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Showing posts from December, 2005

Design Yes, Intelligent No

A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory and Neocreationism

The claims by Behe, Dembski, and other "intelligent design" creationists that science should be opened to supernatural explanations and that these should be allowed in academic as well as public school curricula are unfounded and based on a misunderstanding of both design in nature and of what the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution is all about.

Massimo Pigliucci
A new brand of creationism has appeared on the scene in the last few years. The so-called neocreationists largely do not believe in a young Earth or in a too literal interpretation of the Bible. While still mostly propelled by a religious agenda and financed by mainly Christian sources such as the Templeton Foundation and the Discovery Institute, the intellectual challenge posed by neocreationism is sophisticated enough to require detailed consideration (see Edis 2001; Roche 2001).

Among the chief exponents of Intelligent Design (ID) theory, as this new brand of …

'Intelligent design' nothing but religion, U.S. court rules

By ALAN FREEMAN

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

WASHINGTON -- In a major blow to the Christian right, a federal judge ordered a Pennsylvania school board not to include "intelligent design" in its high-school biology classes, ruling that the board's real intent was to promote religion in schools in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling follows a six-month trial in the small town of Dover, Pa., that recalled the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, where Tennessee biology teacher John Scopes was fined $100 for violating a state law that banned the teaching of evolution.

That decision was later reversed on a technicality.

In his sweeping judgment, U.S. District Court Judge John Jones said the decision of the Dover School Board to introduce intelligent design into the classroom violated the constitutional protection of the separation of church and state.

"We find that the secular purposes claimed by the board amount to a pretext for the board's real purpose, which was to prom…

Bolivia's hero vows to break US shackles

On the eve of polls that could give South America its first indigenous head of state, Evo Morales talks about his gas nationalisation plans

Alfonso Daniels
Sunday December 18, 2005
The Observer

On a barren landing strip in Bolivia's mining heartland of Oruro, hundreds of people, including miners carrying dynamite charges, stir at the sight of an approaching small plane. It's a stampede by the time it lands, as the crowds rush down the slope to greet an emerging heavy-built man. He is Evo Morales, a 46-year-old Aymara Indian, leading candidate in today's presidential elections and leader of a left-wing revolution that may soon engulf most of South America.

Morales is on the verge of becoming the first wholly Indian leader in Latin America. According to most polls, Morales's advantage over his closest rival, the former conservative President Jorge Quiroga, is at least five points. Despite having little chance of an absolute majority, forcing the newly elected rightist congres…

Two tribes go to war

With supremacist 'Anglos' battling it out with 'bloody Lebs' on Cronulla beach, it looks like being a long, hot summer down under. But the reality is that Australia is no more racist than Britain, argues Germaine Greer

Thursday December 15, 2005
The Guardian

"We are the Sons and Daughters of the Anzacs. We cannot expect our treasonous government to protect us in these times, they are the ones that bought us to this very place. With 150,000 Arabs entering our nation 'legally' each year, it is time Australians stood up and were counted. For we are the Sons and Daughters of the Anzacs, the men who protected us from threat and invasion in years gone by. Now it is your turn, OUR turn, the guard has changed, the times have changed, but true patriots shall never be silenced."

So runs the latest communique of the commanders-in-chief of the "Anglo" side in the south Sydney beach wars, summoning me and other "Australians" to Cronulla next Sund…

'I wish I'd had more time to profile God'

God made the world in seven days ... and Lord Winston took just five months to write the story. Dare to suggest, though, that his new book and TV series lack expertise and you'll risk making this all-purpose TV pundit barking mad, says Lynn Barber

Sunday November 27, 2005
The Observer

I finally find God in a little cubbyhole of an office next to Hammersmith Hospital. He looks Jewish, as perhaps one might expect, but with a disconcerting Freddie Mercury moustache. He is barking into the phone about a missing cheque for £5,000. It was his fee for some broadcast that was meant to go to charity but had not been received. He says it made him look bad with the charity and was altogether disgraceful. The production values were disgraceful too, he adds. He barks on in this vein while I stand awkwardly a few feet away.

I would not have liked to have been on the receiving end of that phone call. Professor Lord Winston, as he calls himself on earth, is a wrathful god who does not suffer fools gl…