Write letters!

One after the other, I got two requests to promote some worthy causes which need letter-writers to help out. Here they are:

Save wilderness:

Over the strong objections of Native people, wildlife biologists, sportsmen’s groups, and the general public, the Bureau of Land Management remains intent on leasing one of the most remarkable wetlands complexes on the planet. The place is the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), the largest single block of wild public land left in the United States.

Save minds:

On Monday, the Ohio Board of Education will hold its first fall meeting. Creationists on the board are hoping to introduce a Controversial Issues Template, which would not only allow for the teaching of intelligent design in science classrooms, but demand that teachers question global warming and highlight the religious right’s opposition to stem cell research.

Don’t just sit there! Do something!


  1. says

    Sirs and Madams:

    I read with great trepidation the endangerment of wetlands in Ohio’s science classrooms. Where will our children splash and frolic … (sound of paper being ripped from typewriter)

  2. Jim says

    Quick question: Are they going to give any merit to people NOT from Ohio? This type of crap sickens me. We seem to have a hard enough time teaching our children to reading, writing, arthimatic, and reasoning and we have to add medivial WOOWOO topics to the list?

  3. Aerik says

    Damn Woowoo! Interesting how crap-taculaar religious thinking can sometimes be seen going very strongly hand-in-hand with shit-tastic woowoo thinking, isn’t it?

  4. says

    Nonviolent civil disobedience and resistance. Then make a good case to your judge and jury. I’ve been arrested 7 times doing such ecological justice actions.

  5. Grumpy says

    If we don’t allow oil drilling in ANWR because it has the words “wildlife refuge” in the name, then we cannot permit environmental protections in a designated petroleum reserve. Should’ve complained when Warren Harding thought up the name. No take-backsies!

  6. RedMolly says

    Hey, I’m all over the Controversial Issues Template. As long as its first implementation is spending three solid weeks on the inaccuracies, contradictions, claptrap and utter cruelty featured in the creationistas’ literature o’ choice.

  7. Lettuce says

    I can’t believe you’re wasting your time on this wetlands lease thing when the Coast Guard is planning on having live ammunition practice in Lake Michigan.

    Biologists never say anything about that!

  8. No Nym says

    Has anyone thought of starting a campaign to put some of those “The contents of this book are merely theoretical and have no proven basis in fact, etc. etc.” stickers on bibles left in hotel rooms and public libraries?

  9. Sean says

    Coast Guard firing live ammunition? Does this mean they are using the really hard rocks in their slingshots? Sorry, my father was navy for a period. The old jokes die hard.


    Oh, just firing M249s and sidearms. I guess we don’t let the Coasties on the lakes have anything close to military grade weaponry.

    Back to the original topic. I figure the name “National Petroleum Preserve” indicates the area is was intended to be drilled. What kind of designation is “Special Area”? Was there an intent to give the lake region a pass?

  10. Tom says

    I think “scientist” are responsible for that educational breakdown as well, because of taking more care about fame/marketing than simply educating and impressing other people with real research and honest results.
    Just think how often “scientist” are stating unproven facts and hypothesis in their publications (not mentioning that bloated/colorful pseudo-science newspapers).
    Sometimes they add “I might be wrong” but sometimes don’t, since they care so much about grants and not beeing pereceived as fools, but who are they anyway ?

    I think it’s a shame that you spend so much time critizing all the fools around and not doing more research instead.
    I think it’s better to impress people with something real, otherwise you are creating another group of fools blindly critizing bible/religion by repeating common memes about it.

  11. CL says

    It’s nice to be able to write that letter to the Ohio Board of Ed and close it with, “By the way, when I fill out my absentee ballot at the end of October, this issue will definitely be important to my decision.”

  12. Grumpy says

    Sean: What kind of designation is “Special Area”? Was there an intent to give the lake region a pass?

    The problem, in all seriousness, is that the oil deposits on the North Slope lay in an arc along the coast. As luck would have it, that’s right beneath the richest part of the local ecosystem, both in ANWR east of Prudhoe Bay and in NPRA to the west. It’s a sad coincidence.

    A few years ago, there were plans to drill in NPRA while keeping well clear of Teshekpuk Lake and the other ponds that dot that corner. Then the Bush admin took another look at it and shrank the restricted area to no more than the perimeters of the lakes themselves.

  13. says

    An important note for all Ohio Pharyngophiles: We have the opportunity to unseat one of the worst creationists on the Ohio School Board, Deborah Owens Fink, by voting for and supporting the campaign of her opponent, Tom Sawyer (no relation).

  14. Pieter B says

    Has anyone thought of starting a campaign to put some of those “The contents of this book are merely theoretical and have no proven basis in fact, etc. etc.” stickers on bibles left in hotel rooms and public libraries?

    Get ’em right here.

  15. says

    what do you think of Professor Jeffrey Schwartz’ views on evolution

    I’ve read his book, Sudden Origins, with considerable disgust. The man gets basic genetics all wrong. His idea can be summarized as a discovery that one property of alleles is dominance, and the thought that new alleles could accumulate in a recessive form and…ta-daaa!…suddenly switch to a dominant form and be expressed. “Naive” is a mild reaction to it.

    I know his work in anthropology has been well received, but that book — it trashed his reputation as far as I’m concerned. Someone who doesn’t have the understanding of a second-year undergraduate of genetics has no business declaring that he can revolutionize our understanding of evolution.

  16. says

    PZ — what do you think of the following quote from molecular genetics professor Johnjoe McFadden (p. 313, Quantum Evolution: How Physics’ Weirdest Theory Explains Life’s Biggest Mystery, W.W. Norton, 2002):

    “If, instead, the voltage gate absorbing the photon is in a neurone committed to firing (thousands of gates already open), the absorption event will similarly make no macroscopic difference to the cell or to the brain (since the neurone will fire anyway) and the interaction may once again remain quantum. However, now imagine that the channel is critical in a neurone poised on the brink of an action potential. The superposition ({photon absorbed and channel open (+/-) photon not absorbed and channel closed}) will now become a larger entanglement: {photon absorbed and channel open and neurone fired (+/-) photon not absorbed and channel closed and neurone not fired}. The channel’s alternative states (open or closed) will be associated with very different fates for the neurone: firing or not firing. This quantum event will now make a difference to the neurone, the brain, and potentially, the life of the brain’s owner. Under these circumstances (of maximum environmental entanglement), decoherence will be instantaneous. At this point the photon, as a quantum component of the Cem-field [Consciousness em field], must make a choice — to be absorbed or not — and a quantum measurement will be made.”