Cell Membrane Experiment was (peer-review) Published!
I recently received a thick package with five October 2007 issues of the peer reviewed National Science Teacher Association "The Science Teacher" journal and guess what.. The Self-Assembly of Cell Membranes Experiment was in it!
It's not one of the free online articles, it's in their "Idea Bank" section but I have a pdf of the article that I can send via private message if you want to see it. This is the journal where it appears:
The NSTA Learning Center - The Science Teacher
I wanted to wait until I had the actual journal in my hands and was 100% sure it made it safely into the schools, before telling you. Not that it became controversial. I wanted to make sure that it didn't.
The title of the magazine issue "Bringing Biology Instruction to Life" helps describe what I see as a wave of new insight coming to the classroom. Life will be harder to see as a random accident. Be more of a meant-to-be product of forces that preexist in matter. And instead of just being able to recall the names of the major parts of a cell, students will be able to visualize the inner workings. Understand why when we look at cells from the level of the molecule it's like you're seeing intelligent workers building a city. That's more or less what it is.
Some say that the odds of cell "randomly" coming together are astronomically impossible. Not long ago I would have argued that. But now I have to agree. Life is a self-assembling emergent process. We need to focus on all that is nonrandom. Such as the self-assembly of the parts that make a cell.
Molecular (chemical) forces can also be seen to sum to one that can "create" life. In a religious context the term "creative force" best describes it. Can learn about these forces in chemistry class. Are three kinds. Ionic, Covalent and Polar covalent.
Since this is just science, the identity of the summed force is unnamed. But feel free to name it what you want if you must.
After adding the Intelligence 101 + Free Intelligence Detection Lab
we have the ultimate ID. But it's not from the Discovery Institute. Or other religious group. It will have started with us. People who know how to do good science. And be taught by teachers! Nobody can stop it because it really is just real science that we all need to understand.
As you might know, Kathy Martin is loving all this too. Even ended up smiling back from behind the experiment. How that happened started years ago, after my mentioning to her something like that being possible in the kitchen. That sort of committed me to finding one. But I didn't have it very well thought out. Was even looking like I over challenged myself. Fortunately, Kathy made it impossible to give up on that idea for another. So I kept looking for something new. Wanted it to be something that would help her understand this "Poof!" that I could not express in words. And for her counterpart who praised this at times here, along the way, and another who challenged everything in a sometimes constructive way. This experiment would not be in this journal without them. They deserve credit too.
It's important that we all gain something from the controversy. Reach a higher ground, together. Will otherwise end up with more fighting.
Kathy and others trying to understand the conflict need to know how "Intelligent Design" relates to science. And they are not going to accept an "ID is not science" answer. There must be an honest attempt to find something the schools can do for those she was elected to represent, many of whom feel left out of science right now.
The ID movement is a sign that people are looking for something. Even the Discovery Institute admits they don't have science yet, just a hunch, so none know what the science would look like. But like I have been saying all along, there really is something like that. The hunch is correct. Describing clearly defined entry points into science, for those who want to try doing things the right way, takes away excuses for doing bad science.
Kathy was along on the experiment writing adventure with me keeping her informed of important things that happened along the way. It proves that the system works when the science is on your side. And provides an excellent example of what "real science" along the lines of ID looks like. Has to explain how something works. Be able to stand on its own merit.
From what I can see, the only meaningful change to have come out of the conflict Kathy was in the middle of, for her to be genuinely proud of, is this. And it was very much a Kansas thing. I even think she is a little proud of Kansas Citizens For Science, for the good things it does like help make our experiment and other things happen. Is no way she would want the Discovery Institute to take credit for awesome new teacher science you incubated. Especially when she is like second author of the most valuable piece there is, the experiment with the "Poof!" in it. And it's not being a famous discovery in a prestigious scientist journal is just fine for a retired science teacher who knows who the NSTA is, and probably everyone else here who is proud too.
Kathy might be old-school but she will straight out tell you when she doesn't understand something. She shocked me by doing that. Had me spending hours finding just the right words, which really needed an experiment because of it being beyond words to describe. I was drawn in by her teacherly side. And having something that Kathy Martin likes, makes it way more than just another experiment. There must be hundreds speculating what she wants, from reading the old newspaper articles of the hearing. Well, she likes this. And you don't want her going off like a Godzilla loose in Kansas stomping the manure out of the science-as-usual again. Not that it didn't have some benefit. Healthy competition is good for science, and Kathy sure challenged us. At least be glad that she can be pleased at all.
Hopefully, even if you think crediting Kathy too, is nuts, you'll at least be able to let it be that way. It really is what makes the experiment so important to some of us. It's a something that went into the classroom that gives the side that needs it the most some hope that science will not abandon them. And it's level headed people, like I meet in religion forums, that make the most of the religious aspects of this kind of thing. The few who are simply hateful of science of any kind, I have even seen be asked to leave by the participants after rampaging on about evolution while we were discussing this real science that has nothing to do with Darwin. It was no help to them at all. And even if the Discovery Institute picked up on it, they'll just be doing already in the public schools stuff. Another reason why it's good to give so many dangerous in the wrong hands ideas here. I feel much safer with teachers knowing about them first.
Something that started some time ago became reason that quietly settled into where it belonged and is now permanently in place, just in time for Christmas! I now can stop by to say Ho, Ho, Ho and let you know that we all got most unusual gift this year. It's teacher-powered so we don't need to keep buying batteries and self-updating so it never wears out. The perfect gift.
And as you can see my having been quiet didn't mean I wasn't working on something for you. This one just took some patience. But it was well worth waiting for!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and I'll be wishing everyone the time of their lives in 2008.