Texas school board hearings: Startling gains in the hard science of citation bluffing are now widely noted

Like any member of the tenured entitlement class, University of Texas microbiologist Andy Ellington, is entitled to facts that support his beliefs.

Providing such facts is easier than in the past, thanks to the great gains made by the science of citation bluffing. In "Andy Ellington's Citation Bluffs and the Scientific Debate Over the Miller-Urey Experiment," (Evolution News & Views, July 21, 2011), Casey Luskin offers illustrations from his online testimony:

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Just in: The Large Hadron Collider is NOT the gateway to the multiverse

From skeptical mathematician Peter Woit's Not Even Wrong, (July 21, 2011):

For results relevant to strings, black holes, extra dimensions, split supersymmetry, and other exotica, CMS has them appearing here, for ATLAS they’re here. No such objects are being seen, with limits being pushed up dramatically from those coming from the 2010 data. Again, it’s going to be very hard to argue that there’s a significant probability that such things will be seen in the rest of this run, or even later ones at full energy. Results from EPS-HEP 2011

Also, here's his take on Scientific American promoting the multiverse:

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Interview: Colorado lawyer Barry Arrington on recent “free speech about Darwin’s errors” win at Colorado university

UD News: Barry, when advertising the recent contest for a reply to "Professor Pompous"'s sneery pretend apology to a student that he had treated with disrespect – an apology you negotiated – you wrote,

"A couple of months ago a young university student contacted my law office seeking help in a dispute she was having with a university here in Colorado."  

Had she contacted your office because she knew that you had represented the families of victims of the Columbine massacre (Colorado 1999), where Darwinism was an issue? Or are you known to take civil rights cases in general?

Arrington: Actually, there is a Columbine connection. My client’s pastor was a first responder at Columbine and we have known each other for many years. She came to him with this matter, and he referred her to me.

More here.

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Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.

Philosopher Ed Feser vs. Darwinist Jerry Coyne’s combox

Here, philosopher Ed Feser offers a flyswatter for weak cosmological arguments against the existence of God:

Most people who comment on the cosmological argument demonstrably do not know what they are talking about. This includes all the prominent New Atheist writers. It very definitely includes most of the people who hang out in Jerry Coyne's comboxes. It also includes most scientists. And it even includes many theologians and philosophers, or at least those who have not devoted much study to the issue. This may sound arrogant, but it is not. You might think I am saying "I, Edward Feser, have special knowledge about this subject that has somehow eluded everyone else." But that is NOT what I am saying. The point has nothing to do with me. What I am saying is pretty much common knowledge among professional philosophers of religion (including atheist philosophers of religion), who – naturally, given the subject matter of their particular philosophical sub-discipline – are the people who know more about the cosmological argument than anyone else does.

Presumably, he is talking about people like Victor Stenger's young new atheists. Here's a sample claim and a suggested response:

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Rabbi says, flat-out materialist Patricia Churchland’s thinking “is a moral mess”

In "For Moral Guidance, Look to Religion — Not Neuroscience" (Huffington Post, 7/21/11) Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie advises ,

The current star in the neuroscience firmament is Patricia Churchland, a retired professor at UC San Diego. Churchland has written on the subject for years, but her recent book, "Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tell Us About Morality," has garnered considerable attention. Christopher Shea, drawing on interviews with Churchland and others, has written a fascinating article on her ideas in the June 12 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The article is worth reading because Churchland's thinking is a moral mess. It reminds us why religion is the best and indispensable guide to moral behavior.

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More news from Darwin’s atheists: Religion rots your intelligence.

You didn’t hear?

Professor Lynn and colleagues wrote a paper in 2008 in the journal Intelligence which has been widely discussed. Here is a summary of its claims:

“Evidence is reviewed pointing to a negative relationship between intelligence and religious belief in the United States and Europe. It is shown that intelligence measured as psychometric g is negatively related to religious belief. We also examine whether this negative relationship between intelligence and religious belief is present between nations. We find that in a sample of 137 countries the correlation between national IQ and disbelief in God is 0.60 [a high correlation].”

The highlight of the paper is the chart of 137 nations. And it looks pretty convincing until you study it carefully. Then, picturing the data is a cart for the theory, wheels start wobbling.

I first became suspicious when Lynn et al. tried to explain why the United States is anomalous “in having an unusually low percentage of its population disbelieving in God (10.5 percent) for a high IQ country [98].”

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