Archive for Saturday, December 3, 2005

KU could face heat in Topeka

December 3, 2005

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— Top legislative leaders said Friday they were satisfied with Kansas University's decision to cancel a planned course on intelligent design because of the professor's controversial written remarks bashing religious conservatives.

But if history is a guide, KU could face heat when the legislative session starts Jan. 9. And some ranking lawmakers have promised hearings in which professor Paul Mirecki and KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway would be called on the carpet.

The flap started last month when Mirecki said he would offer a spring semester class teaching intelligent design and creationism as mythology. Mirecki is in the religious studies department.

A Mirecki e-mail was disclosed that included disparaging remarks about fundamentalists and his pledge that the class would "be a nice slap in their big fat face ... "

He later apologized, but then his postings to a private, electronic message board for KU's Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics student group surfaced. Mirecki, faculty adviser to the group, made comments insulting the pope and Catholics, writing that the pope was "a corpse in a funny hat wearing a dress."

KU dropped the class Thursday, and Hemenway criticized Mirecki's comments.

Lawmakers talk

On Friday, top legislative leaders said the matter was settled to their satisfaction.

Professor Paul Mirecki

Professor Paul Mirecki

But over the past several years, some lawmakers have tried to punish KU for what they said were inappropriate actions.

¢ Last year, state Rep. Carl Krehbiel, R-Moundridge, unsuccessfully tried to delete $54,000 from KU's budget.

Lawmakers said Krehbiel was displeased with KU for initially agreeing to pay a portion of the salary of a professor who went to work for Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat. Sebelius' office had later decided to pay all the salary from the governor's budget even before Krehbiel's proposed cut.

¢ In 2003, state Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, made national headlines when on the Senate floor she accused KU professor Dennis Dailey of showing pornographic videos, making vulgar remarks to female students and promoting pedophilia in his human sexuality class.

After an investigation, KU officials concluded Wagle's charges were baseless.

Possible backlash

Could fallout from the religious studies course hit KU next year?

"It certainly doesn't do them any good," said state Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing.

Wilk has been a major supporter of KU in efforts to increase bioscience research, but he said the e-mails from Mirecki "were a disappointing event."

"I no longer see this as the issue of the class," Wilk said. "It's an issue of intellectual honesty. Our universities should be the standard bearer, and a question of ethics of the individual professor - it's a reflection on the institution and the entire higher education system."

Wilk said he was satisfied KU administrators were taking the matter seriously. He said he doubted KU would face financial repercussions from lawmakers.

KU is seeking about a 5 percent increase in its operating grant, and the Kansas Board of Regents have launched a proposal to increase taxes to pay for $600 million in deferred maintenance and continued upkeep of buildings on the state's six public university campuses.

Leaders satisfied

The Legislature's top leaders also said Friday they were satisfied the issue had been appropriately dealt with by Hemenway.

Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, "feels like the chancellor has handled it as a personnel matter and it's taken care of," Morris spokeswoman Patti Van Slyke said.

House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, also said he didn't feel KU would suffer long-term damage.

Neither Hemenway nor KU Provost David Shulenburger could be reached for comment Friday.

Reggie Robinson, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Board of Regents, said Hemenway has kept the board updated on KU's decisions and will decide later if the regents need to get involved.

Mirecki's e-mails

In a written statement from the university, Mirecki said the continued controversy surrounding his several e-mails on the student group's discussion board pressed him to drop the course.

His postings date back to 2003.

In one, Mirecki talked about his first Catholic holy communion.

"When I took the bread-wafer the first time, it stuck to the roof of my mouth, and as I was secretly trying to pry it off with my tongue as I was walking back to my pew with white clothes and with my hands folded, all I could think was that it was Jesus' skin, and I started to puke, but I sucked it in and drank my own puke. That's a big part of the Catholic experience. I don't think most Catholics really know what they are supposed to believe, they just go home and use condoms and some of them beat their wives and husbands."

In another, Mirecki referred to the late Pope John Paul II as "J2P2," a form of Star Wars character R2D2.

And Mirecki once discussed KU's religious studies department: "Maybe there is some confusion about what we do in the Religious Studies Dept here at KU. We do not teach students the 'how to' of religion, that is, how to do religion or how to be religious, nor are we apologists for religion. The majority of my colleagues here in the dept are agnostics or atheists, or they just don't care...As I often tell my students on the first day of class 'If anyone gets converted in this class, its not my fault.'"

Hearing wanted

State Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, vice chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said she wanted a hearing during the session so Hemenway and Mirecki could be questioned about the course.

Landwehr said her displeasure with the e-mails, however, would not affect her feelings about other KU issues.

"I don't penalize an entire organization for the actions of one or two individuals," she said.

KU's Faculty Council, a 40-member organization, passed a resolution Thursday trying to communicate that faculty are sensitive to religious issues and the beliefs of others.

"It was important the we affirm the principles in which we operate," said Jim Carothers, English professor and the council's presiding officer.

The resolution reaffirmed the importance of academic freedom and the right to offer courses examining controversial subjects. But it also acknowledged that KU's faculty handbook calls for exercise of appropriate restraint and respect for others' opinions.

"We want to convey that this is not the way we intend to do business," said Joe Heppert, chairman of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.

Comments

trinity 9 years, 9 months ago

good LORD let it GO already!!!! the course has been dropped, what on earth MORE do these neocons WANT???? grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 9 months ago

Mirecki's reactions to his upbringing as a catholic sound similar to those of dozens of recovering catholics I have known. What's the big deal? If the catholic church and other christians are so insecure in their faith to be threatened by these fairly innocuous comments, who has the problem? Mirecki, or these churches?

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

Seeing that the legislature is not in session, the poor politicians have to do SOMETHING to fill up their idol time (and brains). This story is the perfect nourishment for those who feel that they are too important to the welfare of the great state of Kansas for them not to stick their pointy little noses (as opposed to big fat faces, I suppose) into a controversy that no longer exists!

trapblock 9 years, 9 months ago

Man for a bunch of super-intellectual, free thinking libs you guys are awfully closed-minded. I'm embarrassed that I graduated from this university and find it funny how your 'political correctness' applies to everyone but Christians.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 9 months ago

Maybe when the uptight fundies learn that the rest of us intend to practice our freedom from your religion. Sorry if that strikes so hard at your insecurities, but it's your choice-- grow up, or continue trying to make all the rules of society suit your silly superstitions.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 9 months ago

Mirecki should be embarrassed. Anyone who has worked in academe for as long as he has should be aware of how politically charged an environment it is. He posted those things not expecting it to catch up with him? He may be a college professor, but he's also an employee of the State of Kansas. A professional knows that you find appropriate ways to communicate ideas, especially in his profession.

I think ANYONE should be offended by his words, not because of his criticisms of religion or Catholicism, but because of his insensitivity toward those groups.

His anger and hate is nearly on the level of Fred Phelps. The only difference really is that Fred Phelps says "burn in hell" while Mirecki cannot cast that curse because he doesn't believe in hell. If he believed in hell, I think he'd say "the Pope burn in hell".

Just because he's liberal doesn't mean he's not a hater. I am a Christian who is a former Catholic, and I also have complaints about the way that religious leaders tend to screw everything up, but I find constructive ways to express my views. Dr. Mirecki really should be "above" this kind of junk. When he choses to write inflamatory stuff like this in a public forum, he just discredits himself.

KU should make an example of him. What I mean by that is that KU needs politicians running our university about as much as the U.S. Army needs V.P. Cheney calling orders in Iraq. Once the legislature gets their "hands" on KU, things will get all messed up. Deal with Mirecki in such a way that 1) the State goes away, and 2) a message is sent to the rest of KU that says "be professional and do not invite scrutiny by being unprofessional".

Before anyone says that I'm saying that the KU community needs to have their right to free speech resticted: I'm not. Mirecki should have expressed his "issues" with the Pope and whomever else he attacked in a forum and with words appropriate to his standing as a scholar and a member of KU's faculty. He has that obligation, and he needs to be censured in some way for his failure to use better judgement.

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

Please tell me what have I missed:

  1. Mirecki has apologized.

  2. The Chancellor has distanced himself and the University from Mireki's remarks.

  3. The course has been withdrawn.

  4. A Number of legislative leaders have said that this is a legislative non-issue.

So, why is this an issue? Who's keeping it alive?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 9 months ago

The listserve to which Mirecki posted was not a public forum. Sure, he should have assumed that they might be made public, but that was not the context in which he made them.

And why should anyone doing stupid things be immune to criticism just because it's their religion, especially when they are inflicting these stupid ideas and practices on other people? If they don't like being criticized, they should grow up.

Mari Aubuchon 9 years, 9 months ago

This is exactly why it is pointless trying to appease the religious right.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

They won't be happy until they control absolutely everything and everyone.

If you really want to know what they want, find out about the Christian Reconconstructionists and Dominionism.

Of course, the Neo-Cons are just using them for their own agenda to gain ever greater power in the world.

trapblock 9 years, 9 months ago

I love you wendt and bozo and I'm going to pray for you.

Jamesaust 9 years, 9 months ago

This is a classic example of a news story with no news. LJW wants to "get ahead of the issue."

Given the nature and opportunity of the internet, wouldn't it be more productive to create a webpage for the issue and then have the reporters supplement it as a current 'encyclopedia' article?

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

Interesting comment that I have seen twice now:

"His intolerance of Christians makes him no better than the Christian fundamentalists he despises."

This comments assumes that christian fundamentalists do despicable things.

Agreed.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

Wow. Does Altevogt have a second persona on this blog by the name of Porkrinds?

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

After reading alot about ID and reading and listening to ID proponents talk about ID, there is one common theme that seems to be the center of their argument that ID is science.

Things in biology look like they have been designed by a human mind.

That's it. That's the extent of their argument in favor of ID.

All other arguments they make are about how evolutionary biology and the scientific methods used to study evolution are flawed.

There is lots of fun to be had here. I find it interesting that they assume that a designer would design things as a human would. So God has a human mind?

Then, whenever problems arise with this idea, like why God would design disease, cancer, aging, appendices, and knees, the pat response is "God works in mysterious ways". Fun stuff.

Things in biology look like they have been designed by a human mind.

Yes, and the moon looks like its made out of cheese, the sun looks like it revolves around the Earth, and the Earth looks flat.

midwesterner 9 years, 9 months ago

An opinion is something that can never be deemed as wrong, we can strongly disagree but no side is ever "right"; as right and wrong are in the eyes of the beholder. This said I am overwhelmed with sadness about your comments and this article. I feel I do all I can everyday to not offend others or impose my beliefs on them, yet time and time again I am discriminated against. By not being Christian in this country (or at least this part of it) I am constantly told I will burn in hell or that I am without values, this is by work colleagues as well as people I have randomly met. This is simply insulting and sincerely confusing. I was under the impression that this country was founded on a movement to be free of religious persecution. I was also under the impression that if I have to let the First Amendment stand while others insult me that then my views could be publicly stated too. I am mislead it seems, public education reaches to enrich young minds and yet it is overseen by people who wish to make automatom of them. This must be what witches in Salem felt like. Innocent while viewed completely as guilty.

midwesterner 9 years, 9 months ago

Guys did I miss a class or something or isn't it true that you can't prove fact you can only disprove it or some crap like that.

pepper_bar 9 years, 9 months ago

We've all said and written things we regret.

I think KU will be stronger going forward for having weathered this storm, and I believe Mirecki deserves the opportunity to make amends.

midwesterner 9 years, 9 months ago

pepper_bar i agree with you humans are if nothing else human

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

midwesterner:

Scientific experimentation is aimed at disproving hypotheses, by making predictions about what one might expect if the hypothesis was true (or false) and designing experiments to test that idea.

A theory is not a hypothesis. A theory is a unifying explanation that incorporates all of the hypotheses that have withstood scientific assault.

I think people often conflate the two and think of a theory as a hypothesis.

midwesterner 9 years, 9 months ago

here's the part i find funny, if some guy was walking around town saying he was he son of the creator and turning water into wine we'd have him committed....oh also that relgions war with each other, totally seems counterproductive to me and if i were a god i'd be ticked off that people are so base

midwesterner 9 years, 9 months ago

the issue seems to be the implication that if one can't prove their side is it because the other can...its like telling someone they can't do something they seem to feel that you are saying that you can....in the end we are as i have said before human, a creature, a mammal, we eat and breath, we are part of the earth, beyond that we are so consumed with confusing ourselves so that we no longer what to believe

LarryFarma 9 years, 9 months ago

midwesterner wrote -- <>

What I am afraid of is the ID-bashers' misrepresentations about ID.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

If Mirecki would have said those things about any other group, e.g. Muslims, he would have sold his house and gone into hiding. He clearly discrimated, on a basis of religion, against 80% of the faculty and students at KU. KU should dump him ASAP to save what little remaining academic respect they have.

midwesterner 9 years, 9 months ago

well i'm sure if you spoke to those professors in question you would perhaps more at ease....things are not always as one reads them to be in the news, and these scholars are professionals....and these are elective classes....also i'm curious how do you feel about priests who misrepresent their faith? please dont take that as an attack, it's just a question

DaREEKKU 9 years, 9 months ago

Topeka is SATAN! I HATE REPUBLICANS AND I HATE TOPEKA!!!!!!!!

midwesterner 9 years, 9 months ago

we all know this isnt really about a professor it's about ideals and what we feel we deserve Christians are on the side that ID is worthy and Non Christians are waiting for something else to come along.
when you question something like history and science in the face of faith it becomes a very ugly debate wouldn't it be better if we all just got along or would we then find something else to argue about?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 9 months ago

Wendt:

His words were awefully firery. To me, there was a tone that was very, very close to "hate". When someone who is highly educated writes like that... I call that extreme. On these message boards, people anonymously blow off steam at each other. He, on the other hand, publically, and it seems, regularly, ATTACKS religious thought in a public forum. If Jesse Jackson or some other public figure called the Pope "a corpse in a funny hat wearing a dress", they would be RIPPED to shreds in the press and in the general public forums. Why: because when something that harsh comes from someone who is supposed to know better, it's not the same as when John 1945 says... well, the stuff he says (you know what I mean). Mirecki called a near-majority of Kansans fat-faced. You don't have to carry a sign saying "burn the Christians" to be a hater. I wrote "hate" because when I read that, I was not just hearing someone who disagrees with me, I was hearing hate. I think you are cutting him some slack. WHO is writing the words is just as important as what is written. Read his words carefully.

Are you sure you want to go on record calling his words "justifiable derision"? When David Letterman tells Zha Zha Gabor that her dress looks like someone's draperies (he did, and it was funny), it's derision. When a religion professor at KU pubically says what he said about the Pope and about taking communion, he has gone past derision.

Also... did John1945 give you permission to "out" him? If he desires to remain anonymous, you should respect that. If he didn't make the decision to be outed, you should remove your post.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

Wow. So Paul Mirecki is smart because he wrote a lot of books? That is laughable. The truth is that he is an idiot and a disgrace to KU for saying what he said. What a dork. If KU doesn't drop him for his discrimination, they should at least drop him for his stupidity.

midwesterner 9 years, 9 months ago

you can't fight 2000 years of turning the other cheek...saying in one breath to be fair and discriminating in the next....christians have always had power in numbers...leaving everyone else to fend for themselves when all they want is their voice to be heard...one man may have said something crass but so have other important figures....with the freedom of speech it doesnt matter who you are, if you say it and it's heard it matters that what we've fought for...right?

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

LarryFarma,

What you have missed is that this issue needs to be kept alive to serve as a warning to other professors anywhere who may want to teach intelligent design in a biased manner. <<<

ID only? Anything else that you can think of? Chemistry? Philosophy? Political Science? Anthropology? Spanish?

Also, an eye needs to be kept on John Hoopes, the KU anthropology professor who plans to teach that ID is a "pseudoscience." <<<

Who's going to keep an eye on him? You? If not you, Who?

The issue here is not freedom of expression or "academic freedom." The issue is about professors abusing their positions as teachers to teach biased for-credit courses. <<<

Even if it's an elective? A course that students would VOLUNTARILY sign up and pay tuition dollars for?

OR

Would you propose that we make ID a REQUIRED course for everyone? Taught, of course, by an EXPERT in the field (Behe and the SBOE come to mind)? And just shove it down everyone's throats, whether they like it or not? Because it's "good for them"?

"Oh, I see", said the blind man.

Interesting.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 9 months ago

Wendt:

Your list of his publications was wasted on many of us. He wrote books. So what? Jim Ryun once wrote a book about how the gulf war was the battle of Armageddon and how the world was about to end. Does that make you think better of Mr. Ryun? I didn't think so.

I've known men who knew way more about the "text" of the bible than I, but didn't know it's power at all. You say he's "better informed" because of a PhD and a lot of publications, but I say that anyone who has studied the bible and still finds it easy to reject God has clearly missed something. Missed something in their heart, not in their head. The bible builds heart literacy, not book literacy. Dr. Paul is probably like so many others who went to academe to find answers (even Watson Library has "the truth will make you free" on it's face, a quote from Jesus). God is not looking to fill our heads with knowledge of religious codes, but with knowledge of His love. I'm guessing Dr. Paul missed finding that in his search. Even an articulate man finds it hard to hide deep frustration.

You, and others on this forum will quickly rip up what I just wrote, but keep in mind: I'm writing about my experiences and my life, so I wouldn't expect a critic to understand what I just wrote.

questionme 9 years, 9 months ago

Paul Mirecki should not be dropped from the staff at KU. He was providing a course where a person would only be admitted by way of payment to the university. They would have had a choice whether or not to attend. I would have rather they offer the course and have no one enroll. Instead they cowardly withdrew the class because it went against the status quo. At least these people would have a choice to attend. Public school students don't even have that right.

Since when did education please everyone? I see this more as academic integrity. Yes, I see it more as a ploy by a respected professor to pass along his personal opinion. But ask any college student what they think of their professors? Most are already passing along their own personal opinion.

What I find even more ignorant and hypocritical is that the people who disagree with this topic and Paul Mirecki are the ones who are too blind to see that the person they see every Sunday are, too, passing along their own personal opinion and beliefs. However, because it is in the name of religion it is acceptable.

Let's all look back, at past events that were committed in the name of 'religion' and see where that got us ...

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

Evolution is dead. There really is not a serious scientist that still believes in it. Darwin himself pointed out lots of flaws in his "theory" which he believed would someday be proved with fossil evidence. Fossil evidence has proved just the opposite, in favor of creationism and ID.

It is beyond human reasoning to actually believe that something can come from nothing, or that there can be a design without a designer. So evolutionists, keep kidding yourselves if you wish, it works for ostriches.

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

OldEnuf, nice post. I see where you're going.

Now, given what you just wrote...

Do you think that ID should be taught as "science" or "philosophy"?

Just curious.

questionme 9 years, 9 months ago

So if ID is true, will someday someone just 'find' a cure for AIDS/cancer, or will they 'create' a cure. I'm wondering how this works in our realm of time.

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

bigjim.

Evolution is dead. <<<

Oh crap! does that we're stuck with our current legislature and state board of education until the end of time???

I've never met any of the SBOE members or most of the politicians in Topeka. I'm curious if any of them have tails.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

laughingatallofu,

what are you talking about?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 9 months ago

Midwesterner said "christians have always had power in numbers". Really? Are you talking about 21st century America, or the past 2000 years? Homework assignment: how many of the earth's continents are more Christian than Muslim? I'll let you pass on Antarctica. Have you been to eastern Europe lately? Do you know where most of the immigrants to England, France and Germany are coming from? Islamic nations. Your statement is incorrect, big-time.

When the Moors invaded Europe, they came mere miles away from Rome. Historians agree that if Rome had fallen, Christianity would not have survived. Eastern invaders wiped Christianity out from northern Africa, which in the 2nd century A.D. was nearly exclusively Christian. Do not say that Christians have always had the upper hand. We have not, and we do not.

I learned these little history lessons taking religion classes at KU. I was only a couple of courses away from being able to get a second degree in Religous Studies from KU when I graduated.

questionme 9 years, 9 months ago

ID people: Please explain ...

Are diseases, cancers, and AIDS 'created' because our 'designer' didn't agree with how things were going on his 'creation'?

Does this mean that we won't find a cure unless we kill off all homosexuals, rapists, and murderers? Also, don't forget, all smokers, drinkers, and over-eaters ...

Please I really need to know, so that I can stop doing 'wrong' ....

Mari Aubuchon 9 years, 9 months ago

bigjim, Are you kidding? check out the following Gallup poll results concerning Americans' beliefs:

  1. God created humans in their present form sometime in the last 10,000 years: Americans as a whole: 44% Scientists: 5%

  2. Humans developed by evolution with God guiding the process: Americans as a whole: 39% Scientists: 40%

  3. Evolution alone explains the existence of humans: Americans as a whole: 10% Scientists: 55%

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

<<< (3) Misconception -- ID is not scientific because it is neither a "theory" nor a "hypothesis" Truth -- If "theory" is defined as a complete scientific explanation for some observations of nature, and if "hypothesis" is defined as a proposed theory, then it is true that ID is not a theory or a hypothesis. But something can be scientific without being a theory or a hypothesis -- e.g., criticism of a scientific theory can be scientific. <<<

OK, there you have it. ID is NEITHER theory NOR hypothesis.

I can also see how criticism of a scientific theory can be scientific, but that doesn't mean that you propose something that ISN'T a theory as an alternative.

Analogy:

When you were a kid and constantly asked your Mom why you couldn't eat dessert before dinner, she said (in frustration), "Because I'm the Mommy, that's why."

Which is where we are in the current debate.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 9 months ago

The more I think about it, the less I see ID OR evolution being hard science. I see them as equals in that they are both concepts that are not provable. More philosophy than science, in BOTH cases. This is mostly what I have a problem with: that evolution is no more legit than ID (scientifically), yet it is taught as fact in our schools. Evidence is what turns a hypothesis into a theory (as I was taught in school), not what turns a theory into fact. Something not witnessed "in a test tube" cannot be called a fact. In spite of all the research, evolution (in my opinion) has not crossed over into the realm of "proven". And, some issues HAVE been proven that make it very hard for the theory of evolution to move away from theory and move closer to fact.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

wendt, your point? I think you're getting confused between micro and macro evolution. Let me clue you in on a little project that Nobel Prize winners did. It's called the Human Genome Project and they spent about $3 Billion on it. Guess what they found??? They found that monkeys and humans ARE NOT related. They also found that all human beings have ONE set of parents. Do I need to tell you what these results mean?

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

Oldenuf2BYurDad,

You're a smart man. Evolution is just a "Theory" that is becoming further and further from being proved. While, on the other hand, more proof for ID is being found everyday. That makes it real easy to understand why the liberals don't want KS schools to be allowed to point out any problems with evolution. A healthy and unbiased debate will make the truth come out, and that is what the liberals are affraid of.

Miyagi_Rules 9 years, 9 months ago

So would Jesus really care if ID were taught in schools or even about Mirecki's comments? I don't pretend to know the answer, but somehow I really doubt it. In reading the gospels it appears to me that Jesus cared very little about government regulations or politics (i.e. "give to Caesar what is Caesar's"), but cared very much about the religious authorities who were propagating legalism and alienating people from God. It seems to me that's exactly what this whole ID debate is doing too, people are turned away from Christianity and are left with a sour taste in their mouth because of what a few Christians have decided to spend their time defending.

True, a strong belief in evolution is impossible to reconcile with a literal belief in Genesis style creation, but those discussions should be held in private homes and religious institutions, not public schools.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

wendy,

Is that all you got? Just like that your arguments are dead in the water.

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

Old Enuf,

I agree that theory is not fact. If evolution is being taught as fact in school, then the teacher who is teaching it has a "bias" and should be immediately fired for bringing his/her "bias" into the classroom. Moreover, the Kansas legislature should get involved and hold hearings. Isn't that what I've been reading all morning?

Evolution is a theory. Imperfect? Yes. Totally wrong? Possibly (but we haven't reached that point, yet). But it's the best theory we have to work with. Give me an alternative THEORY! As posted above, ID is neither theory nor hypothesis.

So, that leads us to faith. Should faith be taught in a science class?

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

bigjim,

<<< While, on the other hand, more proof for ID is being found everyday.

I'm lazy. Will you please go out and find it for me?

Thanks.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

bigjim,

Please explain this proof of ID to me. If there is more and more of it everyday, I would like to know what it is. Thanks.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

Porkrinds must be a Colorado Buffaloes fan. Lots to be angry about today.

Mari Aubuchon 9 years, 9 months ago

Old Enuf:

In terms of the world population: 32% are Christian 19% are Muslim 13% are Hindu

In terms of the American population: 76.5% are Christian 13.6% are non-religious 1.3% are Jewish 0.5% are Muslim

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

PorkRibs,

Chill, man! Take a Pepcid AC and a Xanax. We really don't want you to have cow. This is just a li'l ol' debate.

IMHO, you're pushing the boundaries of civility. Wendt has engaged in sarcasm. Can you not see it for what it's worth? He's not attacking you, he's challenging your though process. You shouldn't be attaching him by calling him a liar and a fraud.

C'mon PorkRibs. Play nice.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

As far as my research can tell, the only argument in support of ID is that things in biology look, to the human mind, like they were designed. That's it.

I will repeat: the moon looks like it is made of cheese; the sun looks like it revolves around the Earth; the Earth looks flat.

This is not a scientific argument. ID is not science but rather a political/religious movement.

b_asinbeer 9 years, 9 months ago

Great point Mari...way to stick it to OldEnuf

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

yourworstnightmare,

I assume you are good willed and honestly after the truth so I will direct you a bit.

1) Human Genome Project found it a FACT that monkeys and humans ARE NOT related. They also found that all human beings come from ONE set of parents.

2) More and more Fossil evidence is showing that animals, humans, etc. simply appeared and did not evolve from other species. In Darwin's day, it was easy to claim that the fossils were there but had not been discovered. Problem is, we now have hundreds of thousands of well-catalogued fossils, from all continents and geologic eras, and we still haven't found these intermediate forms.

3) The more science is able to dissect creation (e.g., the cell, the atom, etc.) the more they see the intricacies of design, which indicates that there must be a designer.

4) For decades, science has actually tried to create life, using a multitude of environments (chemicals, sun light, electrical impulses, pressures, ...) and they still cannot create a single cell of life, which further proves that it couldn't happen by chance.

5) There are many many more problems with evolution that are continually surfacing and over time will cause all to see it as incorrect. If you doubt that a "fact" like evolution can be proved wrong, consider the case of Newtonian physics, which was thought to be unshakable until Einstein disproved it. Newtonian physics was formerly thought to be valid at all speeds, throughout the universe, and this Einstein refuted.

ionizer 9 years, 9 months ago

There are classes offered that "bash" science in favor of religion, so his class should be offered too. Also, he should not be punished for his private comments on personal emails. He is not a criminal and the goverment has no right to invate his privacy. KU is an academic institution for students to question and challenge conventional ideas, not a religious institution. I am a top honors student and I am leaving KU this semester because of thier refusal to offer cources that challenge traditional thinking.

ionizer 9 years, 9 months ago

There are classes offered that "bash" science in favor of religion, so his class should be offered too. Also, he should not be punished for his private comments on personal emails. He is not a criminal and the government has no right to invade his privacy. KU is an academic institution for students to question and challenge conventional ideas, not a religious institution. I am a top honors student and I am leaving KU this semester because of their refusal to offer courses that challenge traditional thinking.

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

bigjim,

Thanks for "directing" me. The Catholic Church occasionally issues "instructions" as well. Poor Galileo.

Evolution is imperfect, but...

"The more science is able to dissect creation (e.g., the cell, the atom, etc.) the more they see the intricacies of design, which indicates that there must be a designer."

OK. Proof? (Is that too much to ask)? Or, are we going on "faith" here?

"For decades, science has actually tried to create life, using a multitude of environments (chemicals, sun light, electrical impulses, pressures, ...) and they still cannot create a single cell of life, which further proves that it couldn't happen by chance."

OK. But if the "Intelligent Designer" created everything (i.e., something from nothing), didn't he create the concept of "chance"? Maybe you're not giving the "Intelligent Designor enough credit about what he can do.

Eblighten me, s'il vous plait.

Frank Dorsey 9 years, 9 months ago

Not that this will convince the willfully ignorant, but, for what it's worth:

LIST OF TRANSITIONAL FOSSILS (this is incomplete)

FISH TO AMPHIBIANS Osteolepis Eusthenopteron Panderichthys Elginerpeton Obruchevichthys Hynerpeton Tulerpeton Acanthostega Ichthyostega Pederpes finneyae Eryops

AMPHIBIANS TO AMNIOTES (EARLY REPTILES) Proterogyrinus Limnoscelis Tseajaia Solenodonsaurus Hylonomus Paleothyris

SYNAPSID REPTILES TO MAMMALS Protoclepsydrops Clepsydrops Dimetrodon Procynosuchus

DIAPSID REPTILES TO BIRDS Compsognathus Protoavis ? Archeopteryx Changchengornis Confuciusornis Ichthyornis

EVOLUTION OF THE HORSE Hyracotherium Mesohippus Parahippus Merychippus Pliohippus Equus

link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils

Mari Aubuchon 9 years, 9 months ago

prospector:

I suppose the numbers depend on the definition of fundamentalist:

45% of Americans believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible.

40% describe themselves as evangelical.

In terms of church affiliation in the US: 24.5% are Catholic 16.3% are Baptist 6.8% are Methodist 4.6% are Lutheran 2.7% are Presbyterian 2.1% are Pentecostal/Charismatic/Foursquare 1.3% are Mormon/LDS 1.2% are non-denominational 1.2% belong to the Church of Christ 1.7% are Episcopalian/Anglican 0.5% belong to the Assemblies of God 0.7% are Congregational/belong to the United Chruch of God 0.3% are Seventh-Day Adventists

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

bigjim,

Thanks for the sincere response. However, each of the things you mention are incorrect.

1) I assume you mean chimpanzee, which is in fact around 98% identical at the nucleotide level to human. I don't see how this proves humans and chimps did not share a common ancestor within the last 10-12 million years. In fact it suppports the idea.

2) There are many examples of transitional forms, whales being the prime example, but also horses, elephants, and others. Yes, not every fossil has been linked to a transitional form, but the absense of data proves nothing.

3) Again, the "it looks like it was designed" argument holds no scientific water. The moon looks like cheese, the sun looks like it revolves around the Earth; the Earth looks flat.

4) Again, the absence of data proves nothing. Just because scientists have not been able to "create life" does not mean anything. There are massive amounts of chemical data that indicate that conditions on Earth 4 billion years ago could lead to reactions that form biological molecules.

5) This is wrong. In fact, the theory of evolution has been strengthened by modern studies of molecular genetics, biochemistry, and developmental biology. This makes it a strong theory. Newtonian physics was modified by a theory based on observation, experimentation, and scientific testing. ID is not such a beast because it makes no experimental predictions.

The five arguments you have supplied come directly from propaganda spread about evolutionary science by ID proponents. Please do more investigating of the facts yourself to see where they lead you, in an unbiased manner.

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

Posted by PorkRibs (anonymous) on December 3, 2005 at 2:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It is not a debate.... <<<

OK, what is this? Give me an answer, not a diatriabe.

Do you actually think Wendt is intellectually superior to you? He's not. <<<

Who said he was?

If this is a Debate. Wendt lost. <<<

I thought that you said this WASN'T a debate. Make up your mind.

He lied. All the debates I have been a part of have had some pretty serious consequences for for fools who waste people's time with false claims and blatant lies. <<<

Such as?

Thanks, PorkRibs, you've shown your true colors.

BlondeTiger 9 years, 9 months ago

No theory is better than the other. Everybody has the option to beleive what they want to beleive. Life as we know it is a mystery, and no questions about it will never be fully answered. Both theories have proven flaws, and truthfully i don't care how we got here. However it is proven that humans do evolve in some way shape or form...from what i don't know and don't really care.

Frank Dorsey 9 years, 9 months ago

As I said, no convincing the willfully ignorant. Oh, and by "incomplete", I meant that there are more examples.

PorkRibs, are you a Young Earth Creationist? Isn't that cute.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

yourworstnightmare:

You avoided to answer the problems of evolution. With use of your liberal propaganda you state that chimpanzee genes are 98% identical to humans. How do you know this since chimpanzee genome has never been mapped???

Yes, transitional forms are still missing and that is a fact still supported by evolutionists.

What is your point of saying the moon looks like cheese? So what, we're not talking about what it looks like. It still must have been created or designed by a creator or designer.

If, as you say, there are massive amounts of chemical data that indicate that conditions on Earth 4 billion years ago could lead to reactions that form biological molecules, then why can't the scientists just duplicate the data and create a cell? The fact is that science has not been able to create one single cell ever, while evolutionists state that everything all around us was created by accident. What a joke for a small mind.

You say these gaping holes in evolution are "propaganda". They aren't. But even if they were, it doesn't make them untrue, does it? Think man. Use logic. Or did your brains not develop beyond the chimpanzee's?

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

PorkRibs,

<<< Laughing, WoW...you have some serious contextual issues. We need to get you into a little higher level literature class than 'Ranger Rick finds fossils'. Plus....it wasn't even funny for someone who laughs as much as you do. Lemmmmmeee guesss.......you're 19...single....and have reoccurring sexual fantasy that involves yourself, Wendt, Mirecki, a slab OF BBQ PORK RIBS, and a whole lot of laughing??

nowthat'sfunny!!! <<<

Were you talking about me?

OK. You've had your fun. Did it feel good as you were typing it? So, in this post, what have you contributed to this discussion?

Like I've said, you've shown your true colors.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

Evolutionists Mythology:

A big firecracker went off without anyone making a firecracker or lighting a firecracker or even making a place for it to go off.

The boom created pond scum, our mother of life.

Pond scum grew gills, then legs, then claws, and then lost claws and gills the became man without anyone or thing making it develop or undevelop. And to prove all of this, we have no fossil evidence. That's why we need teach such a dumb theory in our schools.

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

Thanks, bigjim,

Give me an alternative theory. (ID?) Check out your bretheren on this post. One of them said that ID is neither a theory nor a hypothesis. Food for thought.

b_asinbeer 9 years, 9 months ago

If this is a debate, I feel PorkRibs loses....in a LANDSLIDE. :o)

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

Wendt: You need to do some research on your own. Two of the human genome project findings were that humans are not related to monkeys and that all human beings come from ONE set of parents. I'm sorry but if you don't like that you will have to take it up with the researchers.

Furthermore, it doesn't mean anything to say that 98% of human genes are the same as a monkey's. A Kernel of corn also has many of the same genes. The fact is that the missing % never occurred in a monkey.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

Let's cut away all the b.s. and keep it real simple. Can someone explain to me where the first atom or bang or whatever came from?

Please, no stupid answers. I want to see if the evolutionists have any meat to their argument.

Frank Dorsey 9 years, 9 months ago

Evolution doesn't deal with the big bang.

Next question.

Miyagi_Rules 9 years, 9 months ago

PorkRibs:

Are you a Christian? If so, what exactly is your objective here, other than to make yourself look foolish and give Christianity a bad name? I don't think it says anywhere in the bible that "thou shalt resort to petty name calling and ugly defensiveness when one encounters differing beliefs." Seriously, if you want to debate that's fine but offer something more substantive than insults. It's posts like yours that fuel the fire of "fundie"' contempt and make moderates like myself bristle. Again I ask would Jesus really care about this debate?

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

frankdormat,

Very predictable. That's exactly the answer I thought I would get, none.

Next attempt.

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

bigjim,

You know where the first atom came from. It came from the "Intelligent Designer". What more do you need to know?

I know from where the first atom came too. It came from God. And I truly believe that.

But God also invented evolution. That is His way of making what we are now and in the future. Is that so hard to understand?

Provable? Not a chance. But God also invented the "Scientific Method". It's a process that God invented to give us humans a chance to explore God's glory. Remember, God didn't give us all the answers, he just gave us the method to explore some of them.

We need to continue along the scientific method. That's all we have to work with. To believe in superstition. pseudoscience, mythology, etc. is just plain ignorant.

If the ID people think that they know all the answers, or if they believe that ID is the "correct" theory, they are sadly mistaken.

Bad day for the ID people.

Frank Dorsey 9 years, 9 months ago

Ummm, do you really expect evolutionary biologists to try to explain the big bang? Or am I misreading the question?

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

wendt, I read your website. Please show me where it contradicts me.

Also, you brought up the 98% figure again. I was not the one that came up with that. But, again, as I mentioned, even if this is the correct figure, then it is still not the same gene pool.

Yes, you are catching on. A single set of parents does mean that there was incest. The first set of parents carried the genome. Yes, humans do die off.

My advice to you: Keep an open mind and use your logic. Good luck.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

laughingatallofu, I agree with you. God did make the first atom. And could God have created things to evolve? Yes. He can do whatever he wants as He has no limitations (expect sin). That is the meat of the matter. Unfortunatley, most evolutionists don't believe in God and so they naturally try to prove that there isn't one so that they don't feel bad about not following his laws. For now they will be happy, although uneasy.

I too believe in evolution on a micro level but this can all be attributed to "natural selection". For example, say a new antibotic is devoloped and kills off most bateria in a person's body except for certain strains of bateria. That strain of bacteria will prosper while others don't. A hundred years from now evolutionists would say that the bateria evolved. I also believe in simple adaptation (e.g. If people lift weights they get bigger mussles).

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

wendt,

Nice name calling.

Adam and Eve had girls too. Hello.

Apparently you need to look websites other than your preferred webite. It's a fact. But, when you find it, I don't think it will convert you. You have too much pride and won't back down no matter how wrong you are.

laughingatallofu 9 years, 9 months ago

bigjim.

The bottom line is that ID is not science. Evolution is our best science. Not perfect, but our best. Until I see something that shows that ID can compete with evolution on a scientific level, the ID folks are spitting into the wind.

Sorry, ID folks. Grab a napkin.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

A young man stated, I still believe in the big bang, and that we arrived here by chance random processes. I don't believe in God.' The man answered him, 'Well, then obviously your brain, and your thought processes, are also the product of randomness. So you don't know whether it evolved the right way, or even what right would mean in that context. Young man, you don't know if you're making correct statements.'

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

.... Just checking back in to see if any of the evolutionists came up with an answer as to where the first atom, big bang or whatever came from. It's going to be a very very long wait.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

..... still waiting.. NOt even any suggestions? Oh well. you will find out whether you want to or not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 9 months ago

Are you gonna let us know if we get the right answer, bigjim? How many guesses do we get, and what is our prize if we get it right? And most importantly, will we owe any taxes on these prizes? Will the IRS come a callin if we win?

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

A man said, I don't believe in God because I don't believe in absolutes, so I recognize that I can't even be sure of reality.' Another man responded, 'Then how do you know you're really here making this statement?' 'Good point,' he replied. 'What point?' The other man asked. The man looked, smiled, and said, 'Maybe I should go home.' The other man stated, 'Maybe it won't be there.' 'Good point,' the man said. 'What point?' The other man replied.

Atheist have a rough life.

bigjim 9 years, 9 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus,

No answer? Next.

Godot 9 years, 9 months ago

Of course, the whole situation about Mirecki isn't really about evolution or ID, it is about his desire to aggressively confront proselytizing Chrisitians. That is a fact proven by his emails.

Dr. Mirecki has some issues that he needs to address.

Jamesaust posted that this whole issue is not news, and someone else posted: " things are not always as one reads them to be in the news"

Both of the above statements relate directly to the editorial staff of the Journal World. They are the ones who made this a story, and who keep it alive by keeping the story (but only part of the story so as to keep it sensational) on the front page.

Densmore 9 years, 9 months ago

Holy Cow! What a brawl!!!

Bottom line: This liberal says that Mirecki screwed up. He should not teach the course. I SAY "UNCLE" ON THAT POINT. HOWEVER, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Cease fire and stand down, you Mirecki lynch-mobbers. You have the right to believe whatever you want. ID, however, is anathma to science and will never, ever, be an appropriate topic in public schools as any thing other than religious belief, despite your protests about Mirecki.

You've won your battle about Mirecki. If you have any sense, you will quit while you are behind. Otherwise, you are merely "piling on" and look like a bunch of hysterical radicals.

Calliope877 9 years, 9 months ago

"Furthermore, it doesn't mean anything to say that 98% of human genes are the same as a monkey's. A Kernel of corn also has many of the same genes. The fact is that the missing % never occurred in a monkey."

That's because the missing % came from aliens...yes, the secret is out now.

compmd 9 years, 9 months ago

It's been a while since I have posted here, but I couldn't resist this time.

"4) For decades, science has actually tried to create life, using a multitude of environments (chemicals, sun light, electrical impulses, pressures, ...) and they still cannot create a single cell of life, which further proves that it couldn't happen by chance."

This has a very simple solution. We have a finite number of stable elements, and there is obviously a finite quantity of these on earth. Of these finite elements, only a finite number of compounds can be formed. The possible ambient temperatures and atmospherics pressures on earth are bounded. It has been shown that energy is defined by discrete quanta. So, since all we have are finite sets then statistically there MUST exist a chance that a cell can be made randomly on earth. Also, this fact means that a cell can be artificially made. I couldn't come in here and say this and only back it up with science, because there are enough people that don't really believe in science. Is anyone here going to challenge mathematics too? If anyone here does not believe what I have shown here, I can tell you what math, physics, and chemistry courses the university offers that can help you understand this.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 9 months ago

Someone explain something to me: when did John1945's rants become "news"? I've posted some opinions here. Am I the next to become the topic of a news article, will I be labled an activist? I must have missed something. Someone bring me up to speed.

VoijaRisa 9 years, 9 months ago

---" (2) Misconception -- ID is not scientific because it is not "testable" Fact -- Macro-evolution theory is not testable, either -- it is based entirely on circumstantial evidence in fossil records, comparative anatomy, genetics, etc.."--- Wrong again. The theory of evolution makes predictions. It make the prediction before the gene was ever unraveled that 95%+ of our DNA would have to be the same as apes. If this did not happen, the entire theory would be shot. But low and behold, the gene is sequenced. 99.5% is the exact same. The theory holds. There was a test performed. Evolution passed. There's many more tests I could go into but they'd be wasted on you.

---" (3) Misconception -- ID is not scientific because it is neither a "theory" nor a "hypothesis" Truth -- If "theory" is defined as a complete scientific explanation for some observations of nature, and if "hypothesis" is defined as a proposed theory, then it is true that ID is not a theory or a hypothesis. But something can be scientific without being a theory or a hypothesis -- e.g., criticism of a scientific theory can be scientific."--- You claim here that by poking (perceived) holes in evolution, that somehow validates ID. That's known as the fallacy of bifurcation. Try again.

---" (4) Misconception -- ID is the only scientific (or pseudoscientific) criticism of evolution theory Fact -- Some other actual or potential criticisms of evolution theory concern -- (1) the propagation of favorable mutations, (2) the mathematical probability of evolution, and (3) co-evolution of two co-dependent organisms, e.g., bees and flowering plants (this co-dependence, called "mutualism," might sometimes be an "irreducibly complex design" consisting of two organisms)."--- Just because there's other possible legitimate claims that do have some merit does not have anything to do in the slightest with ID. This is a non sequitur. What's with the logical fallacies?

---" Your list of his publications was wasted on many of us. He wrote books. So what?"--- Let's not also forget that Dr. Mirecki helped to translate the dead sea scrolls and is the last human on Earth to have found a lost gospel. He's been studying the Bible and religion for decades and is well informed enough to be critical.

---" There really is not a serious scientist that still believes in it."--- Interesting. Then perhaps you should refer to this petition (http://shovelbums.org/component/option,com_mospetition/Itemid,506) that is signed by over 11,000 scientists and explain how they're not "serious scientists".

Or if that list doesn't suit your fancy, then try this one (http://media.ljworld.com/pdf/2005/09/15/nobel_letter.pdf) in which 38 nobel prize winners in science gave their support of evolution and renounced ID/Creationism.

I await your rationalization.

VoijaRisa 9 years, 9 months ago

---" Darwin himself pointed out lots of flaws in his "theory" which he believed would someday be proved with fossil evidence. Fossil evidence has proved just the opposite, in favor of creationism and ID."--- This is another myth. Ironically, it's even listed as one of the ones from Answers in Genesis (a Creationist website), as one that should not be used because it's been so discredited that it's embarrassing to them. Good job.

---" It's called the Human Genome Project and they spent about $3 Billion on it. Guess what they found??? They found that monkeys and humans ARE NOT related."--- Please post something to back this claim. Last I saw, the HGP reveled that humans and apes WERE related with 99.5% of our DNA being the same.

--- "The more science is able to dissect creation (e.g., the cell, the atom, etc.) the more they see the intricacies of design, which indicates that there must be a designer."--- As a scientist, I'll tell you, it that's "design" the "designer" is psychotic.

---" For decades, science has actually tried to create life, using a multitude of environments (chemicals, sun light, electrical impulses, pressures, ...) and they still cannot create a single cell of life, which further proves that it couldn't happen by chance."--- Nothing's a substitution for a few million years of rolling the dice over and over. Scientists have only been trying for, oh: 70 years since the Miller/Urey experiment. However, it should also be noted that the Miller/Urey experiment was able to spontaneously generate all the building blocks of life (amino acids, peptides, etc:)

---" Newtonian physics was formerly thought to be valid at all speeds, throughout the universe, and this Einstein refuted."--- Einstein didn't disprove Newtonian physics. He just modified it for different parameters. Newtonian physics is still amazingly valid for the correct applications, and is actually what NASA uses to figure out flight trajectories. Additionally, Einstein's equations don't even work on all scales. They fail completely on the atomic level and smaller.

---" I want his FACTS. Not a list of books by biased, pagan, 'scientists' that we all know have no actual FACTS."--- So apparently, you don't believe anything that's not the bible or written by someone that is ignorant to the scientific method. Good job on being more biased than even Dr. Mirecki.

---" No theory is better than the other."--- In scientific terms, yes, some are. The superior ones are the ones with evidence and that have undergone rigorous testing. ID is not one of them. Thus, it's not really a theory. Therefore, it has no place in a science class. Philosophy perhaps.

---" How do you know this since chimpanzee genome has never been mapped???"--- Not to the same detail as the human genome, but yes, the chimpanzee genome has been mapped.

VoijaRisa 9 years, 9 months ago

---" Yes, transitional forms are still missing and that is a fact still supported by evolutionists."--- And more continue to be discovered. Your demand that somehow every step be documented even after millions of years of decay is a bit supercilious. It's no more logically valid then demanding that God appear before me right now.

---" Or did your brains not develop beyond the chimpanzee's?"--- Please act maturely. Or are you only trying to further the stereotype of fundamentalists having to resort to mockery in the place of evidence?

--- Let's cut away all the b.s. and keep it real simple. Can someone explain to me where the first atom or bang or whatever came from? Please, no stupid answers. I want to see if the evolutionists have any meat to their argument."--- First off, you're conflating evolution and cosmology. These are two unique fields of study and to conflate them is a fallacy in and of itself.

But I'll assume you know the difference. In that case, the answer is that science doesn't know. It admits ignorance on this one. Given that the laws of physics say that things can't pop into existence from nowhere, the leading hypothesis is that there always has been a universe. However, before the big bang, everything was just in a very different, very scrunched up state. But it was all still "there".

The idea that the universe popped into existence from "nothing" is not one that scientists have actually ever put forth. Instead, it's something that's only been spread around by those that seek to discredit the theory.

But again, having things be in a different state violates no more physical laws than changing water from a liquid to a gas.

---" Your agenda is ANTI-GOD...period."--- I had to laugh at this claim. How ridiculous. You seem to think that just because Wendt doesn't jump up and down shouting "YAY JESUS!", wear a cross, and go to church every Sunday, that he's anti-God. That's amusing. There is such a thing as being indifferent. But again, you seem to love the fallacy of bifurcation.

---" But God also invented the "Scientific Method"."--- Just to play Devil's advocate, if God's aim really was to give us the scientific method to study His creation, then why did he only do it a few hundred years ago as oppose to say, during the dark ages when alchemists were drinking their own urine in an attempt to find an elixir of immortality?

VoijaRisa 9 years, 9 months ago

---" Unfortunatley, most evolutionists don't believe in God:"--- Another lie spread by the ID proponents. There has been a statement signed by over 16,000 clergy and scientists stating that they find it completely acceptable to believe in both.

---" :we arrived here by chance random processes."--- Another fallacy of oversimplification that ID proponents love. There has been nothing random about anything. Everything is guided by physical laws. Gravity shapes galaxies. Natural selection weeds out unfavourable mutations. This effectively removes the "random" nature of things. If you want to say God designed these laws, that's perfectly fine. However, don't try to pass that bit of philosophy off as science.

---" No microscopes for the authors to see it, so they had to make something up."--- Actually, radio telescopes have been able to detect the "afterglow" of the Big Bang. Try looking up "Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation".

---"Atheist have a rough life."--- I'd agree with that. After all the hate thrown at us by religious fundamentalists, your statement is perfectly true.

---" Someone explain something to me: when did John1945's rants become "news"?"--- His remarks became newsworthy because he's the one leading the crusade against Dr. Mirecki. Apparently for personal reasons. I would expect better of a true Christian. :(

VoijaRisa 9 years, 9 months ago

I'd also like to repost two of my earlier comments from the last thread because they never got answered:

Contrary to those that seek to discredit Dr. Mirecki may claim, no one is trying to say that Mirecki is a blameless victim. The only thing they are trying to get across is that he is being unfairly held up as an extreme token of intolerance.

In comparison to things routinely said about atheists, Mirecki's comments are mild. If Mirecki's email is a "slap on the face", then the assault on atheists and anyone else that opposes the religious right's agenda is a full-scale gang beating. Where's your righteous indignation there?

Critics seem to have a double standard. But then again, so does Altevogt (the critic's main mouth). Non-theists have been under fire for hundreds of years. During the Dark Ages, they were routinely tortured for their lack of belief. In America they were burned at the stake. Today the law protects such people from such extremes, but it hasn't stopped the verbal abuse.

So what is a non-theist supposed to do in the face of such constant verbal attacks? Perhaps we should look at Altevogt's example:

Apparently, when verbally attacked, the proper course of action is physical violence. Again, I ask you to analyze whether or not Dr. Mirecki's response is as extreme as you've been led to believe.

I'm sure Altevogt is a wonderful person. However, I wouldn't want to get the chance to know him personally, especially given that he thinks violence is an acceptable recourse to someone utilizing their right to free speach. So again, I ask you, why the double standard? Where is your furor when people like John promote violence? Where is your indignation when Christians bomb abortion clinics? Where is your anger when Phelps protests the funeral of a gay teenager in front of his grieving family? Where is your fury when Pat Robertson goes on national television and says we should assassinate a democratically elected leader? Where is the contempt when Bush Sr says that atheists shouldn't be considered citizens or patriots? Where is your disgust when Christians tie a gay man to a fence post, naked and leave him to die of exposure?

Seriously, where's your sense of perspective?

VoijaRisa 9 years, 9 months ago

---"So, bottom line, it seems rather hypocritic to say that academic freedom is at stake when a professor overtly intends to attack a faith based idea, but that it is a violation of the Constitution if the same principle is being promoted."--- So ID is now a "faith based idea"? I'm glad you realize this because this is the core of the issue.

As you said, ID is a religious concept. As such, it has no place in government-sponsored institutions. Yet proponents of it ("fundies", given that those that support at are almost unanimously the same ones that promote a literal reading of the bible), are trying to pass it off as science.

They know they're lying, and have even been caught at it (Google the "Wedge Document" if you're unfamiliar with what I'm talking about). But apparently that's just fine.

Fortunately, many people are willing to take a stand against such blatant deception. Unfortunately, such people have to coddle the venomous liars lest they cry "persecution!" Dr. Mirecki didn't do this and is paying the price.

But again, look at the real issue: Is ID really science when you yourself admit that it's a "faith based idea"? And who's worse: He that tells the lie, or he who chastises the liar?

Calliope877 9 years, 9 months ago

Wendt,

Oops...sorry.:( I forgot it was supposed to be a conspiracy...

I'll beam back up to the mother ship as soon as I'm done typing this post.:P

This is to all the ID promoters on the board: Where did your proposed "Intelligent Designer" come from? Who or what designed the Designer? I'm just curious to see what the responses to this question would be....and try to be civil, please.

VoijaRisa 9 years, 9 months ago

---"I asked that hours ago. No response. No surprise."--- bigfred demans immediate responses yet can't give one. Shame on him.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

As usual, the willful ignorance of the intemperate christian right is appalling.

bigjim, I don't know what your talking about. Your postings are unintelligible grasps at defending the indefensible. Typical shifting sands of creationist IDiots.

I think most of your confused posting are the result of a lack of being unable to comprehend the written word and think beyond your own narrow dogma. Sad.

The sole argument of intelligent design is "things in biology look like they have been created". Well, lots of things "look" a certain way, such as the moon looking like cheese.

Interesting how your "sincere" postings quickly became ranting attacks. Not surprising, but interesting.

When given answers to your questions about evolution seven ways to Sunday, it was a pleasure to watch you reel and rock and grasp at ridiculous straws.

The first atom arose from the big bang. If you want to believe that the big bang was the work of a creator, I have no problem with that.

I will comment again that it is amazing to witness the willingness of fundies to pronounce on subjects about which they are so ignorant.

Astounding ignorance. Y'all need some larnin'.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

My haiku for the evening:

It is no use to argue with the ignorant when football is on

VoijaRisa 9 years, 9 months ago

You guys might want to watch it. All this talk of evidence and facts might get you slapped with the label of "elitist".

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 9 months ago

Wendt:

There is no sin in ignorance.

Sinful are those who are presented with the facts and choose to remain ignorant.

I suppose my mistake was trying to discuss complicated ideas at a high level.

I see now that I was reading Shakespeare to rutabegas.

polgair 9 years, 9 months ago

Oft lurker, virgin poster...
Here is my response to some of the posts above:

"1) Human Genome Project found it a FACT that monkeys and humans ARE NOT related. They also found that all human beings come from ONE set of parents."

According to the human genome project, while the mapping is done, analysis has only just started and is continuly being farmed out to organizations in the private sectors. However, this is what the site yields on this link after I plugged in "monkey evolution" in the search bar.

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/faq/compgen.shtml

This was the quote I'm looking for:

"The often-quoted statement that we share over 98% of our genes with apes (chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans) actually should be put another way. That is, there is more than 95% to 98% similarity between related genes in humans and apes in general. (Just as in the mouse, quite a few genes probably are not common to humans and apes, and these may influence uniquely human or ape traits.) Similarities between mouse and human genes range from about 70% to 90%, with an average of 85% similarity but a lot of variation from gene to gene (e.g., some mouse and human gene products are almost identical, while others are nearly unrecognizable as close relatives). Some nucleotide changes are "neutral" and do not yield a significantly altered protein. Others, but probably only a relatively small percentage, would introduce changes that could substantially alter what the protein does."

So, I don't know where you obtained your information on the Human Genome, but I'd love to see it.

"2) More and more Fossil evidence is showing that animals, humans, etc. simply appeared and did not evolve from other species. In Darwin's day, it was easy to claim that the fossils were there but had not been discovered. Problem is, we now have hundreds of thousands of well-catalogued fossils, from all continents and geologic eras, and we still haven't found these intermediate forms."

There is a posting further up that included all these inter species, which I will not repeat. If you are endowed enough to refute that, please do.

"3) The more science is able to dissect creation (e.g., the cell, the atom, etc.) the more they see the intricacies of design, which indicates that there must be a designer."

That is merely conjecture. Complexity is just that, complexity. It does not state origin, only the observer presumes or wants to presume it.

(To be continued)

polgair 9 years, 9 months ago

"4) For decades, science has actually tried to create life, using a multitude of environments (chemicals, sun light, electrical impulses, pressures, ...) and they still cannot create a single cell of life, which further proves that it couldn't happen by chance."

That's nice. We are actually getting closer and closer every year. Starting off with test tube babies, changing dna in bacteria to yield different species, genetic manipulation to stem cell research, we have been able to replicate many aspects of reproduction, including just about every stage of the cell cycle. What's left is the start, and whilst that part of the theory of evolution may or may not be correct, we see no evidence of it otherwise except that we as a species can't replicate it either (yet)

"5) There are many many more problems with evolution that are continually surfacing and over time will cause all to see it as incorrect. If you doubt that a "fact" like evolution can be proved wrong, consider the case of Newtonian physics, which was thought to be unshakable until Einstein disproved it. Newtonian physics was formerly thought to be valid at all speeds, throughout the universe, and this Einstein refuted."

Einstein did not disprove newtonian physics. Einstein's theory of relativity simply superseded Newton's in usability and scope. The theory of newton's relativity being in doubt came about when the speed of light was measured in the same speed in every which way, when if newton's relativisitic mechanics worked, light would appear faster or slower in whichever which way it was measured. That part of Newton's relativity was disproved by a piece of evidence, not by another theory. Theories don't disprove one another, evidence does.

See "http://www.thebigview.com/spacetime/index.html" as Richard Feynman talks about the same thing.

(To be continued... almost there)

polgair 9 years, 9 months ago

My conjecture here is that you know very little about the workings of science, or rather, you refuse to apply what you know about the workings of science to this debate. A hypothesis is made against a gathered set of data. A theory is made when said hypothesis performs well against the set of data. The theory is then published, and then tested by a bunch of academic and/or industrial peers for a while, and then if it still works, is accepted by said academic community as a working model.

To disprove evolution, a critique is not enough. Saying that there are gaps in the fossil records is not enough. As a challenger to the theory, you must provide contrary evidence that states otherwise. In the case of evolution, you must provide evidence that these gaps in the fossil record are absolute. Which means, until you dig up every inch of soil on this planet and locate every fossil ever generated over time, and can still reasonably conclude that these inter-species never ever existed for the majority of the animal and plant family, then I will be convinced, by you, that our current model of modern synthesis is incorrect, and we will go find something else that addresses these gaps in the fossil records. Until this new evidence comes along, I have no choice but to hold your argument in doubt.

sincerely

LarryFarma 9 years, 9 months ago

LarryFarma wrote -- <<,Fact -- Macro-evolution theory is not testable, either -- it is based entirely on circumstantial evidence in fossil records, comparative anatomy, genetics, etc.."--- << VoijaRisa answered -- <<Wrong again. The theory of evolution makes predictions. It make the prediction before the gene was ever unraveled that 95%+ of our DNA would have to be the same as apes.<<

Evolution theory predicted nothing. Human DNA and ape DNA are similar because humans and apes are similar.

VoijaRisa wrote -- <>

No, the bifurcation fallacy here is --- Either evolution is valid or every criticism of evolution is invalid. In other words, you are saying, "heads up, I win --- tails up, you lose."

VoijaRisa wrote -- <>

That is just a judgment of guilt by association.

VoijaRisa wrote -- <>

Mirecki is the best candidate for national poster child for anti-ID bigotry.

polgair 9 years, 9 months ago

As a side note, actually responding to the article, a person holds no responsibilites in this land where he is held accountable to whom he offends by your consitution. I say yours, because it's not mine. I wish it was, but it's not, right now anyways.

What Mirecki did was find a group of people and their ideals to be silly and commented on them in a somewhat public forum. That's pretty much what it came down to. He is not to be blamed for anything, except lacking in tact and being somewhat opinionated. It's not in his job description that he should be held accountable for what he says when he is not in his office, not writing something to be published and when he is not in the classroom. If what he says in a restaurant offends the university, so be it. He has partaken in no act that is in breach of academic conduct.

The fact that the university has cancelled the class shows me one thing and one thing only. The KU administration is spineless. This unversity is doing the PR thing so that people won't be offended, when it should have only cancelled the class when it has found the information taught in said class to be false. For all its statuites of academic conduct, the protection of academic free speech seems to be occuring only if the university doesn't have a problem with the teacher's belief system and platform of his/her speech. This is a politiciking move, nothing more, and the university should strive to stay within bounds of academic politics instead of fiscal or non-academic ones. I for one condemn the university of cancelling the course. If the course proves to be nothing more than one man's hot air, the students would be diligent enough to air their concerns after one semester, or better yet, read the syllabus, audit a few classes and not enroll in it. If enrollment is less than 10 people, the class is closed. I would let market forces (or natural selection :) handle this simply because I believe in the fact that academia has served well in the past when it comes to the matter of policeing its own conduct.

Why the national review surcumbed to character attacks of Mirecki is even more suspicious. If they had a problem with the course being taught, why not attack the course as teaching false information instead of making a case against the course because the professor of said course doesn't apparently care for religious people. I say, let him teach his class, let him have his side of the debate, and the rest of us who learn of the course material in due time will debate the validity of the information. Saying someone is incorrect because I find his jests in a non-academic forum to be offensive makes me look illogical and that I misunderstand how academia works. I'm catholic, and while his comments to my creed overshoot the bounds of politeness, it does not cast ill light on his academic capability.

Since when did having a bad sense of humor became a crime?

menagerie 9 years, 9 months ago

The first thing that bothered me about this story is that a private citizan's e-mails were being read. The second thing that botherd me is that this man's character was attacked because of some people's fears. Are these the same people who won't let their kids see Harry Potter?

I know that we live in a RED state, but Douglas County is a little blue dot in that sea of red. That's why I live here. Please, let's not allow the Christian Fundamentalist who have such a stronghold on our state to dictate what we do in our little corner. We should all, including KU professors, have the right to express our opinions in our own e-mails.

Besides, as an ex-Catholic, I happen to know what he's talking about and I agree with him. And, as ex-Catholics, we should be able to poke fun at it any way we want. It's our God-given right for having gone through the "Catholic experience" as innocent children. If you make it out, it's a coping mechanism.

Furthermore, I do not think that he should have to apologize. If someone doesn't like what you say in an e-mail not intended for them, then they shouldn't have read it. They should be apologizing to him for invading his privacy. Freedom of Speech, anyone?

LarryFarma 9 years, 9 months ago

polgair wrote -- <>

In his public statements, Mirecki agreed that the course should be canceled.

polgair wrote -- <>

I think that Mirecki has already shown himself to be not worth taking a chance on. His biased title for the course used the word "mythologies." His email not only made fun of "fundies," but referred to the course's regular instructors (himself and other KU professors who signed up) as "lefty." He stated that it was his intention to "piss off" the religious right. Also, I was offended that he stereotyped ID proponents as "fundies." He is clearly not the right person to organize the course.

Also, I disagree with the notion that Mirecki's privacy was invaded. His comments were posted on an Internet forum that is accessible to the general public. His comments were not obtained by wiretapping his phone lines or bugging his office or home. In contrast, in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover case in Pennsylvania, testifiers were grilled under oath about private conversations in an effort to determine whether or not the pro-ID Dover school board members had been motivated by religion.

If the motives of the Dover school board members are an issue, then the motives of Mirecki should be an issue too.

LarryFarma 9 years, 9 months ago

Our common sense tells us that it is impossible or very unlikely that the tremendous complexity and variety of living things could have arisen through mere chance mutations and natural selection, but common sense is not science. And we tend to ignore our common sense here because there is so much evidence in support of macro-evolution, even though that evidence is entirely circumstantial. I think that evolution theory actually requires a greater leap of faith than biblical creationism does. I think that intelligent design is basically just an effort to give a scientific basis to our common-sense doubts about evolution.

        The following joke about a  trial of an alleged chicken thief is an illustration of placing too much faith in evidence and too little faith in common sense --

Defendant (to witness) -- "Did you see me enter the henhouse?" Witness -- "Yes." Defendant -- "Did you see me leave the henhouse?" Witness -- "No." Defendant -- "Aha!! Ise still in that henhouse!"

LarryFarma 9 years, 9 months ago

even_money wrote -- <>

OK, what does it say about me? Those are standard legal terms. What alternatives would you suggest?

VoijaRisa 9 years, 9 months ago

---" Evolution theory predicted nothing. Human DNA and ape DNA are similar because humans and apes are similar."--- No. Evolution did predict this. Much in the same way that the big bang theory predicted the CMB years before it was ever discovered.

---" No, the bifurcation fallacy here is --- Either evolution is valid or every criticism of evolution is invalid. In other words, you are saying, "heads up, I win --- tails up, you lose.""--- I have not implied this in any way. You've just refused to submit any criticism that stands up to scrutiny.

---" That is just a judgment of guilt by association."--- I'm not placing guilt on anyone for being associated. I'm merely asking that if you're going to attempt to persecute Dr. Mirecki for being a "bigot", then you at least have the fairness to persecute ALL bigots. If not, then you have a double standard.

If you're wanting to see guilt by association, have a look at what Altevogt keeps trying to do with SOMA, implying that just because Dr. Mirecki is the faculty sponsor, all of SOMA must also be bigoted "crypot-nazi"s.

---" Mirecki is the best candidate for national poster child for anti-ID bigotry."--- That's fine. But will you admit that Bush Sr. is a great national poster child for anti-non-theist bigotry? And from there would you seek to see him discredited from ever holding a position of power? And would you go so far as to see that anyone that's ever been associated with him be barred from government as well?

If not, why? This is precisely what is being done to Dr. Mirecki. So again I ask: "Why your double standard?"

---" Why the national review surcumbed to character attacks of Mirecki is even more suspicious."--- It's very easy to see why the National Review is making character attacks. It's Mr. Altevogt writing the articles. And what has he said in his own words? ---" Mirecki is the same to me as Fred Phelps, and if I could figure out a means to screw him, I would."--- -John Altevogt

That's right. Altevogt is on a PERSONAL crusade to "screw" Dr. Mirecki.

---" In his public statements, Mirecki agreed that the course should be canceled."--- Please specify which statements you're referring to. Dr. Mirecki has merely said he cancelled the course due to the public outcry.

---" Dover case in Pennsylvania, testifiers were grilled under oath about private conversations"--- Some of the conversations were private as you suggest, but more were public comments, such as the ones during the school board meeting which are public record in which the head of the school board said he wanted to "take a stand" for Jesus. Also, he had made several comments to the press regarding the intentions. Additionally, he had gone before his church to garner support, even to the point of asking for funding (which he later lied about having done while under oath).

VoijaRisa 9 years, 9 months ago

---" I think that intelligent design is basically just an effort to give a scientific basis to our common-sense doubts about evolution."--- If you really think that ID is about science, perhaps you should take a look at this quote from the NY Times article posted last night: ---" The Templeton Foundation, a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion, says that after providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research.

"They never came in," said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned.

"From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don't come out very well in our world of scientific review," he said."--- Haven't ID proponents been crying that scientists aren't willing to accept their research because their biased and have some secret conspiracy to promote atheism? Interesting to see that there's actually major institutions willing to pay them to do research and have it be accepted, they refuse to provide any research. That doesn't sound very much like they're trying to do real science. Just pass it in under the door.

VoijaRisa 9 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Calliope877 9 years, 9 months ago

Bored now...

I think I'll take Wendt's advice and get back on the mothership. Maybe I'll see what's going on in the Andromeda galaxy.

Later, Earthlings!

polgair 9 years, 9 months ago

Dear LarryFarma,

"In his public statements, Mirecki agreed that the course should be canceled."

Given the circumstances, this is perhaps the best political move. It is not, perhaps, the best academically.

"I think that Mirecki has already shown himself to be not worth taking a chance on. His biased title for the course used the word "mythologies." His email not only made fun of "fundies," but referred to the course's regular instructors (himself and other KU professors who signed up) as "lefty." He stated that it was his intention to "piss off" the religious right. Also, I was offended that he stereotyped ID proponents as "fundies." He is clearly not the right person to organize the course."

No. What he says in the classroom should be held accountable. What he says outside the classroom is not. His professional conduct at KU should be judged for that alone and should not be confused with his personal conduct. He is a tenured professor who is the head of the department of religious studies at KU. I have no doubts that he can portray his side of the argument without being hateful. If he does, he gets to lose his tenure, and I don't think he wants that to happen.

"Also, I disagree with the notion that Mirecki's privacy was invaded. His comments were posted on an Internet forum that is accessible to the general public. His comments were not obtained by wiretapping his phone lines or bugging his office or home."

I have no disagreement with that. You air your opinion in a public forum, you will feel the praise or the heat of the audience. I just have a problem with the confusion of "inside of school" conduct versus "outside of school" conduct.

"In contrast, in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover case in Pennsylvania, testifiers were grilled under oath about private conversations in an effort to determine whether or not the pro-ID Dover school board members had been motivated by religion."

And that is absolutely ridiculous. The testifiers should never have had to answer those questions. As a member of a board of education, the only responsibility said member has is for a science class to teach science. Motives are peripheral and if we stuck to the fact that we are talking about teaching science and defining what is science, we'd be a lot further along.

"If the motives of the Dover school board members are an issue, then the motives of Mirecki should be an issue too."

The motives of the Dover school board shouldn't have been an issue. It's not. We are debating if I.D. is science or not. I contend that it's not. I don't care if the opposition is religious or not. I care only they think I.D. is science, that they leave their motives out of the debate and that the supposedly scientific evidence they produce might be flawed. How they came to the conclusion that I.D. is science or truth is none of my business.

sincerely

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