Israel dismisses evolution, climate denialist

This video says about itself:

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 29)

Why do people laugh at creationists (WDPLAC) is a series of videos exposing the funny stupidity of creationists and why they deserve to be laughed at. Typically creationist statements are shown to be outrageously stupid by even the most rudimentary knowledge of science.

In this episode the origin of morality is addressed, particularly with respect to arguments of the big time Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. Zach is notably called out on his dishonest techniques.

7 October 2010.

USA: Science, Beware: Kentucky to Get Creationism-Touting “Noah’s Ark” Theme-Park Extravaganza: here.

Apparently, New Zealand is not the only country in the world where con men can get top science jobs

From Nature:

Israel’s education ministry dismisses chief scientist – October 07, 2010

It was hardly a surprise when Israel’s minister of education, Gideon Sa’ar, fired his ministry’s chief scientist, Gavriel Avital, on Monday. Avital has taken vocal stands against evolution and global warming since he was appointed in December 2009. An aeronautical engineer and a politician – his name appeared on the ruling Likud party‘s slate in 2006 elections, though he did not win a seat in parliament – Avital was an unusual choice for the post, whose previous occupants have come from the field of education.

Avital’s job as chief scientist in the education ministry was to oversee studies of education issues, and the choice of textbooks. (Several ministries in Israel have chief scientists: the industry ministry’s is the most important, as he oversees the bulk of the country’s research funds, which are for applied research. The job of representing the views of Israel’s scientists to the government is done by the science minister, and by the president of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities).

In February 2010, the daily newspaper Ha’aretz reported that Avital had published articles decrying the theory of evolution and the claim that human activity contributes to global warming. For example, in an article he published on the Israeli Hebrew website “Basheva” in October 2009, he claimed that world temperatures were higher in the early twentieth century and called the efforts to restrict carbon emissions the actions of “the Green religion.”

He continued his campaign after his appointment, Ha’aretz reported, telling the audience at a religious seminary that Israel’s science textbooks should provide pupils with alternative views to evolution, which he said is “only a theory.”

Avi Blizovsky, editor of the Israeli science website Ha-Yad’an, welcomed Avital’s dismissal but regretted that the minister did not take action earlier. In a blog post today he noted, however, that even so, “We still need to be bothered by the fact that in Israel, ostensibly an enlightened Western country, high school students can still major in biology without learning a single unit on evolution—the choice of whether to teach it is up to schools and teachers.”

Posted by Richard Van Noorden on October 07, 2010

See also here.

When reading this, one wonders whether “Gavriel Avital” really exists, or whether it is a pseudonym of a global warming denialist like Nick Griffin, the British nazi leader. Like “Israel Shamir” does not really exist, but is an alias used by Swedish Holocaust denying anti-Semite Jöran Jermas.

Turtles and dugongs “at risk from climate change“: here.

USA: How Did an Entire Political Party Decide to Reject Climate Change Science? Here.

Could climate change denialism tank the U.S. economy? Here.

New climate denialism: Who promotes it, and how to answer it: here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with Scholastic (which makes bajillions off textbooks and Harry Potter) to produce an “energy” curriculum–one that neglects environmental consequences and climate change, at least in the materials presented so far: here.

Rising temperatures in the Arctic have caused sea ice levels to drop to record lows, US climate scientists warned on Thursday: here.

Professional climate change deniers’ crusade continues – says hockey sticker Michael Mann: here.

Discovery Earth: Mountains May Be Climate Change Refuges: here.

Climate denialism and the media: here.

Creationism in Scotland: here.

Mira Awad: Israel’s Palestinian singing star caught between worlds: here.

Israel’s Cabinet approved a Bill by a 22-8 margin today that would require new citizens to pledge a loyalty oath to a “Jewish and democratic” state: here.

No to “Admissions Committee Bill”: If the Knesset adopts the racist “Admissions Committee Bill” we will once more appeal to the Supreme Court. The purpose of this piece of legislation is manifestly clear: to provide a legal basis for the establishment of exclusively Jewish communal villages from which Arabs would be excluded, thus bypassing the court rulings prohibiting discrimination against Arabs. Read more: here.

Uri Avnery: Bread and the Circus. I WAS surprised when, towards the end of 1975, I received an invitation from the Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, to meet him at his residence. He opened the door himself, poured me a glass of whisky, poured one for himself, and without any further ado asked me: Tell me, Uri, have you decided to destroy all the doves in the Labor Party? Here.

Last May, Israel was admitted to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, underscoring its transformation into an advanced economy. But its wealth has benefited only a narrow social layer: here.

As Anti-Climate Group’s Activities Rise, So Do Questions About Its Secret Finances: here.

Industry Plan to Save Us From Global Warming a Nightmare, Not a Dream. Peter Montague, AlterNet: “By ignoring global warming, the U.S. is painting itself (and the world) into a corner. But now the fossil fuel industry has prepared an escape for us. You may not have heard of it, but the escape is called ‘carbon capture and storage’ or CCS for short. It has never been tried on anything like the scale needed to limit global warming, so it’s a colossal experiment with the future of civilization at stake”: here.

USA: The Republican Brain: Why Even Educated Conservatives Deny Science – and Reality. Chris Mooney, AlterNet: “I can still remember when I first realized how naïve I was in thinking – hoping -that laying out the ‘facts’ would suffice to change politicized minds, and especially Republican ones. It was a typically wonkish, liberal revelation: One based on statistics and data. Only this time, the data were showing, rather awkwardly, that people ignore data and evidence – and often, knowledge and education only make the problem worse”: here.

Attacks paid for by big business are ‘driving science into a dark era’. Researchers attending one of the world’s major academic conferences ‘are scared to death of the anti-science lobby’: here.

USA: Did Taxpayer Bailout Money Fund Heartland Institute’s Climate-Change-Denial Projects? Here.

73% of voters under the age of 35 think climate deniers are either “ignorant, out of touch, or crazy”: here.

Watching Fox News increases distrust in climate science: here.

Protestors are demanding Google stop funding climate change deniers: here.

16 thoughts on “Israel dismisses evolution, climate denialist

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  7. Hey Kitty,
    Nice piece.

    Haven’t read any of your others yet, but will try to one day. Little time these days, and get told off for spending too much time writing and reading in front of my computer 🙂

    I am preparing to write a piece on wind farm hysteria, and also the psychology of denialism.

    I recently read a science article on the psychology of denialists, and how they often are strong believers of conspiracy theories, even contradictory ones. And I was listening to a podcast this morning, while lying awake waiting for my alarm to go off, on wind farms and the campaigns against.

    I will try to get to both of them, because they highlight why we have soooooooo much difficulty trying to campaign for a better, safer, coooooler world.



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