Fisking Conservapedia: Biblical Scientific Foreknowledge

JISHOU, HUNAN — I began my commentary on Conservapedia’s ludicrous entry on E=mc2 by fisking its opening paragraph. Beginning with the false premise that the equation “purports to relate all matter to light,” the entry then introduces the principle of “Biblical Scientific Foreknowledge” and how BSF makes it clear that any unification theory is doomed to fail. As I explained in the last post, E=mc2 does not purport to relate all matter to light — in fact, light does come from matter — but it suggests that matter and energy are essentially the same thing. The author of the Conservapedia entry, Andy Schlafly, clearly does not understand this basic fact of physics. I’m not sure he really understands Scriptural analysis, either, as we shall see. Paragraph 2 of the E=mc2 entry goes like this: Biblical Scientific Foreknowledge predicts that a unified theory of all the laws of physics is impossible, because light and matter were created at different times, in different ways, as described in the Book of Genesis. Before I analyze this statement, which incidentally is offered with no further explanation, I need to introduce some terms. Cherry picking: selecting only that evidence which apparently supports one’s argument, while ...

John Freshwater: the gift that keeps on giving 5

JISHOU, HUNAN — Back when I was a science teacher, I started blogged about an Ohio public school science teacher who got in hot water for (1) allegedly using a Tesla coil on his students, (2) teaching evolution was false and (3) going overboard with his religious proselytizing in the classroom. Without going into a lot of details, let’s just say that teacher, John Freshwater of Mount Vernon, was removed from classroom teaching pending an administrative hearing about insubordination. After a two-year-long administrative hearing process, Freshwater lost his job earlier this year. He and the Mount Vernon school system were also named in a federal discrimination complaint brought by a student’s family; the school district settled out of court and Freshwater, following an unsuccessful appeal, also had to pay damages to the family. Meanwhile, he filed, and later dropped, his own discrimination complaint in federal court against the school system. So, after all these proceedings which suggest that Freshwater was to some degree culpable, I learn that he has the nerve to play the victim card on David Barton and Rick Green’s WallBuilders Live radio program. Here’s a partial transcript, courtesy of Right Wing Watch. Freshwater: When the 2007/2008 school ...

It’ll be one hell of a party — {{yawn}}

It'll be one hell of a party -- {{yawn}}
UPDATE OCT. 7, 2011 — A few things have changed since I wrote this post. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is no longer listed as a speaker. Three new speakers are now listed: Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of NHCLC, Lila Rose, President of Live Action and John Stemberger, President of Florida Family Policy Council. And the deadline to get the low, low price on the viewing party kits has been extended to Oct. 14. JISHOU, HUNAN — By way of Right Wing Watch, I came across this announcement, which encourages folks to host viewing “parties” for a televised “premiere event.” The lineup of speakers* includes two guys running for the Republican presidential nomination (only one of whom has a ghost of chance of winning the nomination), a former congressman, a man who lies about American history, and the former head of an influential conservative Christian media empire. [*Speakers have been invited, but are not yet confirmed. -- Footnote at the bottom of the webpage.]] Three hours of talking heads telling us that the USA is a Christian Nation™, that the USA is going down the tubes because of the liberals, the gays, the atheists, the Muslims and (by the way) President ...

Beware of demons? Beware of David Barton

JISHOU, HUNAN — David Barton is a loon, a dangerous loon. I’ve blogged before about David Barton’s peculiar version of American history. He teaches that the USA was deliberately conceived as a Christian nation, despite considerable evidence to the contrary. Barton misquotes the Founding Fathers, twists and quotemines historical documents, and when all else fails outright lies about history to support his cockeyed ideas. The Religious Right adores him. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who is vainly trying to be the presidential nominee of her party, invited Barton to teach the Constitution to newly minted Representatives. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who at one point was considering a presidential run, famously said: `“I almost wish that there would be, like, a simultaneous telecast, and all Americans would be forced–forced at gunpoint no less–to listen to every David Barton message, and I think our country would be better for it. I wish it’d happen.” The Atlantic Monthly had a lengthy analysis of Barton’s appeal and his peculiar methods of historical research. There is no doubt that Barton’s religious belief drives his interpretation of history, but what kind of beliefs does he have? Here’s a clue. Right Wing Watch posted this excerpt of ...

Mike Huckabee, “historian” 3

OK, class. Time for a discussion question. What, if anything, is wrong with this picture? The graphic comes from a website — Learn Our History — touted by potential Fox News commentator and no-longer-a-GOP- presidential-wannabe Mike Huckabee for the edumacation of the youngsters in This Great (Christian) Nation™. Huckabee’s been palling around with revisionist “historian” David Barton, whose whole shtick is to convince people that the Founding Fathers (like Franklin, Reagan and Washington, above) really and truly intended the USA to be a Christian Nation run under Biblical Principles. All that stuff about separation of Church and State is a just a lot of hooey, Barton says. Since the sample videos on Huck’s site are hosted on Youtube, I can’t watch them from here in China. Thankfully. I heard they’re awful. Maybe you can check them out for me, and report back. (500 words, double-spaced, MLA style, due next class) Here’s another critique of the vids, with the cartoons embedded. Just in case you’ve been taken in by Barton and Huck’s sideshow history lessons, Chris Rodda has written a book, Liars for Jesus, that meticulously takes apart every one of Barton’s claims. What scares me is that a lot of ...
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