Actually, some evenings in April...but seriously, if you know anything about a "Don Patton, Ph.D", then I need to know about it!
Patton is a YEC (Young Earth Creationist) who is apparently an old crony of the Paluxy River hoaxster Carl Baugh, a loathsome character with phony credentials from a diploma mill who has been bilking people with accounts of humans coexisting with dinosaurs, all based on his willful misinterpretations of the fossil record.
Ordinarily, when these types visit my area, I attend, sniff around and ask pointed questions designed to undermine their credibility. In other words, I don't get too upset, but I do stand on principle.
Unfortunately, this time the YEC dog-and-pony show (sponsored by this local church) is apparently going to take place on successive evenings at my high school campus's theatre, right in the middle of our state testing period. The time, in other words, where we are supposed to uphold the mandated State Standards. Here's a sampling of the many standards that this Patton guy will effectively be undermining:
Life Science, 4d) Students know that evidence from geologic layers and radioactive dating indicates Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old and that life on this planet has existed for more than 3 billion years.
Earth Science, 1b) Students know the evidence from Earth and moon rocks indicates that the solar system was formed from a nebular cloud of dust and gas approximately 4.6 billion years ago.
Earth Science, 3) Plate tectonics operating over geologic time has changed the patterns of land, sea, and mountains on Earth's surface
Earth Science, 8b) Students know how the composition of Earth's atmosphere has evolved over geologic time and know the effect of outgassing, the variations of carbon dioxide concentration, and the origin of atmospheric oxygen.
Biology, 8g) Students know how several independent molecular clocks, calibrated against each other and combined with evidence from the fossil record, can help to estimate how long ago various groups of organisms diverged evolutionarily from one another.
To put it bluntly, how in the hell am I supposed to do my job when this church-sponsored pseudoscientist parades onto my public high school campus in the evening, and (in the course of pushing his Young Earth views) basically calls our entire curriculum into question and paints teachers like me as purveyors of falsehoods?
Bottom line....I'm not going to take this lying down. Any of you with any in-depth knowledge of Patton's methods/arguments/agenda/sponsors, etc. please leave me a note in the comments, or else drop me a line privately at:
Thanks in advance for supporting real science, and science education.
The long-rumored possibility of plagiarism action against ID advocates and their allies, first generally highlighted by ERV, now seems to have touched Ben Stein and Company. Read it here first.
This film has already rather curiously been pulled from distribution right around the anniversary of Darwin's birth. Now, with its premiere in Fresno just days away, will it happen, or won't it? Stay tuned for further info, but really, can the folk behind 'Expelled' expect me to believe this latest bump in the road is just another clever episode of viral marketing? Every time they stumble in public, they quickly spin it as if whatever happened is all going according to plan, which is frankly hilarious. I'm now of two minds: on the one hand, the film doesn't sound like anything but a hatchet job, and it would be satisfying to see it torpedoed on their own malfeasance. On the other hand, that might play into the 'conspiracy of science' that's their main (if illusory) talking point. And besides, the longer 'Expelled' is in the public eye, the more goof-ups go public. It hasn't even opened yet, but 'Expelled' is the gift that keeps on giving. Why would I want it to stop now?
Actually, let me add on to that point. Wesley Elsberry hits the nail on the head right here. We should hope they go on with the show as scheduled!
PREDICTION: The IDevotees may soon be in court...against each other!
My father, who used to deliver the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, is now featured in an article by that publication that nests the key facts about his latest book in his personal history. It's a reasonably good piece, but why do the writers always steer the content back toward the person presenting the content? You could watch the Biography Channel 24-7 and learn virtually nothing about the ideas that were important to some of the figures they chronicle.
Well, anyway, here's an imaginary tip of the beer stein (I'm avoiding sugars for now) to the paterfamilias. And, if you want to know more about his book, you should probably check out my Dad's blog to that effect. Amazon's sold out! (hint, hint!)