Screening of Flock of Dodos from May 7

May 19, 2007 at 11:51 pm | Posted in Essays, Good Media | Leave a comment

The screening of Flock of Dodos on the Wichita State campus qualified as much more than an everyday event in Wichita. The capacity of the CAC theater is 450 persons, and the crowd was around 350-400. You could say it was the free admission, a free film with the filmmaker, Dr. Randy Olson, actually in attendance, but getting anyone in Wichita to leave their homes for an evening is about as easy as sorting atoms with eyeballs and fingers. These people were definitely interested.

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Back in the driver’s seat…

May 14, 2007 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Essays | 3 Comments

After a couple of very scary weeks, I have regained control of the “Defending Science” blog. A spammer hijacked this site and deleted my username and password. WordPress helped me regain control of this blog promptly after the incident, but I failed to check the blog to see if anything had changed. It had. The links section on the homepage was filled with SPAM links, and WordPress had no choice but to suspend this account. After a few emails and a lot of help from Mark in support I now have control again.

Thanks again, Mark.

I’ll continue to update this very specific blog, but I have also started a new one, Glorified Ape, so look for me there as well.

An Apology

April 26, 2007 at 8:36 am | Posted in Essays | 2 Comments

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Hiatus, Schmiatus

February 20, 2007 at 2:39 am | Posted in Essays | 2 Comments

I haven’t posted on this blog for a few months, and it appears as though some who support my efforts are worried that I have dropped out. If I could choose to rid myself of this immense burden I would do so, but I can’t. The scientific illiteracy of the general public is so everpresent and damaging that any attempt to avoid it is an exercise in futility.

I’ve been focusing on my studies while trying to assess the situation with the creationism-intelligent design movement as we have undoubtably reached a transitional period, and working on a coherent plan of action that will help squash the current anti-science movements, prevent them from happening in the future, and allow the public to embrace science.

Thank you for your support.

A look at DDD6 and the primaries

August 2, 2006 at 4:53 am | Posted in Essays | 1 Comment

With 40-50 people in Olathe, roughly 25 in each Emporia, Hutchinson, and Dodge City and a dozen in Hays, John Calvert’s IDnet roadshow reached a maximum of 137 people – some of which (including myself) who attended at least one of the shows were not supporters.

The Roadshow is known by DDD6. 6 is the number of years. The 3D’s stand for Darwin, Design, and Democracy. Science is not democratic, but this anti-science movement has used politics to gain all of its leverage. It did well at first, making something out of nothing. But how is it doing now?
After tonight’s primaries, only anti-science KBOE members John Bacon (District 3) and Ken Willard (District 7) are still alive for the November elections. Connie Morris (District 5), and Iris Van Meter’s son-in-law Brad Patzer (District 9) were each handed defeat, while pro-science KBOE member Janet Waugh (District 1) kept her seat. So, pro-science won 3-2 in the primary alone, and pro-science has assured itself a majority on the KBOE with these small victories.

I’m not sure that either Bacon or Willard will make it back to the KBOE after the November election, but assuming they do they’ll stay with Kathy Martin (District 6) and board chairman Steve Abrams (District 9) as the 4 anti-science board members. This shifts the balance of power on the board to 6-4 pro-science.

The Intelligent Design movement is falling apart in Kansas, but this doesn’t mean this is the end. Measures must be taken so the voters who support this lunacy will not be misled into making this mistake again.

Bye Connie Morris and Iris Van Meter’s son in law. And bye John Calvert, Dr. Harris, and Angus Menuge. The next generation of your ilk will not have a chance.

Apology from the poor

July 8, 2006 at 3:56 am | Posted in Essays, Journal of Anti-Science meetings | 1 Comment

I must apologize.

Due to high gas prices, and my own lack of income, I may not be able to attend either the Meteorite Festival tomorrow or the AiG meeting in Studley. They’re both just out of my reach.

I still have a week to find the money to attend the AiG meeting, which I really feel I must not miss, but I’m not sure if I can find the money.

I’m sorry. I’m trying the best I can. I’m just broke.

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.

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