What’s the difference between creationism and cold fusion?

March 27, 2009

Science — cold fusion has it, and creationism doesn’t.

One of my favorite comebacks to creationism advocates is pointing out that creationism is biology what cold fusion is to physics, except for the deep experimental results supporting cold fusion.  It usually makes creationists bluster, because they hate to be compared to something they think is pseudo-science.

To be sure, cold fusion’s corpse remain’s pretty cold.  It’s not a science that will soon spring to life to deliver safe, cheap energy to your refrigerator.

But it’s still alive, and research is still being done on cold fusion — in stark contrast to creationism/intelligent design, which remains colder than cold fusion.  Bob Park reminded us of another missed anniversary that passed last Monday:

Monday was the 20th anniversary of the infamous press conference called by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City to announce the discovery of Cold Fusion.  The sun warmed the Earth that day as it had for 5 billion years, by the high temperature fusion of hydrogen nuclei. Incredibly, the American chemical Society was meeting in Salt Lake City this week and there were many papers on cold fusion, or as their authors prefer LENR (low-energy nuclear reactions). These people, at least some of them, look in ever greater detail where others have not bothered to look. They say they find great mysteries, and perhaps they do. Is it important?  I doubt it.  But I think it’s science.

The Texas State Board of Education failed to require that Texas kids learn about cold fusion in their high school science classes.  But had they done so, they’d have been on better, more truthful, more accurate and better researched ground than their rants against Big Bang, DNA and common descent.

Quote of the moment: Einstein, on nature

March 27, 2009

Cartoon of Einstein and FDR, making fun of FDRs alphabet soup - Basil OConner collection, Texas Parks and Wildlife

Cartoon of Einstein and FDR, making fun of FDR's "alphabet soup" - Basil O'Conner collection, Texas Parks and Wildlife

Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

Texas science under siege: Help if you can

March 27, 2009

More bad news than good news from the Texas State School Board:  Yes, the board failed to reintroduce the creationist sponsored “strengths and weaknesses” language in high school science standards; but under the misleadership of Board Chair Don McLeroy, there is yet <i>another</i> series of amendments intended to mock science, including one challenging Big Bang, one challenging natural selection as a known mechanism of evolution, and, incredibly, one challenging the even the idea of common descent.  It’s a kick in the teeth to Texas teachers and scientists who wrote the standards the creationists don’t like.

Texas Freedom Network’s blog headline tells the story:  “Science Under Siege in Texas.”

Do you live in Texas?  Do you teach, or are you involved in the sciences in Texas?  Then please send an e-mail to the State Board of Education this morning, urging them to stick to the science standards their education and science experts recommended.  Most of the recent amendments aim to kill the standards the scientists and educators wrote.

TFN tells how to write:

You can still weigh in by sending e-mails to board members at sboeteks@tea.state.tx.us. Texas Education Agency staff will distribute e-mails to board members.

You don’t think it’s serious?  Here’s Don McLeroy explaining the purpose of one of his amendments:

Live blogging of SBOE activities today by Steve Schafersman of Texas Citizens for Science, here, and by the Texas Freedom Network, here.

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