Creationists dispute editorial: ‘We don’t teach that’

January 2, 2008

Henry Morris III, CEO of the Institute for Creation Research, which hopes to grant graduate degrees in science education in creationism, responded to the Dallas Morning News’ editorial (see “Science and Faith,” or look here) which urged the State of Texas not to authorize degree-granting authority, in a letter published New Year’s Day.

In a brazen demonstration of chutzpah, Morris complains he and his faculty don’t know what principles of science they deny.

It came as a surprise to both faculty and administration when the editorial stated that the Institute for Creation Research “rejects so many fundamental principles of science.”

ICR would like to know which “principles of science” are supposedly rejected by our school. Surely not Newton’s gravitational theory. Nor Mendel’s laws of heredity. Nor do we deny natural selection, suggested by Edward Blyth 24 years before Charles Darwin’s writings. All were creationists.

What ICR scientists openly question is Darwin’s “descent with modification” or macroevolution. Even renowned evolutionary biologist L. Harrison Matthews wrote that “evolution is the backbone of biology, and biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on an unproved theory.”

Despite what The News implies, ICR is a science-oriented institution, employing experts since 1970 whose credentials meet or exceed the qualifications of numerous secular universities and who conduct research across various disciplines. Many researchers bring extensive experience from such recognized facilities as Los Alamos, Sandia Labs, Cornell, UCLA and Texas A&M.

Amazing.

Can anyone who has read ICR materials over the years, read that letter with a straight face? Plate tectonics? Thermodynamics? Using the Bible as a science text? “Hydrological sorting” and a subterranean rain cycle? Speed of light and Big Bang cosmology? Opposition to space exploration?

That’s not science. That’s not even normal.


“Grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions

January 2, 2008

I tell students to go to the source; if they read the original documents, that puts them ahead of 99% of the people who claim to know what they are doing, especially in history.

Do you know what is a “grave breach” under the Geneva Conventions? Below the fold, material from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with links to more original document material. DBQ, anyone?

Read the rest of this entry »


Bush continues push to make U.S. a banana republic

January 2, 2008

Some of us were still digesting the heart- and conscience-rending story of the Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) who resigned rather than continue to work in an organization that unethically endorsed torture, when we also became aware of the Bush administration’s plan to politicize the justice operations of the U.S. military. (See Geneva Conventions, here.)

Jurist, a news organ from the University of Pittsburgh Law School, with the short version here (with a recounting of other political troubles in JAG); the Boston Globe has the longer version here.

It’s the sort of move one expects from Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharaf; it’s the sort of move one would expect President Hugo Chavez to try in Venezuela, before the college students and military shout him down. It’s a banana republic-style action. It’s a move beneath a U.S. politician. Or, it should be.

If Orrin Hatch and Arlen Specter were alive today, you can bet this proposal would be dead.

For high school history and government teachers, these are exciting times. Abuses of the Constitution and potential crises cross the headlines every day. Each of these stories tells students the importance of knowing government and where the levers of power are.

Jan Carlzon at SAS Airline used to say people armed with knowledge cannot help but act. We must be missing the boat — where is the action?

Tip of the old scrub brush to Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars.


%d bloggers like this: