Creationists Fear Defeat in This Week's Biology Textbook Adoption

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The State Board of Education doesn't vote on new high-school biology textbooks until Friday, but the Discovery Institute -- an avowed foe of teaching evolution in public schools -- is bracing for the worst.

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, an institute board member, tells Evolution News and Views that the proposed textbooks will "leave students in the dark about contemporary mainstream scientific controversies over Darwinian evolution."

Meyer was appointed an expert reviewer in 2009, when the SBOE was drawing a new science curriculum. His faction's great victory was a small phrase that held vast implications. Students would be asked to "analyze and evaluate" the theory of evolution's guiding principles. Because courts have found that the teaching of creationism and intelligent design is unconstitutional, their advocates have had to subsist on hinting at nonexistent controversies and flaws they say undermine evolution.

As told in last week's cover story, institute fellow and expert reviewer Ray Bohlin and others faulted the new crop of biology texts for failing to teach the "analyze and evaluate" mandate. The publisher of one of the country's most widely used biology texts, Pearson, refused to accede to the reviewers' demands. It responded to their concerns without weakening the text by addressing what creationists call "gaps" in the fossil record, and other pet theories that have been soundly and repeatedly debunked.

See also: Creationists' Last Stand at the State Board of Education

The question on everyone's mind is how the SBOE will respond. Will it adopt the book as is when it votes Friday? Or will the culture wars be kindled anew, and will Pearson's text be rejected for failing to conform with the curriculum?

Meyer is already lamenting the creationists' defeat. The books adopted this week will remain in Texas classrooms for a decade or more. The institute and its supporters on the SBOE would see it as a decade lost to secularism and a materialist view of the natural world.

"Students should be trained to think independently, rather than be drilled in rote fashion," he said. "Unfortunately, because Texas is a major purchaser of textbooks, the board's action may have an adverse impact on science education across America for years to come."

H/T Texas Freedom Network

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79 comments
brmcoyle
brmcoyle

These arguments met Darwin's initial work. Remember, everyone was racist in the 19th century. He was unusually empathetic to different races, which was needed to see humans as a dispersed population among other species.  Ditto the primates - most people saw them as beasts, Darwin saw them in the wild and recognized they bullied, loved, fought, very much like humans. He didn't come away thinking humans evolved from apes. He realized humans and apes were both distinct populations evolved from a common ancestor.  

Darwin saw the cruelty extant in nature, and realized no God (or IDer) would design like that. Again, honest, sensitive perception was needed. He saw giant fossils, and wasn't afraid to note their similarity to living creatures. Darwin's attributes - anti-racism, animal empathy, looking at nature's cruelty -  are the attributes lacking in those who oppose evolution still.  

willfpetro
willfpetro

These creationists lost a long time ago. They're simply to dogmatic to see that.

Pathetic people.

avalanche289
avalanche289

A major problem with this article is that Hargrove does not understand the difference between Creationists and Intelligent Design proponents.  Creationists will plug God or the FSM into anything they cannot explain and call it a miracle.  IDs  will use only science to support their position, which gives evolutionary scientists and advantage because of the 160+ years of gathering evidence.  We should take them on in this arena and win the argument the right way.  Buddhists say that others attack you out of their own pain/fear. Lets use reason and science and show that we are better than that.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@brmcoyle That's a big stretch to say that people who approach this from the ID or creationist side are all racists, anti-environmentalists or have no empathy for animals.  Actually we see quite the opposite in many religious groups who value "stewardship" as a principle to live by.

willfpetro
willfpetro

@avalanche289 ID is not science according to the Federal and Supreme  courts, every single credible university science department in America, every credible science organization, every peer reviewed science journal, the Catholic Church, most mainstream Christian national  church councils(NCSE website).

   The Library of Congress has 15 million science research papers. ID , like creationism is filed under religion. Dressing up creationism in a lab coat, is still creationism and a continuing attack on science by religious fundamentalists. I suggest you take your science classes from someone other than your Baptist minister.

  Your statement that ID is science is abjectly incorrect.

brantley.hargrove1
brantley.hargrove1

@avalanche289 I understand full-well the distinction (I just wrote a 5,000+ word story about them). The problem is I came away believing there is no difference. ID is a reaction, in my opinion, to adverse court rulings. You say Creationists plug God into what they can't explain. How is this different from ID? Cambrian Explosion? Clearly the supernatural. "Gaps" in the fossil record? A divine designer (note the pains they take to avoid saying "God"). A structure like, says, a flagellum of supposedly "irreducible complexity"? For whatever reason, natural processes can't account for it, so the next most reasonable explanation is obviously an unseen, intelligent force. ID requires imagination, avalanche, not a laboratory.

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289

Anyone familiar with the details of Kitzmiller v. Dover knows that any distinction between ID and Creationism is purely a sham to try getting around the dictates of  Edwards v. Aguillard. As for any science produced by IDers, the laughable Discovery Institute keeps a running list of peer-reviewed science they claim shows evidence of design, and here they all are, individually critiqued: http://www.skeptical-science.com/science/claims-peer-review-intelligent-design-examined/  Impressive (cough). By contrast, inputting "biological evidence of evolution" into Google Scholar returns 2,250,000 results.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@willfpetro @avalanche289 True that.  Neither is Darwinism or Neo-Darwinism.  They are all paradigms of interpretation.  If i stated that ID is science i misspoke.  I meant to say that ID proponents want to meet us on a pure scientific basis, regardless of world view of the scientists involved.  their main thrust is that there are ways to determine design and those ways should be able to be tuned to show whether DNA is naturally occurring through statistically random processes or does it show the evidence that some type of extra terrestial whether Q, vulcans, FSM or a "God" helped with the blueprint.  NASA scientists often posit that organic elements came to earth on comets or asteriods.  Are they whackos?

avalanche289
avalanche289

@willfpetro @avalanche289   Courts are not qualified to decide what is science politically.  Science is science whether performed by atheists, Buddhists, Muslims or Christians. All factions have people who do good verifiable science and people who do bad science.   You are arguing about the paradigm of interpretation.  where does DNA come from?  Depends on your paradigm.  I know what SETI would say if they received it in a stream of code from outer space.  " ahh finally proof of intelligence on other planets" 

avalanche289
avalanche289

@brantley.hargrove1 @avalanche289   so you don't believe that Design can be detected?  Scientists allover the world use different methods of determining design.  Is there a method you would use?  HOw can an archaeologists tell the difference between a rock and a pottery shard?  How can SETI determine if a signal is from and intelligent source.? (what would SETI say if they received the DNA code in signals from outer space - ) and oh yeah the designer does not have to be devine  see David Brin or Greg Bear  or Francis Crook

willfpetro
willfpetro

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 Kitzmiller vs Dover completely destroyed ID.

Period. Your statements are incredibly disingenuous and really nuts deception.

 ID is not science. If you diagree, write down all your ID and research, send it in to an actual science journal that is peer reviewed(may I suggest Science or Nature) and collect your Nobel prize.

   Pathetic deceit by a scientific illiterate 

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 OK i went through the paper you just linked and Gamble is as guilty as he claims the IDers are in throwing stuff out there with no support - just his word.  And i don't see much about Meyers  who is impressing some evolutionists with the validity of his arguments.


avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 @willfpetro I didn't invent the term Neo - Darwinism.  If it wasn't Steven J Gould (a highly admirable and well thought out evolutionist) then he certainly used it .  If ID is "a thinly disguised "  version of creationism then evolution is "thinly disguised" atheism, which puts both theories in the realm of metaphysics.  That makes the "hidden argument "  Is there a creator?  But everything that we read from the IDs intentionally avoids that question.

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289 @plainsman1 @willfpetro  

So, in other words, no you can't provide any citations to peer-reviewed science providing any evidence for the diversity of life other than a combination of selection and mutation.

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289 @plainsman1 @willfpetro  

Oh good grief, the flagellum non-issue has been well explained many times - there is no mystery about it:

 http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB200_1.html

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13663-evolution-myths-the-bacterial-flagellum-is-irreducibly-complex.html#.Uo7R4ieFfKc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdwTwNPyR9w

And BTW, there is no such thing as "darwinism" or "neo-darwinism" - indeed the very usage of "darwinism" is generally a pejorative used by ID/creationists who refuse to use the more scientifically accurate evolutionary theory. Has the theory developed since Darwins's time? Of course, since the greatest source of scientific evidence for evolution, modern genetics, hadn't been discovered yet.

And speaking of data, where exactly is any data confirming intelligent design? I'm still waiting for those peer-reviewed citations.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 @willfpetro plainsman, you from Kansas?  I used to live in Liberal.  I have enjoyed this discussion but must quit for the night and will be back tomorrow, and not sure if it was you willfpetro, but no I am not a Baptist.  I do prefer reason to mudslinging though.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 @willfpetro You just made the point about world view.  In the evolutionary worldview, the Cambrian explosion will be explained (we have faith in that) eventually.  In the ID world view, the Cambrian explosion IS evidence along with DNA and rotating flagellum motors.  Your paradigm determines your interpretation.  You have to go to the data and data has been misinterpreted by Darwinists, neo darwinists, IDs and creationists.  Thats how science works.  once the misinterpretaion of data is discovered the theory is revised (i.e. darwinism to neo-darwinism)

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289 @willfpetro  

World view? What does "world view" have to do with science. Either the evidence developed via scientific rigor supports a theory/hypothesis or it doesn't. There are mountains of evidence across multiple scientific fields supporting evolution and NOTHING supporting ID/creationism. If you can provide a citation providing scientific evidence of any process describing causation for the diversity of life other than a combination of selection and mutation, do so.

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289 @willfpetro  

AND (once again) extra-terrestrial organic elements seeded by comets/asteroids do nothing whatever to inhibit evolutionary theory, which (once again) is only concerned with how the diversity of life developed after life began.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 @willfpetro Some disciplines distinguish and classify natural entiities, others attempt to formulate overarching laws that apply to all entities. Some perform lab experiments under controlled and replicable  conditions. others attempt to reconstruct or explain singular events in the past often based on field studies of evidence or clues rather than lab experiments. Other disciplines generate mathematical descriptions of natural phenomena, with out positing the mechanisms that porduced them. Some disciplines make predictions to test theories while others test competing theories.  And some conjectures (i.e. String theory are conjectures that are not testable at all.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@willfpetro @brantley.hargrove1 @avalanche289 I would agree that most proponents of ID have some type of belief in "a creation"  very few probably are 6 day creationists (7th day Adventists most likely)  but many evolutionists also go to church or have philosophical beliefs  that vary from their peers.Its not what your philosophy is its whether you can use one of the scientific methods correctly  and the paradigm that you live in for your interpretation.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 @brantley.hargrove1 Is Richard Dawkins  legitimately peer reviewed enough for you?  Unless you stand higher on the evolutionary/atheist pecking order than him you have to concede to his statements on the inability of chemistry to explain the spontaneous generation of life - which takes me back to Brin, Bear, Beneford and others who posit extraterrestrial beings involved in uplift of species.

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289 @plainsman1 @brantley.hargrove1  

You keep bringing up stuff that is irrelevant to evolutionary theory. Provide citations for any peer-reviewed research that posits an extra-terrestrial source of organic elements other than inanimate objects like comets/asteroids. Additionally, provide a citation for any evolutionary biologist who has categorically denied that these early organic elements could have come from said impacts.

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289 @plainsman1 @brantley.hargrove1  

Provide a citation for any peer-reviewed paper that provides evidence that any extra-terrestrial source (other than impact from inanimate objects such as comets and asteroids) brought anything to an early earth that contributed to the formation of the first self-replicating molecules. And, BTW, the origins of life on this planet aren't critical for evolutionary theory, which is only concerned with how the diversity of life developed AFTER these first organisms formed. The study of abiogenesis is the branch of science that studies the origins of life, not evolutionary biology.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 @brantley.hargrove1 Evolution supporting scientists like Brin, Bear, Crook and others have already posited extra-terrestial involvement in evolution.  Dawkins himself admitted that there is no support for a chemical origin of life on earth.

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289 @brantley.hargrove1  

What crap. "Intelligent" design is a thinly veiled cover for creationism, which was completely exposed by Kitzmiller v. Dover. It posits not a scientific critique of prevailing evolutionary theory, but an untestable supernatural entity - a Designer - who designed (intelligently or not) the universe. ID/creationism isn't science because it relies on supernatural causation and philosophical or theological concepts, and as such can  make no predictions that can be validated by testing, which is how science works.

amyedmonds916
amyedmonds916

Hedin was not fired.  He continues to teach at Ball State but he no longer attempts to pass off "intelligent" design as science. 

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 By the way posting links to make your argument for you is weak intellectually.  I have been reading them, but usually find a few falacies, which can discredit the whole paper.  Just quote them or say it in your own words.  we don't have to worry about being sued for plagiarism in this venue.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 It was an honors class not an "indoctrination" biology class.  Students signed up for it by choice.  The people who brought the case have stated that "Science destroys religion"  so they are not protecting free speech but instead are using politics again to avoid having to discuss the design hypothesis.  If Ball State wants to protect its curriculum, then i guess they have the right to shut down "discussing issues based on their merits" and go to only discussing issues that they personally hold to.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 Interesting aritcle by Baily,but he is confused about the difference in shannon information vs specified information. the snowflakes are complex but not specified info.  they would be specified if nature produced identical snowflakes.  I am not familiar with the molecule that baily tries to prove his point with,  but there are many molecules and processes like clotting or the process for cells to produce adenine that have toxic or useless intermediate stages where evolution would fail.  and 10 to the 33 (that's a 1 followed by 33 zeros) might be possible in 15 billion years if the pacific ocean were filled with only left handed amino acids and there was no UV rays or oxygen (but that is mutually exclusive since it is Oxygen molecules in the form of ozone that block UV rays).  so then you would have one molecule

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 @willfpetro Politics and courts cannot decide science issues.  It didn't work for the opponents of Copernicus or Galileo.  A political stall is like name caling - a sign that we are worried our arguments aren't valid.  Politicians always try to define their opponents position in a bad light.  If you stop and listen to the ID position, they are saying 'we will only speak in scientific terms not religious and intelligence does not have to mean divinity'  but since the neo-darwinian community is afraid to look at the issue of detecting design it is easier to mudsling.

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289  

Regarding Eric Hedin, his was by no legal description a free speech issue. The University has every right to control its own curriculum. If anything it was a First Amendment issue. Hedin was a government employee, teaching at a government school, using taxpayer money to push his Christian viewpoint in a science class.How is that NOT an unconscionable entanglement of government with religion?

The probability trope is equally stupid: http://www.sciencemeetsreligion.org/evolution/probability.php

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 @willfpetro according to that judge (who is not a scientist),  but you are listening to someone who needs to connect creationism with ID or face a discussion which theory actually interprets the data effectively.  He would rather call it a name that precludes discussion.  Still no comments on how new DNA/proteins are formed in an organism?  ahh supper is coming Aloha.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 @willfpetro really? have you heard of the firing of Eric Hedin by Ball State?  So much for free speech or allowing opposing views at least at Ball state.

Genetics has not confirmed evolution because it can show no mechanism for producing new proteins fast enough for the 15 billion years of the visible universes history.  May be you can?  How would an organism produce a new protein of 200-5000 amino acids from scratch?  because thats what is required for neo-darwinsim evolution.

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289 @willfpetro @plainsman1  

Man, you are SO full of it, and either a science-illiterate or a liar. Evolution is simply the process that results in heritable changes in a population over many generations, caused by a combination of selection and mutation. This simple fact has been documented by a broad spectrum of scientific fields including genetics, anatomy, ecology, animal behavior, paleontology, and geology, to name but a few.

ID/creationist acolytes have much in common with other conspiracy theory nuts, in that they presume there must be a worldwide plot by research scientists, scientific journal editors, educators and the media to unjustly prevent a single valid ID/creationist manuscript from being published (other than in ID/creationist vanity publications).

avalanche289
avalanche289

@willfpetro @plainsman1 @avalanche289 "nuts and pathetic"  getting worried?  And of course Nature is not allowed to publish anything that would have  to do with ID.  the editor would be canned like any college professor that questions the inability of neo darwinism to explain evolution.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 well you're right i haven't read the whole tome but have had a few biology classes in under grad and grad school.  so if evolutionists have followed Dawkins lead and agree that they can't explain origins, then they have opened the door for the IDs or the FSMs or Q.  they have to take the organisms that exist without explaining their origin and cannot logically rule out ID. QED  they cannot say 'we have no idea how it came into being, but it couldn't have been designed because we don't want to talk about that

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289 @plainsman1  

Point? You have no point. "Origin of Species" never had anything to do with the origins of life in the first place, but the origins of diversity. That you don't know that makes it pretty clear you have never actually read Darwin and haven't the faintest idea what the theory actually consists of or how it has developed over time.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 You are making my point for me about why the name calling.  Evolution used to be concerned with origins (i.e. origin of species) but had to give that up as evidence amassed that there could be no chemical origin of life here

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 as soon as you provide a paper on how self replicating molecules were able to develop a 4 element code read in triplets that spontaneously put together a pattern for even the simplest 150 amino acid protein.  Let alone the structures for reading, editing and transporting the protein to the correct place in the "cell".  I am being sarcastic of course, because as many neo darwinists are realizing and many IDs know, both sides have huge holes in the theories that still need to be  investigated.  YOu must have missed my comment on how Dawkins has admitted that there is NO evidence for a spontaneous chemically based origin of life on this planet, so the replicating molecules is a moot point.

plainsman1
plainsman1

@avalanche289 @plainsman1  

Evolutionary theory is only concerned with the biological diversity of life from the earliest self-replicating molecules.  Provide a citation for any peer-reviewed research providing evidence of biological  "design" that cannot be adequately explained by the combined effects of selection and mutation.

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 NOt looking for "supernatural"  however you define it.  Looking for a way to determine if something is designed (pottery shard,  ancient eating tool, blueprint, )  How would you tell if a string of code was random or designed?

avalanche289
avalanche289

@plainsman1 @avalanche289 Yeah those would be the ones that he did not impress.  The name calling is telling.  How would you outline the determination of design?  Many scientific disciplines have algorithms for it.  SETI does.But you don't believe design can be detected?

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