The politics of scientific deconstruction
Posted: 07 May 2005 09:32 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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This article is a must read for anyone who is concerned about the ongoing assault on scientific integrity from political corridors.

Wotansson:  I know that you are skeptical of the justifiability of the alarm that some of us are experiencing over the so-called academic reform legislation that is currently being considered in several states.  However, given the current political climate, it hardly seems the time to be attempting such reforms.

The issue here, as I see it, is integrity.  I would not be nearly as upset if the administration would simply be honest about their policies.  If they simply claimed that, after considering the science, they believed that the economic cost of not doing things their way was too high, well, that would at least have some sort of integrity to it.  The practice of manipulating facts to get people to back a plan for different reasons than those of the author is cowardly and flagrantly disrespectful of the democratic principles on which this country was founded.

Still wanting to scream,

-Matt

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Posted: 08 May 2005 12:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Matt

Thanks for posting the link to the FEPP article. The FEPP home page has lots of links to other articles, all of which seem worth reading.  This is going to take some time.


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Wot

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Posted: 08 May 2005 02:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Yes, thank you for posting the link.  But are not these just more examples of “art” being created? 

Things are a’changin’ a little bit at a time.  The are frog boilin’, and they appear to be masters at it. 

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Posted: 10 May 2005 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I did some poking at this and found some stuff that might be of interest. First my biased and cynical comments:
Author Vail is a born-again river-rafter and born-again Christian. He might do better to grow up rather than continually being born again. After years of preaching the scientific view of the Canyon’s creation, Vail now offers the Creationist view which attempts to link the Canyon’s creation to the great flood(Noah) and offers “Christ-centered” rafting trips. I fail to see the direct link of the flood to Christ but I suspect this is part of the “whole ball of wax” put forward by the religious fundamentalists.  I don’t suspect that Jesus is actually going on these rafting trips with Vail. If he is, I am going to take one - I really have some questions for him. My bottom line is that I really don’t like to see this kind of book being offered by the the National Park Service as it is junk science at best. I suppose my objection could be countered on a free speech basis.

Enough of this and on to the facts and issues (the full texts are too long to post so excerpts only):

From the geologists, whose objection seems to be mostly the unscientific premise and the stocking of this book along side the scientific books:

The Grand Canyon: A Different View is not about science and we strongly urge that, if it remains available in Grand Canyon bookstores, it be clearly separated from books and materials that do discuss our scientific understanding of Grand Canyon geology. As you know, the Grand Canyon provides a remarkable and unique opportunity to educate the public about Earth science. In fairness to the millions of park visitors, we must clearly distinguish religious tenets from scientific knowledge.

From the NPS via the Washinton Post:

The souvenir shop on park grounds is run by the Grand Canyon Association, but the National Park Service approves what may be sold there. The book, which is found in the inspiration section of park bookstores, is a “medium seller,” Oltrogge said, with about 300 copies sold since August.
Park rangers are instructed to give a scientific view of the age of the canyon and how it was created, based on currently accepted geology, Oltrogge said. If park visitors raise questions about creationism, rangers are supposed to defer to science, she said.
“National Park Service policy on interpretation is to teach current geological science,” Oltrogge said, adding: “We also recognize there are other beliefs out there. We don’t teach that. We teach current accepted geological science and history. Of course, they get questions during their interpretive sessions. You avoid confrontation.”


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Wot

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