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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Liar For Christ

by tristero

Blood pressure too low? Watch this. It’s testimony before the Texas School Board regarding the teaching of evolution by "Dr." Don Patton, a man who not only knows he is lying (see PS below if you think the scare quotes around "Dr." are unfair or that I'm exaggerating), but does so with enormous enthusiasm and glee.

Just one example. I’ve read Niles Eldredge. He never so much as implied anything remotely like what this clown says he did. His words are ripped entirely out of context. Eldredge wasn’t for a moment claiming that the fossil record contradicts evolution, or evolution by natural selection, but rather that the patterns revealed were far more complex and curious than Darwin ever imagined. (No kidding: 150 years of intensive scientific research will often do that to a great theory.) Eldredge was making a criticism within evolutionary theory, not of it.

Notice something else about this jerk. He calls scientists “people with great faith in evolution,” “devout evolutionists,” and “fervent dogmatists,” even "evolutionary religious fanatics." This is a by-now ancient extreme right tactic, twisting and co-opting liberal rhetoric in ludicrous ways (am I the only one who remembers the pro-coathanger abortion chant, “All we are saying is give life [sic] a chance?”).

And listen to the questions, as dishonest as Patton. These are not misinformed people. Patton can read Eldredge just as well as I can. Ditto the school board members. These are liars, deliberate liars, liars for whom a christianist agenda trumps everything.

And Patton has the unmitigated gall to declare that it’s a lie to assert the reality that the overwhelming consensus among scientists is that evolution is as much a fact as anything in science is.

Given the extent of his lying, it would make perfect sense if you came to the conclusion that even his professions of religious belief were also a lie, that in fact all he cares about is political legitimacy for his lunatic, far-right ideas.

h/t PZ Myers.

PS Normally, when I write posts that are this angry, people in comments object to the shrill take-no-prisoners putdown. So...just in case you don’t believe Patton would lie about everything, go here:
Since early 1989, Don Patton, a close associate of Carl Baugh and leader of Metroplex Institute of Origins Science (MIOS) near Dallas, has claimed a Ph.D. (or "Ph.D. candidacy") in geology from Queensland Christian University in Australia.[33] However, QCU is another unaccredited school linked to Clifford Wilson. [34] When questioned about this at a recent MIOS meeting, Patton indicated that he was aware of some problems relating to QCU, and was withdrawing his Ph.D. candidacy.[35]
However, the printed abstracts of the 1989 Bible-Science conference in Dayton, Tennessee (where Patton gave two talks) stated that he was a Ph.D. candidacy in geology, and implied that he has at least four degrees from three separate schools.[36] When I asked Patton for clarification on this during the conference, he stated that he had no degrees, but was about to receive a Ph.D. degree in geology, pending accreditation of QCU, which he assured me was "three days away."[37] Many days have since passed, and Patton still has no valid degree in geology. Nor is the accreditation of QCU imminent. Australian researcher Ian Plimer reported, "PCI, QPU, PCT, and PCGS have no formal curriculum, no classes, no research facilities, no calendar, no campus, and no academic staff....Any Ph.D. or Ph.D. candidacy at QPU by Patton is fraudulent."
And in case you think that web page is outdated, go here and check out Patton's academic credentials:
Four years, Florida College, Temple Terrace, FL (Bible)
Two years, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN (Geology)
Two years, Indiana Univ./Purdue Univ., Indianapolis, IN (Geology)
Two years, Pacific School of Graduate Studies, Melbourne, Australia (Education)
Ph.D. in Education granted 12/10/1993
That's right, folks. He claims he's a geologist but he didn't finish a degree in geology in either school he attended for that science. He spent two years studying education at a bogus school in Melbourne and was awarded a "PhD in Education."

Actually, that, too, is a lie. Go here and read, really read the document Patton claims proves he graduated with a "PhD In Education" because it doesn't and he didn't. If he got a doctorate at all from this school, he is a "Doctor of Christian Education."

Let's not mince words here. Don Patton is the real thing. Oh, he's not a geologist. But he is, without a doubt, a genuine, 100% authentic liar and con man who doesn't know a damn thing about science and has no business being taken seriously by anyone truly concerned with a child's education.