The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Archive for September 1st, 2009

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Put Climate Science “On Trial”

Posted by mattusmaximus on September 1, 2009

According to this article from the LA Times, the biggest business lobby in the United States wants to hold a “trial” concerning global warming science…

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, trying to ward off potentially sweeping federal emissions regulations, is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a rare public hearing on the scientific evidence for man-made climate change.

Chamber officials say it would be “the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century” — complete with witnesses, cross-examinations and a judge who would rule, essentially, on whether humans are warming the planet to dangerous effect.

“It would be evolution versus creationism,” said William Kovacs, the chamber’s senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs. “It would be the science of climate change on trial.”

What a joke!!!  It is ironic that Kovacs mentioned evolution & creationism, for reasons you’ll see below.  Folks, this is ludicrous on so many levels…

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Posted in global warming denial | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Evolution Banned from a Band Shirt in Sedalia, Missouri?

Posted by mattusmaximus on September 1, 2009

It seems that this story has been getting a lot of attention, so I wanted to mention my thoughts about it here.  Apparently, the band director designed (intelligently?) some shirts depicting the “evolution of a trumpet player” which didn’t sit too well with some creationist parents in the district…

**Aside: Dr. Steve Novella has a very interesting take on this situation over at the Skeptiblog.  Check it out!!!

That’s it… that’s the shirt that is “too controversial” for some overly uptight parents to have their kids wear?!  You’ve got to be kidding me.  As the article states:

Assistant Band Director Brian Kloppenburg said the shirts were designed by him, Band Director Jordan Summers and Main Street Logo. Kloppenburg said the shirts were intended to portray how brass instruments have evolved in music from the 1960s to modern day. Summers said they chose the evolution of man because it was “recognizable.” The playlist of songs the band is slated to perform revolve around the theme “Brass Evolutions.”

The band debuted the T-shirts when it marched in the Missouri State Fair parade. Summers said he was surprised when he received a direct complaint after the parade. While the shirts don’t directly violate the district’s dress code, Assistant Superintendent Brad Pollitt said complaints by parents made him take action.

Oh please, I cannot even begin to describe how inane all this is… so I’d better get started on it.  After venting my spleen about the stupidity of the situation, and the general spinelessness with which the school administration handled it, I shall pass along a constructive solution to this mess [hat tip to Dr. Kiki Sanford at The Bird’s Brain blog 😀 ]

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Posted in creationism, education | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Psychic FAIL: The Sad Case of Jaycee Dugard

Posted by mattusmaximus on September 1, 2009

In 1991, at the age of 11, Jaycee Dugard was abducted, and she was recently discovered in the back yard of a couple’s home in Antioch, California.  In the 18 years that she was held captive, she was beaten, raped, and otherwise abused – even to the point of being forced to give birth to her rapist’s children.  Needless to say, this poor woman has gone through a nearly unbelievably horrific experience.  And even more sadly, the psychic scumbags are hard at work attempting to claim credit for the “discovery” and “successful recovery”of Miss Dugard.

As skeptical investigator Ben Radford points out at LiveScience.com…

Amazingly, a Reno psychic is now claiming the case proves the accuracy of her abilities.

Dayle Schear, who was paid by Jaycee’s parents to help locate their daughter, says she told Jaycee’s mother not to give up searching for her daughter: “I looked her in the eyes and I said… eventually she’ll walk through the door, you’re going to see her again.”

Schear also claims that she correctly described the general area where Jaycee was being held. The psychic’s “information” is typical of what happens when missing persons are eventually found, dead or alive. Psychics come forward years later after the person was found to make retroactive claims about how they “knew” certain pieces of information.

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Posted in psychics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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