Monthly Archive: April 2006

Apr 28 2006

About SAGES -1: The genesis of the program

As might be expected, some people at Case are all of atwitter about the snide op-ed in a newspaper supposedly called the New York Times by someone supposedly called Stephen Budiansky. (Note to novice writers hoping to develop their snide skills: Putting words like ‘supposedly’ in front of an easily discernible fact is a weak …

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Apr 27 2006

Dover’s dominoes-6: Religion in schools

(See part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.) Contrary to what Bill O’Reilly and other hysterical people allege, there is no ‘war on Christianity’ or ‘war on Christians’ in the US. To say so is to just be silly and to disqualify yourself from being taken seriously. Nor is there is a …

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Apr 26 2006

Bush, language, and ideas

The professor of English came into the classroom and gave the assembled students an essay and asked them to critique it. The students went at it with gusto, gleefully pointing out the many grammatical errors, the poor choice of words, the terrible syntax, the non sequiturs, the poor construction of the argument, the awkward metaphors, …

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Apr 25 2006

Dover’s dominoes-5: A Dover domino falls in California

(See part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.) The first domino to fall as a result of the Dover verdict was in California where a teacher had decided to create a new optional philosophy class that would promote IDC ideas. This decision was interesting because the people behind it had seemed to draw the …

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Apr 24 2006

Reagan’s welfare queen

Former President Reagan had the tendency to invoke anecdotes, his own guesses, and even just make up stuff as ‘evidence’ for his preferred political positions. For example, he is famous for saying things like “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do” (to support his position that more stringent automobile emission controls were not necessary) or …

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Apr 21 2006

Dover’s dominos-4: How IDC lost in the Dover case

(See part 1, part 2, part 3.) The stage was thus set in Dover, PA for what turned out to be an unequal contest in the courtroom of US District Judge John E. Jones III. Matthew Chapman, a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, attended the trial and provides an amusing description of its proceedings, the personalities …

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Apr 20 2006

Dover’s dominos-3: The Dover school board battles the Discovery Institute

(See part 1, part 2 here.) The Dover school board members were encouraged to adopt their policy by the offer, when they encountered the inevitable legal challenge, of legal representation by the Thomas More Law Center, based in Michigan, and which was “created in 1999 by Thomas Monaghan, founder of Dominos Pizza and a philanthropist …

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Apr 19 2006

Dover’s dominos-2: The Dover school board undermines the Wedge strategy

(See part 1 here.) The reason that Judge Jones’ verdict in the Dover trial is likely to be so influential is because of the exhaustive nature of the testimony that he heard and the depth and comprehensiveness and scope of his ruling. In essence, the trial provided a place for IDC ideas to get a …

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Apr 18 2006

Dover’s dominos-1: Why Intelligent Design Creationism will lose

The Scottish poet Robert Burns in his poem To a Mouse cautioned those who place too much faith in detailed plans for the future. He said: The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, 
 Gang aft agley. When historians of the future write about the demise of Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC), they will likely …

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Apr 17 2006

On writing-5: The three stages of writing

(See part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 in the series.) I believe that part of the reasons students end up plagiarizing, either inadvertently or otherwise, is that they underestimate the time it takes to write. This is because they think that writing only occurs when they are actually putting words on paper …

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