CORR: Reposted from April 21, 2006

April 21, 2006 at 12:00 am | Posted in Journal of Anti-Science meetings | 3 Comments

I have this strange feeling of peace. A feeling I haven’t had in awhile. I feel good.

The meeting had a total of between 30-35 people in attendance at one time or another. Only 20 were remaining at the end.

Mr. Lehman started the meeting by showing a video starring Dr. David Menton, pictured above, that set the tone for the largest portion of the meeting. Dr. Menton calls himself a “creationist anatomist” and has strong ties with something known as “Answers in Genesis,” a group that is obviously out to inject a literal interpretations of the Bible into science. He has a PhD from Brown University.

The topic of the video was Lucy, a famous fossil of Australopithecus afarensis, an extinct hominid species, that was found by a team of anthropologists in Ethiopa, Africa in 1974. The video is called, and I love this title: “Lucy: She’s No Lady!” As expected, Lucy was also a major topic of the evening’s discussion.

First, a brief background.

Lucy’s fossil is a representative of a hominid species that existed around 3 million years ago. She’s apparently, from a scientific perspective, one of our ancestors. While small in brain size and stature, about 3′ 8″, the morphology of her hips, knees, and skull show she walked upright, and her molars and front teeth are more similar to modern humans than to great apes, such as Gorillas or Orangutans. Lucy was an important find, but she is not unique. She was the first of many Australopithecus afarensis fossils found in the same area.

In the video, Dr. Menton expressed a profound knowledge of the thoughts of anthropologists, almost omniscent. He implied that they created evidence rather than discovered it, because they didn’t know any other way to support it. He said that fossils were constructed and not discovered, and that they only proceeded to support it to promote their agenda. He used specific claims that anthropologists searched for a dating method that would make Lucy appear to be 3 million years old, among others. I wondered where he got this information.

Dr. Menton showed a painting of an Australopithecus afarensis holding a spear and looking into a field.

He made comments, in a tone revealing his displeasure, comically criticizing the artist for trying to fool us into thinking that Australopithecus afarensis is intelligent and appears to have something on his mind. That the artist is trying to fool us into thinking that Australopithecus afarensis is a human.

As a side-note, I’d like to mention that if you don’t think that there’s anything going on upstairs in any of the great apes, (like chimps, orangutans, or gorillas) I encourage you to go to the Sedgwick County Zoo and sit and observe them for yourself. Look at them honestly, and realize that there are many indications that Australopithecus afarensis were more intelligent than our remaining cousins.

Back to the misrepresentation, Dr. Menton continued with a criticism of a painting of Lucy. Here I must admit 2 things: 1. The following is not the painting from Dr. Menton’s video, I couldn’t find it. And I’m jealous of Dr. Menton because I admit that his picture of Lucy was more sexy. 2: I am of the philosophy that if you can’t find a sexy painting of a single female from a hominid species, then you must use a painting of her nursing. So here you go:

With his sexy picture of Lucy, Dr. Menton criticized what he felt the artist was trying to portray a human. He commented on her sexy legs, slender figure, and human genitalia. Dr. Menton’s video audience mixed between gasping and laughter at his criticism of the painting.

I must mention that during this video Dr. Menton only said one thing that was outside of the realm of a stand-up comedian or art critic. Oddly, it appeared to be in the form of scientific argument. It was that Lucy had locking wrists common in the great apes who do not walk upright. He said this one thing to prove that Lucy did not walk upright. While I do see locking wrists as indicative of knuckle-walking, I don’t see why locking wrists and bipedalism are mutually exclusive. Also, I don’t know whether or not Dr. Menton’s statement was accurate and Lucy’s morphology provides overwhelming evidence that she walked upright.

Here, Mr. Lehman made a transition from that video to a different one which main point was that scientists can not explain planet formation, therefore, in a wild conclusion, evolution is wrong. Its assumption is that with no designer/creator present, the sun could not form and that the planets forming in the same solar system would have the same composition. These unqualified assumptions ignore too many physical factors to have any scientific validity whatsoever. Thankfully this video was shown relatively briefly, as its content was extremely insulting and terrible. The graphics were decent though.

Then Mr. Lehman returned to the video with Dr. Menton. From there Menton becomes more scientific and less of an art critic, though his arguments were flawed and far less than impressive. Twice he made statements that implied that the parent species must die out in order for evolution to occur, which is not a requirement in scientifically accurate evolution.

As soon as this video ended I interrupted. I couldn’t let it continue any longer. I asked Mr. Lehman for information on Dr. Menton, “Is he an art critic and stand up comedian or is he some sort of scientist?”

Mr. Lehman mentioned Menton’s PhD and that he speaks to the top medical students in the country.

My reply: “Then why does he obviously fail to comprehend the basic concept that evolution does not require the parent species to die out? He doesn’t appear to understand any fundamental ideas behind what he is criticizing.”

Mr. Lehman tried to assure me that that’s not what he said, but others in the room seemed to agree with me, and the issue was left unsettled. However, I noticed 3 people leave at this time, a trend that would continue.

I then asked Mr. Lehman, “I’m also wondering how Dr. Menton seems to get the information of some sort of omnipresent force. He makes statements that seems like he’s witnessed conversations and read thoughts, and I don’t see how they can be true.”

Mr. Lehman said something like, “If anyone else made Dr. Menton’s statements they’d be just as true.”

My reply: “I agree. Because if I had said them I wouldn’t have been there either.”

I got no response, but I can understand. Dr. Moore-Jansen was in attendance, and not only that he brought a date in a suitcase. Here’s an unrestored version of what she looked like:

You see, Dr. Moore-Jansen is an anthropologist at Wichita State. Lucy is in very much his realm of science. His studies focus on primates.

If I were Dr. Moore-Jansen I would see the lies of the Menton video as a personal attack, and so he defended himself, pulling a skull from his suitcase. He was the expert in the room, but he had to fight a bit to speak.

Dr. Moore-Jansen seemed to try to be as brief as he could. He answered fully any questions thrown at him while he spoke. I felt he was respectful to those who endorsed this travesty of a video as he did his best in the limited time to explain its inaccuracies.

A woman in the row in front of Dr. Moore-Jansen said, “Please, I will take your class. I will listen to what you have to say then. I’m here to listen to them now.”

Dr. Moore-Jansen defended what he was doing, that what was being presented was what he does and he should have the right to address it. I interjected by saying, “The content of the video was scientifically inaccurate. This is a scientific discussion. We deserve better than that. This is Dr. Moore-Jansen’s area and he can help us.”

There Mr. Lehman said he was going to move into his presentation, Dr. Moore-Jansen said, “This is what I do. You have to give me a chance to address the lies of the video.”

I think it was Dr. Van Stipdonk who seconded that, and I thirded it (if it was necessary). So, it was then decided that Dr. Moore-Jansen would have some time to address after Mr. Lehman’s presentation.

The presentation was about 100 reasons why evolution is not possible. We didn’t get through all of them. They were poetic musings and odd math that attempted to show how improbable evolution is to occur “by chance.” The only one I remember is that the calculations it would take for the human eye to operate for 0.01 of a second is something like hundreds of differential equations that computers can not compute, thus evolution is not possible.

I waited until the end and said, “First of all, I don’t understand how the assumption is made or who is making it. Second of all, it appears to me that the statement about the human eye seems to be a comment about the limitations of computing and not about the probability of evolution. Who are making these assumptions? I’ve sat here for 2 and a half hours wondering where these assumptions come from.”

The answer was poetic math and nonsensical, so I won’t trouble you with it.

So I continued: “Whoever said that anything about planet formation has anything to do with evolution?”

Mr. Lehman said that these show the improbability that evolution could occur by chance and went on to something to the effect that those who have a naturalistic worldview are atheists and evolutionists and none of their science works or can explain these things.

Dr. Van Stipdonk backed me up here, producing two recent and scientifically accepted papers about the formation of the moon. There was discussion but I’m not sure Mr. Lehman acknowledged the validity of those papers to the scientific community.

For a moment here it seemed like Dr. Van Stipdonk and I were in a relay of saying, “Why is it the job of an evolutionary biologist to explain astronomy or cosmology?”

Nothing came of it.

Then I tried to shut up. I wanted Dr. Moore-Jansen to speak, and he did. I thought he did an amazing job. Many people left during it, including the woman in the row in front of him. He had a chance, although brief, to defend himself, and I’m pleased that the other members of CORR allowed him the opportunity.

At this point, at the end, Dr. Ackerman somehow was set up to speak. He gave a personal story that included, “The existence of God causes a problem, and it’s this problem of accountability. If there’s a God you will be held accountable.”

So, at the end I asked, “Are you expecting to be held accountable for endorsing misrepresentations and lies about science?”

He asked, “What lies or misrepresentations?”

I said, “We’ve been addressing them and these meetings are so saturated with lies and misrepresentations of science I don’t see how anyone honest can endorse them.”

He asked for me to give him something specific and we could address it and get to the bottom of it.

I said, “All of these presentations are so vulgarly scientifically inaccurate to address them you’d win by time limitations alone.”

Things got a little disorganized, but Dr. Ackerman mentioned we need to stop having “shotgun sprays.” I guess that means we’ll focus on one thing, one argument, at future meetings. I’ll give him credit for that. It will give them a better shot at presenting a valid argument, and either way, 0/1 looks better than 0/100. Hopefully these meetings do not descend into valid arguments against bull headed equivocation, but you never know.

That was the end of the meeting. I talked for awhile to a very nice woman who was a creationist. She appeared to have an open mind and I enjoyed speaking with her and another member of CORR who I don’t know the name of.

I’d like to thank the support for science that was present. I know it’s hard to sit through, but your presence was both appreciated and is important.

Thank you for sending creationists/ID supporters my way.

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Reposted from April 20, 2006

April 20, 2006 at 12:00 am | Posted in Essays | 1 Comment

I believe that children, young children, are very intelligent creatures. We start out in this world with no real knowledge and so we conduct ourselves with open minds at the start, simply because we know no different. So we go along absorbing information, this and that, pretty much whatever is presented, and it's the summation of these things that we absorb that builds the knowledge from which we later draw references from.

Whether or not this knowledge makes us more or less intelligent really, I think, depends on the situation presented. For example, while we're taught in school to "Stop, Drop, and Roll" in the event we catch fire. Not having such knowledge in the event that that we burst into flames could be fatal to even the most intelligent of us. On the other hand, having "Stop, Drop, and Roll" on our mind at all times may bias us, may close our minds, and we may find ourselves rolling furiously while burning in a boat on a lake.

By making these statements I don't mean to imply that having knowledge of "Stop, Drop, and Roll" is bad for a child to have. I think it's incredible knowledge for a child to have. But say that "Stop, Drop, and Roll" was substituted with "Run as fast as you can." We all must admit that at one point in our life the "Run as fast as you can," approach made sense. But we all now know that running simply makes the fire burn faster by supplying more oxygen.

The point I'm trying to make is that we need to make certain that the information we take as our knowledge is as accurate as possible. It does not matter how intelligent we are, if we're told that running faster would put a fire out and we don't already have a concept of what is physically going on while a material burns to dismiss that misinformation, that's all we have to go on and we accept it. Another evil is that to accept the "Stop, Drop, and Roll" method after accepting the "run faster" method, we have to qualify that it is in fact a better course of action to take when in flames. Whether or not we do that to our satisfaction before the time comes will determine how badly we're burned.

You're thinking that this is a ridiculous example, and it is. I agree. But this type of misinformation is constantly thrown at us by television, literature, and even well meaning people. When this sort of thing happens to other people I feel that we must interject, for the health and safety of those involved. As an example, I'll give a situation of where I failed to do so.

Over the summer I had two classes. One was Organic Chemistry and it got out at 11 AM. The second was Calculus 2, and it started at 7 PM. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm basically a homeless guy. I had no way to leave campus comfortably during these 8 hours in between so I spent this time studying on campus.

One day in June, about 11:30 in the morning. I'm walking along, minding my own business, sipping my coffee, hauling my gigantic backpack from the RSC to Jabara getting ready to stare at my Calc book. Everything was going along as it normally would until a woman who appeared to be in her early 30s finished walking in my direction carrying a bullhorn. She said something like, "Here we are." As I was passing by, 20 8 year olds stopped by her.

Their destination was a statue on the Wichita State campus. It's of 3 indian women. Indian as in from India in Asia. It's between Sri Lanka and the Himalayas. They appear to me to be mature women, in their native dress, barefoot, and a little chubby.

 

I couldn't help overhearring, not by snooping she had a bullhorn, her ask these children, "Now what do we notice that's different about these women?"

One kid said, "They're poor."

She said, "Yes, they don't appear to have much. Anything else?"

Another kid said, "They're fat."

She said, "Okay, okay. But what ELSE do we notice about these women?"

The kids said nothing.

She punctuated, "These women are Native Americans from India."

Obviously this woman meant well. I refuse to assume she's some sort of demon who gets off by teaching children the most inappropriate thing possible. She was trying to expose these children to other cultures through a work of art. She was attempting to do so senstively by using what she must have thought is the politically correct term. The only problem was she did not know what she was talking about.

I stopped in my tracks. I may have fainted, but I'm not sure. The next few minutes are fuzzy. I remember turning around and the kids were well on their way to another statue. I thought about tracking them down and clearing things up, but I didn't. I don't know why I didn't, because it seems like something I would do. Maybe I was in shock.

I didn't see either of my two young nieces until a month or so later. The minute I saw them I sat them down and explained the them that the term Native Americans is used for people who were in America before the Europeans came and took over, and that Indians are from India which is in Asia. Native Americans were called Indians because Christopher Columbus thought he was in India, and they're generally called Indians in the movies and the Cleveland baseball team. It's a misnomer and the correct term is Native American. I showed them India on a map. I showed them a necklace a Native American made me. I made sure they understood and then I made them repeat, "Native Americans are Americans, Indians are from India," a few times to really make sure my point was made.

They looked a little scared but I had to. I love my nieces.

CORR: Reposted from April 9, 2006

April 9, 2006 at 12:00 am | Posted in Journal of Anti-Science meetings | 3 Comments

I’ve been angry, very angry, since Thursday night. Almost to a point of not being functional. I’m becoming obsessed with defending science, if I wasn’t already. And if I was already, I’m definitely more so now. I’m in this until the end.

My failures Thursday night were because my anger made me hide my honesty. I was more concerned about using etiquette, finding a language to speak to the crowd, and concern for my ally once things turned ugly than I was there to do simply what I was there to do.

Many readers of this blog may wonder what that is. I may look like the devil to some of you. I know I look like the devil to many. I must have looked like some random young man simply out to cause trouble to Thursday night’s crowd.

The big answer is to defend science and our species. We can’t make nature change its policies, but we can make a policy to ignore or edit our understanding of nature to make it say whatever we need it to say for whatever reason. That behavior is poison because it wouldn’t make what we want science to say to be true. So when we do that, that will be the end of our pursuit of truth and progress. All we’ll have left is a wait for our inevitable extinction. There will be no more growth and the only knowledge that will be accepted as truth will be whatever is voted on, whatever the dominant demographic decides what fits their needs, instead of what is correct. These statements may sound overdramatic to some of you, but trust me when I say that’s what the Intelligent Design/Creationism movement can potentially do if it has success. Rest assured that the qualification of my statements will come with the precedent.

You may also think that’s too self-important, that I’m only defending science, and that I place so much importance on science because I am a student of science. If that is your thought, then please sit there and think about what science has given you. I’m a student of science for that reason, because understanding the universe makes us stronger and I want to help.

The big answer may not speak to many of you, and I can understand that. The big answer wouldn’t have spoken to me 2 years ago either. So let me give you a smaller part of the big answer, the part of the answer that touched my nerve on Thursday night and the reason I’ve been pissed off since, but first I have to provide a little background.

Anyone who knows my parents know that they’re fine, upstanding people and are about as christian as it gets. They’re both also habitually busy people. Busy with work. Busy with me. Busy with my sister and her family. Busy with the house. Busy with their health. Busy with our health, which isn’t the best. They’ve been busy since before I was born, and busy with things that lie far outside any study of natural science.

My parents seemed to believe that my acceptance of evolution showed that I had been possessed by some sort of demon. Either that or I was rebelling. They worried for my very soul, even more so than usual. They felt that I was betraying God by feeling that I had studied enough, partially through Dr. Moore-Jansen’s Biological Anthropology class, my own research, my further study of biology, and my own observation of living things, and felt that I had seen enough evidence to see that evolution, as the concept that biological organisms change over time, is undeniable.

Anyone who knows my father knows he’s as good a man as you will ever find, but he can be a bit hardheaded although reasonable and rational. He teaches industrial arts, technology, and drafting and he’s been a multi-sport coach for over 30 years. He also had no reference to understand evolution, but let me know he doesn’t see the problem with creationism/ID in science classrooms and that he doesn’t accept evolution. It took me about the length of a commercial break to help him understand by telling him a simple story that I made up on the spot but is sound in concept. It had to do with a school of fish.

First I had him agree that him and I aren’t twins by any stretch of the imagination, and that generally, while similarities do exist, children are different from their parents. I asked him to pretend that we were fish and I was still his kid, but I was born with an unusually long snout, and because of this long snout I was able to reach food that the other fish like him can’t reach. Because of that I grow up to be big and strong and have kids, who will also have long snouts. That alone means that evolution has taken place because there are now more fish in our school with long snouts than there were before. But that concept is never the big obstacle in accepting evolution, the problem is always with speciation, the changing from one species to another. So, I continued to say that my fish children grew up big and strong because they have the same long snout that I do, and so on and so forth until our numbers are big. At some point my fish won’t follow his fish because we’ll need to follow the food, and no one from my school will have a chance to breed with anyone in his school. Generations later, the isolation between our schools will cause a difference that will make it as impossible to breed naturally between the schools as it is between lion and house cat. Different species.

There it clicked. It made sense to him. Pop has been around the world. He’s seen some things, and he knew what I was telling him was true. Since then he’s trusted my position.

How does that fit in with the smaller answer? Because of the fact that if it wasn’t for my intervention my father may have been in that crowd Thursday night, taken advantage of by a man willing to lie to promote himself and his faith. Dad, who is pretty intelligent, would not have known difference because natural science is not his area. He may have bought some of the propaganda of the meeting, which offered many books, videos, and DVDs. And unwittingly and with good intentions, my father may have turned into a pawn that down the road votes in some election that cripples science and arrests human progress, a result that I know my father, a good man, would never endorse.

I looked into the crowd on Thursday and I saw a collection of people much like my parents. People that I grew up with and was raised by. I know these people. They’re good people with good intentions. Busy people, like my parents are busy, and not students of science, much like my parents and most of my friends. These are my people, I love them dearly, and I would do anything for them. To allow someone to come in and lie to them, to misrepresent the truth, only to use them for either profit or cause is unacceptable.

I also looked into the crowd and saw many children and I felt sorry for them. I didn’t know what science was until I was 22, feeling as I grew up, much like the crowd, that science was a tool of the devil and invented purely to be a pain in the ass for school children. Ever since I learned that science is the study of nature, the universe, I feel as though I was robbed of those 22 years, and wish I had them back so I would have had more time with science. All I am now is a student of science, and that’s all that I will ever be. Everyday I understand more, and everyday is better than the last. It is my happiness and it makes others happy that I share it with. Many of these children may never get to experience what I have with science, something that may make sense to them like it has to me, because they’ve been told to ignore it which is a mistake I would not make again. The lives of those children are being compromised the same way as mine has.

Those present may have thought so but neither I nor my ally were present to fight against the crowd on Thursday night. We were there only to represent the truth, and, if needed, to fight against Dr. Lucas to defend the crowd, not to attack them. We were there in an attempt to defend well meaning people from being taken advantage of, people who don’t have reference to what is claimed to be being represented, science, which is something that I study.

There is no science in Intelligent Design/Creationism, but it also doesn’t need to have any. All it needs is enough people like my parents and the crowd to succeed, a success that will be damage all of us which are intentions I know that the crowd did not have. To think that the people I love are being manipulated into making decisions based in lies and that these children will grow up as ignorant as I did pisses me off to no end.

That’s the smaller point, and I think it is one that all of us can relate to. I’d do anything to protect my family, which is what I’m doing. We deserve enough respect to not be lied to and used.

Thank you for letting me borrow your eyes.

CORR: Reposted from April 6, 2006, Lucas Recap

April 6, 2006 at 12:00 am | Posted in Journal of Anti-Science meetings | 1 Comment

There were over 100 people there. I don’t know a specific number, but it was definitely over 100. There were a few of my classmates there, but they left before the questions and answers segment, leaving Dr. Van Stipdonk and I as the only 2 people there who were not completely scientifically illiterate.

That’s the way I like it. However, the format was different. While Dr. Lucas misrepresented basic geology, and nuclear chemistry, and claimed to make a super duper physics equation that solves everything, something which Einstein was working fervorously on before he died, the Theory of Everything. Because of the format I did not interject sanity until after the misrepresentation of science, long after it was already accepted as gospel by the audience. I will not make this mistake again.

As soon as it was question time, I asked him to go back to his first slide, where he had a list of laws and theories, which include such classics as the Theory of Relativity, the Laws of Motion, and the Laws of Thermodynamics. He made a statement that all of these theories are being replaced. What he implied was that evil atheist scientists are finally being caught and made to tell the truth.

I said that science is composed of working models that are refined when needed and asked, “So, you’re saying that none of these theories are valid because they’re still being worked on?”

His response was, “They’re not valid because they don’t allow for the existence of God.” He then tried to cover that slip up with, “They just don’t fit the data.”

Most simple point here is that you can’t consider a supreme being when conducting a scientific investigation because you can not control for it. The existence of God is irrelevant to science. Nor can science prove or disprove the existence of God, because natural science only studies the natural world, also known as the universe. Nor does science really care. You won’t find any reputable scientific journal that weighs the existence of God in any of its conclusions.

Dr. Lucas said what I wanted him to say. To state his purpose, which wasn’t science. However, I don’t think the crowd understood its meaning.

Continuing down this road in an attempt to tie a conspiracy that “they” (who were never clearly defined but constantly referred to. I assume them to be publishers and scientists) have been protecting these laws to continue funding and keep down Christians and God, Dr. Lucas made a statement that Isaac Newton did not know what mass was.

My response was, “Wasn’t that the first paragraph of Principia Mathematica?”

Dr. Lucas answered with a fuzzy wiggler that kept him safe. I didn’t challenge though I made a mistake in not telling the crowd to read the first paragraph of probably the greatest scientific work in history. I am however hoping they will have a mind to do it on their own.

Here quoted is the first paragraph of Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton (translated from Latin, though not by me):

Definitions.

Definition 1: The quantity of matter is the measure of the same, arising from its density and bulk conjunctly.

Thus air of a double density, in a double space, is quadruple in quantity; in a triple space, sextuple in quantity. The same thing is to be understood of snow, and fine dust or powders, that are condensed by compression or liquefication; and of all bodies that are by any causes whatever differently condensed. I have no regard in this place to a medium, if any such there is, that freely pervades the interstices between the parts of bodies. It is this quantity that I mean hereafter everywhere under the name of body or mass, And the same is known by the weight of each body; for it is proportional to the weight, as I have found by experiments on pendulums, very accurately made, which shall be shewn hereafter.

So apparently not only did Isaac Newton know what mass was, he actually defined it in the first paragraph of what is the most important work in the history of the world.

I let him go in hopes that those in the audience would consult their copy of Principia Mathematica.

Dr. Van Stipdonk, my ally apparently to the end in this madness, then asked Dr. Lucas to demonstrate the use of his unified theory. Dr. Lucas claimed it was too difficult to show here. So Dr. Van Stipdonk moved to another major topic of the misrepresentation, the Robert Gentry situation.

Robert Gentry worked on radiohalos at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is a Young Earth Creationist (YEC). A YEC is a person who believes the Earth is only about 6,010 years old, the age that fits with the Bible. This age is given by the Biblical scholarship of James Ussher. It’s the most extreme type of creationist to be, especially when the YEC is a scientist who misapplies science to prove it. 3 of Gentry’s articles were published in each Science and Nature, which are each at the apex of scientific publications. Here is a link to a Robert Gentry interview where he talks about his relationship with Oak Ridge and mentions his visit to Wichita State University.

Long story short, while researching radiohalos he came to the unqualified position that the rapid decay of “primordial” polonium-214, which has the very short half-life of 164 microseconds, proves that the granite it was found in was formed in less than 3 seconds, implying an instantaneous creation of the Earth.

Gentry however did not prove that his rock would provide a primordial source because he did not know where he got it (he didn’t get it himself) and he refused to do the geology because it contradicts his beliefs as a YEC.

His science was good though incomplete, and his interpretations were bizarre. Gentry then left Oak Ridge under what I will call here “mysterious circumstances.” The creationist/ID movement has picked this man to be their martyr, claiming he was fired because he was persecuted against for being a christian. Actually this is not what happened.

Dr. Van Stipdonk knows a bit about the Gentry situation. He was much closer to the situation than anyone else in the room because he worked in the same circles. While he was trying to get Lucas to clarify what he misrepresented he was working to make the point that if Gentry was so persecuted against and there is this huge conspiracy keeping Christians out of science, how did he get all of these articles in Science and Nature?

Before Dr. Van Stipdonk could reach the point with Dr. Lucas however, the crowd turned ugly. The fact that Dr. Van Stipdonk had reference to something being presented was perceived as a threat by those in the audience. Names were called, perhaps threats were made. Dr. Van Stipdonk was forced to give up his question and sort of asked to leave, though he didn’t. Poorly masked references were made to the rudeness of Dr. Van Stipdonk by many of the others who asked questions, which brought about laughs from the audience. I must note here that Dr. Van Stipdonk was many orders of magnitude more respectful to the speaker and the audience than I was. He is also a christian.

As a side note about why the crowd reacted this way, I later witnessed Dr. Van Stipdonk being told by Dr. Ackerman (the chair of the Psychology department at WSU and long time advocate of creation science), J. David Lehman (who is the unofficial leader of CORR), and Dr. Lucas that the problem with his questions were that they were “too dominant.” I suppose that is open to interpretation.

I feel that I was not met with this type of hostility, but from there I was ignored until the end where I offered, “I have two questions, really brief. First of all, you seem to really be going out of your way to make the point that only what is “politically correct” makes it into textbooks, outside of what is accepted in the scientific community to make it into textbooks, who would you rather do it, you and you alone or anybody at all?”

Dr. Lucas gave a long winded answer that boiled down to that he believes everything in textbooks are wrong, non-“politically correct” outsiders like him are not accepted, there’s no room made for the maverick, and the scientific community refuses to accept anything that disproves fundamental theories because of a conspiracy theory aimed at continuation of funding, which were also discussed during my first question that lead to his statement that Isaac Newton did not know what mass is.

Dr. Lucas did what I wanted him to do. He showed his paranoia and made statements that those like him everywhere are being fired and not being published.

So, I finished, “Philosophical question here Dr. Lucas. Say you go to a doctor because you have a headache, and first thing he does is cut off your leg, should he lose his medical license?”

Dr. Lucas answered by telling a story about his wife almost dying of cancer because a doctor failed to treat her because her doctor was given money for research by the NIH and needed her for a study group, and that she was later refused treatment for eating fresh fruit. This was an appeal for emotion for which he was rewarded with an ovation.

All I could say was. “Wow, that truly is bizarre Dr. Lucas. So back to my original question, you go to the doctor…”

“Yes, his medical license should be pulled.”

“Thank you doctor, I totally agree.”

His chemical equations made absolutely no sense. Based on his presentation, Dr. Lucas does not know the difference between isotope and ion by showing chemical equations that said that an atomic species will change by losing an electron. A very small point in light of many other, there’s a decay series for Uranium. Thorium (Th) is part of that series. Dr. Lucas used the symbol for Thallium (Tl), for which he called Tellurium (Te). This was his Thorium. I’m a reasonable man. I understand mistakes are made, but based on his argument and presentation this mistake should have never been made, and would not have been made by anyone who knew what they were talking about.

The geology was butchered and interpretations were simply remolded to make unqualified statements that support his desired result. It was too bad to pick apart here. He also said he’s not a geologist, although geology was a major part of his presentation.

I feel that basic errors in nuclear equations and a demonstration of a very poor understanding of basic chemistry and geology, which were not his points but sold as scientific jargon to support his points, would make any rational human being think that he did not have a clue about what he was talking about.

Unfortunately, I feel I let the crowd, which have no frame of reference for anything Dr. Lucas talked about, get away believing what he said was truth. That all of his bizarre science was valid. That scientists were evil and that there’s a giant conspiracy against Christians.

I tried and I failed but I have learned from my mistakes.

Next week, Thursday, at the RSC at WSU. 7pm. Keep them coming.

CORR: Reposted from April 5, 2006

April 5, 2006 at 12:00 am | Posted in Journal of Anti-Science meetings | Leave a comment

This Thursday night, 7PM, in room 208 of Hubbard Hall on the Wichita State campus Christians for Origins and Religious Research (CORR), which, may I add, is a legitimate student organization, will have the third installment of what the group calls “Creation vs. Evolution.” Here’s the poster, click on it for a larger size.Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Now, if you know anything basic about radiometric dating/radioactive decay and geology that poster may seem a bit bizarre (yes, it really says what you think it says). These are the methods of creation science, and that’s why I go to simply ask for clarification. There’s no need for debate. Only a need for understanding and an embrace of what works.

I’ve attended the first two meetings and each more or less descended into chaos. This time we’ll be in a new room and I’m excited that Dr. Bill Lucas will be attending. Unfortunately Dr. Moore Jansen will not be due to a prior engagement, however Dr. Van Stipdonk and I will both be there and I very much look forward to this meeting. What Dr. Lucas will be talking about is more in Dr. Van Stipdonk’s area.

Now please everyone, and this may sound bizarre, but please help me and help yourself, help us all, by TELLING supporters of INTELLIGENT DESIGN or CREATIONISM as a valid science to please attend. It’s free and open to the public. The more supporters of INTELLIGENT DESIGN and CREATIONISM that are there the better.

And if you have nothing to do on Thursday please come yourself. I hear I’m entertaining at these things. I’ll post how it went afterwards.

Please get the word out. We have a problem and I’m trying to fix it.

Thank you.

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