Tuesday, February 02, 2010

And another... Mr. Marquardt replies.

I think it's interesting that being opposed to a 14th century view of the creation of the universe is the same thing as religious intolerance.

-- but if Mr. Marquardt didn't think his view of educational content mattered, he would have been more circumspect.

I also love the idea that working at Cowpie is like working in an Ivory Tower.

West Bend Peterson merely mocks those who disagree with his beliefs

Once again, Mr. Peterson’s anti-religion bias shines forth in a
column. I do agree with him that a candidate’s religious views should
be of no interest in a School Board race. Unfortunately, he does not
see that his own views on science are also clouded by religion –
simply a version that chooses to view things from a humanist and god-
less alternative perspective.
I did not intend to get into a theological discussion when I
entered this race. Eagle Forum posed the question of teaching
“alternate theories of origins ... as an alternative, or in addition,
to the theory of evolution.” I focused on the word “origins” because
there are vast differences of scientific opinion as to the beginning
of our world and the one that Mr. Peterson chooses to believe is no
more factual or provable than the next, including creationism.
While the scientific process of evolution is proven fact, extending
it backwards to attempt to explain the origin of life requires equally
as much faith as any other theory. Therefore, I do not support
teaching one origin theory as fact over the next, and neither do I
believe in censuring any of them. Intelligent Design simply allows
that religious beliefs are not necessarily incompatible with known
science. What we are supposed to be doing is opening young minds to
all possibilities, especially where facts are not clearly defined.
As for common sense, maybe Mr. Peterson needs to come down from his
ivory tower once in a while – to talk with regular folks rather than
just mocking them. Belief in God and his creation is rather normal
down here, as is upholding moral principles, free enterprise and
personal responsibility – all virtues that he, and the intellectual
class in general, has been trying to erode in the name of “progress.”

Randy Marquardt


Anonymous said...

"Philosopher with Socratic attitude."

Perhaps you should change this to read with the exception of evolution.

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately, he does not
see that his own views on science are also clouded by religion –
simply a version that chooses to view things from a humanist and god-
less alternative perspective."


Sorry, but the very definition of religion makes it quite impossible for Dr. Peterson's stance to be "clouded by religion" if it is, indeed, Godless.

Noncensor99 said...

Marquardt almost managed to make a point in this morning's letter to the editor. As he began to draw a distinction between Evolution and the origins of life, I thought at first he was showing that he understood the science of the matter: Neo-Darwinian evolution is about how life changes over time; it does not discuss how organic molecules arose from inorganics, or how "life," per se, originated.

Then he spoiled it by going on to say that scientific theories are no more provable than creationism. I suspect the factual distinction he started to draw was a rhetorical accident.

Mpeterson said...

You have to remember that for most of these people, most Catholics and anyone else who disagrees with their theology is, by definition, godless.

Anonymous said...

Or, as he should have written:

Peterson merely mocks those who disagree with reality.

Once again, Mr. Peterson's pro-reality bias shines forth in a column. I do agree with his that a candidate's religious views should be of no interest in a School Board race, but it would be nice if the candidate were able to tell the difference between scientific discoveries and religious dogma.

As far as I can tell, Randy Marquardt is disappointed that Dave Weigand is getting all the bad press and wants to be mocked, too.

Rich Kasten said...

Wow Mark, that is quite a ridiculous statement and generalization you made there... While I would go so far as to say "some people" and "some Catholics". You need to remember, you are going to draw the ire of those that do believe that when you (no matter how far your tongue was in your cheek) write about banning the Bible and some of your other posts. It does come off as being equally as intolerant as those that you are complaining about.

Mpeterson said...

Actually, it's not an over-generalization to suggest that the WELs and other fundamentalists groups aren't sure Catholics count as Christians since most of the fundamentalists I know (and from major denominations of fundamentalists like the Pentecostals, 7th Day Adventists, and Assemblies of God) typically call the Catholics a cult.

Those of us who are ELCA Lutherans are positively Satanic by those standards. ... actually, probably more like socialist Satanists.

Which has been a big surprise to my mother, by the way. Had I mentioned that I actually studied for the ministry? That probably doesn't count as recognizably Christian either. So it goes.

Anyway Rich, I'm content to let the cards fall where they may on this issue.

I think it's plain that Mr. Marquardt here doth protest too much.

Rich Kasten said...

Oh my, then my wife and I should probably rethink the possibility of my son (in Catholic School) going to Living Word (a Lutheran High School) even though both denominations are supportive and recruiting.

I guess I don't see protesting too much by Mr. Marquardt (an all around good guy). I see him protesting being called out on a relative non-issue for the upcoming race. It's too bad the waters have to be muddied when we have enough real problems facing the district.

Mpeterson said...

Is your wife a Pentecostal fundamentalist? Interesting.

I think Mr. Marquardt must've been naive if he didn't think it matters if he endorses a hot button point of view like this.

He may be a nice guy, but there are nice people running for this office who *do* believe science, rather than religion, should be taught in science classes. I think they're kind of an obvious better choice to have a say in local educational programming.

Anyway, if the voters disagree it'll be a nice victory for those who want to get rid of quality public education and I'll stay employed picking up the pieces in remedial university ed.

Rich Kasten said...

Nope, she is just as Catholic as I am.

I am guessing you have never talked to Mr. Marquardt to get a true sense of the candidate. Just taking an answer from a questionnaire from a person or group you do not see eye to eye with.

So let me get this straight, a win for Mr. Marquardt because of one non-issue would equal getting rid of quality education? You and I disagree all the time on education issues (some trivial, some not); does that mean that you are providing non-quality education?

Mpeterson said...

You and I don't disagree about the appropriate content of a science course, do we?

But your argument can also land us here: that it would be okay for the science curriculum to allow creationism without compromising the quality of the student's education.

I'm afraid it's kind of a litmus test.

I'm glad to hear that Mr. Marquardt is a nice guy, but wasn't he also opposed to the referenda last spring, along with the rest of the Common Sense Cadre? If we kick this back to budgetary questions that still raises the red flag. Spending money as we have for a renovation that was necessary has already saved the city millions it would have had to spend had we waited. That's kind of a litmus test too.

Kevin scheunemann said...


You talk about the WELS, ELCA, and Catholics in the context that they are in this "cut throat" battle for souls against each other.

I don't know where you get your information from about these Chrisitan bodies, but that is not the "official" position of any of those religious bodies. Granted, there may be some members of each those groups not practicing good PR in articulating a paticular doctrinal position...but there is not a "cut throat" battle to steal members from the other Christian group.

What I am concerned about is your religion. You constantly profess your liberal religion is superior and we need to suppress all other religions in the public square.

I'm worried about all this censorship you are throwing around.

What happened to the "anything goes" when it comes to the children's section of the library mentality?

That's what I'm fascinated by!

Anonymous said...

Marquardt voted for the Badger referendum.

Mpeterson said...

I worship Thor, Kevin. Everybody knows that. :^)

And the Catholic Church, shockingly, does accept both evolution and heliocentrism now as sound scientific accounts of reality. They've even apologized for that whole Galileo thing.

Mpeterson said...

If Marquardt voted for the referendum, good for him!

Rich Kasten said...

And as a member of CFAC2 (the Citizens' Facilities Advisory Committee) I am guessing Randy is pretty squarely up to date on the facility needs for the district and how much it costs to fix those problems. That coupled with a new Facilities Director for the District may very well save us dollars in the end. This is a tangible problem facing the district.

But if you want to worry about a position (creationism vs. evolution) that may never become an issue, the problems facing West Bend may never be addressed.

DanBack said...

Check out this letter to the editor Randy Marquardt got published in May 2009.

The guy really has something against people with an education, doesn't he? Funny that he is running for the school board.


Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight... you based an entire column on a questionnaire that you didn't issue and without actually speaking to any of the people involved and now you disclose that you didn't even read the entire questionnaire? Marquardt stated his support for the Badger referendum in the very same questionnaire.

Is this the kind of preparation you bring to class?

Kevin Scheunemann said...


So what are you saying? The Catholic church is, curently, more tolerant of alternate viewpoints than you?


Mpeterson said...

As I said from the start, so long as he doesn't intrude his religious views into the science curriculum, I have no problem with him serving on the school board. If he can figure out how to save even more money for the district while maintaining the standards, cool.

If he does, then I'm going to insist we teach that Thor causes lightning too. That's all I'm sayin.

But, seriously Rich, saying you're a creationist running for a school board position is going to set off alarm bells all over the country -- which has already happened here.

Mpeterson said...


Well, it's fun and easy to be anti-intellectual and even better, politically and psychologically to tag people as intellectual elitists -- rather than address anything they've actually said (fallacy of ad hominum circumstantial, as Kevin well knows).

But I have to confess to the completely non-virtuous pleasure I get when people tell me I'm an idiot because I have a PhD and tenure at a university.

Or when they say that UWWC is an ivory tower. :^)

"Fertile minds begin at Cowpie."

Anonymous said...

mpeterson said:

"but there are nice people running for this office who *do* believe science, rather than religion, should be taught in science classes."

This coming from a guy who claims he's like Socrates and thinks evolution created DNA. Please be honest and confess that your job depends on it.

Thanks for the good laugh.

Rich Kasten said...

"saying you're a creationist running for a school board position is going to set off alarm bells all over the country"

And that is exactly the behavior I have been arguing is ridiculous. If you are going to get up there and say you are running on a platform of creationism, then yes, the alarm bells should go off for the non-creationists. Otherwise, what will the next litmus test be? If I finds myself agreeing with everything a candidate stands for, I would be more fearful of that candidate as they probably never take a position on anything. It has generally served me quite well.

Mpeterson said...


I guess that's not an unreasonable way to look at it... but you're being naive.

During the 1980's and 1990's 2300 school boards nationwide were taken over by creationist candidates who actively pursued altering the science curriculum.

You're quite right: if someone believes that Genesis is an historical account but isn't interested in pressing it in school, great... I'd be delighted to hear that this is the case here. I have no reason to doubt you -- but it isn't the norm nationwide (or even in West Bend).

Typically, those fundamentalists who believe in the Genesis account don't understand why their view cannot be taught in the classroom as science, suggest the teachers give it a go -- and then troubles pour in. Things have quieted down a bit during the past 10 years -- especially since Dover -- but four years ago West Bend there was noise about getting "intelligent design" taught in WB Schools -- so this is neither unusual or surprising.