January 21, 2004

In today’s Carnival of the Vanities is a link to an article on this blog about a strange church/state ruling. The facts of the case are that the Byron, California school district has a very controversial 3 week unit in their World History class for middle school students in which, in order to teach them about the history of Islam, they have students memorize and recite Muslim prayers from the Quran, simulate Muslim worship and even participate in some sort… Read more

January 19, 2004

In a posting last week, I discussed a challenge that has been made by Joseph Mastrapaolo to pretty much everyone he can find who defends evolution. After sending out this challenge and getting no response from scientists who have better things to do with their time than play JoMo’s absurd little game, the True.Origins archive predictably posted an article crowing about the lack of response and claiming that those who were challenged were “debate dodgers” who knew they couldn’t win…. Read more

January 18, 2004

It is appropriate that in the month of January, I have made so many entries about the Intelligent Design movement. January is named for Janus, the Roman god of gates, often depicted as having two faces. The more I study the ID movement, the more convinced I am that Janus is the perfect symbol for it. Indeed, the two-faced nature of the ID movement is, ironically, by design. This was the nature of the strategy that was devised by Phillip… Read more

January 17, 2004

Intelligent Design Creationists are actively working in several states and at the federal level to get their ideas into public school science classrooms. In their famous Wedge Document, the Discovery Institute’s strategic blueprint for overthrowing materialistic science, Phase 1 was supposed to be “Scientific Research, Writing and Publication.” Indeed, they say that without this, everything that follows will be hollow:Phase I is the essential component of everything that comes afterward. Without solid scholarship, research and argument, the project would be… Read more

January 13, 2004

The True.Origins website – a ripoff of the Talk.Origins Archive that I’m involved with – has posted an article about “debate dodgers”. This is something that is quite common in creationist circles – make a ridiculous “challenge” to their opponents and then crow about how cowardly those heathen infidel evilutionists are not to take them up on it. This is merely the latest round of this well-worn tactic and it comes, not surprisingly to anyone who has followed the issue… Read more

January 12, 2004

Intelligent design advocates have been furiously busy trying to find a way to sneak their views into science classrooms around the country. In Kansas, Ohio, Texas, New Mexico, Michigan and several other states, they have tried a variety of tactics to get in to the curriculum. But if this is any indication of what they want to do with education, I’m not sure whether to be alarmed or amused…. William Dembski is one of the leading voices of the IDC… Read more

January 10, 2004

The first link on my list of other blogs is Jason Van Steenwyk’s Iraqnow blog. Jason is an Army officer serving in Iraq around Ramadi. Unlike most of the military bloggers, Jason is an excellent writer with a degree in literature and an engaging mind. His blog is enormously valuable because it gives us a picture of what life on the ground is like for the troops serving there. The best thing about his blog, in my view, is that… Read more

January 9, 2004

Ignored in the justifiable attention being paid to foreign Muslim terrorists after 9/11, domestic Christian terrorists have taken a backseat in terms of media coverage. How many people know that in 2001, 3 of the 10 names on the FBI Most Wanted List were anti-abortion zealots? Not many, I imagine. Clayton Waagner was one of them, recently convicted of sending over 400 anthrax threat letters to Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups and clinics. Eric Robert Rudolph was captured last… Read more

January 8, 2004

In the midst of a flap over Howard Dean’s sudden conversion to the summonings of the spirit, Sandra Jacoby has an op-ed piece in the Times that includes something I’ve long said about the secular nature of the Constitution. She writes,The 18th-century public’s understanding of the Constitution as a secular document can perhaps best be gauged by the reaction of religious conservatives at the time. For example, the Rev. John M. Mason, a fire-breathing New York City minister, denounced the… Read more

January 7, 2004

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Hewlett-Packard’s right to fire an employee who insisted on posting anti-gay bible verses on his office cubicle in response to the company having posters encouraging respect for diversity in the office building he worked in. The diversity campaign, as the Chronicle reports, was the sort of empty sloganeering that anyone in the corporate world is used to seeing:The conflict started in 2000 after the company began implementing a diversity policy that was… Read more

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