Back in the olden days of talk.origins there was a bright young student named "deaddog" who posted frequently. His speciality was The origin of life.
Deaddog became Professor Andy Ellington at the University of Texas at Austin and he's still interested in the origin of life [The Ellington Lab] and the creation of new life forms [Dr. Andy Ellington].
Deaddog (Andy) has testified before in front of the Texas board of education in an attempt to educate them about science. As you might imagine, given his interests, he concentrated on showing that Jonathan Wells and the IDiots are dead wrong about origin of life research. This is about as hard as shooting fish in a barrel but somebody has to do it.
Last week he was back at the meetings to testify in favor of adopting good biology textbooks. Here's what he said on Andy Ellington's Blog: On the Circus.
Today I’m at the State Board of Education hearings on textbook adoption. Or, in other words, the once every-so-often meeting that helps to determine whether or not Texas makes itself a laughingstock with respect to the teaching of evolution. I guess this is sort of my first “live blog,” which is just weird.This provoked a response from some of the main IDiots like Casey Luskin [University of Texas Evolutionary Biologist Andy Ellington Mocks Fellow Texans as "Idiots" and "Laughingstocks" for Doubting Darwin] and Denise O'Leary [Tax dollar alert: Who pays this Texas biology profs salary?]. Don't you just love it when the IDiots voluntarily supply us with evidence of their reasoning ability?
I continue my love / hate relationship with Texas. On the one hand, this board meeting is democracy in action (not necessarily a good thing in a Republic): every idiot gets their say. On the other, their say means very little. The larger forces at work will drive both curriculum and the impact of that curriculum.
They should have been careful about who they tried to pick on. Here's Andy's response [On Idiocy].
The Discovery Institute, largely a spent force both intellectually and politically since Dover, has chosen to take issue with my comments at the State Board of Education. This is especially amusing as the original disputation of their idiocy came many years ago, and has been published via a NSCE publication for quite some time. Indeed, I refer to this publication in my previous testimony, which was and is available to the Discovery Institute. From this, we can conclude that the Discovery Institute is woefully behind the times not only in terms of science, but even in terms of their own shallow attempts to provide a revisionary context to science. Guys, this just can’t be good for your funding posture. Try to keep up.I miss deaddog.
So, when the DI has a vague, anonymous scientist (apparently the only kind that the DI employs) point out, as they do in their current idiot posting (please note the use of the word ‘idiot,’ as it absolutely applies to the DI for their complete lack of understanding of the extant scientific literature) ...
The DI claims this all as a teachable moment, saying that “What we see evidence of here is a scientific debate over the origin of life ….” No, actually, the problem with that claim is that science for the most part requires experimentation. You guys don’t do experiments. We do. You guys just carp about our experiments, and you don’t even do that very well.
Which would you rather see helping to set policies relating to teaching biology, literally millions of scientists who spend their entire careers doing experiments, or a handful of folks at a faith-based think tank whose jobs largely depend on trying to make inconvenient facts go away?
Well, Casey, I hope this gets your page hit count up somehow. God knows you need it. But really I don’t think that picking a fight about the facts is going to help you guys much in your further, currently grossly unsuccessful attempts to show your relevance. You didn’t even have boots on the ground at the Texas SBOE hearings this time, you just sent a 80 page screed that in the end didn’t change one word in one textbook up for consideration. Sad, really. But, there ya go. Happy trails.
UPDATE: How many have heard that old saying about what you're supposed to do when you've dug yourself into a deep hole?1 Here's a couple of examples of what you're NOT supposed to do. These postings attacked real science and they were the ones that provoked Andy's response. Why do so many non-scientist IDiots think they can successfully debate with an expert in the field?2
Casey Luskin, the lawyer, says Andy Ellington's Citation Bluffs and the Scientific Debate Over the Miller-Urey Experiment
Denyse O'Leary, the jounralist, says Texas school board hearings: Startling gains in the hard science of citation bluffing are now widely noted.
1. Stop digging.
2. It's a rhetorical question. They are IDiots and that's exactly what IDiots do.