Friday, 27 July 2007

Hallelujah - the light of truth dawns

If you have followed the thread abuout my local fundamentalist creationist dino-man then you might recall that he has been claiming a science degree on his website even though it is in fact a degree in maths.

Well guess what? He has corrected it;

Before;
Now;



Well done David, this is the first time I have ever seen you act to correct a mistake.

It would have been nice of you to mention it though.

5 comments:

  1. First off, I am no friend of Intelligent Design. I am a working scientist in a well-funded Research Institute whose work with DNA consistently reinforces the accuracy of Evolutionary theory. Yet, I have to ask what you feel is different about Mr. Anderson's academic bio? I also have to ask why you feel that a degree in math is not a degree relevant to science? What is your educational background that you feel makes you are qualified to speak on such things? In the U.S., Universities typically group math and science programs together. Many smaller Universities have both housed in the same building. Math is an integral part of any science and you would be hard pressed to finish any science degree without proficiency in advanced mathmatics.
    It seems ironic that you would call this man out for his Graduate degree in Math yet you're ok with the BCSE chair having a non-science education in archeology and history. It may be different here in the U.S., but both of these disciplines are typically grouped under the Humanities and not the Sciences. Said chair also offers courses online that are unacreditted while at the same time questioning degrees of others claiming that they got them from "diploma mills." This seems like the height of hypocrisy to me.
    You've done well starting your blog by sticking to the science. Now you're veering offcourse into the juvenile antics have been typical of the BCSE. Stick with the science here, it always wins. Thus evolution will prevail.
    Unfortunately, the BCSE is not qualified to represent the scientific community to the public and they are in fact undermining our credibility. Mr. Anderson has documented numerous insults and attempts at deception perpetuated by the BCSE. The referenced materials are then deleted by the BCSE. Now who do you expect the public to believe when it appears the evidence has been covered up?

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  2. Hi Molecular man,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I know what you mean re math and science - my point was simply that he wasn't being honest in the context that he was posting on a site where the subject matter was supposedly science and aimed at the general public.

    Here in the UK Math and science are generally regarded as two different subjects to the average man/woman in the street.

    So no it wasn't a big thing but yes it is good he has cleared this up.

    Most of Anderson's claims are tosh. By way of example look at how he has distorted his own position and lied about his correspondence with me.

    See more details here and for the inside on the BCSE please have a look around the site and why not join in the forum, although you will find them reluctant to waste even more time dealing with Andersons tripe, I am sure they will be happy to debate any points of principle in the ID vs evolution debacle, have a look and make your own mind up.

    If you are from the states then perhaps you have more experience of YEC's than I do, but my experience is that Anderson is seriously detached from reality as discussed in these previous posts here and here and here.

    So perhaps when you view this small thing in the context of his comments about dinosaurs and the age of the earth, which he still hasn't come clean about on any of his web pages, then you can see why I saw this as a small victory for the truth.

    PS - just remembered a similar discussion here which might shed more light on the situation form my point of view.

    Thanks again for the comment. Always happy to hear a different view point.

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  3. Oh and by the way, you are right about the science. I much prefer covering the science side of things, I agree it is much more important, you might notice that Anderson covers non of it on his blog about the BCSE and does not allow any uncensored comments either.

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  4. Keep in mind what I said in my first comment that there is no question concerning science or evolution. Mr. Anderson is definitely not aware or is ignoring the current state of research as well as the scientific method it required to produce it.
    You stated in your first reply that, "my point was simply that he wasn't being honest in the context that he was posting on a site where the subject matter was supposedly science and aimed at the general public."
    If this is your point then it should concern you that none of the members of the BCSE are currently employed as scientists or educators. I am not in favor of ID and it pains me to defend Mr. Anderson but the BCSE represents itself to the public as experts in science when in fact most of them do not have degrees in science and are actually employed as IT workers and have no actual research experience in biology or any other field relating to evolution. There appears to be a double standard here.
    As for your second reply, you've hit it right on the head. Mr. Anderson knows he cannot argue the science. Therefore he shows how inept the BCSE has been in other exchanges that he's had with them. When they are caught in a lie, the casual onlooker then wonders about the credibility of everything else they say including Evolutionary Theory.
    This is why I say they are actually undermining the credibility of real scientists who are both trying to produce novel research as well as procure funding from shrinking budgets.
    The best thing that could happen here is for the BCSE to be taken over by undergraduates in a biology department there in the U.K. with at least rudimentary knowledge of how to conduct scientific research and the humility to know that they do not know everything which would hopefully prevent them from hurling insults at every passerby seeking answers to scientific questions as the BCSE is apt to do.
    However, after the acts of deception Mr. Anderson has been exposing about the BCSE I doubt any reputable school would be willing to touch this with a ten-foot-pole.
    Again just in case you missed it in my first comment, it is my position that there is NO debate in the ID versus evolution debacle. ID is not a valid scientific theory.
    But, Mr. Anderson is certainly entitled to his religious opinions. He is also certainly entitled to report on his exchanges with members of the BCSE. Unfortunately for the BCSE, these exchanges have brought to light their lack of education as well as experience in the areas of science and education.
    As I stated before, I am currently employed as a scientist and frequently collaborate with researchers who are considered leaders in their fields. Yet, I hardly think that I am qualified to represent the scientific community to the public. This group has a lot of nerve thinking they should be speaking for scientists.
    I am not trying to pick a fight here but I noticed that you carefully refused comment on the lack of a science degree from the BCSE chair. It would seem to me that if Mr. Anderson and the BCSE chairman were to apply for the same scientific research position that Mr. Anderson would be the more qualified. Don't you find that ironic?
    Not much use for an archaeology degree. I guess thats why he's in IT.
    Yet many labs could use an expert in mathmatics especially bionformatics facilities.

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  5. Hi Again MM,

    No I didn't miss your comment re the science and I'm sorry if I gave you that impression. The "make your own mind up" bit was with regard to the BCSE.

    The BCSE is simply a group of people looking to counter some of the crap that the YEC bods come out with.

    I am a member. My qualifications? Three kids in the UK school system.

    Don't just take Anderson's comments as true - go to the BCSE site and see what they chat about for yourself.

    It is a public forum, not a considered and final policy paper, as such Anderson will find debate, argument, fallings in and out etc. aplenty. As you point out yourself it is the science that matters.

    BTW he has particularly found this (surprise surprise) in private discussion areas which are password protected.

    I am a little puzzled by your position though. On the one hand you seem to be saying, yes you realise Anderson is a liar and then on the other hand you repeat some of his accusations. I say again, go have a look on the BCSE site and make your own mind up.

    There are scientifically qualified bods there including a representative from your own NCSE - so I say again have a look for yourself and don't just accept what Anderson claims. There are also a wide range of religious and non religious views represented - despite what he claims about us all being out to wipe religion off the face of the earth.

    I myself support the UK curriculum for RE which lays out that a range of faiths including non faith are taught. Anderson doesn't agree with that either.

    Can you give any examples of "hurling insults at every passerby seeking answers to scientific questions as the BCSE is apt to do." Do you mean by this hat the BCSE has issued some kind of abusive answer to a scientific question? Or do you mean that some debate on some part of the public forum has gotten a bit feisty. These are two very different things. Personally I enjoy engaging in a good debate.

    Please give me some examples of what you mean.

    With regard to what qualification the "Chair of the BCSE" should have, I am unsure as to how you can decide who has the right to do what in this regard.
    Bearing in mind that any materials issued by the BCSE - so far little more than writing to a few newspapers, and commenting on national curriculum changes - are all available to several academic contacts of the BCSE and are freely available to the public and are all open to any suggested factual corrections, then I don't really see your point.

    The BCSE exists to keep creationism out of UK science classrooms, you have yourself pointed out that the "scientific debate" as such does not exist, and I completely agree. why then does someone currently leading a group of folks simply trying to fight the other corner of this "non-scientific" , "publicity battle for the minds of the general public" need a particular qualification to any particular standard which perhaps any ten folks would define in ten slightly different particular ways. Perhaps a journalist or writer would be better? Perhaps a theologian or a politician? I'm not sure, I do know that if the BCSE start doing any of the things Anderson alleges then I will leave, and carry on my own stuff anyway. In the meantime I am happy to join in the forum and help out with the odd bit of "non-scientific" research now and again.

    "This group has a lot of nerve thinking they should be speaking for scientists."

    I suppose this must also apply to me. For two reasons.

    First I had the nerve to join a group of like minded folks trying to keep creationism out the UK science classroom.

    Secondly I also write my opinions about the science on this blog and yet I am a graduate of the University of life when it comes to science.

    And yet I didn't feel like I was speaking for anyone but myself - even when quoting the scientific community at large - after all this is a free country and a democracy where I have as much right to an opinion on a scientific issue as you and Mr Anderson do.

    I think this applies to the BCSE as well. Scientists can speak for themselves, so can you and I, Anderson and the BCSE.

    Please read the links in my comment above, I am always pleased to get feedback - good or bad.

    Regards,

    Psi

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