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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Cloned humans would feel selves to be individuals

In what is clearly a bid to soften up the public for human cloning (currently "not allowed" in the UK, hint, hint), a BBC news story announces that, based on a study of identical twins, "A cloned human would probably consider themselves to be an individual."

Well, apart from the ambiguous wording - "a cloned human" is singular but "themselves" is plural - does anyone who gives the matter a moment's thought doubt that identical twins feel they are individuals? They have separate consciousnesses after all. For example, will most identical twins share spouses or children? Bank accounts?

However, if children are cloned for the purposes of being "just like" whoever has the power of life or death over them, they had better take care not to show much individuality.

Intelligent design in pop culture: Quilting against ID

A Canmore, Alberta (Canada), woman is now
quilting against ID:
Eight colourful giant Galapagos island tortoises sit one on top of the other balanced by a cane on either side.

At the top the earth sits precariously balanced on the back of an orange-shelled turtle.

[ ... ]

Called Myths of our Time: Intelligent Design, the quilt recently won West the National Award of Excellence for Innovative Quilts from the Canadian Quilters Association.

The quilt references a legend about a woman who thought the Earth rested on the backs of an infinite number of giant tortoises.

Will schools forbid students to blog on ID?: That's the next wave, then

A friend writes to say that
A school district has decided to require students to sign a pledge to not do anything "inappropriate or illegal" online and is taking the extra step of attempting to monitor their blogs on Aside from the naivete of school officials in thinking that students will just give over their blog ID's and not create new ones secretly, it will be interesting to see exactly what will count as inappropriate to school officials. Would the high school equivalent of an IDEA club pass muster? Where is the ACLU in all this? Aren't they supposed to swoop down and slap the school with a law suit protesting this blatant violation of the students' rights of free speech and expression?

IDEA and IDURC clubs are student discussion clubs on the ID controversy.

Yes, some school districts may see it as their duty to prevent student discussion of ID, but what they or the ACLU will do is irrelevant in the long run.

Attempting to prevent students talking about ID among themselves would do more for a responsible discussion than even the materialists over at the Edge caterwauling about the ID "Visigoths," thus underlining the ID guys' importance.

The students will simply sense that the school and the ACLU are promoting an ideology and get around them. And they'll grow up, too.

Here, as with cases involving school boards and textbooks: The best and surest way to make education irrelevant is to outlaw teachers talking about what students are thinking about. The second best way is to make teachers recite a formula. The third best way is to keep them guessing about what's allowed and what's not.

After all, students hear about the intelligent design controversy in the news. If they ask the teacher about it, what is the teacher to say?

(a) I'm not allowed to talk about it.

(b) Here is the prescribed rant I am told to deliver.

(c) This is my personal opinion - and don't tell anyone I said anything.

(d) Ask your preacher. (That guy in the headdress who regularly raves on the Coming Judgment of Satanic America?)

(e) Let's have the head of "Godless - and Proud of It!" in to speak, shall we?

The goal of education - teaching students to think - is not met by such strategies.

Teachers should be given optional resources that prepare them to say something useful - IF the subject happens to come up in class in an after-class question.

Such resources, I might add, would not merely assume that Darwinism is true, and that all else follows. In a nation where most people realize that Darwinism, as preached by Darwinists is not true, that will wash no more.
If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

Are you looking for one of the following stories?

A summary of recent opinion columns on the ID controversy

A summary of recent polls of US public opinion on the ID controversy

A summary of the Catholic Church's entry into the controversy, essentially on the side of ID.

O'Leary's intro to non-Darwinian agnostic philosopher David Stove ?

An ID Timeline: The ID folk seem always to win when they lose.

O’Leary’s comments on Francis Beckwith, a Dembski associate, being denied tenure at Baylor.

Why origin of life is such a difficult problem.
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