Creationists plan British theme park

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by Jamie Doward
The Observer (UK), page 11
December 16, 2007

THE LATEST salvo in creationism’s increasingly ferocious battle with evolution is about to be fired in Lancashire. Not in a fiery sermon preached from the pulpit, but in the form of a giant Christian theme park that will champion the book of Genesis and make a multimedia case that God created the world in seven days.

The AH Trust, a charity set up last year by a group of businessmen alarmed by the direction in which they see society heading, has identified a number of potential sites in the north west of England to build the £3.5m Christian theme park.

The trust claims it already has a number of rich backers who are keen to invest in the project, which will boast two interactive cinemas, a cafeteria, six shops and a television recording studio, allowing it to produce its own Christian themed films and documentaries.

The 5,000-capacity park will be the first of its kind in Britain, but not in the world…

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Evolutionists Demand Litmus Test of Presidential Candidates

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Lawrence “It’s a lie!” Krauss and Chris Mooney, a Seed magazine correspondent and blogger, are publicly promoting a litmus test for the 2008 presidential candidates. [See also Krauss’s Wall Street Journal opinion piece.] We’re quite sure a candidate’s view of evolution, creationism, and intelligent design will be one of the prime qualifying tests Krauss and the gang at Science Debate 2008 will be applying. If there’s any doubt one need only peruse the list of some of the supporters on the Science Debate 2008 website:

Niles Eldredge – Curator, Division of Paleontology, The American Museum of Natural History

John F. Haught – Senior Fellow, Science & Religion, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University

Paul Kurtz – Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, State University of New York at Buffalo; Chairman, Center for Inquiry

Lawrence M. Krauss – Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director, Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics, Case Western Reserve

Kenneth R. Miller – Professor of Biology, Brown University; co-author of “Biology”

Randy Olson – Marine Ecologist, Filmmaker, “Flock of Dodos”

Kevin Padian – Professor and Curator Department of Integrative Biology and Museum of Paleontology University of California, Berkeley

John Rennie – Editor-In-Chief, Scientific American

Eugenie C. Scott – Executive Director, National Center for Science Education

All the above are well-known evolutionists with a long history of fighting creationists and intelligent design proponents.

CP

Make science part of the debate
by Lawrence Krauss and Chris Mooney
Los Angeles Times (California), page A31
December 12, 2007

Whether the issue is global warming, embryonic stem cell research, ballistic missile defense or the future of the world�s oceans, the same bass line thumps in the background: Sound political decision-making relies, more than ever before, on accurate scientific information.

As advances in science and technology continually transform our world, policymaking will inevitably depend more and more on accurate scientific and technical information. Which means that in order to be a successful world leader today, a politician must have an effective means of accessing and applying the latest science.

This fact � combined with the undisputed importance of scientific research and innovation to national prosperity and competitiveness � explains the recent emergence of a group called ScienceDebate2008. Under its auspices, scientists, university presidents, industry leaders, elected representatives and others have endorsed a call for the current U.S. presidential candidates to participate in a debate, or a series of debates, dedicated to issues in science and technology. More specifically, the candidates should answer questions about the environment, medicine and health, and science and technology policy.

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Christian’s Dispute Over Research Evolves Into Lawsuit

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by Jason Szep
The Vancouver Sun (Canada), page C8
December 8, 2007

BOSTON — A Christian biologist is suing the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, claiming he was fired for refusing to accept evolution, lawyers involved in the case said Friday.

Nathaniel Abraham, an Indian national who describes him self as a “Bible- believing Christian,” said in the suit filed Monday in U. S. District Court in Boston that he was fired in 2004 because he would not accept evolution as scientific fact.

The latest academic spat over science and religion was first reported in The Boston Globe newspaper Friday. Gibbs Law Firm in Florida, which is representing Abraham, said he was seeking $500,000 in compensation.

The zebrafish specialist said his civil rights were violated when he was dismissed shortly after telling his superior he did not accept evolution because he believed the Bible presented a true account of human creation.

Creationists such as Abraham believe God made the world in six days, as the Bible’s Book of Genesis says.

Woods Hole, a U. S. government funded non-profit research centre on Cape Cod, said in a statement it firmly believed its actions and those of its employees in the case were “entirely lawful” and that it does not discriminate.

Abraham, who was dismissed eight months after he was hired, said he was willing to do research using evolutionary concepts but that he had been required to accept Darwin’s theory of evolution as scientific fact or lose his job.

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On Intelligent Design, A Lesson in Political Science 101

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by Bud Kennedy
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas), page 2B
December 5, 2007

To heck with what’s in your wallet.

What’s in your kid’s science textbook?

If the ruling mullahs in Austin get their way, creation theology will be there, no matter whether we want religion mixed with classroom science.

Gov. Rick Perry already said that he supports teaching “intelligent design” — the belief that a higher power had a hand in creation.

He called it a “valid scientific theory.”

Perry, of course, has a Texas A&M University degree in science — animal science.

His degree certainly should help him identify the BS that came out of the Texas Education Agency recently.

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Why Science Needs History

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by Rick Casey
The Houston Chronicle (Texas), page B1
December 5, 2007

A recent flap at the Texas Education Agency demonstrates why we need to teach history better so we can teach science better.

After nine years as the Texas Education Agency’s science director, Chris Comer resigned after being suspended for appearing to oppose the “intelligent design” theory of the origins of the universe.

TEA officials say other factors were involved in her firing, but e-mails obtained by the Austin American Statesman make clear that Comer’s scientific orthodoxy and apparent political heresy were a major factor.

Her mortal sin was that in October she sent an e-mail to an Austin online community announcing an upcoming lecture by Barbara Forrest, a Southeast Louisiana University philosophy professor and coauthor of Inside Creationism’s Trojan Horse.

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Get Religion Out of Science Education

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by Robyn Blumner
Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), page A11
December 11, 2007

Christine Comer was forced to resign as director of science at the Texas Education Agency because she for warded an e- mail about a lecture on the fallacy of intelligent design and creationism as a scientifically grounded alternative to evolution. Comer, who spent 27 years as a science teacher and had been in her post at the agency for nine years, was told that the agency must remain “ neutral” on the subject.

Are they kidding? On one hand you have a theory that has been successfully tested using the scientific method for more than 100 years and whose accuracy repeatedly has been affirmed by the vast fields of biology and genetics. On the other hand you have a hypothesis that relies on supernatural intervention for which there has been no legitimate scientific testing or objective proof.

Florida is also in a dust- up because the teaching of evolution has been included in its proposed science standards. Donna Callaway, a member of the state Board of Education — appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush — said she’ll oppose the new standards because of it.

Really, folks, when scientific innovation is the key to our nation’s future, we don’t have the time to be mucking around in this tired debate. You don’t produce doctors and scientists by teaching science from the Bible.

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Don’t Mess with Science Standards

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by Alan I. Leshner
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas), page 11B (Opinion)
December 11, 2007

Special to the Star-Telegram As Texas prepares to reconsider what youngsters statewide should know about science, the forced ouster of science curriculum director Chris Comer of the Texas Education Agency, apparently for standing up for the integrity of science education, stands as both shocking and sad. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is the official explanation for it.

Comer’s forwarding of an e-mail about a lecture by Barbara Forrest, author of the book Inside Creationism’s Trojan Horse, apparently rubbed some TEA higher-ups the wrong way. The agency must, after all, “remain neutral,” according to a memo calling for Comer’s termination. Agency spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe later went on to explain how “there’s been a long-standing policy that the pros and cons of scientific theory must be taught.”

These comments — suggesting that scientific facts based on indisputable physical evidence are somehow subject to debate on nonscientific grounds — are especially troubling in a state known for its innovation and filled with high-quality research universities.

Everyone has a constitutional right to interpret the origins of life based on Christian or any other doctrine. Religious discussion might be perfectly appropriate in theology or philosophy classes.

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Gods and Monsters

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by David Usborne
Weekend Australian Magazine (Australia), page 40+
November 17-18, 2007

This former school teacher from Australia is the force behind the Creation Museum, a controversial new institution in the US that aims to demolish the theory of evolution.

Dinosaurs of all kinds abound here, from the stegosaurus silhouettes rearing atop the iron gates as you first reach the parking lot to the numerous and impressively convincing animatronic pterosaurs wagging their giant tails and chewing plastic cud inside. At America’s newest public museum dedicated to exploring the origins of man and our planet, dinos are big box office, especially with kids.

Yet, there is something askew about the exhibits here and it doesn’t take long to see. It’s not just the “Thou shalt not touch” signs or the biblically named Noah’s Café, offering respite for lunch. How about a stroll down the Trail of Life – first stop, the Garden of Eden with faux cypress trees and gurgling streams? Look, there are Adam and Eve taking a dip, and not far away another dinosaur lurks, and a lion, too.

It’s not just the presence of the naked pair, with niftily placed lily pads to cover their naughty bits, that seems barmy. Wouldn’t they have been gobbled up by now, before they’d had the chance to eat the forbidden fruit? What were the designers of this place thinking?

Here’s what they were thinking: Adam and Eve really did beget us, and before they sinned all creatures were vegetarian, meaning dinosaurs were no more likely to eat them than butterflies were. They were thinking also that man and dinosaurs lived at the same time. As you proceed on your walk, a few more surprises await. We are told how the world is no more than 6000 years old and Noah’s Flood created all the world’s fossils as well as its topography (including the Grand Canyon, gouged by its ebbing waters). And yes, Earth and the entire universe were indeed created in six days.

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