legislature, and Rick Farmer, their legislative gofer, overwhelms me. Hamilton's request, while perhaps technically just a request, is intimidating in tone and intent. It's clearly an effort to send a chill through the university about inviting speakers whom politicians don't like. But the real chiller is that the legislature let Ben Stein get away with nary a question. If anything, he's the one who should be questioned. Although I'm sure he mentioned his film role as Ferris Bueller and a couple of minutes on economics, I suspect the bulk of his talk was about ID and evolution, a subject on which he's totally unqualified to speak. If any questions were to be asked about on campus speakers, it would be hiring him to speak on biology. Dawkins by contrast was there to talk about evolution and biology, a topic for which he's eminently qualified to speak.
Don't give them ideas.
Actually, I don't think he mentioned ID when he spoke here (I didn't go to the talk, but I read reports about it from others).
However, in the days leading up to his talk there were a lot of ads for Expelled on the radio in Oklahoma City. I don't know if there's a connection between the two or not.
A lot of people here at OSU were VERY pissed off that Stein got invited here and paid so much money. Luckily, we're bringing Ken Miller in to speak in October, so hopefully that'll help.
Ben Stein did have his invitation to be a commencement speaker at the University of Vermont rescinded, at least in part due to pressure brought to bear by none other than Richard Dawkins himself, according to Tim Johnson
Most lovely of ironies. Apparent RD-devotees crying foul over others wanting to know how much public money went toward the Dawkins speaking event, when it wasn't so long ago when Dawkins successfully worked to stifle another speaker at the University of Vermont.
Good job phantomreader42 and ERV, you have many people thinking you're on Dawkin's side, when in fact you are clearly deep cover creationist moles working very hard to discredit the evolanders.
Wes: Luckily, we're bringing Ken Miller in to speak in October, so hopefully that'll help.
Ha! Ha! That's great. Hamilton will be really confused with that one!
Meanwhile, EXPELLED star Ben Stein spoke last fall at the Oklahoma State University to the tune of $60,000...
That's....more money than this high school teacher makes in a year. I think I'm going to be ill.
The Chimp's Raging Id #21 asked:
"Ridiculous. So now the Democrats are also trying set up a theocracy? What in the FSM's name is going on?"
They are called DINOs (Democrat in Name Only) Todd Tompsen's uncle was, I believe, the State Democratic Party Chair at one point.
They are the last hold outs from Ronald Reagan waving all of the snake handling dirt eating Chautauqua tent freaks into the Republican Party.
This is just political grandstanding, but sets off my free speech spidey sense. I don't know what whats more disheartening. The fact the State of Oklahoma would try something this absurd, or that I'm sure there will be no real public backlash. Enjoy the blog, thanks!
Of course there couldn't be any objection to Ben Stein, or anybody else, being invited to lecture at the University of Vermont. But Stein wasn't just invited to lecture, he was going to be HONOURED by the University of Vermont as their Commencement speaker, with an honorary degree. It is an important distinction. Giving somebody an honorary degree is a publicly conferred mark of APPROVAL. Not a free speech issue at all. Please learn to think straight.
William Wallace @ "Ben Stein did have his invitation to be a commencement speaker at the University of Vermont rescinded, at least in part due to pressure brought to bear by none other than Richard Dawkins himself, according to Tim Johnson"
The opinion of a retired foreign biology professor carries the same authority as a state legislator? Did I miss something were Dr Dawkins was granted the power of subpoena by the US government?
"Most lovely of ironies. Apparent RD-devotees crying foul over others wanting to know how much public money went toward the Dawkins speaking event, when it wasn't so long ago when Dawkins successfully worked to stifle another speaker at the University of Vermont."
Wallaids, this is retarded. In effect you're trying to equate open and transparent protests on the part of private individuals with an attempt by a government to chill free speech. There was no investigation of Stein by the University of Vermont, asshole.
Me: "OMFG RICHARD DAWKINS POSTED A COMMENT ON MY BLAG! AAAAH!"
Dawkins Comment: [blockquote William Wallace Troll]
Me: "AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! NOOOOOO!!"
"There was no investigation of Stein by the University of Vermont, asshole."
This should read "there was no investigation of Stein by the government in Vermont."
Dr. Dawkins, I think you're beef is with Tim Johnson, not me. I'd love to ask you to elaborate on how your words were taken out of context in Expelled, as UVM President Fogel implies you claim here.
Specifically, I have read your book, The God Delusion twice (public library copies), and I don't recall hearing anything in Expelled that you have not written elsewhere. But this is probably too much of a digression from ERV's post.
ERV, you're welcome.:) I can imagine you're screaming like a 1960s girl at a Beetles concert now that RD has commented at your blog.
Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton is herself subject to FOIA requests. It would be interesting if some concerned Oklahoman hit her with appropriate FOIA requests for her written and email correspondence with representatives of the Institute for Creation Research, Answers in Genesis, and the Discovery Institute in connection with her legislative acts concerning the various issues associated with evolution education and First Amendment Establishment Clause matters.
Shorter Wallaids: "I'd love to completely change the subject now that I've called on my bullshit."
Well, to get back to the subject then:
Along these lines, Dr. Dawkins, please help me reconcile your claim above that you were concerned more about honor and not speech [#34], with your February 3 gloating that students were spared the words and ideas of Ben Stein, and your desire that this be the first of many such deserts?
What is this place,Abbie,some sort of insane asylum for the ones that got too tedious on other blogs long time ago?
WW's brainless screeds show that much retardation and brainwashedness that others got rid of him long time ago,he just never has anything at all to add to a discussion.
Time to run Survivor-ERV !!!
Good job quote-mining there, Wallace. Here's Dawkins' full quote:
1.) As anyone can see, he's saying people should not attack the University of Vermont, and instead should reserve criticism for Stein and Mathis.
2.) He's not "gloating students were spared the words and ideas of Ben Stein". He's saying it's good they didn't have their graduation day ruined by having Ben Stein receive and honorary degree and be their commencement speaker.
3.) In his original letter he made it very clear that it was the gesture of HONORING Stein that was the mistake:
This was not about censoring Stein. It was not about censoring the University of Vermont. It was about maintaining UV's reputation by not giving an honorary degree to a lying scumbag.
This situation is nothing like the OU situation, where the state legislature is attacking the university for inviting a speaker they don't agree with. And distorting Dawkins' words does not change that.
WW, are you seriously comparing an academic writing to a university and telling them that an upcoming speaker is an idiot to a concerted effort by state legislature to either ban an someone from speaking or intimidate the university that hosted him?
Do you understand why one is commonplace, the other sinister? Fogel was quite free to ignore RD, but the university of Oklahoma will be feeling serious pressure to bend over backwards for a government agency responsible for their funding.
Perhaps you do, because I suspect you're just a troll. But I'd hate to think of people reading through the comments and nodding in agreement with you because they had been misinformed.
For those who want to know more about the political dishonest chicanery of Rep. Hamilton, see the thread on the political blog, DemOkie at:
"In that state anything must be OK.
Back in my Oklahoma days, they put "Oklahoma is OK" on our license plates. Nobody at the license bureau could spell "mediocre."
Its been recently pointed out to me that the situation of Dawkins, state supported religion, and evolution education, is different in the UK than in the US. In the UK Dawkins is well known as a biology educator. He's also well known as a protestor of mandatory religion education in his country. Here in the US however, he simply known as a militant atheist. No doubt Hamilton plays the political anti-evolution education card too, but the crowd she's playing to is upset about Dawkins the militant atheist, not Dawkins the biology professor.
The fundies confuse evolution education and godlessness. Does it really help atheists to do the same? I'm pretty sure it doesn't help biology education. Do atheists really need evolution education to advance their civil rights? Can't promotion of good science education be done on its own merits?
Mike, I read nothing in Hamilton's request for information to indicate specifically why she sought the information. But one of he two resolutions submitted to the Okie legislature asserts that Dawkins's opinions expressed in his "...2006 book âThe God Delusionâ, and public statements on the theory of evolution demonstrate an intolerance for cultural diversity and diversity of thinking and are views that are not shared and are not representative of the thinking of a majority of the citizens of Oklahoma." Hamilton's objections are to both his atheism and his support for the ToE. You're correct, however, in noting that "... fundies confuse evolution education and godlessness." In fact they equate them as one and the same, despite strong evidence to the contrary from Ken Miller and Francisco Ayala, to name just two prominent biologists.
Also enough said about William Wallace who gives a bad name to folks of Scots (assuming his Wallace name is Scottish) ancestry. Wallace fails to understand the difference between an address at commencement accompanied by an honorary degree, and an invited speaker at a student event. The former strongly implies a major contribution to either society or academia, neither of which Stein has ever made, unless one counts Visine ads. The latter implies only a strong opinion, although one often gets learning, wisdom, and challenging questions along with it as in the case of a Dawkins speech.
Re [#44]: Comes now an amateur, awkwardly wielding evolander debate tactic #1: Accuse your opponent of quote mining.
Incompletely quoting while giving a direct citation is not quote mining. Dr. Dawkins was clearly gloating, and the quote accurately illustrates that. The fuller context you provided doesn't change a thing. So he was gloating while defending UVM president. I guess you got me there.
The epitome of an admission of defeat: Quote mining allegations leveled by a dilettante.
Hint: quote mining is not a defense that precludes having a hero's previous words juxtaposed with his more recent pronouncements.
Re [#45], you miss the point entirely. It is laughable that ScienceBlog habitues are singing the blues over this so-called persecution of Dawkins, when Dawkins himself very recently and much more successfully endeavored to not only silence Stein, but also, in the immediate aftermath, to publicly desiderate that "this be the first of many such occasions".
Imagine if the roles were reversed, and Dr. Richard Sternberg had been routinely agitating other scientific journals to persecute editors for some crime against science before he himself felt the ire of other so-called pro-science partisans. Do you think evolanders would not point this inconsistency out?
The present situation is analogous to the conjectural one I just described above, except in Dr. Dawkins case, he came out of it unscathed, and his previous efforts actually occurred, and were successful.
BTW, for the record, I can't comment on OK, but in Vermont, Stein was going to get something like $6500.
Besides the obvious answer that he's a batshit crazy creotard, why does Wee Willie Wanker keep attributing human characteristics to Mitsubishi sport utility vehicles? http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=evolander&fr=yfp-t-501&toggle=1&cop=ms…
Congrats, ERV, on Dawkins commenting on your blog! :) Even if it was to address a long-dead Scottish rebel an idiotic troll.
Did I miss something here? Did Dawkins oppose a UVM effort to bring in Stein for a speech or presentation like the one Dawkins gave in OK? Has Dawkins ever opposed any effort by any university to bring in Stein for a speech or presentation like the one Dawkins gave in OK? If Dawkins did not oppose a Stein presentation that would have been equivalent to the Dawkins presentation, then the two situations are not the same.
Has any state legislature anywhere in U.S. responded to a Stein appearance in a manner similar to the OK's legislature's response to Dawkins? If not, then the response to Stein is clearly different from the response to Dawkins.
And I'm new here, so I'm curious. Is WW a young earther or an old earther?
Bullshit. Quote-mining is using misleadingly incomplete quotes to misrepresent another person's position. And that's exactly what you did. Whether it includes a direct citation or not is irrelevant.
Dawkins never called for Stein to be censored, and he never called on the state legislature to censor the University of Vermont. He never gloated about silencing Stein's ideas--and that's clear when you look at the full quote and see that he's responding to people who were criticizing Fogel.
His concern was that honoring a lying scumbag like Stein with an honorary degree would harm the reputation of the University of Vermont, and via the university, harm the students. He was concerned about students having Stein awarded an honorary degree at their graduation. That is exactly what he said, and your attempts to use out-of-context quotes to make it look like he intended to censor Stein is quote-mining.
Limp Willy! Still lying, I see. Hmm... I guess you've stopped beating your wife, then? Or did you just take a break for this special occasion?
C'mon, man. Grow a pair and answer the question! Any question.
WW, I've looked up Dr. Sternberg on wikipedia, and I don't think I understand your scenario. Both he and RD are free to send letters to whoever they want, but neither should be subjected to an attempt to hound them out of a state by the government because they've said something that a few representatives didn't like.
What Dr. Sternberg did was use his position as an editor of a science journal to publish a paper by one of his friends advocating intelligent design. He'd already resigned his position, so he had nothing personal to lose, but he was apparently quite happy to risk his former employer's reputation. He took quite a bit of flak for that. I think the reason you bought it up is that the situation would only seem comparable if you think that a paper on intelligent design belongs in a scientific journal.
I don't think it does, since even if intelligent design wasn't a politically motivated tactical rebranding of creationism it would still not be a scientific theory because it cannot make predictions and thus cannot be tested or disproved. What use is it to science? What place does it have among the results of actual biology experiments?
Scott Hatfield, OM | March 23, 2009 5:53 PM
Clearly you should have been a speech writer for an infamous traitor. At the very least you could have written better speeches.
WW: quote mines stuff
Wes: points out quote mining
WW: Saying someone was quote mining is mean!
as far as I'm concerned, the first hyperlink "irate email" that you linked to, would have been appropriate if say, William Dembski was lecturing.
Of course he does. This type of thinking is quite common among creationists and Christian "martyr" types.
To them "persecution" is ordinary people expressing any form of opposition to their bullshit whether it be in the form of signs on buses, snarky blog comments, or even just wearing a shirt with a big red "A."
To us, persecution varies from denial of positions in the government due to "believer" requirements (both tacit and real), etc to harassment in schools and even in the workplace to all forms of "evil" behavior and actions being blamed on us to assault and murder. All because we don't believe in magic sky pixies. IOW, actual persecution.
Oops...forgot to remove the "etc" when editing a decided against list of government positions. Ignore it, please.
I wrote about the free-speech-in-a-public-forum issue a while back: Judge say STFU to teh gheys.
In short, public universities can establish forums for free speech without being held responsible for the content expressed provided that the university asserts no editorial influence or control over what is expressed in those forums.
Once an agent of the state exerts editorial influence over what is said in a free speech forum, the state then becomes liable for its content. It's no longer a free speech forum.
Legislators being toopid.
WW can't tell the difference between a private party expressing an opinion and someone speaking as an agent of the state. His namesake would not be pleased.
If it were possible to obtain a list of politicians that are not scum of the earth would Oklahoma be represented??
WW is obviously(and painfully so)playing the Creationist persecution card and misrepresenting what this was all about and what Dawkins said.
Quelle surprise !
And he just cannot intellectually compute the difference between a Professor and famous biologist giving a speech at a University,and a kook and proven liar being given a honorary degree by another University.
Now to this,@48:
You are confusing 2 things here Mike,creationists do that a lot,too.
Promotion of good science education is of course done on its own merits,but what this means in the US is to fight with teeth and claws against religionists trying to sneak creationist BS into school curricula under the mantle of "academic freedom",so "Atheists" will often be on the forefront of that fight.Regrettably,the "moderate"christians not so much.
But when a creationist calls someone an atheist,they mean something different from when you or me use the term,they might just mean "scientist who believes in evolution".They are notoriously good with confusing the terminology,keep that in mind.
"Atheist's civil rights" have nothing to do with science education and are fought for in another arena,with education of the public,open ridicule of creationist BS,and endless refutation of their silly arguments,but there are states in the US where an atheist cant hold public office,or vote,which is a disgrace.
Keep in mind,in the US,"atheist" is worse then "communist".
Dawkins's speech was not about atheists or atheism,it was called "Purpose of purpose",and as I understand was more about natural selection and the traits and behaviours it leads to in humans etc.,so it was a speech for students and laypeople about an interesting topic in evolutionary biology,and perfectly acceptable to be held at a University,and it sure was no atheism screed,whatever that might be.
The enemy here are the OK legislators trying to intimidate those that advocate education,free speech,openmindedness and intellectual integrity,not Richard Dawkins or OU.
"Most lovely of ironies. Apparent RD-devotees crying foul over others wanting to know how much public money went toward the Dawkins speaking event, when it wasn't so long ago when Dawkins successfully worked to stifle another speaker at the University of Vermont."
I suppose you can't tell the difference between a private citizen of another country (who has no power over the university) making an overt show of disapproval, and a public servant (who has the power to intimidate private citizens) making a COVERT attempt to discourage?
What could Dawkins do other than to make noise? Hamilton, on the other hand, could do a lot of things.
$7500. And Stein explained to reporters that his normal fee is five times as high, and he only agreed to speak at a discount because the UVM president begged him to.
'Cause he's classy like that.
I was disappointed to read of Representative Hamilton's actions regarding Dawkins' appearance, since my memory of "This rotten twat" is of her introducing and helping to pass through the OK legislature the Oklahoma Protection From Domestic Abuse Act that I assisted in drafting. The law provided (and though I've left the state, I assume it continues to provide) much-needed assistance to abuse victims. The OK legislature was at the time even more reactionary than it is now (if that's possible), so Representative Hamilton was taking a political risk in doing what she did.
Thought I'd mention this before the piling on got too bad, though of course I disagree completely with what I take to be the motivation behind Representative Hamilton's current actions.
Hmm. I actually kinda liked Braveheart.
Anyway, William, let me try to break it down to retarded-lingo for ya:
RD: Ben Stein shouldn't be HONORED by UVM
Hamilton: Richard Dawkins should STFU.
Dawkins: Ben Stein deserves no RESPECT.
Hamilton: Richard Dawkins does not deserve FREE SPEECH.
I've capitalized the DIFFERENCES (haha) between the two. I'm afraid that if you still don't understand the difference between the two, then your delusions are beyond my control. I think it'd otherwise take either a serious personal trauma or intense psychotherapy to shove this simple distinction into your thick skull. Personally, I hope you'll have the latter before the former, cause you really give me the creeps.
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
"If it were possible to obtain a list of politicians that are not scum of the earth would Oklahoma be represented??"
Yes, there are politicians here who stand for separation of church and state. My state senator helped quash the recent academic freedom bill in committee. The Governor vetoed a bill last year on academic freedom. Oklahoma has yet to pass any of these backdoor attempts at creationism, unlike Louisiana and Texas.
#63. Yes, OKlahoma would be represented! Although in the minority now that the Republican 'far-rights' control the legislature, there are legislators that oppose the crationist crazies. Otherwise, we would not have been able to defeat ALL such bills for the past ten years, unlike several other states. Just one example, this session HB 320 ('Academic Freedom Bill') was defeated in a Senate committee by one vote (all Democrats on the committee plus one Republican voted against it). The one Republican vote was by Sen. Halligan, former President of Oklahioma State University, one of the few sane Repubs. BTW, the Academic Freedom Act is now LAW in Louisiana and is on the legislative agenda in several other states.
And, the ERV post before this one detailed the AU conference in OKC where a legislator representing Norman (Wallace Collins) will be leading a discussion. So, all hope is not lost as vhutchison has written.
Re: #64 by clinteas
That's overly defensive, and gets at what I'd like to point out. Yes, atheists are more interested in opposing the anti-evolution education campaign than the general population, which makes it vital that atheists step back and get perspective on how to be effective in this opposition. Some get defensive about this suggestion, but there are times when you have to make an effort to keep issues separate for clarity's sake. No one is demanding that anyone shut up.
Whether or not its what the author intended, its impossible to read the above as other than an assertion that the science education controversy is a fight between atheists vs "religionists". As you know, this is a political controversy. In political discussion and debate you have to be clear on what your goal is, and how you intend to persuade others. In referring to "Moderate Christians" you're referring to the majority of the US population. Their religious leaders don't have an interest in campaigning against science education, but the congregants themselves can be swayed by the ever evolving propaganda of the anti-evolution education campaign. What are they to make of the controversy when most of what they see in opposition to the misrepresentation of science is coming from militant atheists who are promoting evolution education and attacking all of religion in the same breath?
The fact on the ground is that folks like Dawkins and Myers are not good spokesmen for science education. They are now, rightly or wrongly, firmly established as primarily concerned with flipping off people with religious faith as a way of advancing their social cause. People like Barbara Forrest and Eugenie Scott are good spokensmen for science education. They're atheists as well, and don't hide it, but, maybe because they aren't alpha males, or maybe because they're more focused on promoting science education, they're more likely to be able to achieve support for science education.
There's also the problem that some don't quite realize how much trouble we're in. The courts and the first amendment can't defend science education. We're losing, and the ACLU doesn't have enough money to sue all the school districts that are now taking the expedient way out of the controversy. The Louisiana law, and all the bills being introduced across the country, are symptoms, not causes. For every bill introduced you can be sure that there are many schools already engaged in "academic freedom". Kentucky has had a straight up creationism law on the books for a decade now without a challenge. Unless the public can be persuaded that scientists decide what science is, and that the scientific community isn't engaged in a vast atheistic conspiracy, the courts will not be able to stop schools from seeking a compromise. When the controversy is framed as religion vs atheism the public will demand a compromise, and science education loses.
Mike-- It seems odd to me that the only times you have chosen to post at ERV has been on this topic. Are you Nisbet?
'The fact on the ground'? Says the guy in Boston? Honey, you have no idea what 'the facts are on the ground'. And in case you havent noticed, in the over 9,000 posts vic and other Okies have left on ERV, despite rampant opposition in one of the most conservative states in the country, time and time again, science has prevailed in OK. Dawkins event was well received and went off without a hitch, and provided a valuable discussion-starter for people who would have otherwise ignored attacks on evilution in this state.
Live in the Midwest for 25 years, Mike, and then come talk to me about what methods 'work on the ground'.
Hear hear Erv,
What a load of patent nonsense.
Mike I congratulate you on the impression of Neville Chamberlin.
Do please go on about the merits of civility in a political context while your opponents characterize you as a pariah, lie aggressively about your motives and produce propaganda that makes Der Strumer look like a copy of Capnâ Billyâs Wizz Bang. Calls for civility, cries of religious persecution and claims of close mindedness are all cheap sucker bets and you want to throw the whole farm on the table, so that when you lose you can gratify your inner desire to think of yourself as a good person.
Well fine. Good for you. You feel self satisfied and polite while fatuous monsters inject acidic absurdities in the brains of innocent children.
Since this fight is not serious enough to you to tip over the apple cart might I suggest you shut up and let the rest of us handle it.
Bollocks. This situation regarding creationism in schools would arguably be much worse were it not for the popularity of Dawkins and the attention he and PZ have raised about the issue.
Its very odd, but you seem to be responding to something other than what I wrote, seem to think that I'm someone else who hadn't lived most of their 50 plus years in Ohio, and seem rather angry about it too.
Ohio you say. Oh then my mistake.
Do a lot of snake handling and book burning in Akron do they?
âWhat is your opinionâdo you think the concept of âintelligent designâ is a valid scientific account of how human life developed, or is it basically a religious explanation of the development of human life?â
Given this description, the majority of Ohioans (54%) viewed it as basically a religious explanation of human origins; less than 1 out of 4 (23%) thought it was a valid scientific account; 7% believed it was a mix of religious and scientific accounts; and 17% said they were ânot sure.â
You have no idea. None.
Walt Disney has probably copyrighted even the rhythm to this, but nevertheless, Erv's headline sparked...something.
Hi Diddly Dee!
Free Speech was granted ME!
And if you spout what pleases He
To that extent itâs granted thee.
Hi Diddly Dee â
Free Speech was granted ME!
Hi Diddly Doo!
The bible says that you
Should speak in tongues and spout the woo,
Hi Diddly Dee â
Free Speech was granted ME!
Hi Diddly Dum!
Doc Dawkins makes me numb
He said âTo make some folks less dumb,
To Oklahoma I did come.â
Hi Diddly Dee â
Free Speech was granted ME!
Hi Diddly Day
Thineâs not free speech, No Way!
In Oklahoma, I do say,
Your evil talk is not Oâ¢K!
Hi Diddly Dee â
Free Speech was granted ME!
Silly old fart that I am...
I didn't note that "Hi Diddly Dee..." was the song used to lure Pinocchio away from going to school. That's why I thought it was appropriate.
The thing about this state is that we eventually come to our senses. We were the first state to introduce and ratify anti-evolution statutes in 1923 and the first to repeal them in 1925
We wrote editorials in the paper like this one......
"Here in Oklahoma ... we have fellows down in our legislature who are as hill-billy-minded as anything Tennessee ever brought down her red clay roads to Nashville.
They say, "By gum the earth ain't round and it's
got four comers, the Arkansas Valley was made on the
first Friday afternoon at about 4 o'clock, and there ain't
no sense to science,
-we ain't going to have none of this
gol-durned nonsense in Oklahoma."
Congratulations to ERV for carrying on a time tested tradition of gol-durned Oklahoma style political scrappin'.
Concern troll Mike is concerned.
There is *always* a place for the radical at the party. Even if simply to provide incentive for the other side to negotiate with the moderates. "Deal with me, or deal with that guy."
You concern is noted, Mike, and rejected. Thanks for playing.
Paranoid schitzophrenic, who fatally stabbed a cop, stopped taking his meds as he "preferred olive oil and prayer"!
OT, sorry, but I just heard on the news. This is what the creotards achieve.
Prometheus, #81 - Interesting editorial. Where did you get it? Do you know of more? I would love to know more about how Oklahoma repealed its anti-evolution statutes.
'I would love to know more about how Oklahoma repealed its anti-evolution statutes.'
Chronicles of Oklahoma are great for source documents and no nonsense historical reports
Gov.J.C. Walton was deliciously insane.
Ha! Wee Willy Wanker gets a personal bitch slap from Dr. Dawkins.
That owie is gonna' leave a scar.
I did move from Oklahoma 10 years ago. Best move I ever made.
The climate in the entire state is anti-intellectual and over time it becomes very oppressive.
It's the only place I've ever lived where the first question people ask when meeting you the first time is "what church do you attend?"
I finally started answering "Church of the Nectarine. It's out of Orange County." Didn't matter so long as you went to A church.
You'll notice it is Dr. Dawkins who has not yet responded. Why would he? His gloating as concisely documented above is radiant even in the midst of evolander subterfuge subsequently strewn by his running dogs.
By the way, I checked out your blog, Lou. FYI, Moonbat doesn't mean what you seem to think it does...and you really should learn about the Scopes trial before attempting to teach your son about it.
Of course, your misrepresentation of the Scopes trial while indoctrinating your son may be as intentional as your feigning Dr. Dawkins was the one doing the "bitch slapping", if you'll pardon my mimic of your roguish communication skills.
If your son was livid at the supposed dishonesty of creationists, how much more so if he ever reads Summer of the Gods.
Thinking. You're doin' it wrong.
It's time to take your meds and leave the conversating to the grown ups.
Hey, don't go dissin' the guano. Rebecca Hamilton = worthless bitch. Batshit = might be useful as fertilizer. Come to think of it, Hamilton may be useful as worm food; I hope she hurries her way to heaven.
"You'll notice it is Dr. Dawkins who has not yet responded."
You'll notice it's because you don't really matter princess.
"Of course, your misrepresentation of the Scopes trial while indoctrinating......"
Bwa hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah. As an Attorney and a qualified accredited published and peer reviewed historian I would love love love love to hear YOUR interpretation of the Scopes trial.
Don't do it here. You stink up ERV enough already. Do it on your goofy website.
I'll bet it involves a ultra sexy conspiracy theory, like when racists make a big deal out of the fact that Rosa Parks' arrest was planned by the NAACP.
Dear Princess Willy,
Nobody really gives a shit what you think, mostly because you're a fucking moron.
You are however, a lovely punching bag. Have a nice day.
You greatly underestimate your impact. Look at media reports. The majority will present the problem as a religion vs science in the culture issue rather than a pseudoscience vs science in education issue. Whether we like it or not, the creationist propaganda of representing all of their opposition as radical atheists has worked. The dealing that is taking place is the installation of the compromise offered by creationists: the "teach the controversy" dressing for the old "equal time" strategy. That is working too. You don't need legislation for that to happen at individual schools, and the courts can't turn it back. Not enough money or interest.
Mikeâs back with another appeal to the Ann Frank School of Political Theory.
Get into the attic dear atheists and wait for everything to blow over. The Episcopalians have us covered and people are basically good.
âYou greatly underestimate your impact.â
You mean the impact from a bullet to the skull of a teenage atheist growing up in the household of Pentecostal Holiness parents who off themselves because they feel like they are the âonly one in the worldâ.
âLook at media reports.â
Wow Lindsay Lohan was in another car wreck. Thanks for 411 D-Bag!
âThe majority will present the problem as a religion vs science in the culture issue rather than a pseudoscience vs science in education issue.â
No. The majority will spit, scratch their nuts and shout âHow come we donât talk monkey then!â
âWhether we like it or not, the creationist propaganda of representing all of their opposition as radical atheists has worked. The dealing that is taking place is the installation of the compromise offered by creationists: the "teach the controversy" dressing for the old "equal time" strategy. That is working too.â
Oh crap. Read a book for Peteâs sake. This junk has been pulled since before Huxley. It works for a minute or two, then its utter absurdity is exposed by somebody actually working up the nerve to shout Bullshit. Hell, during the election of 1800 people were burying their bibles because Adams convinced them Jefferson was going to seize them and turn their daughters out as whores. Guess who won that election. To date they have failed to equate Evolutionary theory with Satanism, Anarchism, Laissez Faire Economics, free love, Jazz Music, socialism, Marxist communism, Forced Sterilization, Nazi eugenics, Stalinism .........letâs face it the Co2 levels have only been going up up up since On the Origin of Species was published..... coincidence???
This yada yada has no resonance beyond their own echo chambers and hugboxes.
âYou don't need legislation for that to happen at individual schools, and the courts can't turn it back. Not enough money or interest.â
The mega churches are in bankruptcy and foreclosure. The first thing they will sacrifice are political lobbies or does your comprehensive assessment of âmedia reportsâ not include the DJIA. Just a guess, wife a Methodist?
Oklahomaâs Anti-Evolution statute was dropped and never re-instated because it would have made it impossible to court an enormous 1925 endowment from Standard Oil for the largest school of petroleum geology on earth. You want to follow the money? Try the S&P bio-med indexes.
ERV, I need to make this blog my homepage...NONE of these things about Dawkins, Hamilton et al has been reported down here in Lawton.
But I expect them to react this way, so at least I wasn't surprised after hearing it.
For the record, I'm ok with free love and Jazz Music.
Has little to do with Evolutionary Theory, but I'm just sayin'.
Wait, what? Free love and jazz music? Did I miss a memo? Where do I sign up?
Doc Bill wrote:
That is too funny! I moved from OK about 3 years ago after 2 years as a post-Doc at OSU and when I tell people here in Wisconsin about getting asked by total strangers "What church do you attend?" they think I'm putting them on.
Though nowhere is exactly immune from whackaloons, we have at least 3 college campuses in the vicinity of where I teach that don't teach evolution and so go further and think the Flintstones was a documentary.
Is it not bad enough that anti-evolution legislation attempts in Oklahoma make its citizens appear as uneducated medieval morons to the enlightened world. But, the investigation into the speech by Richard Dawkins at Oklahoma University is a blatant attack on the basic Freedom of Speech guaranteed by the Constitution of this country. The persons needing to be investigated are the ones trying to deny this basic freedom to others.
The climate in the entire state is anti-intellectual and over time it becomes very oppressive.
It ends up becoming like Gresham's Law. All of the free thinkers and secularists leave, which makes the place even more of a fundy stronghold.
This is insane, but the faster the world shines a light on it, the better. This should get it plenty of attention.
I'm always amazed, from the days of the Alien & Sedition Acts under Adams to McCarthy to Bush, how those most concerned about "protecting freedom" are the very ones to trample it first...
Hmmm. Mikey and the Princess seem to have left the thread. Perhaps they migrated to blogs about the Texas situation, praying to their sky-daddy so Biology textbooks all over America can has superstition?
Or perhaps several class-act responses (See #92,#95) have left them speechless. My favorite:
Well done Prometheus!
P.S. Willie, the book title is Summer for the Gods. Loose the "of"
While the motivations for the request is unreasonable, the request itself is legit. A public university is answerable to the legislature (and the people) and thus can be brought into account for anything it does and every nickle it spends. And I doubt that the request could bring up anything even remotely interesting that we don't know all ready. And as others have pointed out, the same tools requiring daylight in government operation can be used against the creationists. It is the creationists who must fear daylight. Indeed one of the two grounds for striking down a creationist disclaimer in 1999 was that the creationists violated the Open Meetings Act. Creationists have a lot to hide. If creationists ever get some law passed or something through some government agency, you can bet that the good guys will be using things like freedom of information requests, making sure creationists did not violate the open meetings act, and once a court challenge is filed, discovery.
It should not be too difficult to dish out the info the creationists demanded to know assuming OU has good record keeping in any event.
Meanwhile creationist legislators are providing plenty of evidence that the are not for academic freedom and that they are on a religious crusade. That should come in mighty handy in any future court case in Oklahoma. That the legislators are giving creationism some bad PR helps as well.
First off, Abby, you are now officially one of my Heroes for drawing in Richard Dawkins to your blog to comment. I wouldn't get that in a hundred years of blogging.
Second off, I was going to pile on how stupid WW is proving himself to be (yet again,) but it seems unnecessary. Aside to WW: Lou knows the phrase "Moonbat" is a name leveled towards liberals, but is more accurately tossed at the likes of you. "Kind of batshit insane and lacking in reading comprehension."
Instead I am going to address this Mike guy:
I think that you are on the wrong blog. You were probably looking for "Framing Science." What Myers and Dawkins have done for science education is largely underappreciated. By pointing out the tenuous position of appeasers, they have encouraged people to fucking stand up and be heard in public forums where the nonsense is being rifled off as harmless. Disagreeing with people doesn't need to be disagreeable, but it does need to be firm.
There is no reason for Dawkins to be held back, what he says and how he says it is clearly reasoned. It is only because in realizing the implications of naturalistic explanations instead of Creationism that the religious feel attacked. He is not attacking them personally, he is more strongly challenging their cherished ideals. That some are discomfited is their own problem, not his. Same for PZ. He is a mild-mannered guy who challenges people to consider the full implications of what they do, especially in science. Yes, he can be mischeivous, but so was the Norse God Loki. And all societies need Lokis.
The movie Expelled was clearly anti-education, dressed in ridicule. Dawkins' and Myers' bits were edited to twist their points and it was shameful that Mathis and Stein drew them in under false pretenses.
Mike, please change your name, or use your last name, or a pseudonym. You are embarrassing the rest of the Mikes of the world. William Wallace isn't dangerous because everyone can clearly see he is an idiot. Your attitude is far more dangerous because it calls for censure of people you don't like. And you seem so reasonable, too.
Finally, I get tired of people bashing Oklahoma so much. I lived there. I liked it. My nephew is getting an excellent education in the public schools there. Since moving to Minnesota I have grown to understand that the people here are not all that much different. We are only more liberal by a small percentage, and we have sent the likes of Norm Coleman and Michele Bachmann to Congress. We shouldn't be too smug when talking about Oklahoma.
Hamilton's intent is to intimidate the school so they will think twice about inviting anyone so notorious for future events.
Oh, and Oklahoma has a fantastic geological feature called the Arbuckles. Visit sometime. They tell the story of the age of the earth laid out in bare rock.