Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Texas Judge Rips Creationism Group in Science Degree Suit
Wall Street Journal ^ | June 23, 2010 | Clifford M. Marks

Posted on 06/24/2010 9:15:19 AM PDT by tlb

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051 next last
Judge to the Institute of Creation Research: Yippie Ki Yay.....
1 posted on 06/24/2010 9:15:21 AM PDT by tlb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: tlb

Why do these people continue to ignore the obvious fact that genesis was allegorical???? It boggles the mind.


2 posted on 06/24/2010 9:24:06 AM PDT by StolarStorm
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb

There are certain “slants” . . . and then there are other “slants.”


3 posted on 06/24/2010 9:24:30 AM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb

I don’t understand the problem in the first place.
If they want to give a degree in “Puppydog Kissing” they can.

That doesn’t mean that the state must accredit it, but they can grant a degree in anything and some fool will pay for it.


4 posted on 06/24/2010 9:28:02 AM PDT by netmilsmom (I am inyenzi on the Religion Forum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb

Without questioning either side in this suit, if the education enterprise who offered the degree is unable to, because someone, anyone, does not think it is “science”, then that same judge should take the exact curriculum descriptions of thousands of social science degrees and tell us why he thinks THEY are both rational and understandable to anyone but their creators.


5 posted on 06/24/2010 9:28:08 AM PDT by Wuli
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb
"Religious belief is not science,” Texas Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes said.

But sometimes science is religious belief, eh? Such as, say, Global Warming. Or the descent of mankind by evolution.

As a free-speech matter, I don't understand how you can get a masters in theology, or in delusional Women's Studies, but somehow not a masters in theologically based scientific theory.

If you read Newton, you find that he considered his theories based on theology. Are today's edu-mication commissions better than Newton? . . . Er, no.

6 posted on 06/24/2010 9:29:14 AM PDT by SamuraiScot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb

Let there be controversy Darwinism vs. Creationism. But NEVER let there be censorship as there exists now when leftist so-called universities will not even allow the teaching of the ‘creationist theory’. That’s a travesty to not even recognize a popular ‘theory’ in the realm of education.


7 posted on 06/24/2010 9:30:46 AM PDT by tflabo (Restore the Republic)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb

Sparks is an interesting character, evidently quite colorful and entertaining. Appointed by Daddy Bush. Interestingly he did find in August of this past year that race based admissions are constitutional based upon the 14th Amend.

“On August 17, 2009, Judge Sparks ruled that the University of Texas system can use race as a factor in admitting students into universities that are part of the UT System.”


8 posted on 06/24/2010 9:31:21 AM PDT by bereanway (Sarah get your gun)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb
But but but, we have a first amendment RIGHT to make the State accredit completion of a course on our religious beliefs as a “science degree”/s.

Religious beliefs are not science. Creationism is not a scientific theory, it is a religious belief.

9 posted on 06/24/2010 9:35:58 AM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tflabo
Let there be controversy Darwinism vs. Creationism.

I've had many people say to me that there is no controvery at all. Creationism is wrong and believers are stupid. All intelligent people agree. No controversy at all.

Myself, I think the Bible is the truth, and I think Evolution is a fairy tale. I don't demand that anyone agree with me, but I resent it when others think my view has no place at the table -- and define "the table" in a way which is precisely intended to exclude people with my view.

10 posted on 06/24/2010 9:38:12 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: tlb

Can you issue a master’s degree in man-made global warming sciences?

How about in abortion medicine that posits a fetus is not alive?

How about in psychological study that says homosexuality is normal?


11 posted on 06/24/2010 9:38:59 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (I wish our president loved the US military as much as he loves Paul McCartney.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb

Genesis 1
The Beginning
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was [a] formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.


12 posted on 06/24/2010 9:40:18 AM PDT by tflabo (Restore the Republic)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb
That claim was dismissed by Sparks in an opinion that criticized the Institute?s arguments as incoherent. At one point he writes that he will address the group?s concerns ?to the extent [he] is able to understand them.? At another, he describes the group?s filings as ?overly verbose, disjointed, incoherent, maundering and full of irrelevant information.?

What did they do - hire Orly Taitz as their attorney?

13 posted on 06/24/2010 9:40:50 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Integrity, Honesty, Character, & Loyalty still matter)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamuraiScot

secular humanism is a religous order that believes every man is a god.


14 posted on 06/24/2010 9:41:02 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (I wish our president loved the US military as much as he loves Paul McCartney.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: StolarStorm

God didn’t create the universe? God blew up out of cosmic dust too? Or God doesn’t exist?

Where is the allegory behind that?

Not discussing timelines, basic detail of whether God created things or not. Like chicken or the egg.


15 posted on 06/24/2010 9:43:57 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (I wish our president loved the US military as much as he loves Paul McCartney.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom

Let’s see now, don’t we have degrees in:

General Studies
Black Culture or some similar nonsense
Hispanic Culture or some similar nonsense

There are lots of dubious degrees floating around along with tenured leftwing professors that try to indoctrinate your young adults to destroy the Constitution. Nothing new about this though. I went thru similar slanting back in the 60s.

Take back America time is growing short!


16 posted on 06/24/2010 9:44:02 AM PDT by secondamendmentkid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: tlb

Since when do we allow judges to set academic disciplines?


17 posted on 06/24/2010 9:45:31 AM PDT by WKUHilltopper (Fix bayonets!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: secondamendmentkid

You have black separatist agitators who’ve long taught that the white man is a “white devil” created in an African science experiment gone wrong. They’ll also tell you that black men once had wings.

Again, it may be “allegorical” but we could probably find some school somewhere still using these 20th century legends as “teaching materials” as fact.


18 posted on 06/24/2010 9:45:48 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (I wish our president loved the US military as much as he loves Paul McCartney.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: tlb
master’s degree in science from a biblical perspective

Still laughing over this.
19 posted on 06/24/2010 9:49:07 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamuraiScot

>>”Religious belief is not science,” Texas Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes said.
>
>But sometimes science is religious belief, eh? Such as, say, Global Warming. Or the descent of mankind by evolution.

Heck, try advocating abiogenic oil theory in American Academia: the result seems very much like a religious person’s shock at someone’s unbelief.


20 posted on 06/24/2010 9:54:10 AM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: ClearCase_guy

I agree with Post #10. However, remember that without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man cannot believe the creation account in Genesis. Just like evolution to a believer, it doesn’t make sense to them. “The God of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine unto them.”


21 posted on 06/24/2010 9:54:29 AM PDT by rj45mis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: tlb
There's a fundamental flaw in any government agent declaring that: “Science and religious belief are surely reconcilable, but they are not the same thing.”

He can do that in his own spare time, off the clock, but when acting in his guise as a mild mannered Constitutional scholar it is a tad beyond his authority to determine what is or is not truly religious belief.

We've been having this problem with both the Executive and the Judicial branches of government, at both state and federal levels, ever since the first guy thought up the idea of New York state public schools having the exact same prayer said at the same time every school day. That was the "Regent's prayer" that became subject of the USSC decision in "Regents v....." also known as the School Prayer ruling.

First of all the Regent's had no Constitutional authority to write a prayer. Secondly the Supreme Court had no authority to determine if it was truly religious. Things have gone down hill ever since.

Now we have Sam Sparks, whose knowledge of religion is unknown, and is probably incomplete at best, telling everyone what is or is not a religious belief.

I reject Sam's authority as a government employee to tell me such things. He can tell me the time of day, or whether or not I'm on or off one of his juries, or something else in his competence, but not the religious items. Not his job.

22 posted on 06/24/2010 9:59:13 AM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: allmendream

It’s irrelevant if it’s truly a religious belief or a dramatic presentation. We are speaking of a federal judge and the limits of his authority. The judges themselves have private lives which should be left at home when they sit on the bench. They operate within the limits of constitutional law. Nowhere in that law are judges given the power to determine what is or is not religious in nature.


23 posted on 06/24/2010 10:02:46 AM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: tlb
“Religious belief is not science,”

It necessarily follows, then, that evolution, which is a religious belief, is not science.

24 posted on 06/24/2010 10:10:46 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (When fascism came to America, it was wrapped in the Democrat platform and carrying a welfare check.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah
It is absolutely relevant to their petition to be accredited as a “science degree” a course in their religious beliefs.

Creationism is not, and never will be, science. It rejects the scientific method in favor of a particular interpretation of scripture.

Judges rule on what is religious in nature all the time, how else would they ever determine if a law is “respecting the establishment of religion” if they were somehow unable to discern what “religion” even was?

25 posted on 06/24/2010 10:15:46 AM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: tlb

Another reason for the separation of School & State.


26 posted on 06/24/2010 10:17:21 AM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb
......Texas Judge Rips Creationism Group in Science Degree Suit......

Thank God!

27 posted on 06/24/2010 10:18:25 AM PDT by DoctorMichael (Creationists: The crazy Aunts and Uncles of Conservatism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb

The logic is simple.

If anything is biblical based, it is therefore not true and only a fairy tail because it is impossible for God to use man to communicate truths.

And

The only things that are true are those that are not biblical based and those which have been accepted as true by the people whose knowledge is limited to what they all agree on.


28 posted on 06/24/2010 10:22:52 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tlb
I believe in "micro-evolution", I think even the most devout Christian believes that species adapt to their environment over time.
Where the theory of "macro-evolution" falls down is the belief that we all (and the amoeba and the duckbill platypus) came from the same puddle of goo somewhere.
IMHO, this belief takes much more faith than a belief in God.
29 posted on 06/24/2010 10:33:08 AM PDT by axxmann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: StolarStorm

“Why do these people continue to ignore the obvious fact that genesis was allegorical????”

Uh maybe because it’s NOT allegorical? God said what he meant and meant what he said, also the science fits better with it than it does with Darwin.


30 posted on 06/24/2010 10:34:16 AM PDT by trapped_in_LA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: tlb

There is no reason the state should accredit them for this degree. If some one wants to attend and get a degree from them, then by all means, do so. The state isn’t stopping anyone from doing that.


31 posted on 06/24/2010 10:38:07 AM PDT by Sic Parvis Magna
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: allmendream
Of course judges rule on religious matters all the time but the Constitution requires strict neutrality.

I am afraid my commonsense observation just can't get through the heads of people bound and determined to use the federal judiciary as a sort of Sanhedron. It's not designed that way and eventually that ambition is going to result in the total disestablishment and reconstruction of the judiciary ~ and possibly in ways the religious fanatics who want the judges to rule on their personal beliefs don't count on.

32 posted on 06/24/2010 10:39:16 AM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah

Are you saying that ruling on what is or is not religion is in itself establishing a religion?

And that drawing a line between what is science and what is religion can only be done by defining religion either directly or indirectly and therefore the judiciary is taking control over areas that our government should not be involved with?


33 posted on 06/24/2010 11:02:03 AM PDT by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah
The Constitution demands that government not endorse any particular religion or religious viewpoint; as such would be respecting the establishment of religion.

Nowhere does the Constitution demand that religion is something that a judge cannot discern. That there will be no “religious test” as a requirement for political office also makes incumbent upon a judge a determination of what is a religion, and what would constitute a religious test.

Your supposedly commonsense observation that Judges somehow cannot determine what a religion is, is not sensible. Neither is disagreement with your statement tantamount to a determination to use the judiciary as the ultimate arbiter of all things.

34 posted on 06/24/2010 11:16:14 AM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: StolarStorm

Why do the “other kind of people” deny the deeper more fantastic reality that allegories can only “hint” at? The mistake being made is to hold to a view alledging that allegory holds no real truth of fact only myth, and there-fore must be disscounted from true logical scientific discussuion. If the creation accounts can be seen as allegorical, one must consider that God used allegory in order to to explain to our simplistic materialistic mindsets, truths too fantastic for our limited intellects to otherwise grasp! Christ was said to have thanked the father for, “Hiding His wisdom from the wise of this world and revealing it to Babes”.


35 posted on 06/24/2010 11:22:06 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (Mike Mathis is my name,opinions are my own,subject to flaming when deserved!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SJSAMPLE; tlb
"master’s degree in science from a biblical perspective" ~ tlb

"Still laughing over this."

Maybe you're only "still laughing" because you've been indoctrinated into thinking the clownish / fundie biblical perspective is the only "biblical perspective".

Then again, you, too, may actually be a believer in fractured fairy tales.

36 posted on 06/24/2010 11:40:12 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (BP was founder of Cap & Trade Lobby and is linked to John Podesta, The Apollo alliance and Obama)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: tlb
“While bright-eyed science watches round; Hence away, tis holy ground.”

Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

37 posted on 06/24/2010 11:41:48 AM PDT by OldNavyVet (One trillion days, at 365 days per year, is 2,739,726,027 years ... almost 3 billion years.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: YHAOS
"There are certain “slants” . . . and then there are other “slants.”"

"....Intellectual intuition (nous) involves the direct perception of Truth.

"Logic (dianoia), on the other hand, is merely a mental operation that can lead to true or false conclusions, depending upon the data provided it.

"Logic is particularly useless -- even dangerous -- without the a priori intuition of Truth, without which logic alone eventually leads one over the abyss.

"The most important truths are indeed "self evident," that is, evident to the higher self.

"Clearly they are not necessarily evident to the lower self, which is why liberty and human dignity are a tough sell in the Islamic world, which awaits the day when its progress is not thwarted by the infrahuman majority in its midst.

"In America, the anti-progressive forces are represented by secular progressives, anti-religious Liztards, and other spiritual medullards.

"The application of mere logic would dismiss as silly superstition those transcendent truths that are known directly by the higher mind.

"This is why you cannot prove the existence of God to such a logic-bound individual, any more than you could prove it to a dog.

"Religious truths are conveyed through symbolism and analogy (with the assistance of grace), more like a great work of art than a mathematical equation.

"Although not merely logical, it would be a grave and simplistic error to suggest that the great revelations are illogical, any more than a Shakespearean sonnet or one of Beethoven’s symphonies are illogical.

"Rather, they are translogical. [...........snip............]"

38 posted on 06/24/2010 12:17:12 PM PDT by Matchett-PI (BP was founder of Cap & Trade Lobby and is linked to John Podesta, The Apollo alliance and Obama)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: tlb

I say let’s call Creationism science and make it stand up to the scientific method. For example, Creationism says the Earth was created roughly 6,000 years ago. Let’s test that hypothesis. Using the tools we have available to science at this time (radiometric dating, Pb/Pb isochron dating), indications are that the Earth was formed roughly 4.5 billion years ago. Hypothesis rejected.


39 posted on 06/24/2010 12:23:33 PM PDT by NC28203
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: allmendream
No, saying that there is NO RELIGIOUS TEST means it's none of your business.

The specific religious test outlawed by that clause was the one in Pennsylvania that REQUIRED you to be a Quaker to run for office.

Yes, the Quakers were still denying others the right to hold public office right down to 1790, and at that time the NO RELIGIOUS TEST standard was for federal offices only.

No judge needed to determine the validity of Quakerism as a true religion or a false religion. Prohibition of that test was sufficient to eliminate the problem.

Judges, to be equinanimous, must be totally neutral, and even determining if one element of belief or declaration is truly religions is beyond their authority.

The courts have no jurisdiction on how communion is administered nor if the cup is made of gold or silver, or wood. No judge in our system can dictate the number of candles to be lit in a Buddhist temple either on the basis of 79 being truly religious and 80 being a work of demons.

I do believe we still have people who think it's within the jurisdiction of our courts to determine the validity of religious beliefs.

They are wrong!

40 posted on 06/24/2010 1:17:43 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: allmendream
After giving you a chance to see what the "NO RELIGIOUS TEST" was about, you can obviously see that does not open up our judiciary to its use as an arbiter of correct or true religion.

The USSC and the rest of the system are not a Sanhedrin.

Now, how should a judge deal with something when religion intrudes ~ this is a common situation when you have the Batteling Battlies in court asserting that the other party with joint custody to the children is teaching them about Magic Ferries or Invisible Old men, and vice versa.

Certainly it's going to be the tendency of a judge with some religious upbringing to bring his own (religiously formed) wisdom to bear on the problem. At the same time we have laws, and a reasonably competent judge can use the law to provide guidance in these matters. An incompetent judge can't, and in fact, I'd use the occasion of the mention of "religion" in any court decision as a basis for REMOVING the judge or judges from the bench forever.

41 posted on 06/24/2010 1:24:07 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah
He only determined that their religious beliefs were invalid if you assume that the only thing that is valid is science.

Determining a religious belief is not science is not to say that the religious belief is not valid; just that it is not science.

42 posted on 06/24/2010 1:26:59 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI
"....Intellectual intuition (nous) involves the direct perception of Truth.

Right. You’re discussing certain epistemological, philosophical, and religious realities. I was making an observation about certain political realities. But . . . thanks anyway. Good stuff. ( ^: }

43 posted on 06/24/2010 3:03:38 PM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise
"God didn’t create the universe? God blew up out of cosmic dust too? Or God doesn’t exist?

Where is the allegory behind that?

Not discussing timelines, basic detail of whether God created things or not. Like chicken or the egg."

I AM referring to the timeline. God created everything including science which clearly indicates the existence of an old earth and species change over time. Ignoring the scientific laws and methods which God has used to create man, in my mind is the height of blasphemy. It is not demonstrating faith to believe in a Young Earth, it is an insult to God and his works.
44 posted on 06/24/2010 3:46:15 PM PDT by StolarStorm
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: axxmann
"I believe in "micro-evolution", I think even the most devout Christian believes that species adapt to their environment over time. Where the theory of "macro-evolution" falls down is the belief that we all (and the amoeba and the duckbill platypus) came from the same puddle of goo somewhere. IMHO, this belief takes much more faith than a belief in God."

I've read this view before and never understood why most don't understand the logical fallacy of it. Small changes over time lead to macro changes. A little change here and little change there... and after a 100 million years, you've got yourself a macro difference.
45 posted on 06/24/2010 3:48:28 PM PDT by StolarStorm
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: StolarStorm; axxmann
“Small changes over time lead to macro changes. A little change here and little change there... and after a 100 million years, you've got yourself a macro difference.” [excerpt]
Video or it didn't/doesn't happen.

Saying that is has/does is pure unverifiable conjecture.
46 posted on 06/24/2010 9:02:12 PM PDT by Fichori ('Wee-Weed Up' pitchfork wielding neolithic caveman villager with lit torch. Any questions?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: StolarStorm

But it is still a theory. Where is the proof? Where is the puddle of goo that we all came from? It still takes faith to believe in macro-evolution.


47 posted on 06/25/2010 8:40:23 AM PDT by axxmann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: StolarStorm

But it is still a theory. Where is the proof? Where is the puddle of goo that we all came from? It still takes faith to believe in macro-evolution.


48 posted on 06/25/2010 8:42:32 AM PDT by axxmann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Matchett-PI

I love your homepage. I miss Michael Crichton to this day.


49 posted on 06/25/2010 11:23:12 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Eckleburg

Thank you. I do too!


50 posted on 06/26/2010 8:36:13 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (BP was founder of Cap & Trade Lobby and is linked to John Podesta, The Apollo alliance and Obama)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson