Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

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Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:36 pm UTC

Textbook standards in Texas are currently being debated and the evolution/creation debate has appeared once again. This has significant implications not just for Texas, but for science education across the country.

The Texas state Board of Education is in the process of adopting new science textbooks that will be used in public schools for the next decade. On Tuesday, the board held its first hearing for public comment on which textbooks should be adopted. Creationists came out in full force and demanded that “biblical truth,” rather than evolution, be presented in the state’s biology textbooks.

[...]

In 2009, the Texas state Board of Education adopted new science standards. The standards presented to the board had been written by a group of scientists and educators, and the proposal covered evolution fully. More than 50 science organizations endorsed the original standards, but creationists successfully amended them. Now the standards include loopholes that allow evolution to be attacked and creationism to be snuck into public school classrooms.

[...]

These standards are already harming Texas students, but now they are poised to damage science education all across the country. Because Texas buys textbooks for more than 4 million students, publishers tend write textbooks designed to capture the Texas market. They then sell the same textbooks in other states. If textbooks in Texas don’t teach evolution, the entire country will suffer.

[...]

The textbook review teams should have been filled with experts, but instead creationists on the state board managed to get other creationists appointed to review the books. The review teams included fellows from the Discovery Institute, a creationist think tank, and even an employee of Probe Ministries, a creationist apologetics organization out of Dallas.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:40 pm UTC

This is actually a really big deal, as Texas is the countries largest purchaser of textbooks, and can make or break a textbook. Ugh.

EDIT: well, I heard at least like 4 years ago. I dunno if it's still true.
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:44 pm UTC

Goddammit, Texas.

This is why I'm in favor of secession.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Derek » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:42 am UTC

While this is very stupid, I highly doubt the creationists will win. So I'm not getting up in arms about anything.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:51 am UTC

Derek wrote:While this is very stupid, I highly doubt the creationists will win. So I'm not getting up in arms about anything.
Yeah, because Panda's Thumb isn't a textbook.
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Isaac Hill » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:08 am UTC

What bothers me most about this debate is that it obscures what science actually is: knowledge obtained through experimentation and observation. Even if there is something to creationism, it doesn't belong in science class until it produces testable hypotheses. We don't study George Washington in science class, but that's not because his existence is in doubt. It's because our knowedge of him comes from historical records instead of the lab.

Adding creationism to science class shows a lack of understanding as to why the curriculum is separated into categories like math, history, and science in the first place. It's not about what questions are answered, but how those answers are obtained. Changing science from "this what happens when you do x" to "this is what some smart guy said" does a disservice to students who respond better to the former type of learning.

That's not to say that science is always superior to other branches of knowledge. If someone 100 years from now wants to study hurricane Katrina, sure, you can send some geologists to collect and study soil samples. But, you'd probably get a more thorough understanding of what happened by checking the historical records generated during that time. Understanding the different ways knowledge can be obtained is a valuable lesson in and of itself, a lesson made harder to learn by adding things to science class that simply aren't science.
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby addams » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:22 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:This is actually a really big deal, as Texas is the countries largest purchaser of textbooks, and can make or break a textbook. Ugh.

EDIT: well, I heard at least like 4 years ago. I dunno if it's still true.

California was giving Texas a run for her money for a while.
California and some of her smarty pants did good things.

Not even a bunch of sweet optimistic Californians can withstand a constant landslide of Apathy and Ignorance.

It is so much easier to tear a thing down than it is to build a thing up.
It does not take much understanding. To destroy is an easy game.

I have seen so much willful ignorance. The world will continue to spin.
The rest of the world knows about Biology.

It is true. I have seen it. Someone told a good Christian man who I am.
He let me have it with both barrels. He was very upset about evolution.

"I do not need evidence for God! I did not come from Monkey!"
That man had himself all worked up. He was looking a lot like a Monkey.

The people of Texas have the internet. Jeeze. That is not going to help.
Was it hard for you to learn? I remember learning Evolution. I thought I was getting it.

I was, but...Dang. It is harder than I had thought it would be. The details! The details!
Do you remember The Chicken and The Egg. We know the answer. Texas does not 'Get' the joke.

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It may have been a lot like a chicken. It was not a chicken.
Years and years of exhaustive labor. What did we get?
The answer to a stupid riddle.

It is so sad. The best part of the bible is the part that describes Evolution.
We can find our story in their book. We are not on the defensive. We don't need to be.

They don't understand their own book. If they have children that do not know about Evolution, it is ok.
Some people that feel very enlightened indeed are not open to the first 24 verses of the bible.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Zamfir » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:00 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Goddammit, Texas.

This is why I'm in favor of secession.

After secession, they would still be the largest buyer of textbooks?

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:21 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Goddammit, Texas.

This is why I'm in favor of secession.

After secession, they would still be the largest buyer of textbooks?


Why, without federal standards, they could give up on book-larnin' altogether!

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:25 pm UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:What bothers me most about this debate is that it obscures what science actually is: knowledge obtained through experimentation and observation. Even if there is something to creationism, it doesn't belong in science class until it produces testable hypotheses. We don't study George Washington in science class, but that's not because his existence is in doubt. It's because our knowedge of him comes from historical records instead of the lab.

Adding creationism to science class shows a lack of understanding as to why the curriculum is separated into categories like math, history, and science in the first place. It's not about what questions are answered, but how those answers are obtained. Changing science from "this what happens when you do x" to "this is what some smart guy said" does a disservice to students who respond better to the former type of learning.

That's not to say that science is always superior to other branches of knowledge. If someone 100 years from now wants to study hurricane Katrina, sure, you can send some geologists to collect and study soil samples. But, you'd probably get a more thorough understanding of what happened by checking the historical records generated during that time. Understanding the different ways knowledge can be obtained is a valuable lesson in and of itself, a lesson made harder to learn by adding things to science class that simply aren't science.


This. So much this. It's probably the best counter to Creationists, because it avoids the whole 'you are wrong' thing that tends to not work with religions.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:35 pm UTC

Another issue is that Creationists are almost certainly rocking the ulterior motive of creating Gods little army. It has obviously little to do with 'keeping an open mind and checking all the facts or angles', and everything to do with sneaking their own little curricula into the mess.
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:49 pm UTC

Obviously. I have yet to meet a 'states rights' proponent that doesn't say 'we'll that's different' when you point out something the states can/should do that they don't like. Most people have an ulterior motive behind their 'issues'.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:41 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Obviously. I have yet to meet a 'states rights' proponent that doesn't say 'we'll that's different' when you point out something the states can/should do that they don't like. Most people have an ulterior motive behind their 'issues'.


I like states rights in theory. I have no doubt that if given more rights, though, my state would make a giant clusterfuck out of the extra latitude.

Even on the individual level, some asshole is always going to screw rights up. There's always a Fred Phelps out there. At least with individuals, though, social pressures mostly tend to keep people not being overtly ridiculous to each other. Mostly. But that doesn't really apply at all to states.

If we went the states rights path, we'd effectively be a bigger Europe. I'm sure some states would do well with this, and some states would be Greece. Nothing's a panacea.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:49 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Obviously. I have yet to meet a 'states rights' proponent that doesn't say 'we'll that's different' when you point out something the states can/should do that they don't like. Most people have an ulterior motive behind their 'issues'.


I like states rights in theory. I have no doubt that if given more rights, though, my state would make a giant clusterfuck out of the extra latitude.

Even on the individual level, some asshole is always going to screw rights up. There's always a Fred Phelps out there. At least with individuals, though, social pressures mostly tend to keep people not being overtly ridiculous to each other. Mostly. But that doesn't really apply at all to states.

If we went the states rights path, we'd effectively be a bigger Europe. I'm sure some states would do well with this, and some states would be Greece. Nothing's a panacea.


This reminds me of the Russian scientist who claimed that the US would see a balkanization in the late 2000's...

ah, here we are, Igor Panarin.
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:04 pm UTC

I do believe in States Rights for a few reasons. The biggest being that each state has its own needs which may require different laws than other states. But when anyone starts talking about States Rights, it's probably going to be something stupid like arguing that Mississippi should be allowed to have sodomy laws or literacy tests for black voters.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby addams » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:47 pm UTC

This reminds me of the Russian scientist who claimed that the US would see a balkanization in the late 2000's...

ah, here we are, Igor Panarin.

Impressive googling there, eran_rathan.

How do you know that stuff?
PolySci major?
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:51 pm UTC

addams wrote:
This reminds me of the Russian scientist who claimed that the US would see a balkanization in the late 2000's...

ah, here we are, Igor Panarin.

Impressive googling there, eran_rathan.

How do you know that stuff?
PolySci major?


No, just very interested. I'm a surveyor - maps and people making maps are my thing.
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby clockworkmonk » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:57 pm UTC

This, like so many issues in Texas, comes down to an issue of gerrymandering. Recently during public hearings the Texas Freedom Network had a rally and a large number of local scientists and parents spoke out against the creationists on the Texas School Board (an elected body, where vacancies are filled by the Governor between elections).
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:58 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I do believe in States Rights for a few reasons. The biggest being that each state has its own needs which may require different laws than other states. But when anyone starts talking about States Rights, it's probably going to be something stupid like arguing that Mississippi should be allowed to have sodomy laws or literacy tests for black voters.


Yup. In theory, it should work out...but in practice, there are gonna be abuses.

I do accept that some federal solutions are kind of one sized fits all, sure. Could be better handled at a state or local level...but it's a fuzzy line. Everyone tends to think that THEIR issue is the most important, and obviously, their position on it is right for everyone. There's not usually a ton of pushing for a state by state solution unless someone thinks that's tactically superior to a federal decision.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby sociotard » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:32 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:No, just very interested. I'm a surveyor - maps and people making maps are my thing.


Did you see this one of the equally divided US states?

http://fakeisthenewreal.org/reform/

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby addams » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:14 am UTC

sociotard wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:No, just very interested. I'm a surveyor - maps and people making maps are my thing.


Did you see this one of the equally divided US states?

http://fakeisthenewreal.org/reform/

Funny. Very funny.
The Russian's idea was better.

Of course, we will Do nothing.
We are waiting to Evolve.

These are my problems with Evolution.
It takes a long time. Ya' can't count on it. And; From a human perspective, not all change is a good thing.

Who wants to believe in a system that produces Blob Fish, Hag Fish and Texans? (sorry Austin)
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:10 pm UTC

sociotard wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:No, just very interested. I'm a surveyor - maps and people making maps are my thing.


Did you see this one of the equally divided US states?

http://fakeisthenewreal.org/reform/


I have seen that before, and while its an interesting idea, I think that the arbitrary-ness of it is silly. I mean, really - that people in Madwaska, ME would be in the same state and have the same needs as someone in Hyannis, MA (and that they'd be served by the same state government) is ridiculous. Las Vegas to Amarillo - there is a LOT of terrain, culture, socio-economic etc difference between those two areas (and everything in between).
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:19 pm UTC

It's also ridiculous that NYC and Upstate NY are the same state, when they have relatively little in common.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:24 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:It's also ridiculous that NYC and Upstate NY are the same state, when they have relatively little in common.


Maryland essentially has a few segments. The western part is, culturally, geographically, and realistically, part of W. Virginia. Then there's central MD, which is basically the same place as nearby Virginia. It's all a DC-centric area with similar culture, etc. Then there's baltimore and the surrounding area, which is it's own thing. Lastly, the eastern shore is essentially Delaware.

In practice, the Baltimore bloc has enough votes to mostly not give a fuck about the other areas, and they often don't. I'd have to agree that our divisions currently still often look pretty arbitrary.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:34 pm UTC

Virginia also has the 'Real Virginia' complete with banjos and Confederate flags, and 'Fake Virginia' just outside DC. Connecticutt is dirt poor except for Hartford. California is as diverse politically as it is geographically. Austin, TX is the most left wing city in the country, despite being stuck in the Great Jesus Sea. Florida is the state where the further north you go, the more south you are.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:39 pm UTC

Heh, that was pretty accurate. I'm from Chicago, I am not from Illinois.
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:25 pm UTC

My family is from Chicago as well. Both sides of my family. There is a reason we are from and not in.

That reason being parts of my family 'never heard of' some of the people movies were based on. Nothing like being lieutenants or anything like that, just things like getting shaken for protection. Turns out that no, the mob does not come to your store at night to burn it down or kidnap your kids. All that really happens is your building is in violation of section 12a subsection 15 of the building codes and you get to witness the world's most efficient government bureaucracy...

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby WibblyWobbly » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:38 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Heh, that was pretty accurate. I'm from Chicago, I am not from Illinois.


Sounds good to the rest of Illinois, I think. Condescension from Chicago was reaching critical mass, anyway.

I also like this plan because it puts the city where I live now in "Firelands". This has the effect of both sounding better than "Ohio" and making me feel like going to work in the morning is "doing my Firelands dailies".

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Derek » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:42 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
sociotard wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:No, just very interested. I'm a surveyor - maps and people making maps are my thing.


Did you see this one of the equally divided US states?

http://fakeisthenewreal.org/reform/


I have seen that before, and while its an interesting idea, I think that the arbitrary-ness of it is silly. I mean, really - that people in Madwaska, ME would be in the same state and have the same needs as someone in Hyannis, MA (and that they'd be served by the same state government) is ridiculous. Las Vegas to Amarillo - there is a LOT of terrain, culture, socio-economic etc difference between those two areas (and everything in between).

The Blue Ridge state is also set up poorly. The Appalachians are a dividing feature, not a uniting one, with the result that Charlotte is closer (both culturally and in travelling time) to everything from Atlanta to Richmond than it is to Knoxville, much less Lexington. I suspect the result would be the people from the northwest part of the state begrudging the political dominance of Charlotte.

It's a very interesting map though.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby sociotard » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:53 pm UTC

An old joke from my state: What is the Capital of Idaho? Boise, Salt Lake City, and Spokane.

I did like that map, but I wish I could play with the program used. (I'm too lazy and stupid to make it myself).

Oh and here was another, similar attempt, but using just the lower 48.

http://i.imgur.com/Wp3eQ.jpg

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:02 pm UTC

sociotard wrote:An old joke from my state: What is the Capital of Idaho? Boise, Salt Lake City, and Spokane.

I did like that map, but I wish I could play with the program used. (I'm too lazy and stupid to make it myself).

Oh and here was another, similar attempt, but using just the lower 48.

http://i.imgur.com/Wp3eQ.jpg


See, that one actually makes sense in some of its divisions - having the largest cities be states unto themselves (or, as the Russians handle it, Federal Cities) would be awkward occasionally, I think that the distribution was handled much better in the second map, by recognizing things such as mountain ranges and rivers as natural boundaries, much like they are in the Eastern states.
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:17 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:Sounds good to the rest of Illinois, I think. Condescension from Chicago was reaching critical mass, anyway.
Ohhh go back to Gurnee/Galena you.
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby WibblyWobbly » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:32 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
WibblyWobbly wrote:Sounds good to the rest of Illinois, I think. Condescension from Chicago was reaching critical mass, anyway.
Ohhh go back to Gurnee/Galena you.

Nay, I come from the lands south of Joliet, where no Chicagoan of sound mind dares to tread. Where you can count the number of coffee shops in a given county on one hand, and where all the pizza frankly sucks in comparison. A land of staggering beauty, yes! Unspoiled, except for the decrepit coal mines now prowled by the wild redneck, running free and attaching Confederate flags to pick-up trucks far and wide. Beware this mysterious creature, for he clings tenaciously to his shotgun, and will whinge mightily should you suggest regulation. His love of Skynyrd knows no bounds, and he votes Republican to spite the Northmen.


Sorry, got carried away a bit there.

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:00 pm UTC

"Elkhart Indiana, where the wind was strong, and folks minded their own business" - Tom Waits
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:03 pm UTC

When I was in a plane going over southern Illinois it was mostly wind farm upon wind farm. Surely it must not be so bad there?

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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby addams » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:16 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
WibblyWobbly wrote:Sounds good to the rest of Illinois, I think. Condescension from Chicago was reaching critical mass, anyway.
Ohhh go back to Gurnee/Galena you.

Nay, I come from the lands south of Joliet, where no Chicagoan of sound mind dares to tread. Where you can count the number of coffee shops in a given county on one hand, and where all the pizza frankly sucks in comparison. A land of staggering beauty, yes! Unspoiled, except for the decrepit coal mines now prowled by the wild redneck, running free and attaching Confederate flags to pick-up trucks far and wide. Beware this mysterious creature, for he clings tenaciously to his shotgun, and will whinge mightily should you suggest regulation. His love of Skynyrd knows no bounds, and he votes Republican to spite the Northmen.


Sorry, got carried away a bit there.

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Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Cleverbeans
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Cleverbeans » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:18 pm UTC

Well Texas is the largest wind energy producer in the union so I'm not sure windfarms are the best measure of not badness.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." - Abraham Lincoln

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Izawwlgood
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:22 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:When I was in a plane going over southern Illinois it was mostly wind farm upon wind farm. Surely it must not be so bad there?
I dunno, the KKK must really be into green energy now, sooooo...
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

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WibblyWobbly
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby WibblyWobbly » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:23 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:When I was in a plane going over southern Illinois it was mostly wind farm upon wind farm. Surely it must not be so bad there?

Go further south. We don't take kindly to your "wind farms" in Marion County.

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CorruptUser
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Re: Creationism vs. Evolution Returns to Texas

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:03 pm UTC

So you would rather keep giving 'murrican dollars to the terr'rsts that hate our freedoms? Don't you get it? Green energy is all about giving the Saudis the bird. The 'murrican bird! That's an eagle, because 'murrica!


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