Posts tagged Intelligent Design
Posts tagged Intelligent Design
All sorts of these stories flying around here tonight. UGH. Original source HERE. ~JJ
House Bill 1227, introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives on January 10, 2012, would, if enacted, require “the equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design,” according to the legislature’s summary of the bill. The equal treatment provision would apply to both public elementary and secondary schools and to “any introductory science course taught at any public institution of higher education” in Missouri.
HB 1227’s text is about 3000 words long, beginning with a declaration that the bill is to be known as the Missouri Standard Science Act, followed by a defectively alphabetized glossary providing idiosyncratic definitions of “analogous naturalistic processes,” “biological evolution,” “biological intelligent design,” “destiny,” “empirical data,” “equal treatment,” “hypothesis,” “origin,” “scientific theory,” “scientific law,” and “standard science.”
Among the substantive provisions of the bill, applying both to public elementary and secondary schools and to introductory science courses in public institutions of higher education: “If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught. Other scientific theory or theories of origin may be taught.”
For public elementary and secondary schools, HB 1227 also provides, “If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a textbook, the textbook shall give equal treatment to biological evolution and biological intelligent design.” After the bill is enacted, new textbooks purchased for the public schools will have to conform to the equal treatment requirement. A committee will develop supplementary material on “intelligent design” for optional interim use.
HB 1227 is apparently a descendent of HB 911 in 2004, which was also dubbed the Missouri Standard Science Act, began with a glossary of the same eleven terms (and also “extrapolated radiometric data”), would have required equal treatment of “intelligent design” in the public elementary and secondary schools (although not in public higher education), and would have required textbooks to conform to the equal treatment requirement.
HB 911 was widely criticized, including by the Science Teachers of Missouri. A sequel bill, HB 1722, also introduced in 2004, contained the same language as HB 911, but omitted provisions that would have required the text of the bill to be posted in high school science classrooms and that would have enabled the firing of teachers and administrators who failed to comply with the law. Both bills died when the legislative session ended.
Rick Brattin (R-District 124) is the main sponsor of HB 1227; its cosponsors are John McCaherty (R-District 90), Charlie Davis (R-District 128), Andrew Koenig (R-District 88), Sue Allen (R-District 92), and Darrell Pollock (R-District 146); Davis, Koenig, and Pollock also cosponsored the antievolution HB 195 in 2011. HB 1227 is the fourth antievolution bill of 2012, joining Indiana’sSenate Bill 89 and New Hampshire’s House Bills 1148 and 1157.
‘Design vs. Chance’ by PZ Myers, AAI 2009
PZ Myers’ lecture at the Atheist Alliance International 2009 conference in Burbank, CA. Watch this YouTube channel for many more talks from the conference.
If you have 45 minutes, watch PZ Myer absolutely rip apart (Un)Intellgent Design. Simple, eloquent, and yet amazingly, supported by evidence.
Have you heard of the argument that the human eye is such a sophisticated and perfect organ, it must have had a designer? Despite that description, evolutionary biologist George Williams has passed it off as “stupidly designed”, and for good reason:
- The photoreceptors (ie. rods and cones) have very delicate and hairy nerve endings, meaning they can’t be anchored firmly into place. Instead they are loosely joined to the “retinal pigment epithelium”, a layer of cells lining the wall of the eye. Although this layer is essential for the eye (it contains blood vessels and absorbs extra photons so they don’t bounce back to the photoreceptors and blur the image), the connection between the retinal pigment epithelium and the retina is so fragile, a simple blow to the head would detach the retina.
- The neurons in the retina are actually pointed backward…in other words, it’s as if we’re gazing into our brains. Light has to thread its way through layers of capillaries and neurons to get to the nerve endings, increasing the time it takes for the image to get to our brains.
- The layers of capillaries and neurons “mask” out the light, degrading the image the photoreceptors receive. To make up for this, our eyes are constantly moving around in tiny movements so that we receive many images. Our brain then has to combine those images, take away the shading and can only then present us with a clear picture.
(Information courtesy of the book Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, by Carl Zimmer.)
The eye~ It’s so complex~
No, really, it’s complex, but it’s far from perfect in even the most liberal use of the word “perfect”.
Eyes really are over-romanticized quite a bit. They really are very shoddy organs. And they wear out so fast. I’ve had 20/20 vision all my life, but because I like minutae and reading so much, I’m scared I’m going to have to get glasses soon. Everyone keeps warning me that once you hit 40 your vision gets worse.