Archive for Monday, December 26, 2005

Scientific method

December 26, 2005


To the editor:

I am the administrator of Veritas Christian School. Our secondary biology textbook accurately spends an entire chapter lining out the evidences cited by evolutionists. (A Journal-World reporter recently reported on this.)

Our ABeka published book works those evidences through the scientific method used in every modern research laboratory. By applying the scientific method to the evidences used in origin discussions, most of our students end up embracing a science-based mechanism of origins rooted in an understanding of a personal creator and intelligent design. The time and chance mechanisms held by evolutionists do not hold under the scrutiny of the scientific method.

Can intelligent design produce excellence in science? Well, in last spring's Douglas County Science Fair, Veritas students swept the first three places in every category.

Jeff Barclay,



DuQuesne 12 years, 4 months ago

I would caution Mr. Barclay against allowing his nose to get so self-righteously out of joint that he fails to smell the rising stench of his own decaying dog(ma). I would also refer him to some actual scientists for an understanding of what he calls "the scientific method." -Schuyler DuQuesne

Richard Heckler 12 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Barclays mean spirited attitude toward others on the LJW comments would not be an attraction to that school.

KayCee 12 years, 4 months ago

Yea, Pilgrim, a number need to use the mirror.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 4 months ago

"Our secondary biology textbook accurately spends an entire chapter lining out the evidences cited by evolutionists."

1) Good. I'm glad. But the fact that you refer to "evolutionists" suggests some dogmatic bias. "Evolutionists" are "scientists". One cannot cherry-pick a science education.

"most of our students end up embracing a science-based mechanism of origins rooted in an understanding of a personal creator and intelligent design. "

1) Assuming this is true, I'm sure there is no bias in teaching at Veritas (not!).

2) Which "personal creator" do they settle on? Christ, Vishnu, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, space aliens?

"The time and chance mechanisms held by evolutionists do not hold under the scrutiny of the scientific method."

1) This statement just illustrates that objective science is not being taught at Veritas. It might not hold up at Veritas, but it does hold up in thousands of other schools, universities, and research labs.

"Well, in last spring's Douglas County Science Fair, Veritas students swept the first three places in every category."

1) Congratulations on the awards. But seriously, mud volcanoes and wooden cars do not a science education make.

I am concerned for the futures of students at Veritas. When and if they enter university and choose a science education or career, they will be hampered by this dogmatic view.

Truth is, they will be mocked and not taken seriously by scientists.

Then again, christians seem to enjoy a feeling of persecution, so maybe everything will be fine.

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 4 months ago

Man, even at my Catholic high school we didn't have such lunacy from an administrator and I thought THEY were crazy. At my school we had two seperate classes, a science class, and a religion class. At no time did we ever discuss intelligent design as a viable aspect of true science, and my science teacher even began class with a reading from the Bible! I don't agree with everything I was taught in high school, but at least I wasn't taught by any all-out quacks like Mr. Barclay here.

I didn't read anything about the public school system in DuQuesne, so what mirror idea is being proposed Pilgrim? Maybe its on the Mayflower. Go back and check cuz you might realize it's not the 15th century anymore.

DuQuesne 12 years, 4 months ago

We also see in Mr. Barclay's letter an illustration of the functional difference between "administrator" and "teacher" within the educational arena. Administrators who administer without line workers' (teachers') input tend to steer a hazardous course for an example, see the path taken by the Dover Area School District of Pennsylvania as they stumbled into the federal court system. -Schuyler DuQuesne

fossilhunter 12 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Barclay - how many of those science fair projects had anything to do with intelligent design? I'd be very interested to see what would happen with a science fair project on ID that was submitted.

satchel 12 years, 4 months ago

I didn't find any 'mean-ness' in mr. Barclay's opinion.Sheesh, I can't believe some of these 'mean' comments toward mr. barclay. Interesting little 'mirror' i must say. Actually, you all crack me up! How easily offended you get when someone refers to scientists as evolutionists. Especially..'mr. nightmare'. I thought evolutionists.. i mean, scientists, or is it..'true scientists'.. sorry, don't want to 'offend' here. were too 'right' to be offended, i thought they were 'above the fray?'.. After reading these comments, I have come to the conclusion that evolutionary zealots are mean spirited biggots. I never used to think that way. I used to think they were reasonable and would carry the same 'tone' as Mr. Barclay, but evidently, i was wrong.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 4 months ago

Ah, facts and objectivity have become "bigotry" and "political indoctrination" in the minds of ID creationist fundamentalists.

Anything that veers from their dogma is attacked as "bigotry". Movements that deny facts do not have a long shelf-life.

satchel 12 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Nightmare, you should check out Verita's Christian school's website and get information about how they are testing 3 grade levels above their level in comparison to public schools.

This is in ALL grades, and happens to be in the core subjects including science. Mr. 'facts' should check out the evidence before slamming mr. barclay and his school. Of course, mr. worsenightmare doesn't want any children growing up who are able to think for themselves. He said so. There is something to that you know. When they are post high school level in 9th and 10th grade? PLEASE, you evolutionists, get a life.

fossilhunter 12 years, 4 months ago

Satchel - Please do not lump all "evolutionists" into one basket. Some of us are capable of rational, reasonable thought and discussion.

As far as comparing the Verita's scores to public schools -- you really are comparing apples and oranges. Public schools have to take every and all students - even those challenged. Private schools can pick and choose their students and do not have the same rule book. Mr. Barclay has trumpeted the science fair "domination" several times, but it sure sounds like the home school kids that study the dictionary all day so they do well in the spelling bees to show the superiority of home schooling.

gr 12 years, 4 months ago

Well satchel, if people thought for themselves, that would mean they would question things we've always held dear to us. Such as it's ok to put poisonous neurotoxins (Mercury) into children, or dump toxic wastes into the water system (Fluoride). We've always done it that way, we've always believed it to be true, and why should we ever question it? Maybe that's why people ARE having trouble thinking...

fossilhunter 12 years, 4 months ago

gr - So I should just ignore all the scientific evidence?

gr 12 years, 4 months ago

What scientific evidence? Speculation or fantasy?

Pardon the sarcasm, but I doubt very many would disagree with "scientific evidence", but maybe you have a different definition of it as some have of what "evolution" means. I'm just asking, define the definitions. Then it will be possible to determine if someone is ignoring it or not. Otherwise, it will be reduced to two opposing sides throwing rocks at each other and neither side knowing nor caring what they disagree with, let alone caring.

No matter what your beliefs, you are not against people thinking for themselves, are you? If evidence is presented to non-thinking people, it won't affect them. Only if people think for themselves, will evidence matter. Don't you agree?

fossilhunter 12 years, 4 months ago

gr - I see evidence come out of the ground all the time..... I see that life in older rocks is more primitive than in younger rocks. I see the horn spread of bison in Kansas go from greater than 6 feet 10,000 years ago to about 2 feet now (directly corresponding with the food supply on the plains -- less food, more conservation of energy required, smaller horns), fish evolving from primitive notochords to cartilidge to bony teleosts....

I'm all for people thinking for themselves. Questioning and inquisition is what science is all about. ID has not done that. It is bad "science". Not one, zero, zilch peer-reviewed scientific paper has been presented to support ID. I therefore have a great problem with it being taught as science in a science classroom.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 4 months ago


I have indeed perused the Veritas sight and have seen the data presented there, particularly the table to which you refer.

Indeed it seems that compared to public schools, Veritas tests well. They should be commended for this.

I also noticed that there are only 200 or so students total at Veritas, and I also noticed on their admissions form that there are questions that allow them to identify "problem" students. As fossil pointed out, public schools have no such luxury.

I would like to see how Veritas compares to other private schools of similar enrollment.

As for the objectivity of education at Veritas, I urge you to read the "Statement of Faith" and the following paragraph from their "Philosophy":

"In Christian education, the Christ-centered worldview infuses every area of academic pursuit, from early elementary training to advanced study. More than merely an add-on Bible clss, it integrates Christian principles into each subject. Thus, laws of science are true because God, their Creator, is true. Mathematics is predictable because God is unchanging. History is advanced by the influence of an omnipotent God. Arts and letters are human expressions of God's creative energy through His created beings. And people have a place in this universe not by chance, but because God has authorized their place. Instead of a collection of unrelated objective facts, a child receives an integrated, cohesive grasp of the world around him. Far from sheltering children from the "real" world, Christian education is all about equipping them with a Biblical worldview, and with the tools to employ that worldview in their lives."

This does not sound objective to me, but sounds like there are biases which exclude an objective study of science or any other discipline.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 4 months ago


You said: "I have come to the conclusion that evolutionary zealots are mean spirited biggots."

This is not name-calling?

"I never used to think that way."

This is bull. A review of your posts suggests differently. You have consistently attacked those who support science as "evo-liberals", "anti-intellectuals", and "left-wing idiots". These are but a sampling of your terms.

"I used to think they were reasonable and would carry the same 'tone' as Mr. Barclay, but evidently, i was wrong."

A review of your posts demonstrates a consistent attack philosophy on those who don't agree with you.

"evolutionary zealots", evo-liberals"

"I am weary of all this liberal crap.. The thinking is so wacked out. "

"stupid tree-hugging liberals"

satchel, you are full of it. Don't pretend to be all rational and moderate.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 4 months ago


And as for Mr. Barclay's tone, I urge you to review his posts on this site to get a sampling of his reasoned moderation:

"Somebody in the Kansas legislature needs to step up and pull the financial plug on KU."

"Both Hitler and Marx developed their views based upon evolution. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, advocated the killing of the infirm and unwanted minorities. She was also an evolutionist."

"Not only is there no known natural mechanism for evolution, there is no anthropological evidence of humans ever having moral codes, separate from a religion. Evolutionist atheism is a relatively new way of looking at life."

"Face it. Krishtalka worships nature. I worship a creator."

"Rhetoric gave evolution the personna of science. Now the wind is blowing away the smoke, the mirrors are cracking and evolution is being revealed for what it is- a theory with exaggerated evidence."

"Do evolutionists realize that evolution has been an argument for racism?"

gr 12 years, 4 months ago


"Primitive" is a personal interpretation. I have read where many times scientists have thought things were primitive and then later they decide they weren't so primitive after all and in some cases concluded they were more advanced than what they compared them to. I'm afraid that just looking and declaring something to be "primitive" does not cut it as being evidence. One example of what scientists are having to rethink is how fossils have formed:

Abiogenesis has been said not to be "real" science, but yet, is it not taught in science class? Why not other ideas?

Personally, I'm for teaching science in science class and leaving abiogenesis, intelligent design or any other non-scientific ideas for outside science classes. Science as being what is observable, repeatable, and able to be supported or not supported.

fossilhunter 12 years, 4 months ago

gr - "Primitive" is not a personal interpretation. "Primitive" means "simple, not complex". That describes early fossils when compared to later fossils. Early in the fossil record, we have no animals with bones or mouths, then later we find simple fish with no jaws, just vacuum mouths, then fish with jaws...this is evidence. The link you posted is very cool stuff, but it in no way changes how scientist think fossils are formed. You link to a popular site that makes you think the bone was split open and blood spilled out. In actuality, the bone was completely mineralized and the marrow was chemically treated and acid etched to remove the minerals. Here is the technical bulletin.;307/5717/1952 The article is interesting as well because it talks about the cell structure of T-Rex is very, very similar to birds. More scientific evidence of evolution.

gr 12 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the other link. Quite interesting. I never understood from the link I gave as blood being spilled out. I thought it did an adequate job of telling how they recovered it. Still, it is interesting that the connective tissue is still pliable.

While the link wasn't a "techinical" link, I assumed when someone quoted, "The finding certainly shows fossilization does not proceed as science had assumed, Schweitzer said. ", it meant Schweitzer said it. So did the non-techinical link add something, or the techinical link took something out? Most likely the technical left out the "fluff".

Is this more of a techincal link, although just the abstract, of sedimentation sorting?

This might explain how some animals are buried quickly enough to become fossils without being eaten. However, it might bring into question the age of the layers.

You mention younger rocks and older rocks. How are the ages determined so you can know the older ones had simpler life in them? One thing I've always heard, but don't know if it's true is you determine the age of the rocks by the types of fossils found there.

I guess the primitive being "personal" comment resulted from you classifying 6ft spread versus 2ft spread. How could it possibly be said one is more "primitive" than another? Does bigger mean more primitive?

An example, maybe not a "technical site", of primitive being open to interpretation is
"It's no different than if you took a modern-day butterfly and put it under a light microscope." More primitive than thought, but less primitive than current butterflies?

fossilhunter 12 years, 4 months ago

gr - I see what you mean about Schweitzer's quote. I think she's just a little exhuberant. :-)

Your link is more about sorting by size. You ever notice how gravel and rocks seem to always work their way to the surface? That's not really the same as fossil burial. In order to fossilize, things have to get buried quickly. Otherwise, they are scavenged or decompose. This can happen in many ways. One of the most common is river deposits. We find many bones that are buried in mudstone or sandstone because something died in a river and was buried. Imagine a tree snag on a river. It catches everything coming down the river and then silt starts piling up, and then it's buried. Imagine the snag a dead dino would make! Another way is in an ocean bottom that is very soft. The great fossils in W. Kansas are an example of this. The bottom of the ocean was a soft oooz and when an animal died and sank, it instantly buried when it hit the bottom. Natural disasters are another friend of the paleontologist. Imagine all the items buried by last year's tsunami. Future fossils.

Dating rocks....many ways to do this. What you refer to is dating based on index fossils. There are many common fossils that only lived for a short time. If you find them in rocks, you know those rocks are the same age as other rocks with those fossils. Other methods are radiometric dating, etc. That's a whole science that I really don't get into.

I see where you were coming from if you took what I was saying about bison as primitive. I wasn't talking about primitive there, just a type of animal changing over time.

gr 12 years, 4 months ago

I believe the sorting link was talking about rapid sorting. I had come across another link about Mt St. Helens and an example of 25ft of similar sorting that happened in a short time. I don't think they had in mind of rocks coming out of the ground.

"If you find them in rocks, you know those rocks are the same age as other rocks with those fossils."

But how do you establish the age of index fossils? And then, if you blindly assign ages to other fossils, due to certain fossils, without determining their age through a separate mechanism, how do you account for such things as them rising to the surface? Meaning, so you get a layer of fossils buried, and due to their shape, angles, density, etc., they rise to the surface the same way rocks do today.

For the record, I'm not disputing "changing over time". That's a scientific fact which can be demonstrated!

Terry Jacobsen 12 years, 4 months ago

Funny. Veritas school rates high in all categories and it must be because they get to pick only the best students. Not because they have excellent teachers and administrators, and they strive for excellence in their classrooms. My dad said it best. You can't argue with success.

gr 12 years, 4 months ago

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

bobi 12 years, 4 months ago


Your comments go way too far and personally attack the intelligence of children.. Your reference to those who enter the Douglas County Science Fair as "losers" suggests your inability to communicate effectively and thus completely removes you from adult conversation!

How dare you make such a statement!

gr 12 years, 4 months ago

bobi, I'm sorry I offended you and the LJW staff. I must not have been effective in my communication. I was using a literary art form of sarcasm and exageration to make a point. I was using a similar effect if defending others of criticizing Harvard graduates of unfairly getting high paying jobs by saying well, only only losers go to Harvard.

Chill out. I was saying the exact opposite of what you thought I was saying. This was a parrot of what others were saying Veritas students weren't doing real science and implying the science fair didn't judge correctly. The comment was intended to get people to think that maybe Veritas students really were smart. Understand?

bobi 12 years, 4 months ago


Please be careful how you use words. Some of us do have children who enter this fair. We love our children dearly and would cut off our right arms to defend them and their honor.

As I read your comments I find no humor in the sarcasm you have chosen to use. Remember that while some might find it intellecutally stimulating to argue back and forth, others are simply hurt in the process.

gr 12 years, 4 months ago


Since for some reason my comment is no longer there, it's hard to refer to it. But, if I remember correctly, I agreed with TJ. Maybe I misread TJ or you'll ask to have his statement removed, too. I guess like begets like, and with the thought fresh in my mind, I went with what he was saying. I fully believe he is supportive of Veritas - are you?

Also, I remember first giving the conclusion that I believed to be true. This involved indicating that they must have three smart students in each category whereas other schools came in lower. And then, as an side-thought, I allowed that there was another conclusion which could be drawn. As people in science know, the same data results can be interpreted completely differently. Good data analyzers look at all angles if they want to see all possible conclusions of the data. Therefore, I was only trying to be a good analyzer by not only looking at the data from the conclusion I felt was best, but from any other possible angles. And that was what everyone else was implying. I'm not sure how anyone would be hurt by what I said other than possibly those who were deriding Veritas students. Unfortunately, the comment has been removed. Maybe you could ask LJW if they have a copy and you could re-read it and see if it wasn't completely clear.

If you were one of those deriding the school, I could see you being upset. Or if your kids were at a competing private school, or if they just failed to place, you may be jealous of the Veritas school. I really don't know anything about Veritas other than the article mentioned. Just because that school is doing well, or your kids didn't do as well is no reason to deride them. Have them try harder at the next fair! (and before you take offense at that, I fully realize you made no comments against them - I'm speaking in general terms about the general commenters with you in mind only "if" you fit the conditions I listed )

The comment you should have been "hurt" with was "1) Congratulations on the awards. But seriously, mud volcanoes and wooden cars do not a science education make."

That was the reference I was making in my comment.

You did read the whole thread before taking offense, right?

bobi 12 years, 4 months ago


I simply do not appreciate the method you used to try to make a point. Evidently, the LJW agreed! They only remove comments if they too feel they are inappropriate, or if the discussion is getting way out of hand....

No further discussion on this matter is required.

wonderhorse 12 years, 4 months ago

Naw, LJW removes comments at the suggestion of the board users. Further discussion is required.

gr 12 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Wonderhorse. Sometimes both sides can agree against the issue of censorship without due cause.


LJW staff, I assume, have more things to do than police every little detail of a topic. If accused, they see the word "loser", don't worry about why it is used and then deletes it.

I guess if everyone spoke in a flat two-dimensional way, life would be very boring. I'm surprised you find the forum of any to your liking. There are quite "flavorful" characters around here. You say you are educated. I would be curious to know in what area. I'm have a hard time imagining it in the Science or Math fields.

Taking offense at someone repeating the same theme as another seems a liiittttle sensitive to me. I do believe, the lack of offering defense of reading the whole thread, is a strong indication, (though not positively), of highly supportive evidence, that you didn't. I'm afraid there's not much more I can help you with here. Other than, PLEASE read the whole thread, or at least get a general feel for it, if you are going to take offense and request removal.

bobi 12 years, 4 months ago


As I said before, this discussion has come to an end.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.