Not Wisconsin!

| 54 Comments

It looks like Wisconsin is getting ready to bolt from the ranks of the reality-based community. One of their school districts is trying to push ignorance on their students.

School officials have revised the science curriculum to allow the teaching of creationism, prompting an outcry from more than 300 educators who urged that the decision be reversed.

Members of Grantsburg's school board believed that a state law governing the teaching of evolution was too restrictive. The science curriculum "should not be totally inclusive of just one scientific theory," said Joni Burgin, superintendent of the district of 1,000 students in northwest Wisconsin.

I fear we're going to see much more of this in the next few years.

54 Comments

The science curriculum “should not be totally inclusive of just one scientific theory,”

I guess that means that spontaneous generation and storks will be taught in health class.

I understand the Center for Phlogiston Research is pushing for a similar adjustment to Wisconsin chemistry curricula.

Well since Bush won again you can spect the teaching of Evolution in schools to be seriously undermined.

We better hope the big ID supreme court challenge happens before Bush gets a couple more Scalias on the court.

Much as I hate to say it, how much worse would that really be than, say, teaching the accepted version of American history, particularly with regard to Native Americans? I think when you really parse through the curriculum there are a lot of half truths and out-right lies that are in there for the purpose of pleasing our cultural sensibilities.

I take your point Dave, but I don’t think the Native population is being portrayed as the lost tribes of Isreal.

They’ve already had a creationist governor. Kind of makes me wonder who he ran against. Can you imagine how much of a doofus you’d need to be to get beat by a creationist?

A creationist beat John Kerry…

As to gwangi’s note, there is nothing in the press release which identifies Mr. McCallum as a creationist.

From what I gather, some of the real folks at Discovery who work on real policy issues think the creationism group is a bit off the wall. In any case, there’s no litmus test there, they say.

I doubt Discovery Institute could function at all if they required their scholars to be creationists.

Good point. All you need is enough doofuses in the electorate, and any old idiot can get elected.

Have any of the research professors that frequent Panda’s Thumb, or contribute to NCSE, tried applying to be a fellow of the Discovery Institute? That may be a really stupid move for whoever does it, and a no-lose situation for the DI to accept such a person, but if they turned down a legitimate evolutionary biologist it’d be fun to see them compare his or her credentials to those of their fellows.

McCallum didn’t run against anyone. He was Lt. Governor under Tommy Thompson, who left to become Shrub’s HHS Secretary. When an election occured he was defeated.

Though it wouldn’t surprise me is Tommy were a creationist.

Dave I don’t know what you where taught but in high school we where taught how the white man slaughtered the American Indians, consistantly broke treaties, forced them to repeatedly move from 1 barren piece of land to another. Heck we even where taught how “Scalping” was actually a white mans practice. I don’t believe my school, which was a public school, was in any way afraid of teaching how messed up Americans could be.

That said…even if they didn’t I fail to see how teaching 1 lie in school gives you the right to teach another one.

Dave I don’t know what you where taught but in high school we where taught how the white man slaughtered the American Indians, consistantly broke treaties, forced them to repeatedly move from 1 barren piece of land to another. Heck we even where taught how “Scalping” was actually a white mans practice. I don’t believe my school, which was a public school, was in any way afraid of teaching how messed up Americans could be.

That said…even if they didn’t I fail to see how teaching 1 lie in school gives you the right to teach another one.

(note if this posts twice I got an error and refreshed the page a few times over 5 minutes, sorry in advance if this is a duplicate.)

I haven’t read the specific objections, but I hope they aren’t mostly the same old “sneaking in God” complaints that only makes the public even more sympathetic to the promoters of alternatives “theories”.

Once and for all, the “equal time” advocates must be forced to outline their one specific alternative “theory” (yes, I know it’s not a theory), including an origins account that is at least as detailed as the mainstream one, at least in terms of the age of the earth and common descent. No “big tent” nonsense, no false dichotomy between evolution and design. And if they try to weasel out of a “critical analysis” of their own alternative (if they dare to specify one in the first place), then they should be exposed for seeking an unfair advantage, not equal time.

Hi Wayne,

My point wasn’t that it’s OK to teach lies in school, simply that there is sometimes a much euphemized, over-simplified, or out right wrong version of a subject taught. I don’t like the idea of teaching creationism one bit, nor would I approve if my local schools were burshing over the American treatment with Native Americans as if it were all about Americans making clean land deals and fulfilling their manifest destiny. Geez, I feel like a peacenik trying to convince a hawk that the Iraq war wasn’t a good idea, even if Saddam was a monster…

Dave Cerutti,

Some years back, I did raise the possibility that the DI CRSC should consider funding a “skeptic in residence”. Paul Nelson said he’d have to think about that.

At the time, I was still working on my Ph.D.

Wesley

Did your surgery go OK?

As far as a skeptic in residence, William Dembski actually offered Richard Dawkins a Fellowship with ISCID:

http://www.arn.org/ubb/ultimatebb.p[…]=14;t=000574

Dave Cerutti,

The surgery was successful, but the recovery is slow. I’m still on a restricted diet. There has been gradual improvement over the past month, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be out hawking by January or so.

Wesley

Wesley,

I extend my well wishes for your recovery.

respectfully, Salvador

I think when you really parse through the curriculum there are a lot of half truths and out-right lies that are in there for the purpose of pleasing our cultural sensibilities.

Eh, bad example. History can be highly subjective (in fact, history students are often encouraged to search for more exotic primary sources in order to develop unique perspectives), whereas science aims to maximise objectivity and theoretical uniformity as much as possible. Basically, in history there is a large, fuzzy area between “Correct” and “Incorrect”, Holocaust deniers notwithstanding. The scientific method is fairly black and white, and creationism is an unattractive shade of puce.

I applaude the school board. The THEORY of evolution has no scientific facts what soever to support the ridiculous claims. It has not and cannot be supported by repeatable scientific testing; therefore, belief in evolution relies on faith. This in-of-itself makes the theory of evolution a religion not fact. Why shouldn’t the schools teach other theories of origin based on faith. The theory of evolution is so weak in fact that hundreds of top univeristy science professors from schools such as Duke, Stanford, Yale, etc., etc. recently signed a letter refutting evolution as scientifically impossible. It is good to see that some people are starting to use the intelligence that God gave them, and not believing whatever the latest theory the world is teaching (remember at one time in history, you would have been ridiculed for refutting the theory of spontaneous generation).

Funny. I’m sitting here in front of a groaning shelf full of books containing observations supporting evolution, with a stack of papers testing and replicating experiments in evolution.

When creationists tell me that these books and papers don’t exist, it’s hard not to laugh.

Funny. I’m sitting here in front of a groaning shelf full of books containing observations supporting evolution, with a stack of papers testing and replicating experiments in evolution.

When creationists tell me that these books and papers don’t exist, it’s hard not to laugh.

It’s a worldview, see. Religious things become true because we SAY they are true. Want a handy god? No problem, just say there is one. You might not believe it immediately, but start your child at infancy, and your child will grow up to hear voices seconding his opinion and know God is whispering in his ear. The human mind is most marvelously malleable like that.

And using this same flexible method, we can turn evolution from a theory to a religion. Just SAY it’s a religion. What, you say, science doesn’t work that way? No problem. We just SAY science is a religion too. But, you say, in that case, if evidence is irrelevant, how can we distinguish true faiths from false faiths? Again, no problem. Just listen to me. God whispers in my ear, ratifying my opinion every time.

Doug Wrote:

The theory of evolution is so weak in fact that hundreds of top univeristy science professors from schools such as Duke, Stanford, Yale, etc., etc. recently signed a letter refutting evolution as scientifically impossible.

Really, there Dougster? How about producing a copy of this ‘letter’? Don’t tell me it’s the DI list, where most of people listed are scientists in the same sense that I’m an Olympian (Hey, I watched it on TV! I qualify!).

Truth be told, a large fraction of the posters on this list are scientists and know many more scientists than you. And evolution is no more a questionable topic among them than gravity.

Ya may wanna do some homework before embarassing yourself again…

“remember at one time in history, you would have been ridiculed for refutting the theory of spontaneous generation).”

Curiously, Pasteur had to cook 8^) his data to disprove spontaeneous generation.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abi[…]eration.html

Doug, you should check out talk.origins before you declare evolution dead. Creationists have been declaring evolution dead since Darwin.

Flint writes

Want a handy god? No problem, just say there is one. You might not believe it immediately, but start your child at infancy, and your child will grow up to hear voices seconding his opinion and know God is whispering in his ear.

This reminds me of a hypothetical presented to Francis Beckwith a long time ago. Instead of a “God” it was some other sort of creature and, as I recall, it was doing something other than ‘whispering’ in Francis’ ear.

Doug writes

(remember at one time in history, you would have been ridiculed for refutting the theory of spontaneous generation).

My irony meter just put on its coat and walked out of the office, cursing violently.

Yes, Doug, a theory which held that a mysterious force could cause rats, yeast and bacteria to arise from nothing in a few days from was debunked a long long long time ago. So why is it that you want that theory to be taught in classrooms again?

I should make clear right now, I AM NOT DOUG. So far as I can tell from this first post, HE IS FOR REAL. That is, DOUG IS NOT A FAKE CREATIONIST from what I can tell.

Dougie, if you’re the real deal, stick around and see how far you get with this crowd; a good strategy seems to be to deny that you’re a creationist and simply parade around in the vast ignorance of scientific understanding. Until the gaps in our knowledge close, you’ll find comfortable foundations for your arguments. If you are trolling, my record is about six posts before half the board has caught on. Creationist or not, it’ll be interesting to see what your half-life is.

A headline about Grantsburg appeared on the home page of CNN today. And, the story includes a a poll on whether or not creationism should be taught in schools.

Take the poll!

Science is winning, 2 to 1!!!

http://www.cnn.com/2004/EDUCATION/1[…]p/index.html

Unfortunately, that poll is a bit skewed. If the question had been, “should the theory of Intelligent Design in biological origins be taught in schools?” then I’m sure you’d get a much higher percentage saying yes. That’s despite the fact that there’s no theory of Intelligent Design of anything, anywhere in biology.

I very seldom make it to this site, but was interested when I saw the Wisconson school board story. I am all too familiar with the arguments of “Creation science” as I had a bit of a “tiff” with a local school board about 25 yrs. ago on this very subject. I thought this particular dragon had been slain, but now I see I was mistaken. I am worried that we are heading full speed astern into the 19th century with our new and improved faith based leadership. I fought this BS for my children and I will fight it for my grandchildren too. My question to the knowledgable of you out there is, what and where are the best books/sites/threads now out there to debunk this stuff (I have a fujiyama sp? book)? Particulary “intelligent design” WTF? I am assuming it is some cobbled up “theory” that tries to get around the constitutional arguments. A kind of reanimated corpse of “creation science”. TIA

Someone has to say it:

On behalf of Wisconsin, I’m really, really sorry, guys. We’re doing all we can.

jay bollswater asked

My question to the knowledgable of you out there is, what and where are the best books/sites/threads now out there to debunk this stuff (I have a fujiyama sp? book)? Particulary “intelligent design” WTF? I am assuming it is some cobbled up “theory” that tries to get around the constitutional arguments. A kind of reanimated corpse of “creation science”.

Yup, it’s what’s been called “Creationism in a cheap tuxedo,” or “Creationism for someone who has consulted a lawyer and public relations agent.”

Some resources: TalkDesign TalkReason TalkOrigins and National Center for Science Education.

RBH

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” – Theodosius Dobzhansky

“A true scientist would say that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evidence.” – Jonathan Wells, “Icons of Evolution”

I wonder if local boards of education, teachers, and students across America at least agree that evolutionary theory can be critiqued in science classes. (The question of whether creationism or intelligent design should be taught is a separate issue).

It would be interesting to take local, state and national polls of high-school and college/university students studying evolution, asking two questions:

In this class, is evolution taught as fact or theory?

Do you have the academic freedom to critique evolution?

*

The following suggested _Origins of Life_ policy, which first appeared in the Buckna/Laidlaw article, “Should evolution be immune from critical analysis in the science classroom?”(www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-282.htm) is a realistic, practical and legal way for state and local school boards to achieve a win-win situation with regard to evolution teaching. Even the ACLU, the NCSE, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State should find the policy acceptable:

“As no theory in science is immune from critical examination and evaluation, and recognizing that evolutionary theory is the only approved theory of origins that can be taught in the [province/state] science curriculum: whenever evolutionary theory is taught, students and teachers are encouraged to discuss the scientific information that _supports_ and _questions_ evolution and its underlying assumptions, in order to promote the development of critical thinking skills. This discussion would include only the scientific evidence/information _for_ and _against_ evolutionary theory, as it seeks to explain the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on our planet.”

For further information, see: “Teaching Evolution - Is There a Better Way?” by Ian Taylor (www.creationmoments.com/resources/printable_article.asp?art_id=26) and Teaching Origins in Public Schools by David N. Menton (http://emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/teach.htm)

If science is a search for truth, no scientific theory should be allowed to freeze into dogma, immune from critical examination and evaluation.

David Buckna

“This discussion would include only the scientific evidence/information _for_ and _against_ evolutionary theory, as it seeks to explain the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on our planet.”

David, thnk about what you just regurgitated. There is at least one thing wrong with it, and for another matter I don’t think you can produce evidence that contradicts biological evolution (not that it’s impossible, I just don’t think you can do it).

David Buckna:

Let’s see. As I understand it, your religious sect holds that there is a god of your description (whose origin is not to be examined!), who created the universe, life, and everything, basically just as we see it today. This claim fits everything anyone might ever observe by any and every means, since no matter what we observe was what this god created. Who could possibly ask more of a theory? It can’t possibly be proved wrong or even doubted.

You regard the theory of evolution as a competing creation tale in every respect - that evolution (incorrectly, perhaps) explains the origin of the universe, life and everything. Of course, evolution is nowhere near this ambitious. The theories of evolution (there really ARE competing theories, though you don’t seem aware of this) don’t attempt to explain the origin of the universe, or even the origin of life. They attempt to explain only the mechanism(s) by which life changes over time.

And so it’s clear that what you wish presented as an alternative to evolution doesn’t really overlap the theories of evolution much at all. It misrepresents what evolution is, in order to present your entire creation doctrine in every respect. This is hardly a “critical examination and evaluation” of evolution; you neither know nor care what evaluation applies to.

I don’t think anyone here opposes observing and discussing the differences among the different versions of evolutionary theory, which has been under very active debate over the last decades (at least), and has hardly “frozen into dogma.” What you wish to preach (not discuss, preach) instead, froze into dogma long ago, and is not subject to modification. Right? How would you suggest that we even go about testing whether any gods are involved in speciation? Surely you CAN propose such a test, can’t you? Otherwise, where is your science?

Evolutionary theory is critiqued all the time. What you fail to understand is that it is critiqued on the basis of evidence. Indeed, it undergoes continuous changes on the basis of evidence. Religious doctrine is not a competing theory, and the purpose of presenting it isn’t to teach, but to convert.

““A true scientist would say that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evidence.” — Jonathan Wells, “Icons of Evolution” “

Darn, there goes another irony meter!

David Buckna Wrote:

I wonder if local boards of education, teachers, and students across America at least agree that evolutionary theory can be critiqued in science classes. (The question of whether creationism or intelligent design should be taught is a separate issue).

Evolutionary theory is already critiqued at the college level. I suppose that some critique could be carefully introduced at the high school level – for all science, there’s no reason to single out evolution. But because there’s so much misrepresentation disguised as “critical analysis” that there may be no practical way to do this without misinforming students with only a high school science background. The non-science majors will forget most of what they learned, and retain only the misleading sound bites. Which is of course what anti-evolutionists want.

I also agree that creationism and ID should be taught – outside of science class of course – and as long as a critical analysis (a real one, not a phony one) is done of them too.

David Buckna Wrote:

It would be interesting to take local, state and national polls of high-school and college/university students studying evolution, asking two questions:

In this class, is evolution taught as fact or theory?

Do you have the academic freedom to critique evolution?

What good would the first question do when most of the respondents do not know the scientific definitions of “fact” and “theory”? However it is taught, evolution is both a fact (I prefer “conclusion”) and a theory. More importantly, there is no other even slightly promising potential theory. And the general conclusions of evolution – the general timeline of events and common descent – are so well supported that even many IDers no longer directly challenge them, other than the usual bait-and-switch between the “fact” and the theory. And of course the trusty old false dichotomy with “design.”

As for the second question, even if they are not free to critique (or misrepresent) evolution in class, students are free to browse the Talk Origins archive, which has every conceivable critique of evolution, and the critiques of the critiques too. Students could browse anti-evolution sites too, but for some reason those do not easily link to sites with different opinions. As if they have something to hide.

The poll question I’d most like to see is:

Should science class allow equal time for defining terms to suit the argument and quoting out of context?

Each and everyone of you conflating Grantsburg with the state of Wisconsin or what goes on in Grantsburg with some sort of trend by the state of Wisconsin …

You aren’t actually, like, scientists, are you?

And if you are, you’re a lot less sloppy when you do research, right?

I have the answer.

When I was at school we were taught creationism in religious education and evolution in science. This benefitted everyone as the boundary between faith and science was distinctly defined, and in both classes students were openly invited to question both ideas. Though I understand that the american schooling system is rather different, could this not be a compromise?

As for me, I don’t believe in creationism. I do not believe in creationism because I study the earth through time. I have never seen a single shread of evidence that rests in the favour creationism. If God were to open the sky right now and say “Danielle… I did it. It was me.” and then provided a body of evidence far larger and more comprehensive than the one we have for evolution in which everything was clear and made perfect sense, then yes I would be inclined to agree with the creationists. That is yet to happen, I’m rather suspecting that it won’t ever happen. But I like to keep an open mind.

16 writes

Each and everyone of you conflating Grantsburg with the state of Wisconsin or what goes on in Grantsburg with some sort of trend by the state of Wisconsin …

Other than the first line of PZ’s initial post, which is obviously not a scientific conclusion re Wisconsin, I count zero comments that meet your description.

I assume that you are not, like, a scientist yourself.

“Nothing in physics makes sense except in the light of gravity.” — A physicist

“A true scientist would say that nothing in physics makes sense except in the light of evidence.” — A non-physicist

On November 9 Flint wrote:

“Evolutionary theory is critiqued all the time. What you fail to understand is that it is critiqued on the basis of evidence. Indeed, it undergoes continuous changes on the basis of evidence. Religious doctrine is not a competing theory, and the purpose of presenting it isn’t to teach, but to convert.”

I wrote at: (www.answersingenesis.org/docs/506.asp)

[snip]

Darwinists say, “We continually revise our theories and welcome critical examination and evaluation.” They may revise aspects of their theories, but because evolution is so incredibly malleable, no amount of contrary evidence will convince them otherwise. But how much contrary evidence must accumulate before a theory is discarded?

Today evolution survives, not so much as a theory of science, but as a philosophical necessity. Good science is always tentative and self-correcting, but this never really happens in the case of evolution. Regardless of the scientific data, the idea of evolution as a valid concept is not open to debate. Students are allowed to ask “HOW did evolution occur?”, but never “DID evolution occur?”.

Which is a more objective question: “What were the ape-like creatures that led to man?” or “ Did man evolve from ape-like creatures?”

[snip]

On the PBS television documentary “In the Beginning: The Creationist Controversy” [May 1995] Phillip Johnson commented:

“Darwinian theory is the creation myth of our culture. It’s the officially sponsored, government financed creation myth that the public is supposed to believe in, and that creates the evolutionary scientists as the priesthood… So we have the priesthood of naturalism, which has great cultural authority, and of course has to protect its mystery that gives it that authority—that’s why they’re so vicious towards critics.”

Good science is always tentative and self-correcting, but this never really happens in the case of evolution. Regardless of the scientific data, the idea of evolution as a valid concept is not open to debate. Students are allowed to ask “HOW did evolution occur?”, but never “DID evolution occur?”.

This question has in fact been both asked and answered. It’s just like asking “HOW does gravity work” rather than “DOES gravity work.”

I don’t think you have really internalized what it means that “good science is always tentative and self-correcting.” Consider: scientists derive an explanation that is a best fit for all known evidence, without contradicting any of it. Now new evidence comes along. What should good science do? Ignore the new evidence? Modify the explanation to accommodate it? But if it ignores the new evidence, the theory is accused of having become a dogma rather than a theory. If it accommodates the new evidence, the theory is accused of being “so incredibly malleable, no amount of evidence” can overturn it! The modified theory, of course, continues to best explain all the evidence without contradicting any of it. This is only a “bad thing” to those whose prior preferences place them in conflict with the results.

I think it’s worth noting that religious doctrines don’t derive their power from best-fit-with-evidence, but by being “rock of ages” solid, absolute, permanent, and unchanging. True Believers tend to regard these attributes as desirable universally. When a scientific theory conflicts with a religious doctrine, the only “contrary evidence” lies in a particular interpretation of a particular bit of the scriptures of that religion. So the True Believer must say “Your theory cannot be true, because if it is, my faith is false, and I can’t accept that.” Unlike scientific theory, faith isn’t subject to constant modification.

Which is a more objective question: “What were the ape-like creatures that led to man?” or “ Did man evolve from ape-like creatures?”

Neither. The better question is, “What does the available evidence indicate is the most likely past history of our (or any) species?” Wherever the evidence leads, science must follow. It might be worth mentioning that human beings ARE “ape-like creatures” today. Were human beings genetically or morphologically different as we move into the past? How can we know, if not by collecting and examining evidence?

Philip Johnson, a lawyer, presents a carefully one-sided brief that is calculated to misrepresent the scientific position in every way - he manages in a single sound bite to call science a religion, call evidence-based theory a myth, call it vicious, call it government-sponsored (fundamentalists tend to distrust government), and ignore any hint of evidence. He has managed to poke every button his target audience presents, while saying nothing truthful. This is what lawyers do.

Meanwhile, scientists critique evolutionary theory constantly. You don’t want the theory critiqued, you want it rejected, for reasons having nothing to do with science.

I live in Grantsburg. We have had to deal with Bible Clubs at lunch, Christmas and various music program with the scripture being read. Our school board President is a Baptist Minister. What do you expect. As for Health Class…it’s no more. Sex Ed? God forbid! The girls are taught to stay virgins!

Puplic schools should teach non-relgious materal. Go to church or a private school if you want your kids to learn about creationism.

I’ve never seen a good presentation of teen pregnancy/std rates before and after sex ed is changed to abstinence-only, or vice-versa. I’m sure abstinence-only makes things worse, because teaching people how to minimize risks often works, pretending the risks will just be avoided doesn’t, but I’d like to have a clear presentation of this. Abstinence-only people in my experience take that position for ideological and symbolic reasons, which are opposable with good data.

this is off-topic, but why not have abstinence-only fire safety? Don’t tell anyone what to do in case of a fire. That only encourages bad behavior, right? Just tell them not to start a fire in the first place.

David Buckna,

Thank you for expressing your thoughts as a public school teacher. I want to second what you had to say and respond to some of your critics.

I know personally of a bio-chemist, Seth Edwards, who became a Christian because he could not reconcile Darwinism and abiogensis with what he knew of his field. A similar story for the former Dean of Parasitology at Tulane, former atheist Richard Lumsden. Or how about Bio-Physicist former atheist Cornelius Hunter.

Two publicly declared creationists (Gordon Wilson, Timothy Standish) graduated from my University (George Mason). This is the same school where Origin of Life Researcher Harold Morowitz (a witness in McLean vs. Arkansas) teaches.

Those are some of the creationists.

How about IDists? Well that list includes Kenyon, Denton, Behe, Dembski, etc. In the University of Minnesota, where PZ teaches, one of the first ID courses was taught by Distinguished Professor Chris Makosko.

In view of the conversions of Edwards, Lumsden, Hunter, Denton, Kenyon, Behe, Dembski, etc. I think one would be hard pressed to say the motives for rejecting Darwinism are purely political.

Salvador

I know personally of a bio-chemist, Seth Edwards, who became a Christian because he could not reconcile Darwinism and abiogensis with what he knew of his field. A similar story for the former Dean of Parasitology at Tulane, former atheist Richard Lumsden. Or how about Bio-Physicist former atheist Cornelius Hunter.

That’s three morons, Salvador. Why can’t these ignorant apologists explain themselves to the scientific community in a remotely persuasive way, Salvador? Did you ever wonder why, Salvador? Why are these people all “former atheists”? What does believing in deities have to do with not being able to “reconcile” Darwinian theory with chemistry? Do you ever wonder why Salvador? Or does your Bible not permit you to wonder? I’m guessing the latter. That would explain quite a bit, would it not? Again, let me know if you don’t understand any of this.

In view of the conversions of Edwards, Lumsden, Hunter, Denton, Kenyon, Behe, Dembski, etc. I think one would be hard pressed to say the motives for rejecting Darwinism are purely political.

Every one of those people is a buffoon who has contributed nothing useful to science, Salvador. What the hell is your point?

It should be sufficient to observe that for Salvador, what’s important (indeed, apparently the ONLY thing that’s important) is the religion of the people he mentions. I gather that we have a “Salvador scale” of persuasiveness of any given scientific idea: At the bottom is a scientist collecting and analyzing evidence. Nearly irrelevant, since no religion is mentioned. In the middle, we have scientists who have always professed the “right” religion. And best of all, we have “former atheist” scientists who have adopted the creationist faith. No mention of their scientific contributions, which is basically irrelevant. To the creationist, evolution is a religious question, deserving of only a religious answer, arrived at by religious methods.

Salvador, it should be said, isn’t in any way unusual. I’ve spoken with practicing scientists who reflexively reject anything the NAS has to say, on the grounds that those guys are all atheists, so their science can’t be credited.

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on November 6, 2004 9:32 PM.

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