You wanna see arrogance? Look to a creationist

Ohio State Board of Education has an ID lesson plan on the books. Ohio Citizens for Science has been fighting it, but at a recent meeting, the Board voted to maintain it's anti-science position.

A friend sent this scan from the Columbus Dispatch. It does show the ignorance, the contempt, and the arrogance of the creationists.

i-a72a70abe4cb2ccdc01940b434454b28-columbusdispatch.jpg
Richard E. Baker, a member of the State Board of Education, displays his apparent lack of interest in arguments for changing the state's science standards being put forth by fellow board member Martha W. Wise. Baker, who later voted to maintain the current standards, did not speak during yesterday's afternoon session, choosing instead to read the newspaper throughout.

This Richard E. Baker:

"Richard Baker, an avowed creationist and vice president of the OBE,
disagrees. ....Baker accused the scientific community of wasting time
debating the plan. "We spend all this malarkey and baloney when 99 percent
of all the people who are taught this have nothing to do with the rest of
their lives. These scientists, they don't care about wasting their own time
or anybody else's time. In business we don't waste time. To me, [the lesson]
is not a big deal." According to Baker, the real reason scientists want to
do away with the lesson plan is, as he said to a group of scientists at a
board meeting concerning the lesson plan, "[They] think [they] know
everything. [They're] just a bunch of paranoid, egotistical scientists
afraid of people finding out [they] don't know anything.""

That's a man who does not belong on the Board of Education.

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One more reason Im glad I didnt stay long in Ohio when I lived there back in the mid-80s.

By Sage Donkey (not verified) on 12 Jan 2006 #permalink

Au contraire, the problem with creationists is that they don't think BIG enough.

Consider this quote from an astronomer discussing the arrangement of satellite galaxies perpendicular to the Andromeda galaxy:

"It's unlikely such a plane would arise by chance," Grebel says.

Calling Wm. Dembski & Ph. Johnson!

Whenever the Disco Institute guys weary of sharing their unappreciated brilliance with biologists, the astronomy community is surely ripe for quote-mining and data abuse. An eager network of wackos is already in place, crying out for leadership in public image manipulation. Who can prove that the Heavens were not put in place by a great Hand? After all, if planets were condensed from space dust, where is there still space dust?

Will Ohio education embrace Intelligent Cosmomorphology before Kansas, Texas, or Alabama? Will godless eggheads again block the Truth from innocent schoolchildren with their grasping trial lawyers and activist judges?

[ Those interested in a fascinating god-free version of an overwhelmingly vast phenomenon can find more on Grebel, her team, and Andromeda-area dark matter should go to http://www.newscientistspace.com/article.ns?id=dn8571 ]

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 12 Jan 2006 #permalink

shorter Baker:

"Experts! What do they know?"

By Great Cthulhu (not verified) on 12 Jan 2006 #permalink

If Mr. Baker said: "We spend all this malarkey and baloney when 99 percent of all the people who are taught this have nothing to do with the rest of their lives." then why doesn't he simply move to have the entire program dropped? I suspect it is because he doesn't even believe himself.

I sure am glad I don't work with him or for him or have to do business with him. He sounds like a tyrant. Just think, he probably has kids. They'll be more warped than a potato chip.

So, am I the only one who finds this display of corn-fed Midwestern pig-ignorance rather refreshing?

Not that it's good to have this dumbass on an education board, but at least he is open about his agenda. With the slick, Intelligent Design Creationism snake oil salesmen, parents can fool themselves into thinking they are getting "real science." After all, the IDC guys have fancy degrees and possibly even white coats, just like REAL SCIENTISTS (tm), and they can use big, impressive words that sound like they should mean something. Whereas with idiots like Mr. Baker, there is no fooling yourself- the guy is a fundie wackjob, and unless you as a parent are a fundy wackjob yourself, there is no getting around that.

Oh, congrats on the new site, PZ. =)

By MJ Memphis (not verified) on 12 Jan 2006 #permalink

If he's lucky, he will get antibiotics produced by people who know nothing about bacteria, brakes designed by people who know nothing about stopping a car, electrical outlets designed by people who know nothing about electrical safety, and smoke detectors who know nothing about detecting smoke.

After all, with an attitude like his, his luck is not likely to be *good* luck.

Guys like Baker are clearly irresponsible. I just wish more people would see that and vote them (or the people who appointed them) out of their positions.

I see the squish-head is reading an article about Jack Abramoff.
In a perfect world Baker, Abramoff, and DeLay would all be sharing a cell where they could rant at those evil reality-based know-it-alls who put them there.

Because the American education system is all about churning out low-level business drones, after all. What a fuckhead.

The interesting thing about Baker is that he neither moved his lips nor turned a page in the newspaper. It was obviously an expression of contempt for Ms. Wise. The bizarre thing about Baker is that he's a farmer. Were it not for the fundamental processes of evolution, he'd still be growing teosinte and wild emmert. 'Course, he's collected in the six figures in agricultural subsidies over the last few years, so he can afford not to know how his crops came to be.

Michael Cochran, another ID creationist on the board, also spent time reading the newspaper, again an expression of contempt. When one member of the public who was speaking during the public comment period called him on it, he said "When someone says something interesting I'll listen." He is an arrogant prick.

No more arrogant that the two millionaire used-car-dealers we've got in the UK who are promoting young-Earth creationism in English schools!

These two liars are called Edmiston and Vardy, if you're interested .....

By G. Tingey (not verified) on 12 Jan 2006 #permalink

And this is exactly why I am going back to college to get my science degree to become a science teacher. I grew up in and went to high school in Louisiana. Our school still used textbooks that were outlawed by Edwards V. Aguillard...in 1993! Someone needs to actively fight these new Luddite morons. Personally, I think that if they are going to thumb their noses at science, then science should take them at their word. No more antibiotics for them! If they should contract bird flu, no antivirals. WOuldnt want them to be tainted by "know it all egghead scientists" now would we?

Since there is no theory, evidence, or even substance to ID, exactly what would be the content of an ID lesson in high school? Can ID be taught without: 1) discrediting the scientific theory of evolution, 2) invoking some kind of religious arguments, and 3) basing the lesson on existing ID material which was designated as both religious and vacuous by Judge Jones in Dover, P.A.?

Shouldn't the members of the Board of Education behave better than the kids for whose education they're responsible? Baker and Cochran sound like sullen teenagers who should be grounded until they learn some manners.

Baker sounds like the anti-science posters on sci.skeptic or talk.origins.

We spend all this malarkey and baloney when 99 percent of all the people who are taught this have nothing to do with the rest of their lives.

So, what about the 1% of the students who WILL use it? Or, at the vary least want to know whether they have an interest or an ability in the area? Is this "Educator" telling them, too bad - so sad - go somewhere else?" This person should be in no way tied to any educational system with an attitude like that!

We spend all this malarkey and baloney when 99 percent of all the people who are taught this have nothing to do with the rest of their lives.

So, what about the 1% of the students who WILL use it? Or, at the vary least want to know whether they have an interest or an ability in the area? Is this "Educator" telling them, too bad - so sad - go somewhere else?" This person should be in no way tied to any educational system with an attitude like that!

Sigh...Ohio. One of the four interminable states in the Union. Let's just sell it to, say, Russia or Nigeria or somebody...just get it outta here.

As the offspring of a family of teachers and educators, I firmly believe that the sole purpose of an elected, non-degreed, non-teacher school board is to raise money for the schools. They should have absolutely NO input into curricula whatsoever.

By un malheureux … (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

malheurex, give us here in (blue) Northeast Ohio a chance to secede first, then you can do what you want with the rest of the state.

By Steve LaBonne (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

Intelligent design may be appropriate in the math classes. Adam and Eve multiplied and added to civilization. Intelligent Design divided the country and is minus a solid foundation.

I live in a red area small town that is quickly becoming a suburb of Columbus. There is a sign in our local grocery store that calls the town "A Comfortable Conservative Community." How's that for alliteration?

In any case, during the 2004 "election", one of the houses a few houses down put up a sign promoting the Republican candidate. (I have refused to say his name or supposed title since the 2001 Inauguration Day.) Within a few days, a block of four houses had put up John Kerry signs. Because of the shortage of free signs, a couple of us actually made our own at Kinko's.

The point? Please don't let NE Ohio secede without letting some of the rest of the state get hooked into that. Maybe we could somehow gerrymander our four houses into the Cleveland area.

Why is Baker sitting on the State Board of Education to begin with? The students are being shafted by this anti-intellectual, stone-age dolt. It's Baker's responsibility to advocate for good, sound education. His obvious indifference to the staff meeting during the intelligent design debate (reading a newspaper, see picture above), shows he could care less. Maybe he considers the future of students in Ohio, like the teaching of ID,"no big deal."

With statements like: "We spend all this malarkey and baloney when 99 percent of all the people who are taught this have nothing to do with the rest of their lives," Baker reveals true ignorance regarding his understanding of the goals of education. Maybe we don't apply math and science to literally everything we do in our daily lives. I'll bet that Baker and those Ohio School Board ID advocates rarely apply math and science to anything in their lives! However, these subjects help sharpen critical thinking skills in ways that cannot be achieved in other subject areas. In this, the 21st century, science education provides at least a rudimentary understanding of our increasingly sophisticated and technological world. Science provides us with a method that is based on rational thought, and allows us to explore, understand, and make predictions based on proven scientific principles. I doubt Baker would agree. In fact, he is surely doing a disservice to Ohio students by propagating antiquated philosophy and uninformed opinion specifically regarding science education.

Baker characterizes scientists as being paranoid and egotistical "afraid of people finding out [they] don't know anything." What does he know? Has he ever had a real conversation with a scientist in his entire life? Where is his basis for such outrageous, dishonest, and inflammatory commentary? He extolls the virtues of business, but I wonder if the clueless one knows just how vital scientific research and discovery is to business and the American economy? Once again I ask: Why is Baker sitting on the State Board of Education in Ohio?

I understand that Mr. Baker's term ends on December 31, 2006. Opportunity, for any of those educated Ohioans out there...?

BTW, being an English nerd, I couldn't help but notice that this statement "99 percent of all the people who are taught this have nothing to do with the rest of their lives" refers not to evolution having nothing to do with their lives, but to the people themselves having nothing to do with their lives! What a moron! Forget Baker's ignorance of science--this IDork can't even speak English!

"We spend all this malarkey and baloney when 99 percent of all the people who are taught this have nothing to do with the rest of their lives....In business we don't waste time."

I think criticism of this statement needs to go much further. High school education should teach how to read, write and do arithmetic. It should explain the basics of how the world works. But it should NOT be purely utilitarian. It is a mistake to narrow the point to science.

It is precisely the vast majority who will not have a job centred around the advance of learning who need the chance to have their eyes openned to culture, and world beyond the everyday. Poetry, music, philosophy, history, science - so what if a businessman has no use for these things. A civilisation does have use for them. Without them we are barbarians.

Was going to suggest we let Iran have Ohio, but that would place us unacceptably close to their "nuclear energy program"... Hmm. How about Cuba? Its not quite as lunitic and religiousy, but its got plenty of fascism, and its leader is relatively toothless. lol

I'll second Mark's point. I believe upthread it is revealed that Mr. Baker is a farmer. If so he is a farmer who, if he is successful, relies on information developed by the "know nothing" scientists at his local university agriculture extension department. He also relies on the "know nothing" scientists employed by the seed and chemical companies that develop the seed and fertilizer he needs to be successful. If he has a large operation he would use GPS driven fertilizer spreaders to minimize use and maximize yield bringing âknow nothingâ physicists, space scientists, engineers, etc. into the mix as well. Itâs a shame that Mr. Baker wishes to block the successful education of those who will carry on from those who have helped him so much.

By LM Wanderer (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

Clearly Mr. Baker runs successful businesses. Also, he does dontate a great deal of his time to civic efforts. But his clear misunderstanding of what scientists do, and indeed, how his own cattle came to be (i.e. selective breeding, genetic modification) is remarkable. Why he thinks running a cattle business is the same as running long-term paleontological research is beyond me. Perhaps I, as a bookseller, could do a good job running his business for him. I don't waste a lot of time either, especially blowharding as he does.

It is also clear while Mr. Baker thinks scientistsare "just a bunch of paranoid, egotistical scientists afraid of people finding out [they] don't know anything", he certainly is not afraids to let people he doesn't know much.

By Thucydides Jr. (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

afraids = afraid. I hate missing typos

By Thucydides Jr. (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

"to let people KNOW he doesn't know much."
grr.

By Thucydides Jr. (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

"It does show [...] the arrogance of creationists."

We're talking about the folks who think that not only did some entity create the entire universe, exactly as it is, just for humans; but specifically so only a certain few of those humans would get into an eternal paradise, right? Those folks?

How could you expect them to be arrogant?

It's not like they're scientists or anything.

its anti-science position.

/sorry

I am sure he'll feel the same way when his doctor arrives to apply the leaches and pray for his recovery from whatever demons have possessed him. Of no use, christ does the idiot not breath, eat and shit like the rest of us. What an asshole.

By gogglespisano (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

Intelligent design may be appropriate in the math classes. Adam and Eve multiplied and added to civilization. Intelligent Design divided the country and is minus a solid foundation.

i kid you not: the current issue (December 2005) of FOCUS, a publication of the Mathematical Association of America, emphasizing maths teaching, has an article by Robert Brabenec of Wheaton College ("What does ACMS Stand For?", pages 24-25) about an organization devoted to exploring questions such as:

What is the nature of mathematical objects? Are they social constructions? Do they exist in themind of God? Are these perspectives reconcilable?

and

How did Enlightenment thinkers see the role of mathematics in human culture? Are we as mathematicians comfortable with such an understanding of mathematics? Now that the Enlightenment perspective has fallen out of favor, how may our culture's perspective on the role of mathematics change? What responsibility do we as a mathematics community have in shaping this perspective?

the organization's members are later described:

ACMS members do not believe that there exists a distinct Christian mathematics, but rather than dual knowledge of faith issues and mathematics enriches and informs both areas. A familiar analogue is the way that the separate disciplines of geometry and algebra supplement each other in analytic geometry.

so, i say wondering out loud, are citations from Billy Graham allowed as justifications for steps in proofs?

incidently, and on a tangent, i couldn't find the Pharyngula article about that law prohibiting anonymous insulting or something, but i found a detailed analysis of it from EFF.

Just John said:
"Hey, at least he's holding the paper right side up."

Yeah, but the maroon's odds of getting that right were 50/50, so let's not attribute it to any minimal flicker of neurons on his part.

Of course, in a Dembski-an universe, odds like that would mean this maroon could never have evolved in the first place...

Congratulations on the new site, PZ, but if "quote" is working now, it sure doesn't show in the preview, using either "quote" or "blockquote." Is there a tutorial somewhere?

By Steviepinhead (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

Wow.
I guess the empiric logic & proof of most of the sciences is a bunch of malarkey.
what is going on in this country?
what about separation of church & state?
this is a free country & not everyone is from a judeo-christian mind-set.
religion is a belief system.
it has a place-@ home & in church.
why have schools then?
what should be taught?
i guess advanced math, i.e. geometry/trig shouldn't be offered because of all of the hypotheses & theorems.
the way school budgets seem to continue to be cut across the board, i suggest we all stay home, use the internet, & let China take over our economy since that's where most of America's jobs are going anyway.

Science is the slower but truer path to God. Fundamentalism is the express on the fast track to oblivion.

These two routes aren't parallel. At some point the two tracks cross.
Science is merely stopped momentarily at the level crossing whilst the fundie train hurtles thru.

http://www.cartoonaustralia.com/malk/

And the moral of the story is, pay attention to local elections. With small turnout, it doesn't take much more than a couple of bible-thumper churches to get a fucking ignoramus elected to a school board.

It happened in Kansas (twice!) it's happened in Ohio, and I'm sure it will happen elsewhere, too. Don't kid yourself, it can happen in your own state, wherever you are.

-jcr

By John C. Randolph (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

If I'd been there, I'd have lobbed a copy of the Origin of Species at that snotty prick's head.

-jcr

By John C. Randolph (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

How about Cuba? Its not quite as lunitic and religiousy, but its got plenty of fascism, and its leader is relatively toothless.

Cuba is a perfect democracy, a heaven on Earth; everyone who even suggests there's any flaw in it has obviously been brainwashed by capitalist propaganda.

Re: Post by Mark 1/13

> Why is Baker sitting on the State Board of Education to > begin with?

Because he was put there by his good friend the governor of Ohio, Bob Taft. He's a governor appointed at-large member, as is the board president. That's the same Taft who gave orders to the board to put ID in Ohio science classes for the Christian right voters while he swore publicly that he was staying out of it. He claims to be staying out of it again this time, and the board president is once again 100% for creationism, oh excuse me, "critical analysis with scientific evidence against evolution". And Ohio's head lawyer advising the board about legal liability, the attorney general Jim Petro? He's running for governor on the strategy that all he needs is the Christian right.

Are these board members elected by citizens or by state governments?

This Baker's annoying stupid piece of shit! Bill O'Reilly's "War on Christianity" is exactly what they (and O'Reilly) are asking for.