The mainstream media, and a growing number of academics have âdiscoveredâ the threat that the new creationism, AKA intelligent design, poses to science education in the United States.
Thatâs the good news.
The bad news is that some of these newly minted âexpertsâ will be proffering up their solutions, many of which will be shallow, and some even counterproductive. The recent proposal for high school debates on evo/creato by Michael Balter is an example. During the long and contentious discussion of Balterâs editorial and proposals, a research article by Prof. Steve Verhey was introduced by Balter who claimed it was a vindication of his proposal. A short while later Verhey also joined the discussion. That Verheyâs work did not support Balter is clear, as was stated explicitly by Verhey,
I donât know what to say about high school evolution education. I donât think my approach would work there. Perhaps it could work, but it would take too much time. Evolution canât be avoided in HS biology classes, and creationism/ID canât be presented as even vaguely valid alternatives, so we are where we are.
Since the paper in question had not been seen in print, we deferred further discussion of its contents. Dr. Verhey has now kindly made the PDF of his paper available to Pandaâs Thumb readers. Note also that he has also presented key portions of his raw data as well.
I commend Dr. Verheyâs efforts and transparency which are in the best scientific tradition, and I will insist that any comments by PT readers will also. Dr. Verhey and I have exchanged a number of emails over the last two weeks concerning his paper, and the data which informs his conclusions. These emails (with only trivial edits) form the bulk of the following post. Quite obviously any cogent remarks regarding Dr. Verheyâs paper and the material below will require that one has read and understood the paper. Non-cogent remarks will be simply deleted.
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