New Mexicans for Science and Reason
NEWS OF THE MONTH
OCTOBER 2016 NMSR REPORTS ON-LINE -
News, Puzzles, Meetings, CSICON, Fracking, Haiku, Woo-woo in Las Cruces, MORE!
OCTOBER 2016 PUZZLE - Election Night Jitters"
NEXT MEETING NOVEMBER 9TH!
Our next meeting is at CNM on November 9th, 2016 - Ben Radford, on alleged "psychic medium" John Edward's "Evolve" Tour
7 PM Wednesday November 9th, CNM Main Campus, STUDENT RESOURCE CENTER (SRC), room 204, right next to the Richard Barr Boardroom.
DAVE THOMAS TO SPEAK AT CSICON 2016
Dave Thomas is presenting a talk at this year’s CSICON 2016 meeting, in Las Vegas, NV. His topic is “War of the Weasels: An Update on Creationist Attacks on Genetic Algorithms,” and will be given in the Sunday morning session, October 30th, 2016.
Abstract: Since Genetic Algorithms (GAs) are a class of computer programs that use evolutionary principles to “evolve” answers to difficult problems in math, physics, engineering and biology, they are a prime target of creationists of all varieties. This talk will trace the evolution of creationist attacks on GAs, from saying that they all need the final answers fed to them at every step (like Dawkins' Weasel experiment), to claiming that "active information" is being secretly introduced into GAs, and finally to the preposterous definition of "Specified Complexity," the claim that examples of evolving complexity don't even count unless they meet the absurd criterion of being as uncommon as tossing a fair coin heads up 500 times in a row. The game is rigged from the very start: evolution can never win under the rules adopted by "Intelligent Design".
Is Arkencounter the Largest Timber-frame Structure in the US? Nope!
Ken Ham calls his 510-foot-long "full-size Ark" "the largest timber-frame structure in the US."
Well, that claim is just plain false. We New Mexicans get the chance to see an even larger timber-framed structure, visible from aircraft close to the Albuquerque International Airport.That 600-foot-long-plus structure is called ATLAS-I, also known as the TRESTLE. It is made entirely of wood - even the bolts are wooden or dielectric. It was using for EMP testing back in the day. In this animation (thanks, Python!), the TRESTLE appears in white, and the Ark (to scale) in green.
Read the full story at the Panda's Thumb, with many additional pix, and Comments!
Rush Limbaugh: “Why are there still apes?”
Media Matters reports that talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said on his May 31st, 2016 show:
By the way, you know there’s another factor in this, Snerdley? A lot of people think that all of us used to be apes. Don’t doubt me on this. A lot of people think that all of us used to be gorillas. And they’re looking for the missing link out there. The evolution crowd. They think we were originally apes. I’ve always – if we were the original apes, then how come Harambe is still an ape, and how come he didn’t become one of us?
Comments and more at the Panda's Thumb:http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2016/06/rush-limbaugh-w.html
William Dembski on his “Disillusion with Fundamentalism”
On May 30, 2016, Bill Dembski announced:
I would still regard myself as an inerrantist, but an inerrancy in what the Bible actually teaches, not an inerrancy in what a reflexive literalism would demand of the Bible. Have I, as Bottaro suggests, left myself open to recanting the recantation? I have. Without the threat of losing my job, I see Noah’s flood as a story with a theological purpose based on the historical occurrence of a local flood in the ancient Near East.
708 Comments and counting, at the Panda's Thumb: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2016/06/dembski-on-his.html
We STILL Don't Need No Stinkin' Target: 10 Years On, the War of the Weasels is Back!
On Panda's Thumb, the Blog
Ewert Responds! "Steiner Wars: An Exchange with Dave Thomas"
Mark Fraser's complete December 2015 Presentation on "Debunking Climate Denialists" (PDF, 4MB)
The evolution of antievolution policies after Kitzmiller v. Dover, New Mexico Version
Nick Matzke published an amazing evolutionary analysis of creationist legislation over the last 10 years in Science, and NM's bills were right in there!
We STILL Don't Need No Stinkin' Target: 10 Years On, the War of the Weasels is Back!
Why Dembski et. al.'s attack on Dave Thomas's Steiner Evolutionary Algorithm is Wrong:
"Very First Edition of NMSR Newsletter, from 1990!
The Founding of NMSR : A Look Back after 25 Years
New Mexicans for Science and Reason has been proudly on its own for 25 years. But it had its origin in a national and even international movement to help spread science-based skepticism around the country and the world.
News 13 and Albuquerque Journal Succumb to Creationist Whining...
By Dave Thomas
Perhaps you have seen the News 13 story State cancels Darwin Days events after Intelligent Design group asks to be included, or read the Albuquerque Journal story Museum plunged into evolution debate. Did the State really cancel "Darwin Day" to spite the intelligent design movement?
This whole thing was driven by News 13 being conned into running the "story" by the local Intelligent Design (ID) crowd. Briefly, the museum had a Darwin Day event in 2014 (OVER A YEAR AGO). There was a brief error of attribution of an NMSR event as co-sponsored by the museum in a flyer, but this was corrected LAST YEAR, BEFORE the event even took place. The museum tried to explain things to the ID folk (this is the Feb. 7, 2014 letter shown on News 13), but by that time the ID people were committed to pushing the false claim that "the museum is sponsoring anti-religion talks, so it should sponsor ID talks too." They made a huge stink about it last year, but then, the local news people knew better than to run a non story. Cut to this year, the museum has a new director, and there wasn't any effort to do another big Darwin Day like the one of 2014. NMSR didn't even do Darwin Day this year, we sponsored Michael Shermer.
Here's what the ID people really want: to have the museum sponsor their pseudoscience. That's why they are saying the museum "cancelled" Darwin Day. But it's not an annual event. NMSR did have a few Darwin Days before, during, and after 2009 (sesquicentennial of Origin of Species and bicentennial of Darwin himself), but our Feb 2010 meeting was about patent law. Why didn't New 13 run a story on why we "cancelled" Darwin Day in 2010? Our Feb. 2011 meeting was on early American anthropology. Where was the outrage then? Our Feb. 2012 meeting was on science for the public (w/ Sandra Blakeslee of the NYT). Where were the protests that year? In 2013 we did Lake Monsters. Again, no ID protests, no News 13 "Story."
If you want to complain, please don't bother the museum. Tell that News 13 "reporter," Tina Jensen, and anchor Dean Staley, that they were CONNED into running a non-story that makes it look like the ID folks are being "discriminated against." Ditto for the Journal's Rick Nathanson.THAT is the story here.
News 13 anchor Dean Staley
ID Advocate James Campbell, a retired engineer with a Ph.D. with physics, said "It's a very controversial issue, there's a tremendous body of evidence against Darwinian evolution and we think people should be aware of that." Oh, really?
The letter. This was written to explain how a brief misattribution of sponsorshiop was corrected on February 7, 2014, two days before the museum-sponsored Darwin Day events, and five days before the supposedly "anti-religious" talks sponsored by NMSR took place on Feb. 12th.
More of the Letter.
Yet more Letter.
Tina Jensen had no idea she was pandering to local creationists by airing their preposterous conspiracy theories as news.
More on Mike Edenburn here.
News 13 anchor Dean Staley said "None of the groups involved in planning the Darwin Day events would talk to News 13 on camera...". This comes across to many as saying NMSR didn't respond at all, which is quite incorrect.
NMSR's September 2013 speaker, Michael Roberts, wrote the Discovery Institute to say “You are totally incorrect to say NMSR is atheistic. It has a mixed membership, Christians included. As a priest in the Church of England I was invited to speak to them last September on Christianity and evolution. I also gave lectures at NMT. I was given a fine welcome, stayed with members. Of course some members are atheist but not all. Please don't force atheist- Christian war by your misrepresentation.”
Can't find the story you were looking for??
Try the 2013 News Page, or pages for 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, or 2000.
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