The lower house of France’s parliament has voted to outlaw “signs and dress that conspicuously show the religious affiliation” of students in French public schools. The AP reports:The measure, which would outlaw conspicuous religious clothing and symbols in classrooms, was approved 494-36. It goes to the Senate, where little opposition was expected, in early March.I’ve been watching this story build from afar in total astonishment. I don’t know anything about the French constitution (assuming they have one)…have they no provision… Read more

Yesterday’s story of the American Airlines pilot cajoling his passengers to use the time in the air to proselytize just gets funnier and funnier. First, in the interests of fairness, it should be said that other passengers on the flight, and the pilot himself, have said that he did not call non-Christians “crazy”, but used that term for the Christians on board in an affectionate manner. But here’s the part that I find even funnier… The pilot did an interview… Read more

First up, the airline pilot who doesn’t seem to understand where the boundaries of appropriate behavior lie in his job. Seems an American Airlines pilot asked the passengers aboard his flight from LA to New York to raise their hands if they’re Christian, announced that those who didn’t raise their hand were crazy, and suggested that they use the opportunity of having a heathen trapped in a seat next to them to do a little proselytizing. The behavior was so… Read more

Kudos to Steve Sanders for this article, entitled Federalists Do It Too: The False Debate Over “Activist” Judges. Sanders says what I’ve been saying for many years, that whenever you hear conservatives complain about judges “making law” as opposed to “interpreting the constitution”, you’re being fed a load of crap. Conservative judges are just as likely to be “activist” as liberal judges, and the complaints of judicial activism, on display so vividly during Bush’s recent State of the Union address,… Read more

A couple weeks ago I referred to an incident involving myself and Richard Dawkins and allegations of creationist dishonesty and I promised to write up the whole story soon. Let me preface this by saying two things. First, I am, as should be obvious to everyone who has read any of my writings on this page, a staunch advocate of evolutionary theory and a dogged opponent of the attacks that creationists of all types make against it. I have spent… Read more

There is a terrific new website designed to help teachers and students learn more about evolution that is finally up and available for public use. The Understanding Evolution site was an enormous project that has been under development for quite some time under the auspices of the University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), funded primarily by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Science Foundation. To quote from the site’s… Read more

Georgia school boss Kathy Cox has backed off her announced plan to remove the word “evolution” from the state academic standards. Paul Myers speculates that the whole thing could very well have just been a cover-up for the fact that the new proposed standards water down the teaching of evolution enormously, regardless of whether the word is used. I agree with him. It’s about the only explanation that makes any sense out of the whole sordid bunch of nonsense. Think… Read more

This is beginning to resemble a Monty Python sketch at this point. In my last post I made this statement: “He must know that “presenting the data” is pointless if he has already decided that no data possibly COULD establish what is being disputed.” Rusty replied: “…he has already decided that no data possibly COULD establish what is being disputed” Where have I said that? Honestly Ed, you accuse me of dancing around the issues but you yourself give Fred… Read more

In the last post, I wrote the following to Rusty: On the issue of transitionals, you are still dodging the question. You said that appearance alone cannot prove transition. Therefore wouldn’t you have to say that no fossil evidence could possibly show transition? Fossils can only show appearance, not actual ancestry. So why not just admit that no fossil evidence, regardless of what it shows, could possibly convince you that an evolutionary transition occured? That would at least be honest,… Read more

Rusty has been leaving comments in response to various entries here, but there are two issues that I’d like to move up here to the top so they don’t get lost and solicit a direct answer on. 1. Transitional Forms Rusty has repeatedly declared that there are no transitional forms in the fossil record. I have pointed out that I think this demand is a disingenuous one (not just from him, but from creationists in general) because they would deny… Read more

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