My Recent Debate With The Leadership of the Intelligent Design Movement

Over the last couple of days, I've been involved in yet another online exchange of hostilities with the folks behind the intelligent movement; this particular conflict began on Thursday evening when The Huffington Post published an article I wrote on the various strange and dishonest things that chief ID proponent William Dembski and his associates have done over the years since the 2005 Dover Trial. A couple of Dembski's colleagues have responded by pronouncing me "Barrett Clown," which is very painful to me. That's not how my name is pronounced.

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Help is on the way! A Plague of Biblical Proportions!

A crop-borne fungus that targets wheat, named Ug99 because it was first identified in Uganda in 1999, has become one of the primary threats to global food security. Newfound virulence in the evolving stem-rust strain suggests the fungus could destroy as much as 80% of the world's most widely grown crop: wheat.

Science! Once again we hear that 'the Sky is Falling!'

the increased virulence seen in East African samples of Ug99 has caused concern the fungus could cause a global collapse of the human food supply.

These people. When will they stop?

Besides. Elisabeth Hasselbeck, in her new blockbuster book on eating Gluten free (and we all thought she was just a dumb Republican echo with yellow hair), will teach the world to eat non-wheat!

And those who are savvy can even make a buck on this. Ain't American free enterprise great?

Fear that the fungus will cause widespread damage has caused short-term price spikes on world wheat markets. Famine has been averted thus far, but experts say it's only a matter of time.

References: 9/06/23/3183/ug99-stem-rust-fungus-could -wipe-out-80-of-world-wheat-crop/ /elisabeth-hasselbeck-sued_n_219624.html world/la-sci-wheat-rust14-2009jun14,0,17 51268.story

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My Vanity Fair Piece on Conservapedia

If you're looking for an amusing distraction this morning, you might be interested in a little piece I wrote for Vanity Fair on Conservapedia and the wackiness to be found therein.

Now, you're probably thinking to yourself, "I already know all about the general douchebaggery that goes on at Conservapedia. Like every liberal with an internet connection, I went over there a couple of years back and read the article on evolution and how it was invented by Hitler or some such, and I even checked out the early version of the page on Nineteen Eighty-Four, the one that explained that the ending 'has something to do with rats.' Surely, I have nothing to learn from your little article. I am the Alpha and the Omega."

Well, perhaps you're right, although I find your boastfulness a little off-putting. But, let me ask you this - did you ever check out the article discussion pages?

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Science education is under attack in TX and OK, right now!

Science may be returning to the White House this month, but anti-evolution forces are still hard at work trying to undermine science education in the public schools. And things are heating up right now in Texas and Oklahoma.

A bill has just been introduced in the Oklahoma Senate that would open the door for the teaching of creationism and intelligent design (not to mention "alternative" approaches to climate change and cloning).

In Texas, the news is better, but a big battle is looming. Educators have finalized improved curriculum standards that would protect the teaching of evolution, but the proposal is headed for a showdown with the creationist-packed State Board of Education.

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Ben Stein: Front Man for Creationism's Manufactroversy

Biblical creationism, repositioned as creation science and most recently intelligent design has lost the contest of ideas on all counts: the rules, the criteria and the judging. It doesn't follow the scientific method; it doesn't allow us to explain, predict, and control better; and the jury of relevant experts (aka biologists) keeps returning the same verdict.

Now the creationists have taken a new approach that they hope will help them achieve their goal of teaching religious beliefs in our schools as science. That approach can be summed up in one simple word: whining.

One week from today, the new movie, Expelled, attempts to turn creationist complaints into mainstream media. Featuring Ben Stein, one of the conservative right's biggest whiners, the film makes several plaintive appeals: There's a conspiracy among big government and big science, and it's not fair! All we ask is for our perspective to get equal time! (Read: we lost, so let's split the prize.) All we want is for teachers to "teach the controversy"! This is all about academic freedom. Americans like freedom, right?

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