Intelligent Design Exposed

May 22, 2008

How to cook a graph in three easy lessons

Filed under: Uncategorized — idexposed @ 4:49 am

Realclimate.org, a high quality science site, explains how to “cook a graph in three easy lessons“. In order to make the model look like the observations, the model had to assume a mixed layer depth of 1000m, when  a normal mixed layer depth is around 50m, depending on location, and time. 1000m is ludicrous indeed.

These days, when global warming inactivists need to trot out somebody with some semblance of scientific credentials (from the dwindling supply who have made themselves available for such purposes), it seems that they increasingly turn to Roy Spencer, a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama.

May 19, 2008

United Methodist Church: Evolution and Intelligent Design

Filed under: Uncategorized — idexposed @ 11:12 pm

The UMC seems to be in a pro-science mood when it passed resolution 80839

Evolution and Intelligent Design (80839-C1-R9999)

Add a new resolution as follows:

WHEREAS, the United Methodist Church has for many years supported the separation of church and State (paragraph 164, Book of Discipline, 2004, p. 119),

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the General Conference of the United Methodist Church go on record as opposing the introduction of any faith-based theories such as Creationism or Intelligent Design into the science curriculum of our public schools.

Rationale

Creationism and Intelligent Design are appropriate topics in public education classes such as comparative religion, literature, or philosophy since scientific method incorporates critical thinking processes.  All truth is God’s truth.   The promotion of religion or any particular religion in the public schools is contrary to the First Amendment.

United Methodist Church: An Apology for Support of Eugenics

Filed under: Uncategorized — idexposed @ 11:09 pm

The United Methodist Church has passed petition 81175 which expresses an apology for support of Eugenics

Ironically, as the Eugenics movement came to the United States, the churches, especially the Methodists, the Presbyterians, and the Episcopalians, embraced it.
Methodist churches around the country promoted the American Eugenics Society “Fitter Family Contests” wherein the fittest families were invariably fair skinned and well off. Methodist bishops endorsed one of the first books circulated to the US churches promoting eugenics. Unlike the battles over evolution and creationism, both conservative and progressive church leaders endorsed eugenics.  The liberal Rev. Harry F. Ward, professor of Christian ethics and a founder of the Methodist Federation for Social Service, writing in Eugenics, the magazine of the American Eugenic Society, said that Christianity and Eugenics were compatible because both pursued the “challenge of removing the causes that produce the weak. Conservative Rev. Clarence True Wilson, the General Secretary of the Methodist Episcopal Board of Temperance, Prohibition and Public Morals, and the man chosen to debate Clarence Darrow after William Jennings Bryan’s death, believed that only the white Aryan race was the descendent of the lost tribes of Israel.  Methodists were active on the planning committees of the Race Betterment Conferences held in 1914, and 1915.  In the 1910s, Methodist Churches hosted forums in their churches to discuss eugenics. In the 1920s, many Methodist preachers submitted their eugenics sermons to contests hosted by the American Eugenics Society.  By 1927, when the American Eugenics Society formed its Committee on the Cooperation with Clergymen, Bishop Francis McConnell, President of the Methodist Federation for Social Service served on the committee. In 1936, he would chair the roundtable discussion on Religion and Eugenics at the American Eugenics Society Meeting.  The laity of the church also took up the cause of eugenics. In 1929, the Methodist Review published the sermon “Eugenics: A Lay Sermon” by George Huntington Donaldson. In the sermon, Donaldson argues, “the strongest and the best are selected for the task of propagating the likeness of God and carrying on his work of improving the race.”
Both the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South promoted eugenics.  Most of the time, church advocates of eugenics supported positive eugenics—essentially careful selection of mates. Nevertheless, sterilization became an acceptable kind of eugenics along with marriage laws limiting marriage between whites and non-whites. Some annual conferences supported such laws and a few opposed them.
Indiana passed the first forced sterilization law in 1907; eventually 33 states passed similar laws.  Most used  Harry Laughlin’s model law that provided for the sterilization of “feeble minded, insane, criminalistic, epileptic, diseased, blind, deaf, deformed, and dependent” including “orphans, ne’er do wells, tramps, homeless, and paupers.” Virginia passed in 1924 a sterilization law based on the Laughlin model and on the same day passed a law making marriage between a white person and a non-white person a felony.
Thirty-three US States eventually passed laws authorizing sterilization of criminals, the mentally ill, the “feeble minded”, Sterilization of the allegedly mentally ill continued into the 1970s in several states, by which time about 60,000 Americans had been involuntarily sterilized.  In 1933, Hitler’s Nazi government used Laughlin’s Model Law as the basis for their sterilization law that led to the sterilization of some 350,000 people.

Note also that The Petition is amended as follows:

Delete everything from “we direct…” to the end of the petition.
Change the title of Petition 81175 from “An Apology for Support of Eugenics” to:  “Repentance for Support of Eugenics” on both page 421 and 424.

Pielke train wreck

Filed under: Global Warming,Uncategorized — idexposed @ 4:59 am

Tim Lambert at Deltoid discussed the train wreck surrounding Roger Pielke. Much of the similarities between ID Creationists and Global Warming Deniers like Pielke seem self evident, including a confidence not supported by the actual data that their side is correct. In the case of Pielke he confidently stated that the model predictions for the global warming trend were not consistent with the actual data.

Of course, not only were the data consistent, but Pielke did not even know which statistical test to apply to show support for his thesis

And yet, there seem to be some people who have come to believe the arguments by Global Warming Deniers, and it should not come as too big a surprise that there is a significant overlap between those who support the scientifically vacuous position of Intelligent Design and Global Warming Deniers.

May 14, 2008

Robert Hazen: Origin of Life 101

Filed under: Origin of Life — idexposed @ 3:26 am

Robert Hazen is a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University. Robert Hazen is also author of “Intelligent Design and the College Science Classroom: Should We “Teach the Controversy?”” Hazen, R. M. Intelligent design and the college classroom: Should we “teach the controversy”? Astrobiology 6, 106. (2006)

On the other hand, every student can benefit from an examination of the epistemological arguments that underlie this case. The fundamental distinction between science and religion as ways of knowing was central to the Dover case, and can serve to develop the critical thinking skills of all students. Of special relevance is the exploration of “gaps” in our scientific understanding. ID proponents point to these gaps (leaps of “irreducible complexity”) in their invocation of a designer. Scientists, on the other hand, see such gaps as opportunities for further research and exploration, especially in instances of “emergent complexity,” such as the origin of life.

05-14-2008: Note: During my final editing I switched from to an earlier version of the article and lost many edits. I have attempted to restore the article to its original state.

  • “ID and the College Classroom: Should we ‘teach the controversy’?”. Presented several times during 2006-2007 as the Dover, Pennsylvania intelligent design trial evoked much debate. [PPT]
  • Achieving Scientific Literacy: A Catechism for Science Education Reform”. This is my basic lecture on how to design science courses for undergraduates who are not science majors. [PPT]

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May 13, 2008

On the Chemical Constitutuents of the Seeds of Datura Stramonium

Filed under: Uncategorized — idexposed @ 5:25 pm

Every now and then, while doing research, one runs into little gems of history. In the case of Datura Stramonium, I found a thesis by Isao Nishimura at the University of Wisconsin dated 1922. The thesis contains meticulous descriptions of experiments conducted to unravel the mysteries of Datura Stramonium.

The researcher prepared some microscopic drawings of the seeds, pointing out that earlier researchers had stated that the alkaloids were present in the outer layer, and that the endosperm and the embryo are free from alkaloids, although one researcher reported trace amounts of alkaloids.

To detect the presence of alkaloids a solution of iodine in potassium iodide was used to stain the alkaloids, even though it also reacts with starches.

Visual inspection showed that the endosperm and the embryo were wholly free of staining, showing the absence of alkaloids in these parts of the seeds.

The thesis also discusses the oils extracted from mature and immature seeds, observing that the former were yellowish in colour while the latter one was dark green.

May 12, 2008

Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?

Filed under: Global Warming — idexposed @ 8:04 pm
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I have found that the same ignorance that surrounds evolutionary theory extends often to the issue of Global Warming.

James Hansen et al have released a report outlining the case for CO2

Paleoclimate data show that climate sensitivity is ~3°C for doubled CO2, including only fast feedback processes. Equilibrium sensitivity, including slower surface albedo feedbacks, is ~6°C for doubled CO2 for the range of climate states between glacial conditions and icefree Antarctica. Decreasing CO2 was the main cause of a cooling trend that began 50 million years ago, large scale glaciation occurring when CO2 fell to 425±75 ppm, a level that will be exceeded within decades, barring prompt policy changes. If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm. The largest uncertainty in the target arises from possible changes of non-CO2 forcings. An initial 350 ppm CO2 target may be achievable by phasing out coal use except where CO2 is captured and adopting agricultural and forestry practices that sequester carbon. If the present overshoot of this target CO2 is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects.

Read more at 350ppm or bust

May 11, 2008

Plants that defy evolution: Datura stramonium (Jimson Weed)

Filed under: Intelligent Design,Scientific Vacuity,Uncategorized — idexposed @ 10:32 pm
Tags: ,

Some creationists consider the thorns on plants a problem for evolutionary theory. As I will show, this is based on a flawed understanding of evolutionary theory. But before I proceed, let me present the ‘argument‘ presented by Joseph Alden (uncle of  Gary McGuire)

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May 10, 2008

Behe vs Lampreys: A modest proposal.

Filed under: Uncategorized — idexposed @ 3:51 pm

On Panda’s Thumb, Ian Musgrave shows how by doing hard work science has undermined further, the Irreducible Complexity argument about the blood clotting cascade as proposed by Michael Behe. In fact, the hard work supported a prediction made by Doolittle.

Ian challenges ID proponents to finally do some science

So I have a modest proposal. I would like to invite Dr. Behe, or any other ID advocate, to predict which coagulation factors are present in Amphioxus, search the Amphioxus genome database and report on whether the genes found match their predictions. The database is free, you can do it at home, and the only cost is your time.

Time for ID advocates to do some science. How about it?

Any Takers?

May 8, 2008

Kenneth R. Miller The Boston Globe “Trouble ahead for science”

Filed under: Uncategorized — idexposed @ 3:58 pm

Expelled ExposedKen Miller in a May 8 OpEd the Boston Globe writes about “Expelled”:

Why is all this nonsense a threat to science? The reason is Stein’s libelous conclusion that science is simply evil. In an April 21 interview on the Trinity Broadcast Network, Stein called the Nazi murder of children “horrifying beyond words.” Indeed. But what led to such horrors? Stein explained: “that’s where science in my opinion, this is just an opinion, that’s where science leads you. Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place. Science leads you to killing people.”

According to Stein, science leads you to “killing people.” Not to cures and vaccines, not to a deeper understanding of nature, not to wonders like computers and cellphones, and certainly not to a better life. Nope. Science is murder.

“Expelled” is a shoddy piece of propaganda that props up the failures of Intelligent Design by playing the victim card. It deceives its audiences, slanders the scientific community, and contributes mightily to a climate of hostility to science itself. Stein is doing nothing less than helping turn a generation of American youth away from science. If we actually come to believe that science leads to murder, then we deserve to lose world leadership in science. In that sense, the word “expelled” may have a different and more tragic connotation for our country than Stein intended.

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