Walter Bishop Murfin
Born March 28, 1925
Died February 6, 2014
I’ll bet you didn’t know that was Walt’s middle name? Well, it was. I don’t know if he cared whether anyone knew or not but, unfortunately, he is no longer here to berate me for telling everyone, and that hurts. Badly. Walt died yesterday (February 6, 2013).
Walt Murfin is shown here being awarded a CESE plaque honoring his many achievements (February 4th, 2012).
He had a very hard time of it for almost a year, first with a hemorrhagic stroke, and then finally with pneumonia. It was all too much for him. Even someone with such a strong will and intellect as his finally had to let go. His wife, Bettyann, stayed with him at his home until the end with her daughter next door, Walt’s son, John, and Hospice to help out. Still, it is pretty tough.
Walt was nearing 89, and a year ago, still sharp as a tack and a bit of a rascal on occasion to boot! But Bettyann shared him with us, CESE. So he was our rascal! He was one of the smartest people I have ever had the privilege of being around. He was also a good friend – a very good friend. Though meeting late in life, we saw things so much alike that it was as if he and I had known each other for many years. Sure, we didn’t agree on everything, but on most things. When he would get upset with me, he would eventually apologize. When I would get upset with him, he eventually would apologize. Yes – you heard that right. Walt was a complex person.
Walt and CESE went together as if they were born for each other. I personally think that CESE gave him some added purpose as he got older and, in fact, he was a great asset to CESE. Walt, along with Marshall Berman, was the impetus behind the Murfin Method, or as he wished to call it, the CESE Method. This is a unique way of determining how to improve the educational system (K –12) in New Mexico. Walt worked on this for days at a time, developing the method and details of computations. Walt also help Marshall evaluate data when Marshall was on the state school Board of Education before it was done away with. He helped former CESE president, Steve Getty, perform needed analyses in his educational work. In other words, Walt became very wrapped up in education and in the CESE cause of improving not just science and math education in our state, but also improving all education. He worked on this constantly and passed the results and methods on to anyone who would listen. It has always been CESE’s hope that the state would seriously listen to what we have to say and act upon it. Walt worked very, very hard to that end. Even after his stroke, he recovered enough to almost desperately make sure that his work could be replicated. And people have been listening!
And, Walt, we are trying to carry on, but you will be impossible to replace. The best we can do is to hope to come close.
Walt, you have done more than your part to make the world a better place. That’s all one could ask of another person. We miss you very much, Walt. Happy sailing.
CESE Past President
Feb. 7th, 2014
Click here to read the 2013 Annual Meeting (June 29). Comments from out-going president Ken Whiton, and from in-coming president Terry Dunbar; election of slate for 2013-2014; keynote speaker Zack Kopplin, on "Why we need a Second Giant Leap."
Zack Kopplin addresses the CESE 2013 Annual Meeting.
Want more Annual Meeting Minutes? Click here!
CESE is pleased to announce that our keynote speaker for this year's Annual Meeting (to be held on Saturday, June 29th, 1:00-4:30 in Albuquerque, New Mexico) will be none other than Louisiana activist Zack Kopplin. Kopplin has led a vigorous opposition to that state's anti-science legislation, the so-called "Louisiana Science Education Act."
Also, read some of Zack's work at the "Creeping Creationist Vouchers" website.
It's the Spring Break 2013 Climate Change Speaking Tour!
It's Spring Break at New Mexico Tech, and CESE webmaster Dave Thomas is taking a road trip to give a series of talks on the topics of science, pseudoscience, climate change and global warming denial. Here is the schedule. There is a small fee for the Lifelong Learning classes.
- LifeLong Learning for New Mexicans: Science, Pseudoscience and the Battle over Global Warming
Instructor: David Thomas, $14/2 sessions; Monday, March 11 & 18, 10 am – 12N;
Faith Lutheran Church, 10000 Spain Road, NE, Albuquerque, NM
The first of these two lectures will examine what makes science unique among human endeavors. While political, religious and legal arguments all involve making one's case by cherry-picking facts,science proceeds by cherry- picking those hypotheses that best explain all facts. We will consider the role of scientific consensus and peer review, Cargo Cult science, cognitive illusions and more. At the second meeting, we will consider how these concepts apply to climate change and global warming. Why is carbon dioxide more worrisome than other greenhouse gases? How can we tell man-made warming from natural climate change? Has the "Climategate" scandal really disproved global warming? Has science found human-caused global warming to be real, or do we need more data?
- New Mexico Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA), March 12, 2013
Dave Thomas on "Climate Change: Just Nature, or are Humans the Problem?" The AWMA March meeting will be in the Banquet Room at the Golden Corral Buffet and Grill, (10415 Central Avenue NE, northeast corner at Eubank) in Albuquerque on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Dave, a New Mexico physicist and teacher, will talk about how can we tell man-made warming from natural climate change, why carbon dioxide is more worrisome than other greenhouse gases, whether the "Climategate" scandal really disproved global warming, if more data are still needed to decide, and more.