Louisiana creationists gear up campaign to deceive students

June 20, 2008

My earlier post urging readers to contact Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to urge him to veto the latest creationist eruption the Louisiana Lege gave him, produced an interesting comment. A fellow named Wayne provided links to a presentation by some guy named Perry Marshall, in which Marshall flails vainly against evolution theory.  The video is billed as one the Louisiana Coalition for Science “fears.”  Wayne wants to know, should we keep children from seeing it?

Marshall apparently isn’t even an engineer, but instead designs ads for internet placement — at least one step removed from the usual joke about engineers as creationists. Of course, that doesn’t help any of his arguments.

Wayne linked to three YouTube presentations, about half of the presentation Marshall made at an unidentified church (there are five segments total, I gather). What you see is bad PowerPoint slides, with audio. Marshall suggests that evolution couldn’t get from the American pronghorn antelope to the African giraffe, but in classic creationist form, he doesn’t address the unique signs of evolution we find in giraffes (neck, vagus nerve, for example) nor in pronghorns (bred for speed to beat the American cheetah, which is now extinct, and thereby hangs a great tale of sleuthing by evolution).

Marshall’s presentation is insulting. To me as a historian, it’s astounding how he can’t accurately list sequences of events well known to history. The science errors he makes are errors any 7th-grade student might make — but he’s passing them off as valid criticism of evolution theory.

Here’s the first YouTube presentation, and below the fold, my response to Wayne.

These presentations are an omen. They are sent to us as a warning for what the Discovery Institute will try to sneak into classrooms if Jindal signs that bill into law — heck, they’ll try anyway, but we don’t have to drill holes in our kids’ heads to make it easier for con men and snake oil salesmen to get their fingers in there.

My response below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Handbook of Texas on-line

June 20, 2008

Question: Where do you find good Texas history in a hurry?

Answer: The Handbook of Texas.

Question: What about Texas history on-line?

Answer: Same thing, different format:

Tip of the old scrub brush to Will’s Texas Parlor. Crossposted at the Wayback Machine.

Driving with a banjo

June 20, 2008

There can be only three or four legitimate banjo jokes possible, right? There’s the one about the banjo player’s Porsche, there’s the one about perfect pitch . . .

Somebody was really ticketed for driving while strumming a banjo and singing into a cell phone? Read the story at The Bluegrass Blog, and be sure to catch the definition of “reckless.”

Tip of the old scrub brush to a perplexed NYC Educator.

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