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Texas falls

I'm upset. Read this, from the NCSE.
It was looking good for a while.


This one's worth a giggle...


YES! TX avoids diluting science as a concept

The ongoing battle in Texas to sneak creationist dogma into public school science has been shot down...again. Read here.

The key words: Strengths and Weaknesses...

Why is Texas so important? Because,
"What happens in Texas doesn't stay in Texas. That state is a sizeable consumer of public school textbooks, and it's likely that if it waters down its science standards, textbook publishers all over the country will follow suit. This makes every American school hostage to the caprices of a few benighted Texas legislators."
Having lived in Texas for 10 years ('92-'01) I have anecdotes to back that up, but more importantly, the numbers back it up:


Too much god in BSG

Did anyone else watch Battlestar Galactica? There were many omens leading up to last night's finale that portended a holy power, but last night made it worse. It's still a magnificent show and it was quite a finale, but it was all explained by god, god, god. Even the evolution of mankind was brought about by the intervention of a holy power! Disappointing, that.


College professor PZ Meyers runs a blog entitled "Pharyngula," which is always full of good stuff. One of today's posts, about a confrontation with a pro-lifer, is a good read. It's about when life "begins."

this person wants a specific quote from a biology text that has the words "human life does not begin at conception" in it. That would be tough, because it's a sentence that rather boggles the brain of any developmental biologist — we also tend not to write sentences like, "human beings are not flies".


Whaddya think of these guys?

The Way of Yo seeks to unite the nonreligious, deists, and buddhists into some sort of uplifting, positive religion which has an "unknowable essence" as a core belief. Anyone encounter or study Yoists?


Do you know science?

A recently released study, conducted by Harris Interactive and paid for by the California Academy of Sciences shows that Americans as a whole don't know Jack about science. Correlation may not imply causation, but we're also consistently ranked as one of the most religious nations in the world.

Here's a more in-depth quiz asking what you know about science. I got a D. Tough quiz -- the verbiage can often be interpreted in more than one way.


Secular Coalition for America: Rise of the Godless

The Secular Coalition for America posted an item about the National Review, a journal read by politicians and power brokers, about the rise of the nonreligious as a political entity. You can read the original article after the jump.

"Look out, social conservatives. The secularist, humanist, freethinking nontheists and atheists are growing in number, and coalescing into a movement with a real agenda."


Program on Public Values finds secularity on rise in US

The Program on Public Values, affiliated with Trinity College in Hartford, CT, published a report that showed a twofold increase in those identifying themselves as "no religion."

The study found 15 percent of respondents identifying themselves as "no religion," as compared to 8.2 percent in 1990 and 14.1 percent in 2001.

Though Trinity is a Catholic school, the team conducting the survey is made up of sociologists, anthropologists, and profressors of religion.

Only 1.6 percent of Americans call themselves atheist or agnostic. But based on stated beliefs, 12 percent are atheist (no God) or agnostic (unsure), while 12 percent more are deistic (believe in a higher power but not a personal God). The number of outright atheists has nearly doubled since 2001, from 900 thousand to 1.6 million. Twenty-seven percent of Americans do not expect a religious funeral at their death.

If you feel a little to cheery about that news, read the comments on ABC News' site here to get depressed.