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Re: [CSHF]: CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT - Groundhog Day!

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  • rlbaty50
    Here s another interesting testimonial. Some may notice the same sort of problem that I have repeatedly run in to when trying to negotiate appropriate details
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 30, 2013
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      Here's another interesting testimonial. Some may notice the same sort of problem that I have repeatedly run in to when trying to negotiate appropriate details for productive exchanges:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-zimmerman/literal-genesis-trial-_b_2961284.html?utm_source=Alert-blogger&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Email%2BNotifications

      Literal Genesis Trial: Creationist Gimmicks Versus
      the Optimism of Education

      By Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.
      Founder, The Clergy Letter Project
      Posted: 03/27/2013

      (excerpts)

      What makes this charade so frustrating is that the Literal
      Genesis Trial is nothing more than a recycling of Mastropaolo's previous foray into publicity-hunting, anti-intellectual
      demagoguery.

      The Literal Genesis Trial used to be called The Life Science
      Prize and Mastropaolo regularly tried to bait evolutionary
      scientists into engaging in a similar contest.

      Almost a decade ago, on Valentine's Day of 2004, I was invited
      to participate.

      Rather than proving that science contradicts the literal interpretation of the Bible, the Life Science Prize challenge
      focused on the nature of science and creationism.

      Here's how the challenge was framed back then:

      > "If the evolutionist proves evolution is science
      > and creation is religion, he wins the $20 000.
      > If the creation scientist proves that creation
      > is science and evolution is religion, then the
      > creationist collects the $20 000."

      I engaged with Mastropaolo for about two months attempting
      to come to an agreement on terms for the contest.

      Rather than making any progress, I was berated, abused and
      had complaints filed with the person I reported to at the
      university at which I worked at the time.

      Let me share just a couple of examples.

      When I proposed that we agree on definitions of evolution
      and creationism as a starting point, things went awry pretty
      quickly.

      In response to my suggestion that we use the classic textbook definition for evolution (a change in allele frequencies in a population over time), Mastropaolo's second argued that "change
      in allele frequency is about as meaningless a definition of
      evolution as can be offered."

      Mastropaolo himself countered with the following:

      > "evolution is the development of an organism from
      > its chemicals to its primitive state to its present
      > state."

      My Ph.D. in evolutionary biology didn't help me make any sense
      out of that definition. Mastropaolo went further and said that
      I

      > "may not be competent to contend
      > for the Life Science Prize."

      He very much liked the phrase "competent to contend for the
      Life Science Prize, also warning me that

      > "Evolutionist hallucinators so out of touch
      > with reality are psychotic by medical dictionary
      > definition, and therefore not mentally
      > competent to contend for the Life Science Prize."

      So Joseph Mastropaolo is back generating publicity, promoting ignorance and spewing misinformation.

      I can't tell you how incredibly depressing it is to see a
      reputable media outlet like The Guardian take him seriously.

      Nothing of significance has changed over the last nine years
      in Mastropaolo's rhetoric or in his understanding of science.

      And as the thousands of clergy members who have joined The
      Clergy Letter Project to promote both religion and evolution
      have shown, Mastropaolo's theology is also far from the
      mainstream.

      But the press likes gimmicks and rewards them with coverage.

      As depressing as all of this is, two things about this story
      ease my concern. First, I really do believe in the power of
      education and I am confident that most people reading about Mastropaolo's latest stunt will see it for what it is.

      Second, I was unable to stop laughing when I found The Guardian
      story reported on a USA Today webpage. At the bottom of that
      page was a link to another story by the same "reporter."

      That story's headline was "another state is calling for
      Punxsutawney Phil's head."

      Groundhog Day indeed!
      The universe obviously has a sense of humor.

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