Discovery Institute Loses, Declares Victory, Tells Lies

| 46 Comments

As I reported awhile ago, the Discovery Institute’s attempts to add “critical analysis” language to the parts of the South Carolina biology curriculum that deal with evolution have failed. The Board of Education did not add those changes, and the Educational Oversight Committee, led by creationist Sen. Mike Fair, finally conceded on that front and decided to accept the standards without the creationist language. Fair and his ally Bob Walker, who is a representative in the lower house, are apparently banking on a budget proviso requiring all textbooks adopted by the state to contain no less than 10% material be given up to 10% weighting for the promotion of “higher-order thinking skills”. In the Bizarro world inhabited by the Discovery Institute, where words mean the precise opposite of what they normally mean, this apparently implies creationism. Walker tried to get the House Education and Public Works committee to add an amendment to a bill to codify this somewhere other than in an obscure budget proviso, but that attempt failed miserably.

So that’s where things stand. But remember: The Discovery Institute exists on Planet Bizarro. In their world, things are the opposite of what they seem:

South Carolina Set to Join Four Other States Calling for Critical Analysis of Evolution.

Columbia, SC – The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee (EOC) will vote Monday, June 12, on whether to give final approval to science standards for biology that require students to summarize how scientists “investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.” The standards were approved unanimously by the South Carolina Board of Education on May 31. Four other states (Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and New Mexico) already have science education standards encouraging critical analysis of evolution.

Back here on Planet Earth, the Board of Education did not add the “critical analysis” language to the curriculum standards, and the EOC cannot accept standards containing that language without the Board of Education adding them first. But when declaring victory, why let a little thing like defeat get in your way?

Edited to add: It was brought to my attention that the science curriculum does actually contain one sentence about “critical analysis” that was added a year ago, so the DI press release isn’t technically untrue. It is, however, grossly misleading in that the changes they lobbied for all throughout the first half of this year, which included adding “critical analysis” language to each and every indicator dealing with evolution, were rejected. It was these changes, not the one from last year, that created the impasse between the EOC and BOE. The EOC’s June 12th vote is noteworthy in that it will end this impasse with the Discovery Institute failing to get the changes they wanted.

46 Comments

Wow.

And all these years I thought that the entire purpose of schools and textbooks in general was, and had always been, to promote and nurture “higher-order thinking skills”.

Then again, I myself am the product of the American public education system, so you have to take anything I say with a grain of salt, since I apparently didn’t get any of those newfangled thinking skills back when I went to school.

The DI has been telling the same Lie about New Mexico.

All the gory details can be found here and here.

Dave

So… the individuals who doubt the evidence because it conflicts with their >2000 year old superstition are promoting critical thinking?

Irony factor 10, Mr. Sulu.

Are we on a planet terraformed by Bizarro into the shape of a cube? Yes, a cube. Because ours is a sphere, or is it?, and on the Bizarro World, everything am backswards. I guess that means we devolve, the double helix is a quadralateral, and disinformation theory rules in simplicity! I get it now–won ti teg I.

I get it now—won ti teg I.

Sorry, that’ll only get a leggy brunette magician in fishnet stock—

Oh.

Never mind.

requiring all textbooks adopted by the state to contain no less than 10% material be given up to 10% weighting for the promotion of “higher-order thinking skills”.

Good-bye! Was there any explanation how this was to be measured? Hello!

mark Wrote:

Good-bye! Was there any explanation how this was to be measured? Hello!

The selection committee is apparently supposed to give 10% of their weighting to how well the textbook promotes higher-order thinking skills, whatever that means. How the heck one measures this criterion, I have no idea.

Goodbye to all of you too! I guess me win the Critical Thinking Contest - and you call yourselves scientists! HAH! All you have to do to be street-legal under the new law is: 1. Weigh book 2. Tear out pages that deal with critical thinking and weigh them. 3. If book weighs 10 lbs, critical thinking sections = 1 lb! 4. Glue pages back in book and hand out to gratefull kiddies!

Helloto you all

You know I hadn’t thought of it before, but when the old Soviet Union collapsed in the early ‘90’s their political propaganda staffs lost their jobs, you know the ones who said it was hot when it was cold and the sky was yellow when it was blue. Well, I think I know where they found work—as the public relations experts for the Discovery Institute. Everything the DI puts out, from the Wedge Document to this press release on South Carolina’s actions reads like something from the old Tass news agency. I wonder if our friends in Seattle speak Russian or have to use a translator.

There actually is a way of working with the “higher-order thinking skills” criterion. You pull out your cheat-sheet based on Bloom’s taxonomy and look for the key words that indicate the “anaysis” and “synthesis” levels. If these represent ten percent of the activites, or perhaps could fill ten percent of the contact time, you have met the standard. Please don’t tell me that this evaluation can be performed without using any higher-order thinking skills. I am merely reporting how I have seen such things done.

Not really off-topic since this talk is about bizarro happenings…over at dembski’s blog, there’s a movement going on to rename ID to IE (Intelligent Evolution)!!! Didn’t take them long to consider another name change, eh?

Not really off-topic since this talk is about bizarro happenings…over at dembski’s blog, there’s a movement going on to rename ID to IE (Intelligent Evolution)!!! Didn’t take them long to consider another name change, eh?

Check out:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]archives/134

Dembski asks:

What would happen if the courts rule against ID, declaring it religion?

in the immortal words of John Stewart…

WWWHHHAAAAA?

talk about denial. yikes.

Comment #104794

Posted by Zohn on June 9, 2006 08:39 PM (e) | kill

Not really off-topic since this talk is about bizarro happenings…over at dembski’s blog, there’s a movement going on to rename ID to IE (Intelligent Evolution)!!! Didn’t take them long to consider another name change, eh?

We’re having fun about that on Official Uncommonly Dense Discussion Thread. The legal consensus on that strategy is “They’ll get totally boned.” so of course we’re quite in favor of it.

Sir_Toejam Wrote:

talk about denial. yikes.

…did you notice the datestamp on that article is June 2005?

Ah, we’ve seen this before.

Creationism, if they rule against it retitle it “scientific creationism.”

Scientific creationism, if they rule against it retitle it “intelligent design.”

Intelligent design, if they rule against it retitle it “intelligent evolution.”

or special creation, or special design or special evolution or Bob’s Theory…

Hello, dim wits. Here’s a clue. It’s not the title. Trust me.

Q. What is the importance of allowing for critical analysis? A. Critical analysis allows students to gain critical thinking skills as they are taught a more accurate understanding of the evidence by learning both the scientific evidence which supports evolution, and also the evidence which challenges evolution.

Is this where school kids hear about the peppered moth, the myth of human gill slits, Haeckel’s embryos, and the Miller-Urey experiment and IC? If any of these examples come up in the critical analysis it will have to show that these have been countered.

In all seriousness, is there any evidence that even comes close to being problematic for the fact of evolution that warrants this critical analysis and a waste of class time?

I’m new to the discussion so I may have missed the breaking news.

Gene

…did you notice the datestamp on that article is June 2005?

no, I didn’t.

actually tho, the “in denial” part is always timely.

[Dembski asks:

What would happen if the courts rule against ID, declaring it religion?]

Dembski has hit his head AGAIN with his Bib…er, the Incredible Dumbness missal.

It all falls into place nicely.

Hold on! In your title you say they LIED, but in your edit you say it wasn’t technically a lie, but “misleading”.

YOU are the misleading LIAR!

Don projects: YOU are the misleading LIAR!

Oh the ignominity,, the pain,,,the pain!!!

Please jog cast out these Freudian demons.

You know if you just embraced your unconcious (giggle) Freud Don, you wouldn’t have to lie to yourself.

Has anyone heard of any of these anti-science activists endorsing this critical analysis of “Of Panda’s and People”?

C’mon people, Dembski was obviously being tongue-in-cheek with “Intelligent Evolution.” IDers know that theirs is a rhetorical scam, and that the word “evolution” cannot appear anywhere near the title of their “theory.” Sure, they’ll still slip in the usual disclaimer of “we have no problem with ‘microevolution’,” but the bulk of their argumentation needs to be against all of evolution if they are going to pretend that it is responsible for atheism, liberalism, communism, etc. Although some of them probably wish that they could erase the past and make “Teach the Controversy” catch on, they know that “Intelligent Design” is the meme they are stuck with.

Dave Scot:

Next consider the current occupant of the Whitehouse who is likely to nominate at least two USSC justices over the next 3.5 years and certainly including the appointment of a new chief justice.

Poor Dave can’t even count. And does he know something about Chief Justice Roberts that we don’t?

Ooops! I was commenting on a Dave Scot comment a year old!

I guess I owe Dave an apolgy.

I’ll get right on it…!

Red, do a Dembski Apology:

Davescot, I retract the claim that you egregiously can’t count.

I dearly hope that some of the members of Pandas Thumb are recording the conversation over at UD for any upcoming legal proceedings that might result from a name change. I’d love to see the expressions of the creationists (Oh, excuse me, I mean the IDers, I, uh…, mean the IEers) when it is again shown that their new “theory” is just creationism in a cheap suit (love that quote!).

There aren’t going to be any upcoming Intelligent Evolution legal actions. Dembski is just having fun at the expense of his crowd of dimbulbs. You’d have to be a complete retard to think that publicly changing the name will work.

Like from Creationism to Intelligent Design?

OK, so that wasn’t public.

And parenthetically, most of the retarded people I’ve met have been alot more honest and likeable than what I’ve seen at UD and here at PT of the diehard IDers.

Yeah, it’s actually insulting to retards to compare them to the Uncommonly Dense.

Ben Shapiro reviews Ann Coulter’s book, and lies:

… Christians don’t pretend that Christianity is provable in a laboratory. …

Some of them do. They’re called creationists.

If they start calling it “I.E.”, the industrial engineers of the world should complain about the insult to their profession.

Henry

You’d have to be a complete retard to think that publicly changing the name will work.

“Damn, Cletus, we just lost a Supreme Court ruling in Louisiana. What do we do now?”

“Well heck, Billy Joe Bob, we’ll just change the name from ‘creation science’ to ‘intelligent design theory’. Then we’ll change ‘what good is half an eye’ to ‘irreducible complexity’. And we’ll change “life is too improbable’ to ‘complex specified information’. We don’t need to change the ‘cambrian explosion’ thingie. No one will catch on.”

Great idea, Cletus!!!!!!!”

The way Ann Coulter et. al. conduct standard business is the very reason Al Franken wrote his book:

[u]Lies and the Lying Liars That Tell Them.[/u]

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/05[…]amp;n=283155

If they start calling it “I.E.”, the industrial engineers of the world should complain about the insult to their profession.

I recall from my undergraduate days that the nickname for industrial engineers was “imaginary engineers”.

I recall from my undergraduate days that the nickname for industrial engineers was “imaginary engineers”.

Did you mean that “Imaginary Engineers” would be a good term for the ID crowd? Your comment reads as if you are just taking an opportunity to, off-topic, disparage industrial engineers.

I’d guess that it would be an insult to all industrial engineers to equate them to the IDiots.

Did you mean that “Imaginary Engineers” would be a good term for the ID crowd? Your comment reads as if you are just taking an opportunity to, off-topic, disparage industrial engineers.

Got a problem with that?

…over at dembski’s blog, there’s a movement going on to rename ID to IE (Intelligent Evolution)!!! Didn’t take them long to consider another name change, eh?

What, they didn’t take my suggestion to call it Subtle Hidden Intelligent Tinkering? I’m hurt. But maybe they’re saving the best idea for last…

I like the name suggested, right here in this blog, by leading IDer Paul Nelson:

“The Fundamentally Religious and Scientifically Misbegotten Objections to Evolution Movement” (FRASMOTEM for short).”

That, at least, has the virtue of being accurate.

One of the rare occurrences of honesty from the ID front, eh?

Got a problem with that?

Hmmm … Here it is again, with a little help for you:

Your comment reads as if you are just taking an opportunity to, off-topic, disparage industrial engineers.

More than being off-topic for this thread alone, using PT to randomly insult other people’s professions does not help defend science.

[As for industrial engineering, I’ll let industrial engineers defend themselves, if they care to bother.]

My neologism. Macrointelligent design.

Sure, I believe in Macrointelligent design, but there’s no way that you could extrapolate that into any kind of Microintelligent designers.

Sir Toejam: Franken’s book is brilliant. And not just for the pasting he gives Coulter, though the chapter title “Ann Coulter: Nutjob” pretty much says it all.

UPDATE:

Mike Fair claims victory… you decide:

State Senator Mike Fair, a member of the Education Oversight Committee, believes the update of the public schools’ biology curriculum guidelines is a step in the right direction. “That, we think, is going to give a new freedom to teachers and a new freedom to the students in the science classrooms around South Carolina,” he says.

http://headlines.agapepress.org/arc[…]/152006b.asp

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve Reuland published on June 9, 2006 11:19 AM.

Evolution and mechanisms: “Genetic Accommodation” was the previous entry in this blog.

Real disease “detectives” use evolutionary biology is the next entry in this blog.

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