Nick Matzke Expels Caroline Crocker

Can the politically appointed and self-imposed establishment tolerate scientists who doubt various theories in evolution? It became a hot topic in 2008, when a documentary with a well-known movie star (Bein Stein) called, “Expelled” became the number one topic in the blogosphere before its release and then many months thereafter when it was released to the public. Nick Matzke is a cult follower of evolution.

Who is Nick Matzke? For those who are not familiar with him, he worked for the NCSE (National Center For Science which is a special interest group) as a Public Information Project Director while playing an important role in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial.

Thus, Matzke often times likes to use the bumper sticker phrase or word when one doubts evolution as “anti-science” but this of course is an over simplification on the matter which is nothing more than inventing a straw man.  No skeptic of evolution is against things like computer science or rocket science or adult stem cell research which is only part of many great things in science!

Nick Matzke goes after Caroline in a cult-like way using a quote from another website, in UC he writes and then quotes in the comment section…

Following the evidence wherever it leads, eh? Caroline Crocker’s record does not suggest that she is any good at doing this. Instead she just brazenly repeats the crudest creationist arguments. Documentation:

“In the above-mentioned article in the Washington Post, Crocker is described teaching her students a laundry list of discredited Creationist arguments. In a video on the Coral Ridge Ministries site, several of Crocker’s slides are shown. Though it’s not known whether Crocker used the same slides while teaching at George Mason, the Washington Post article provides evidence that they were part of her Northern Virginia Community College lectures. Her use of these slides suggests that Crocker shows either a shocking ignorance of evolutionary science, or a rather shameless willingness to distort the evidence.”

The following are just a small sample of her erroneous and clearly creationist claims:

* Archeopteryx [sic] is a bird (like an Ostrich), not a reptobird
* Only one complete fossil, and has been questioned as a fraud

One can tell Caroline Crocker wasn’t teaching creationism at a government University, all this accusation is implying is that she is a creationist because she is skeptical about Archeopteryx. Then the accusation uses the typical argument about consensus among scientists which somehow helps proves that Archeopteryx is a transitional form. Let’s use a more certainty in science and that is physics. Nothing is more absolute than physics, right? It holds the most certainty in science, right? Many things in the physical world relies on the constancy of this value. Yet, Einstein’s theory of relativity, nothing can exceed the speed of light as measured in a vacuum is being challenged. Experiments are being conducted in order to make an attempt to overturn it!

CERN researchers have claimed that have done just that, Neutrinos which are a subatomic particle that has the least resistance of any particle known to man because it has very little mass was claimed to have gone faster than the speed of light! Now let’s take Nick’s argument and ask, how can one question a well-establish fact like Einstein’s theory of relativity and not be labeled as “anti-science” or a “creationist”? Why can physics be questioned or challenged and not theories within Darwinian evolution? These things only happen in cults. They have some sort of dogma that they believe in and in order to rescue it from criticism that might result in a conversion against them, they guard it like a holy grail.

Scientists have never observed a living Archeopteryx and therefore have used massive amounts of inferences due to their own bias or a particular framework which thus opens it up to more criticism as a result of using speculation than with the certainty of physics. Caroline Crocker responded to the accusations by saying…

“Dr. Crocker was summoned by her department head, accused of teaching creationism despite a singular lack of written even one complaint, and told she had to be disciplined. He immediately removed her from lecturing, even though this was against policy listed in the Faculty Handbook. In fact, she was told to sign up to teach extra lab classes without delay. Many students complained because they had signed up specifically for her lecture class. The short-notice replacement teacher was struggling and not covering the material that was necessary for them to do well in the lab and in future classes.

“The sole reason for Dr. Crocker’s removal from the classroom was a single lecture that was not even delivered that semester, where she suggested that the theory of evolution may not have all the answers and may, in fact, have been rendered out-of-date by current scientific knowledge. Faculty and staff members confirmed that this was the only issue.”

“Finally, the writer of this article complains that many of Dr. Crocker’s arguments were “creationist.” Perhaps he does not appreciate what the word “creationist” means. It is someone who considers a religious book to have scientific authority. It is not someone who sees scientific problems with scientific theories! Her questions about the theory of evolution were as a result of seeing that science has advanced beyond the explanatory reach of this theory. In addition, the writer should be aware that calling scientific arguments “creationist” does not address the validity of the arguments. It is merely an ad hominem attack that does not require response.”

How something relativity simple can change a person’s life! In this case, Caroline’s life. Those like Nick Matzke are cult followers of evolution, which is why they treat certain scientists as prophets, which is why evolution is reverend to them like a religion rather than a scientific prospective or theory which in turn is why a requirement of membership is involved, nowhere in any other area of science does this happen as physics was a great example of that!

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11 thoughts on “Nick Matzke Expels Caroline Crocker

  1. This is getting very pathetic, Michael.

    And for the record: “CERN” has not “claimed” that neutrinos go faster than light.

  2. Thanks for sharing Michael. Consensus, authority, power, confirmation bias, circular reasoning — all are used to “prove” the beliefs of the cult religion you describe.

  3. No skeptic of evolution is against things like computer science or rocket science or adult stem cell research which is only part of many great things in science!

    What about HIV/AIDS denialism? Phillip Johnson is a founding member of the The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis, and Jonathan Wells signed on 1993 and so did Tom Bethell in the same year.

    And while the field of history is in the humanities, the academic standards of historiography are not that much different from the academic standards of scientists. Now against that we have John West, Discovery Institute director and Holocaust revisionist.

    As for the claim that “No skeptic of evolution is against things like computer science…”, I have two words for you: evolutionary computation. Both the old-fashioned creationists and the creationists of the ID movement have both tried to pick Avida to pieces to show that the results of the program are determined by human programmers, and so far they have consistently failed. Their one and only evasion after years of attempting to debunk it is, “it’s intelligent design because humans wrote the program”.

    One can tell Caroline Crocker wasn’t teaching creationism at a government University, all this accusation is implying is that she is a creationist because she is skeptical about Archeopteryx.

    No, she is a creationist because she is repeating common creationist lies about Archaeopteryx. And lies about fossil horses, the life of Darwin, etc. Along with a few common creationist quote mines, including most damningly for this article one by Werner von Braun, the notorious ex-Nazi, to the effect that “It is unscientific to teach evolution only.” So either she believes that, and was teaching “alternatives”, and given the source of the lies she told her students, we don’t have far to seek for the “alternative” she was teaching, or she was being “unscientific” by her own lights. So which is it?

    Nothing is more absolute than physics, right? It holds the most certainty in science, right?

    Wrong.

    Scientists have never observed a living Archeopteryx and therefore have used massive amounts of inferences due to their own bias or a particular framework which thus opens it up to more criticism as a result of using speculation than with the certainty of physics.

    Do you know anything about how scientists analyze fossil specimens? The way you’re fumbling around here, just throwing out words like “inferences” and “bias” and “particular framework” (without telling us what that “particular framework” is) like a creationist parrot suggests not.

    The short-notice replacement teacher was struggling and not covering the material that was necessary for them to do well in the lab and in future classes.

    And Crocker was setting up her students to do well in future classes by lying to them?

    Her questions about the theory of evolution were as a result of seeing that science has advanced beyond the explanatory reach of this theory.

    And those problems would be…? But of course, we’re not going to be told what Crocker’s ‘scientific’ issues were with evolution, because it comes down to repeating creationist lies and distortions which would give the game away.

    Those like Nick Matzke are cult followers of evolution, which is why they treat certain scientists as prophets, which is why evolution is reverend to them like a religion rather than a scientific prospective or theory which in turn is why a requirement of membership is involved….

    So it’s entirely inappropriate for people to call Caroline Crocker a creationist, even when she was presenting creationist canards on the Coral Ridge Hour and teaching them to her students at Northern Virginia Community College, but it is entirely appropriate to speculate on the psychology of Nick Matzke and unnamed others supposedly ‘like him’, even though these speculations (“cult followers of evolution”, “treat scientists as prophets”, etc.) are rank absurdities?

    I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning. It reminds me of creationist desperation.

  4. In the beginning GOD created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1 (You believe or you do not believe) If you do not believe here is the answer.

    Romans Chapter 1

    17 For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.

    18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.

    19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

    20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

    21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and [c]godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

    22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

    23And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles.

    24Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin],

    25Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen (so be it).

    26For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one,

    27And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another–men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own [d]bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution.

    28And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing, God gave them over to a base and condemned mind to do things not proper or decent but loathsome,

    29Until they were filled (permeated and saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, iniquity, grasping and covetous greed, and malice. [They were] full of envy and jealousy, murder, strife, deceit and treachery, ill will and cruel ways. [They were] secret backbiters and gossipers,

    30Slanderers, hateful to and hating God, full of insolence, arrogance, [and] boasting; inventors of new forms of evil, disobedient and undutiful to parents.

    31[They were] without understanding, conscienceless and faithless, heartless and loveless [and] merciless.

    32Though they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them.

    Keep up the good work Micheal, I pray and hope these who constantly ridicule you, will come to the fullness of truth and light at some point in their life’s. God Bless you.

  5. Can the politically appointed and self-imposed establishment tolerate scientists who doubt various theories in evolution? It became a hot topic in 2008, when a documentary with a well-known movie star (Bein [sic] Stein) called, “Expelled” became the number one topic in the blogosphere before its release and then many months thereafter when it was released to the public.

    We don’t even have to read through the first paragraph to bog down in drivel. “Expelled” was a brazen attempt to disprove a scientific theory by popular vote. But how well did it succeed, even at this illusory goal?

    Rotten Tomatoes reports the box-office history for the first 5 weeks [1]

    Wk. Wkd. Gross Theaters Per Theater Cumulative
    #1 $2,970,848 1,052 $2,824 $2,970,848
    #2 $1,394,940 1,041 $1,340 $5,297,860
    #3 $678,304 656 $1,034 $6,613,256
    #4 $328,836 402 $818 $7,235,324
    #5 $102,690 210 $489 $7,499,617

    A descending trajectory, it would seem. But expectations were high: Walt Rulof, a PR rep for Expelled said the movie would earn $12,000,000 – 15,000,000 on opening weekend.

    Meanwhile, “Religulous,” a contemporaneous documentary mocking organized religion and all religious beliefs, grossed half a million dollars more than “Expelled.” on its opening week.[2] Total receipts over the theater life of “Expelled” have been estimated at $7.7M.[3] Total receipts in Canada for the entire run were $24,374.[4]

    The film was a money pit for the producers, losing about $3,000,000 overall.[3] Estimated production costs were $3.5M, advertising $5M, distribution $1M, lawsuits $0.6M (fir pirating a Harvard video and a John Lennon song), for a total cost of about $10.6M.

    Several gimmicks added to the high advertising costs. The producers offered up to $5,000 each to school groups to attend [5] After disappointing sales for opening week, they offered another $1,000 for theaters to promote group sales.[6] A spokesman (Craft) revealed similar figures in May, 2008.[7] A brochure FAQ recommended—:

    Q: What’s the best way to get our school families to come out to the movies?
    A: In speaking with Christian Schools, we’ve found that hosting a school-wide “mandatory” field trip is the best way to maximize your school’s earning potential. Send a field trip home with your middle school and high school students, have each child pay for their own ticket, then collect the stubs at the door once you get to the movie [5] (Emphasis added)

    Ultimately, the production company filed for bankruptcy in June, 2011. It was sold to an undisclosed buyer for $201,000.[8]

    .

    Reviews for “Expelled” showed highly bimodal statistics. The Meander blog noted on April 24, 2008 “That Expelled is a failure with mainstream critics is beyond debate,…”[9]

    Aggregated ratings, on a scale of 0-10 (0-2 are “bad,” 8-10 are “good”) include[9]—
    Rotten Tomatoes (critics’ reviews) = 3.1
    Meta Critic (critics’ reviews) = 2.1
    Meta Critic (viewer reviews) = 3.1
    IMDB (viewer ratings) = 3.7
    However, almost all of the ratings were either “good” (33%) or “bad” (61%), leaving only 4% who thought the film was average. This is an extremely strong bimodality, almost unheard-of for any film. Of 50 reviews listed at Meta Critic, all of them were either “Bad” or “good,” leaving none in the middle at all.[9]

    So there we have it. “Expelled” was a hot topic in the blogosphere for a couple of months. It seems to have changed no minds, and convinced no one of anything. And now it’s dead and gone, its passage marked only by a few dusty DVDs on the shelves of creationists. Michael, do you happen to have one?

    =====================================

    REFERENCES in numbered brackets are available. WordPress regurgitates comments with a large number of embedded links.

  6. “Expelled” changed no one’s mind about evolution. Nothing at all will open Glenn’s mind to anything. Reality shivers outside in the cold, not daring even to knock at the door.

    Glenn wards off scientific evidence with a blizzard of irrelevant words from the ultimate quote mine, the Bible.

    No refutation of Nullifidian’s facts or arguments. Just a storm of scripture to shield him from reality.

    Desperate.

    We think Michael is ignorant; but at least he can sling sciency-sounding snowballs around.

  7. Michael quotes Crocker’s response:

    “Finally, the writer of this article complains that many of Dr. Crocker’s arguments were “creationist.” Perhaps he does not appreciate what the word “creationist” means. It is someone who considers a religious book to have scientific authority. It is not someone who sees scientific problems with scientific theories!”

    It is always an unexpected boon when your opponent proves your case with their own words. Thank you, Caroline Crocker!

    It has been universally accepted for the past 800 years that religious books do not have scientific authority. Nor any other books or pronouncements from on high. Only evidence has authority in science.

  8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NEWS FLASH

    Hawaii News Now reports that debris from the tsunami in Japan last March is crossing the Pacific Ocean much faster than scientists had anticipated.

    Michael will interpret this as more proof that the Earth is much younger than evolutionists, paleontologists, geologists, and astronomers say that it is.

  9. Thus, Matzke often times likes to use the bumper sticker phrase or word when one doubts evolution as “anti-science” [sic] but this of course is an over simplification on the matter [sic] which is nothing more than inventing a straw man. No skeptic of evolution is against things like computer science or rocket science or adult stem cell research [sic] which is [sic] only part of many great things in science!

    NON-SEQUITUR ALERT!

    Evolution denialists are anti-science because they refuse to accept overwhelming scientific evidence of the theories of evolution. Whether or not they accept any other scientific theories is irrelevant. Creationists accept rocket science and (some) stem-cell research because these do not appear to contradict their beliefs.[1] But evolution does. And this is the true mark of anti-science—When a preconceived belief is maintained in the face of well-established evidence to the contrary.

    ===========

    [1] Although if Michael actually understood Alan Turing’s demonstration of how machines can reproduce themselves without any outside agency, he might reconsider his total support of computer science.

  10. It has been a week now, and Michael has app0arently been unable to find anything new that could even be twisted into being compatible with a 6,000 year-old earth.

    meanwhile in Science, in the 22 October issue alone, we have a report of hunting mastodons 14,000 years ago (p287), a new 1.45 million year-old baby dino fossil (p296), a discovery of pre-Clovis tools, 13,000 years old (p302), counting 800,000 annual rings in Greenland glaciers for climate analysis (p347), and a research report on a 14,000 year old hunting site.

    Plus interesting reports of large water reservoirs found in the forming planetary disk of a nearby star, TW Hydrae (p316, p338). See Michael’s contrary belief in “Comets Delivering Water to Earth

    It’s so hard defending creationism when the contrary evidence keeps pouring in. There is more and more that they must sweep under the rug and hope no one notices.

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