Friday, July 23, 2021

Darwin and Scientific Racism


Darwin made virtually no mention of humans at all in his 1859 work "The Origin of Species." Further, popular political writing 150 years ago and even later commonly used "race" to mean nationality; we read from those times about the "Irish race" and the "English race." In fact, Darwin considered all human biological variation he observed in his worldwide travels merely due to differences in climate and diet. For example Charles Darwin, wrote in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (John Murray, London, 1871), "It may be doubted whether any character can be named which is distinctive of a race and is constant." And later on pg: 226, 1st edition, “But the most weighty of all the arguments against treating the races of man as distinct species, is that they graduate into each other, independently in many cases, as far as we can judge, of their having intercrossed. Man has been studied more carefully than any other organic being, and yet there is the greatest possible diversity amongst capable judges whether he should be classed as a single species or race, or as two (Virey), as three (Jacquinot), as four (Kant), five (Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven (Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven (Pickering), fifteen (Bory St. Vincent), sixteen (Desmoulins), twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawfurd), or as sixty-three, according to Burke.(17) This diversity of judgment does not prove that the races ought not to be ranked as species, but it shews that they graduate into each other, and that it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive character between them.”


Samuel George Morton, mentioned above measured the volume of 256 skulls from around the world by pouring white pepper seed into each cavity, then gauging in cubic inches the volume of seed needed to fill a sample. From that work, he published Crania America in 1839 judging the "mental capacity” of entire populations from a few skulls. Darwin dismissively wrote in Descent of Man, Vol 1 page 145, “As the various mental faculties were gradually developed, the brain would almost certainly have become larger,” and concluded by dismissing Morton's racism, “On the other hand, no one supposes that the intellect of any two animals or of any two men can be accurately gauged by the cubic contents of their skulls.”


Morton was a “fifth day creationist” claiming that non-white races were created with "beasts of the field" on the Fifth Day of the Genesis Creation account. Harvard professor Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) was also a “fifth day” supporter. Darwin not only correctly pointed to our common ancestry with African apes, but concluded, "It may be doubted whether any character can be named which is distinctive of a race and is constant."


Creationists would not need to lie if they could provide facts.
 

In fact, Frederick Douglass's 1854 commencement speech to WESTERN RESERVE COLLEGE titled "The claims of the Negro, ethnologically considered," detailed the "scientific" racism of "Messrs. Nott, Glidden, Morton, Smith and Agassiz." All pro-slavery Christian creationists.


A contrasting example was the Rev. John Bachman (February 4, 1790 – February 24, 1874). He was an American Lutheran minister, social activist and naturalist who collaborated with J.J. Audubon.  Co-founder of Newberry College, and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Bachman published in 1850 “The Doctrine of the Unity of the Human Race Examined on the Principles of Science,” and in 1855 “Characteristics of Genera and Species, as Applicable to the Doctrine of Unity in the Human Race.” Bachman was liberal of his place and time. He accepted that the African, and Caucasian races were of the same species. However, he also wrote that the African were of such an inferior, and debased nature that it was the Christian Duty of Whites to enslave the Africans “for their own good.”


Instead of reading nonsense, I recommend;
Daly, John Patrick 2002 "When Slavery was Called Freedom: Evangelicalism, Proslavery, and the Causes of the Civil War" University of Kentucky Press.


Robert J. Richards 2013 "Was Hitler a Darwinian? Disputed Questions in the History of Evolutionary Theory," University of Chicago Press.

Monday, June 14, 2021

California Charter Schools Dodge

 

I was prompted in an online discussion of an anti-teacher editorial in the Orange County Register by a claim that California Charter Schools were particularly good for Black students. 

The last solid California K-12 data were the year prior to the pandemic. That is shown below.

2019-2020 Enrollment (Counts in 100,000)

                     Hispanic          White                Black            

All                33.8, 54.9%    13.8, 22.4%     3.2,  5.3%      

Public          30.3, 55.2%    12.0, 21.8%      2.7,  5.0%     

Charter         3.5, 52.2%      1.83, 27.2%     0.5, 7.4%  

 

California's largest Black school population is in Los Angeles County, and note well that the LA charter schools are basically the ones that "pumped" the numbers for Black Charter schools. What was hidden is that their charter schools draw from public school already with high Black enrollment.

 

Now look at the "special" education problems in California. The 2 largest are English Language Learners, and Physical Disability.

              ESL(1000s)       Disability (1000s)

All         1,148, 18%        721,  12%

Public    1,046, 17%        655,  11%

Charter     102, 11%          66,    1.07%

 

Again, Charter Schools are dodging out of the hard work.

If we look at the total educationally challenged populations; English Learners, Foster Youth, Homeless Youth, Migrant Education, Students with Disabilities, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged we see that 89% of them all are taught in public schools, only 11% in Charters. 

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Why I still bother to read and comment on ID creationism.


21 Mar, 2021

This is why;

Years ago I posted a little review of Meyer's "Signature in the Cell," on Amazon's website. https://www.amazon.com/review/R3EB6OA6FIXK3S/

I had forgotten it.

What was a lot of fun was looking for Meyer's "many peer reviewed science publications" and I stumbled on this gem of Casey Luskin's, "Citation Bluffs About Earth’s Early Atmosphere Dominate Misguided Response to Signature in the Cell"  https://stephencmeyer.org/2010/12/21/citation-bluffs-about-earths-early-atmosphere-dominate-misguided-response-to-signature-in-the-cell/

I had never seen it before today, and after 11 years it is a delight. It is so similar in tone to the more recent trash spewed about me by Disco'tute John West. https://stonesnbones.blogspot.com/2019/07/prof-james-tour-and-discotutes-still.html

 

 

Friday, December 25, 2020

Happy Kitzmass 20 Dec. 2020


 

 

The Intelligent Design creationists promoted a high school level "science" book titled, "Of Pandas and People" published in 1989. Creationist members of the Dover Pa school board provided 60 copies of "Pandas" to the high school and ordered the science teachers to read a statement to the students,

The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin's theory of evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.

Because Darwin's Theory is a theory, it is still being tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.

Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view. The reference book Of Pandas and People, is available for students to see if they would like to explore this view in an effort to gain an understanding of what intelligent design actually involves.

As is true with any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the origins of life to individual students and their families. As a standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on standards-based assessments.

A group of parents filed a federal law suit against the Dover school board. For an introduction and review of the case, and its outcome (we won!) see the many articles from the National Center for Science Education, particularly those by Nick Matzke.

The Wikipedia article is also quite good. And PBS even made a docu-drama, "Intelligent Design on Trial."


Kitzmass, 2020

The legal title of the trial was "Kitzmiller et al v. Dover School Board. The trial judge John Jones III released his findings on Dec. 20, 2005 which became known among activists as "Kitzmass." We have had 15 years of Kitzmass. 

I'd like to share my personally favorite parts of the trial and judgment. They are my favorite because I am mentioned. 😁

One of the star experts for the ID creationist was biochemist Prof. Mike Behe. His cross examination by plaintiff's attorney Eric Rothschild was brilliant because he mentioned ME!

Mike Behe cross examination by Eric Rothschild in the 2005 "Pandas" trial, formally Kitzmiller et al v Dover School Board

Q. And Professor Behe, this is a chapter from a book called Why Intelligent Design Failed: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism. Do you see that?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. We're going to look at chapter 8 of that book, if you could pull up the chapter heading there? And it's titled The Explanatory Filter, Archaeology and Forensics, and it's written by somebody named Gary S. Hurd. Are you familiar with Dr. Hurd?

A. No, I am not.


When Nick Matzke sent me this transcript he said I'd really enjoy it. And I did, and it got better.

After some back and forth Rothschild sets up Behe for the following,  

Q. If you ruled out humans, you're saying this little dug out bowl is, you would then attribute it to the --

A. No, I'm saying if an archaeologist ruled out the most likely designers around the object that he was examining or she was examining, and if it was sufficiently complex that he was confident that it was designed, then he would look to other designer, perhaps some other civilization, some nomadic people coming through or some such thing. If it was complex enough what he would not do is conclude that since the subjects, the human subjects in the area could not do that, that it was not designed.

Q. But in any event this is another difference, we can test whether humans could make these archaeological objects, but even with modern technology most biological systems we cannot recreate in a lab, right?

A. Yes. They are beyond our ability to design.

Q. So if the strength of an inference depends on the similarities, this is a pretty weak inference, isn't it, Dr. Behe?

A. No, I disagree completely. Again if something showed strong marks of design, and even if a human designer could not have made it, then we nonetheless would think that something else had made it. Lots of science fiction movies are based on scenarios like that, and again the, I think the similarities between what we find in designed objects in our everyday world and the complex molecular machinery of the cell have actually a lot more in common than do explosions we see on earth such as cannon balls and so forth and the explosion of an entire universe, and that induction seems to have been fairly successful in trying to explain some features of the world. So I think it's not at all uncalled for to make a similar induction in this case.


And then Rothschild drops the boom:

Q. Science fiction movies are not science, are they, Professor Behe?

A. That's correct, they are not. But they certainly try to base themselves on what their audience would consider plausible within the genre, so they can offer useful illustrations at some points, for some points.

MR. ROTHSCHILD: I have no further questions, Your Honor.

 

 Why it was better than we thought at the time.

That testimony was carried in to Judge Jones' opinion that ID Creationism was religion, and not science;


Indeed, the assertion that design of biological systems can be inferred from the "purposeful arrangement of parts" is based upon an analogy to human design. Because we are able to recognize design of artifacts and objects, according to Professor Behe, that same reasoning can be employed to determine biological design. (18:116-17, 23:50 (Behe)). Professor Behe testified that the strength of the analogy depends upon the degree of similarity entailed in the two propositions; however, if this is the test, ID completely fails.

Unlike biological systems, human artifacts do not live and reproduce over time. They are non-replicable, they do not undergo genetic recombination, and they are not driven by natural selection. (1:131-33 (Miller); 23:57-59 (Behe)). For human artifacts, we know the designer's identity, human, and the mechanism of design, as we have experience based upon empirical evidence that humans can make such things, as well as many other attributes including the designer's abilities, needs, and desires. (D-251 at 176; 1:131-33 (Miller); 23:63 (Behe); 5:55- 58 (Pennock)). With ID, proponents assert that they refuse to propose hypotheses on the designer's identity, do not propose a mechanism, and the designer, he/she/it/they, has never been seen. In that vein, defense expert Professor Minnich agreed that in the case of human artifacts and objects, we know the identity and capacities of the human designer, but we do not know any of those attributes for the designer of biological life. (38:44-47 (Minnich)). In addition, Professor Behe agreed that for the design of human artifacts, we know the designer and its attributes and we have a baseline for human design that does not exist for design of biological systems. (23:61-73 (Behe)). Professor Behe's only response to these seemingly insurmountable points of disanalogy was that the inference still works in science fiction movies. (23:73 (Behe)).

It is readily apparent to the Court that the only attribute of design that biological systems appear to share with human artifacts is their complex appearance, i.e. if it looks complex or designed, it must have been designed. (23:73 (Behe)). This inference to design based upon the appearance of a "purposeful arrangement of parts" is a completely subjective proposition, determined in the eye of each beholder and his/her viewpoint concerning the complexity of a system. Although both Professors Behe and Minnich assert that there is a quantitative aspect to the inference, on cross-examination they admitted that there is no quantitative criteria for determining the degree of complexity or number of parts that bespeak design, rather than a natural process. (23:50 (Behe); 38:59 (Minnich)). As Plaintiffs aptly submit to the Court, throughout the entire trial only one piece of evidence generated by Defendants addressed the strength of the ID inference: the argument is less plausible to those for whom God's existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God's existence. (P-718 at 705).

Accordingly, the purported positive argument for ID does not satisfy the ground rules of science which require testable hypotheses based upon natural explanations. (3:101-03 (Miller)). ID is reliant upon forces acting outside of the natural world, forces that we cannot see, replicate, control or test, which have produced changes in this world. While we take no position on whether such forces exist, they are simply not testable by scientific means and therefore cannot qualify as part of the scientific process or as a scientific theory. (3:101-02 (Miller)).

 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

In JAMA, So the Whole day was not wasted.



I did a bit of old style medical review.


May 24, 2020
But Is It Useful?

Gary Hurd, Ph.D. | Retired; UC Irvine, Medical College of Georgia (+ industrial, and private)
Both USC [1] and Stanford [2] have recently released studies of a commercially promoted method to test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG antibodies in blood. They applied their results to estimates of the larger population covid-19 prevalence.

These studies must address three questions; it is accurate, is it representative, and is it useful?

Is It Accurate?

The same rapid antibody test is used in both studies. It is a variant distributed by Premier Biotech, but made by Hangzhou Biotest Biotech of China. It was imported and widely distributed under multiple marketing names, and companies. The US FDA has not approved this method, and the manufacturer has withdrawn it. [3]

Premier Biotech primarily markets drug testing kits used in sports, and some industrial/commercial drug testing situations. USC group received funding from The Foundation for Clean Competition, The Partnership for Clean Competition [4]. Both are closely associated with Premier Biotech [5].

A preprint provides an additional unrefereed critical review entitled “Test performance evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 serological assays [6]"

Is it Representative?

A major objection to the Stanford version of this study was that they had drawn a sample not representative of the population they claimed to model. The USC version tried to repair this by using a commercial marketing firm to generate their sample. However well intended, the sample design was not followed. The samples in both studies were grossly biased toward upper-middle class middle-aged white women. These studies failed to be representative and cannot be generalized.

It is Useful?

A biologically accurate immunological test for our body’s reaction to SARS-CoV-2 is needed. But reported data from the USC study questions if the tested method is any better than self reported symptoms. Specifically two reported facts by USC call this into question.

First, 28.6% of the total sample report prior symptoms. This returns to the “representative” question.
Second, of the volunteers 72% of total positives had also reported prior symptoms.

Urging people who experience symptoms to get a direct swab test will be far cheaper and more effective than the serological test procedures used here.

REFERENCES

[1] Sood N, Simon P, Ebner P, et al. Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2–Specific Antibodies Among Adults in Los Angeles County, California, on April 10-11, 2020. JAMA. Published online May 18, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.8279

[2] “COVID-19 Antibody Seroprevalence in Santa Clara County, California”
Eran Bendavid, Bianca Mulaney, Neeraj Sood, Soleil Shah, Emilia Ling, Rebecca Bromley-Dulfano, Cara Lai, Zoe Weissberg, Rodrigo Saavedra-Walker, James Tedrow, Dona Tversky, Andrew Bogan, Thomas Kupiec, Daniel Eichner, Ribhav Gupta, John Ioannidis, Jay Bhattacharya
medRxiv 2020.04.14.20062463; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.14.20062463

[3] USFDA https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/faqs-testing-sars-cov-2#5eca06b54859c

[4] The Partnership for Clean Competition, “… funds 80% of the worlds anti-doping research and development. Apply for a grant today!”

[5] "With Sports On Hold, A U.S. Anti-Doping Organization Switches Gears To COVID-19 Research" Karen Price | April 09, 2020 | Team USA. org
https://www.teamusa.org/News/2020/April/09/With-Sports-On-Hold-A-US-Anti-Doping-Organization-Switches-Gears-To-COVID-19-Research

[6] Jeffrey D. Whitman, et al, “Test performance evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 serological assays” May 17, 2020. medRxiv https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.25.20074856v2
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None Reported

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Trump is killing us


Corona-19 now (12, Jan. 2021)
 
 


 
 
(13, Nov. 2020)

 
 
(06/30/2020);

6-30, New Confirmed (symptomatic) Cases on a 7 Day Average





LA Times 03/31/2020 “Tuesday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the right wing airwaves of Hugh Hewitt’s radio show to unveil a theory of his own on why America was so unprepared for a looming pandemic: The federal government was too distracted by the impeachment process to work on anything else.

“It came up while we were tied down in the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government because everything every day was all about impeachment,” McConnell claimed in the interview.”

Trump golf schedule December 2019 - February 2020, and important events.
Impeachment Wednesday, December 18 House votes to impeach
Campaign Rally Wednesday, December 18, 2019               Battle Creek       MI
Golf       12/21/2019         Trump Intl, West Palm Beach, FL
Golf       12/22/2019         Trump Intl, West Palm Beach, FL, Lunch with Rush Limbaugh and Jim Herman
Golf     12/23/2019 thru 12/31/2019  Trump Intl, West Palm Beach, FL
Cov-19 December 31, 2019, China alerted WHO about an unknown viral pneumonia
Golf     01/01/2020 and 01/02/2020   Trump Intl, West Palm Beach, FL
Campaign Rally Friday, January 3, 2020   Miami   FL
Golf        01/04/2020 and 05   Trump Intl, West Palm Beach, FL
Cov-19  01/05/2020 WHO reported a "pneumonia of unknown cause" in Wuhan, China.
Cov-19  January 7, Chinese Government announced they had identified a new Corona virus
Cov-19 Jan. 9  The WHO released a press statement on the 01/07 Chinese report.
Campaign Rally Thursday, January 9, 2020             Toledo OH
Cov-19  January 13, 16, coronavirus-19 cases from Thailand and Japan
Campaign Rally Tuesday, January 14, 2020            Milwaukee         WI
Cov-19  January 17, a second death in China, 3 US airport screen Wuhan travelers
Golf     01/18/2020 and 19th   Trump Intl, West Palm Beach, FL
Cov-19  January 22, 2020: Trump, "We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine."
Cov-19  January 23, WHO makes a public announcement that the new virus is not yet a pandemic.
Trump 01/24/2020 In a tweet, Trump praised China for its efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. "China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!"
Campaign Rally Tuesday, January 28, 2020            Wildwood           NJ
Cov-19  January 30, WHO declared a "global health emergency"
Cov-19  January 30, 2020: WHO announced that the outbreak had become a "public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of novel coronavirus."
Campaign Rally Thursday, January 30, 2020 Des Moines IA Trump, "We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment."
Cov-19  January 31 “Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus”
Golf     02/01/2020 and 02     Trump Intl, West Palm Beach, FL
State of the Union Address, Feb. 4, “Protecting Americans’ health also means fighting infectious diseases. We are coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together on the coronavirus outbreak in China. My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.”
Trump Feb. 2 In an interview with Sean Hannity, Trump said, "We pretty much shut it down coming in from China."
Impeachment Wednesday, February 5, 2020 Senate votes not to remove Trump from office.
Cov-19 Wednesday, February 5, 2020 Flights evacuating US citizens have returned from Wuhan.
February 10, 2020: Trump, "Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now "
Campaign Rally Monday, February 10, 2020          Manchester       NH
Golf       02/15/2020         Trump Intl, West Palm Beach, FL
Campaign Rally Wednesday, February 19, 2020 Phoenix               AZ
Campaign Rally Thursday, February 20, 2020        Colorado Springs              CO
Campaign Rally Friday, February 21, 2020              Las Vegas            NV
February 27, 2020: Trump, "It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear."
February 28: Trump, " the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus… this is their new hoax "
Campaign Rally Friday, February 28, 2020              North Charleston             SC
February 29: Trump, "Everything is really under control"

March, Stock Market crashed;

Campaign Rally Monday, March 2, 2020 Charlotte             NC
March 6: Trump, "This came unexpectedly, it came out of China, we closed it down, we stopped it, it was a very early shut down"
Golf       03/07/2020         Trump Intl, West Palm Beach, FL. Quarantined cruise ship passengers forced to say on-board
Golf       03/08/2020         Trump Intl, West Palm Beach, FL. Hosts Washington Nationals
March 10: Trump, "And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away”
Cov-19 03/20/2020: 22,043 cases 278 fatalities.
Cov-19 03/23/2020: 41,708 cases 573 deaths
Cov-19 03/25/2020: 69,194 cases 1,050 deaths
Cov-19 03/28/2020: 132,637 cases 2,351 deaths
Mar. 31: Donald Trump, “I don't think I would have done any better had I not been impeached.”
Cov-19 04/01/2020: 203,608 cases 4,476 deaths


Three months. 21 days of Golfing. 12 Campaign Rallies. Mar. 31: Donald Trump, “I don't think I would have done any better had I not been impeached.” April 1st, 2020: 4,476 American Deaths.
8,098 American Deaths 04/04/2020

04/07/2020: 398,785 coronavirus-19 cases in the USA, 12,893 deaths

April 13, 2020 Trump, "The president of the United States has the authority to do what the president has the authority to do, which is very powerful," Trump said. "The president of the United States calls the shots."


04/14/2020, 592,743 confirmed US cases, 24,485 deaths.

05/04/2020, 1,178,906 confirmed cases,  68,689 deaths.

13 May, 2020 10:30 AM,  1,375,949 US confirmed cases,  83,150  deaths,
14 May, 2020 4:30 PM,  1,416,528 US confirmed cases,  85,813 dead.

Trump: May 20, Reporter, "What would have done differently facing this crisis?" Trump, "Nothing." "If you look at deaths, we are at the lowest level along with Germany. And that's a great honor."

Trump is a murderous madman;

Cov-19 05/20/2020 1,552,000 US cases, 93,863 deaths. (Germany cases 179,000, deaths 8,277).

US population= 329,672,928 Cov-19 Deaths=  94,276 or 0.03%
Germany population= 83,783,942, Cov-19 Deaths=  8,195 or 0.01%.

22 May, 2020 2:30 PM,  1,596,633 US confirmed cases,  95,847 dead.

Trump: 23 May, 2020 POS made his 265th trip to one of his golf clubs during his presidency.
23 May, 2020 6:30 PM,  1,622,447 US confirmed cases,  97,076 dead.

30 June, 2020 2,629,372 confirmed active cases, 127,322 dead.