The very secret Darwin letter you never hoped to see

August 11, 2008

You can see it here, at the Sneer Review.

What do you think? Is Darwin outed forever?

Gotta run. Someone is knocking at the door — Mencken’s Ghost, probably.

Could be Ben Stein, I suppose.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Kevin Fisher, Texas Citizens for Science.


Planning for an end to the conflict: Whatever happened to the U.S. Institute of Peace?

August 11, 2008

Whatever happened to the U.S. Institute of Peace?

I asked that question as I read a post over at Jon Taplin’s Blog, “The Cost of Empire Conversion.

Here’s the website for USIP. Here’s a video introduction:

Remember the old gospel tune, “Ain’t gonna study war no more?”   Time to sing it louder, and implement the idea.


Northern Ireland creationists push ID for schools

August 11, 2008

Ireland’s economy makes a bright spot on the Emerald Isle.  Ireland no longer appears the backward, backwater it was for much of the 20th century, producing people angry enough to write fantastically.

Northern Ireland?  How can one small island contain such contradictions?  Today, when religiously-fueled backwardness rears its head, it’s more often from the counties of Northern Ireland, the counties England still rules.  It seems that religionists in the northern counties want to keep their area away from the economic success of the south, fighting against almost all advances in economics, technology, and thinking.

That’s the case with the most recent outbreak of creationist tom foolery.

In a recent eruption, Democratic Unionist Party called for intelligent design to be given equal time in public schools.  Better, one guy says, get rid of evolution in science classes altogether, according to a story in The Irish Times (the good reporting and writing still comes from the southern counties).  Heck, he’d probably be happy to get rid of science classes altogether.

Mervyn Storey, who chairs the Stormont education committee, said his “ideal” would be the removal of evolutionary teaching from the curriculum altogether.

“This is not about removing anything from the classroom, although that would probably be the ideal for me, but this is about us having equality of access to other views as to how the world came into existence and that I think is a very, very important issue for many parents in Northern Ireland.”

Mr Storey has also challenged education minister Caitríona Ruane to apply her principles of “equality” to the issue.

“She tells us she’s all for equality; surely if that is the case, you can’t have one set of interpretations being taught at the expense of others,” he told the Belfast News Letter.

Creationists take a position that even the radical Sinn Fein disavows.  When your advocacy is outside the bounds of the radicals, it’s time to reevaluate.

Northern Ireland is already riven by religiously-driven strife.  Creationism wants to throw gasoline on that fire.  Pray for the peacemakers and scholars to win.

(Full text of The Irish Times story below the fold.)

Read the rest of this entry »


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