Monthly Archives: February 2008

Stanislaw Ulam and Bill Dembski

Bill Dembski invokes Stan Ulam as an antievolutionist. Pim van Meurs has a good response at Panda’s Thumb, noting a later publication from Ulam that diminishes or contradicts the attempt to turn him into an antievolutionist. Well, given how the antievolution crowd really likes testimonial evidence and the “Were you there?” question, I thought I… Read More »

Legal Revisionism

It’s just prior to the president’s talk concerning FISA lawmaking. The reports are that the president is pushing for retroactive immunity for private parties who provided private information about citizens to the government without warrants, something that is included in the Senate bill, but not the House bill. Why is there discussion on this? It… Read More »

The Bug Going Around

Diane had it, and it looked like a misery. Rob, my boss, has it now, and he certainly doesn’t look comfortable. I got a flu shot a couple of weeks ago, and until last night I had no symptoms. But within the space of a couple of hours, I went from nothing to severe shivering… Read More »

More Plotting

I followed up on a comment left in the earlier comment thread about giving gnuplot a try. For some reason, I had difficulties getting it installed on the MacBook Pro, but I got past that hurdle and spent some time today working with gnuplot. OK, for someone who has access to Matlab, what exactly is… Read More »

Raptor Force

The PBS Nature series looks at the intersection between falconry and science with Raptor Force. The episode airs this evening, 8 PM ET. Hat tip to Karen Spivey. I hope to have some comments later when the program airs. Update: They had a lot of nice photography on the show, though I think that they… Read More »

Lunar eclipse, 2008/02/20 10-11 PM EDT

We’ve got a total lunar eclipse coming up here shortly. Friends are coming over, and we’ll pull out the telescope for viewing and our binoculars. I’ve already baked up a fudge cake for after; it is 11 degrees F out currently, and we’ll want something warm after that. Diane says that the reports state that… Read More »

Florida: Some Notes

Back in 2005, I got a wake-up call that Florida was at risk of antievolution efforts concerning the science standards. Within a week, I had a website up to help organize the Florida Citizens for Science organization. Floridians responded, and soon they had a dedicated set of leaders to work toward getting excellent science standards… Read More »

Florida: The Board’s Deliberation

I’ll update as things happen. Board member Martinez rocks. He gave the commissioner a hard time over the last-minute proposal called the “academic freedom” proposal by various anti-science speakers. Question to the commissioner: when were the “optional” standards written and who was responsible? Did those go through the drafting process? Smith: discrepancy between treatment of… Read More »

Florida: Final Final Comments

I know Brandon is covering this, too, but I will make some comments on the comments. Note: My webcast is going in and out. I’m going to be missing chunks of this. Legislators first… First speaker: Important things, faith and child’s education. Getting it right: adopt the standards as written by the framers. Groups applauded… Read More »

Florida: Showdown in Tallahassee

In a few minutes, the Florida Board of Education will convene a meeting, and on the agenda is the question of the proposed science standards. Late last week, Commissioner Eric Smith was involved in developing a “compromise” set of changes to the proposed standards, where phrases like “the law of” would preface “gravity”, and “the… Read More »

Florida: Anti-Science Via “Neutrality”

The Pensacola News Journal carried an article with the following quote: Besides the theory issue, Stemberger said he has other problems with the standards including their reference to evolution as the fundamental underpinning of all biology. Were looking for statements of scientific neutrality, Stemberger said. Hopefully, Stemberger will not be accommodated. Science is the antithesis… Read More »

Antievolutionists Wrong About Darwin Yet Again

Antievolutionists make lots of claims about Charles Darwin, seeking to impeach the authority of someone born 199 years ago today. Given that science moves on and leaves no one’s ideas untouched, one would think that they would stick to negative claims that would stand up to some scrutiny. Again and again, though, we find that… Read More »

Florida: Final Public Meeting Underway, Part 9

God and science not incompatible. 32-16-1. [Incomplete count, FYI] Joe Wolf. Pres. Florida Citizens for Science. Have Christian faith, accept evolution. Over 1500 signers to petition to accept the standards as written. 1000 from FL, rest from around the country. Reads Illinois science teacher comment. Recommending teaching in FL? Depends on whether Florida becomes the… Read More »

Florida: Final Public Meeting Underway, Part 8

Eric Hoffman. Bio prof. Approve of standards as written. Nothing in standards says dogmatic fact, as opposed to mischaracterizations in other statements. Theory is different in science. List of 700 signers just shows everyone else wouldn’t sign it as wrong. Rebuts various Gish Gallop points of other speakers [yay!]. Adopt for the future scientists. 32-14-1.… Read More »

Florida: Final Public Meeting Underway, Part 7

Joanne Wilson. Opposes proposed standards. Teaching our children an unproven lie! Theory of evolution, fine, but not a fact! 27-8-1. Faye Armitage. Jacksonville. Need to foster a strong biomedical and green technology in Florida. Adopt the standards as drafted. 27-9-1. [Tech difficulties… –WRE] Strongly oppose… ?? Williams. YEC. Believe the Bible is true. Prophesying. Prayer… Read More »

Florida: Final Public Meeting Underway, Part 6

I will have to leave before the end of this stuff, but Teacher. Advocate science. Oppose teaching speculation as dogma, and don’t like the evolution treatment in the standards. Observation and experimentation. Evolution hasn’t been observed … non-life to life, and simple creatures becoming complex creatures. No process in dead bones except decay. [Incompetence should… Read More »

Florida: Final Public Meeting Underway, Part 5

Evolution and Hitler! Mein Kampf! Evolution kills people! Hitler’s belief in a master race based on evolution! [Which explains why Hitler expressed that in terms of a Creator and the order established of the Lord God in Mein Kampf, I guess. –WRE] Stalin! Moral consequences! 21-5. Matthew L???. College student. The revisions are long overdue.… Read More »

Florida: Final Public Meeting Underway, Part 4

Dr. Robert Gentry. Famous YEC. Evolution is disproved! McLean witness. Didn’t respond to my evidence! People don’t respond to me or come to my events! I want a debate on prime-time television! 18-2. Robert Aikinson. Frightened by effort to reduce science to majority vote. Let the experts in science decide what is taught to my… Read More »