Creationism isn’t science

February 13, 2008

The Waco Tribune published an opinion piece three weeks ago that I should have noted earlier. Trib columnist John Young noted that creationism isn’t science, and that generally creationists are not friends of science education (or any other education, sadly, not even Bible education).

Conditions surrounding Texas science standards, and education standards in general, have deteriorated very rapidly, with the chairman of the State Board of Education going on the warpath against mathematics, English and science teaching. For quick destruction to get the foolishness out of the way, one might hope he’ll go on the warpath against football and cheerleading. I’ve not had time to pass along all the sad details.

But then, not all crazies are stupid.


Indians and energy: Public symposium on history, economics, politics and culture in the Four Corners

February 13, 2008

Norman Rockwell's painting, Glen Canyon Dam

Glen Canyon Dam
by Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Oil on canvas, 51″ x 77″
Glen Canyon Dam, Colorado River Storage Project, northern Arizona. Image courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation.

Southern Methodist University’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies will host a high-powered symposium in April, “Indians and Energy: Exploitation and Opportunity in the American Southwest.”

The symposium is set for Saturday, April 12, 2008, at McCord Auditorium in SMU’s Dallas Hall, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Teachers and community college professors may earn up to 7 hours CEU credits. Registration is available on-line. The $20.00 fee includes a luncheon; conference-only registration is an amazingly inexpensive $5.00.

Conference organizers are looking at a second wave of energy resource development in the Four Corners region, especially, following on earlier development of uranium ore extraction, and coal-fired power generation.

The symposium and the resulting book of essays will provide an historical context for energy development on Native American lands and put forth ideas that may guide future public policy formation. Collectively, the presentations will make the case that the American Southwest is particularly well-suited for exploring how people have transformed the region’s resources into fuel supplies for human consumption. Not only do Native Americans possess a large percentage of the region’s total acreage, but on their lands reside much of the nation’s oil, coal, and uranium resources. Regional weather patterns have also enabled native people to take advantage of solar and wind power as effective sources of energy. Although presentations will document histories of resource extraction and energy development as episodes of exploitation, paternalism, and dependency, others will show how energy development in particular has enabled many Indians to break from these patterns and facilitated their social, economic, and political empowerment.

My second job out of high school, and through much of my undergraduate days, took me to Farmington, New Mexico, and far around the area for the Air Pollution Laboratory at the University of Utah’s Engineering Experiment Station, to measure air quality and effects of air pollution resulting from the Four Corners Power Plant, as the San Juan Generating Station was under construction.

I’m planning to attend the symposium.

Especially after last Saturday’s sessions for history teachers at SMU (the Stanton Sharp Symposium), I highly recommend these programs for their ability to charge up high school teachers to better classroom work. This is history, and economics, at its best, looking to improve public policy and help people.

Planned presentations are listed below the fold, copying the information from the website for the symposium.

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Cynical Quaker?

February 13, 2008

Not exactly a cynical Quaker, but a cynical veteran working with Quakers for peace.

What if George Bush were to deliver something like the Gettysburg Address today?  The Quaker’s Colonel has the text.  It’s not as funny as it might be, but the topic isn’t funny at all.  It’s every bit as thought provoking as it should be.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Panorama of the Mountains.

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