Tuesday, July 26, 2011

1st Rant - 07/26/2011

I'm bothered by a few things and, surprisingly, gladdened by a few other things lately. Some are science-related, some not. Most of them, however, are stupidity-related. Legally, Casey Anthony & Nafissatou Diallo head my list of "Things I Know About But Wish I Didn't". Politically, Obama & Congress are starting to tick me off. Scientifically, however, it's been a good couple weeks for "reality".

I'll address just the science in this post; other topics listed above will be attacked later after I have a few beers and calm down... The Texas State Board of Education has been in the news these past few years. If you recall, back in April '09, the Texas STATE Board, 15 members, actually VOTED the age of the Universe out of existence in textbooks for their state. Yes, I typed that correctly. They VOTED on the age of the Universe! Quoting Board President Don McLeroy, about the scientific experts who argued the age is well-known to be approx 13.7 BILLION +-0.12 Billion yrs , "I disagree with these experts. Someone has got to stand up to experts." WTFFF? This is the PRESIDENT of the State Bd of ED! He wants to stand up to the astronomers, astrophysicists, physicists, and cosmologists who base their statements on observations and years and years of study? Why not? Why let facts and experts stand in the way when you have Intelligent Design on your side. Jeez... See http://io9.com/5192678/texas-officially-makes-the-universe-ageless

This was all caused by an actual vote, which was brought by Board member Barbara Cargill, on whether the age of the Universe was 14 Billion or 6000 yrs! Yep, the 15 members voted that one 11-3 approving that the Universe is a mere 6000 years old! That shows there were only 3 of them who had any concept of reality whatsoever! See further info and video at Phil Plait's fabulous blog:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/05/06/texas-is-only-6000-years-old/
They had already voted evolution, the cornerstone of modern bio, out of the textbooks unless equal time was spent on ID.

Well, last week, thank Einstein, the Bd voted "unanimously" to NOT include creationist supplements to the state science textbooks. Sounds like a great victory for science literacy. Not that good. The unanimous vote, as pointed out by a Plait poster, was 8-0; the Board has 15 members. As this poster claims, the 7 creationists (referred to as "creationtards") abstained to vote; 6 were in attendance at the meeting.

Small victories. I'll take them.

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