New ID textbook on the way: ‘Explore Evolution’

| 42 Comments

What has the ID movement been up to, following Kitzmiller and subsequent defeats? Apparently, they are going back to their base. In 2006 and 2007, the ID movement has hosted a number of “conferences” around the country. They call them “conferences” because it sounds scientific, but they are more like weekend revivals, actually, where the ID guys are flown in, give their standard talks to the public, and with a full-time professional apologist like Thomas Woodward (apologetics.org) or Lee Strobel (author of The Case for a Creator, The Case for Christ, etc.) emceeing the event. In fact, the “largest ID conference ever held” was held last September in the Florida Sun Dome, well-known to be a common venue for scientific conferences.

So anyway, this year a series of “Darwin vs. Design” conferences have been set up, apparently in a cookie-cutter format with identical guests and topics, and hosted by Lee Strobel.

The bios of the speakers are online (PDF). This bit is interesting, and shows us another thing that the ID movement has been up to:

Session #3 Dr. Stephen Meyer, director of the Center for Science & Culture, editor of Darwinism, Design and Public Education, and co-author of the forthcoming textbook Explore Evolution, will explain why the information encoded in DNA points powerfully to a designing intelligence.

Oh my, what a clever title for the new Discovery Institute textbook! It’s almost like they picked one of the most common phrases for mainstream evolution education projects and websites, so that they could appear to be teaching science rather than doing religious apologetics.

And as we all know, picking new labels easily solves all conceivable problems with creationist textbooks.

42 Comments

And as we all know, picking new labels easily solves all conceivable problems with creationist textbooks.

I think your missing link is here: http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives[…]link_cd.html

Yeah, the “Evolution of Creationism” contains that post and several others.

That’s it. Two can play at this game. We need to write textbooks called “Exploring Intelligent Design” and the like, and nary a positive argument (as if there was one) can be found within.

That these events are being MCed be Lee Strobel is expected, I believe he has written in his The case for… books that you cannot accept evolution and be a Christian.

Is anyone of a PT persuasion going to any of these? I’d like to know how information in DNA points to the creator, but won’t be on a convenient continent.

R

Explore Evolution?

That names already taken.

Holy crap Im dense this afternoon. Sorry– just really love the HIV exhibit :)

LOL!

I hope to attend the event at SMU. I hate like heck to enrich these bastards by $55 though. I might try and sneak in instead.

In all fairness, they were forced to change the orginal and more accurate working title, “Spewing Crap,” after several PTAs objected.

Looks like SMU does not want to appear to be endorsing the DI jesus fest. They’re in enough hot water over the propsed Chimp Library there. Anyhow, check this out over at Dimbski’s home for wayward children:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/educ[…]ign/#respond

This is along the lines of certain countries calling themselves “Democratic People’s Republics”, isn’t it?

And the purpose of all these “Trojan Horses”?

To get the Bible into every classroom as an inerrant reference work. Imagine “critical thinking” on all subjects by referencing biblical dogma instead of reality. And, why not at the university level also? Picture a prof walking into a UC Berkeley science lecture hall and lecturing from Genesis: “Ok everybody, be sure to read about Noah and the ark. There will be a question about it on the midterm. And, don’t forget the AiG assignment!”

These fanatics would destroy all rational thought in every domain of knowledge. I think this is one of the most dangerous movements ever.

WAD whined:

Okay, all together now with feeling: “WE LOVE DARWIN. WE LOVE EVOLUTION. WE LOVE THE STATUS QUO.”

How about this, Willy: We love evidence. We love rationality. We love coherent thought.

Give us some and we’ll love you, too… and that’s really what you want, isn’t it, Willy?

Evolutionary theory is the most frequently changing “status quo” I’ve ever heard of. ID’s definition of “status quo” is like professional sports’ “lifetime bans” that only last a few years.

Explore Evolution?

That names already taken.

Unfortunately, you can’t copyright titles. Ever see a movie called “Running Scared”? The next question is, “Which one?”

(I liked the 1986 one best.)

I love how the SMU cosponsor of the DI lovefest is the Christian Legal Society. It is a most apt sponsor.

Well, I suppose that there wouldn’t be much inanity offered in the “lunch” session, though indigestion might prevent proper enjoyment of the session.

While Gascoyne is roughly correct that titles are not ordinarily afforded copyright protection, the University of Nebraska State Museum appears to be using “Explore Evolution” as a trademark for museum services (and possibly other goods and services as well). If UNSM has trademark rights in “Explore Evolution” then that includes the right to stop another party from using the same or a similar mark on the same or similar goods or services where such use is likely to cause confusion among consumers. UNSM could possibly stop an author from using “Explore Evolution” as a title of a book.

Patent Attorney - Thanks. So, looks like they go with Vyoma’s alternate title, “Spewing Crap”. At least they won’t get sued for false advertising!

Tired, pedestrian, sophomoric, beat to death, wore out and sad.

Sadder is some will eat this up and spread it, near viral like. Do your neighbor a favor, dissuade him from such silly shit.

There is a “Darwin vs. Design” conference coming up next month at Southern Methodist University. Professors from SMU’s biology, anthropology, and geology departments aren’t too thrilled that their school is hosting the event. Naturally the DI is playing the persecution card.

These conferences are the unwashed speaking to the unwashed, the consequences of which are zero. No converts will come from this. The only damage I foresee is that done to institutions like SMU that get hornswoggled into providing the facilities and suffer from the implication, no mater how strongly they disclaim it otherwise, that they endorses the antics. Maybe the SMU science faculties should recruit students to picket the circus in gorilla and chimpanzee suits.

Checking Amazon.com, I found no book titled “Explore Evolution” or “Exploring Evolution”. Not good!

A new Trojan Horse is needed. I wonder what the plan is. I noticed that in Ken Ham’s response to the Sisters, Oregon firing, he said that leaving his name and the name of AiG on the materials used was a mistake by Helphinstine. (Feed the kids this junk but completely hide it’s source. Wow!) Got me thinking. What if a book were to remove all references to ID, the Bible, creationism, God, Discovery Institute, Ken Ham, or AiG? Part of ID was allowing religious folks (knowing that there’s only one god) to take the last step of identifying the designer with God–not requiring a long chain of deductions really. Suppose a strategy were adopted that leaves the believers to fill the “gap” all by themselves. Maybe with just a little hint like: “Some will see God’s work here; as a scientist, I make no claim about that.” I think the old Trojan Horses of “ID”, “teach the controversy”, and “critical thinking” are dead or dying. A new horse is needed. Ultimately, it wouldn’t work though because those who know what to look for could spot the attack easily. But, would judges spot it?

I was thinking about writing my own version. It’s title. “Intelligent Design Revealed”. The cover would be beautifully done with DNA strands and then a little finger at the corner touching it. It would of course be nothing but blank pages. The idea being that if your going to make it up. Why not let each person make it up on their own. You may use this idea freely.

That’s it. Two can play at this game. We need to write textbooks called “Exploring Intelligent Design” and the like, and nary a positive argument (as if there was one) can be found within.

I just ran across something called The Discovery Institute for the Advancement of Science and Technology Education

I haven’t figured out which side they’re on yet, but I did search their Mission Statement for the word “Jesus” and came up empty. If these folks are legitimate, they picked a very unfortunate name for their organization. The web pages say (C) 2000.

wamba Wrote:

I just ran across something called The Discovery Institute for the Advancement of Science and Technology Education

I haven’t figured out which side they’re on yet…

Seems legit. The domain is registered to Derrick Lavoie, a biology professor (Ecology and marine bio) at Cuesta College (a community college) in San Luis Obispo. Here’s a link about what he’s up to. Seems on the up-and-up.

One way or the other, they’re getting into the schools.

Caution: starts with loud music. National Council on Bible Curriculum. Claims curriculum has been voted into 382 school districts in 37 states.

Then we have the book “The Bible and Its Influence” from Bible Literacy Project. Claim: “After first 18 months, The Bible and Its Influence, is used in 83 school districts in 30 states” Note that the Time Magazine article link is for April 2, 2007. (Yup, that’s what the cover looks like.)

I wonder if there will be any “teach the controversy” or “critical thinking skills” content to this curriculum?

In fact, the “largest ID conference ever held” was held last September in the Florida Sun Dome, well-known to be a common venue for scientific conferences.

Come to the Sun Dome on Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! for the Semi-annual Boat show and ID monster-truck Rally! See the amazing “Wild” Bill Dembski drive Bigfoot over a million flaming copies of “The God Delusion”! Watch in awe as “Mighty” Casey Luskin Jumps Gravedigger over 16 buses full of evilution indoctrinated schoolchildren! Cheer as Truckasaurus does battle with a 90-foot tall papier-mache effigy of Charles Darwin depicted as a monkey! It’s Science! Science! Science!

Tea, meet monitor. You owe me, Sophist.

It never ceases to amaze me how people will quote Strobel as a reference in a scientific discussion. Sometimes I lose all hope for even the people in my own family when they read that and think they are enriching their understanding of science. I still humor my family by reading his work, but they can’t grasp my return arguments or any evidence not handed out at the latest church rally.

Stroebel and Woodward aren’t the only well-trotted-out apologists they’ve acquired. I’m sure most of us here have at least a passing familiarity with Dr. William Lane Craig, i.e. “That Kalam Argument Guy.” I didn’t know he was a fellow at the DI until I re-read his Wikipedia entry. I wonder what sort of contributions he’s made to the more well-worn ID talking points. His area of concern is mainly cosmogony rather than biology and we haven’t heard nearly as much about Cosmological ID in the news.

Tangental: the wiki article also on the page is a link to a debate between he and Dr. Bart Ehrman of Misquoting Jesus infamy, the subject being the ressurection of Jesus and whether it’s historically likely. I recommend the Misquoting book, which is a nice introduction to the layperson about Textual Criticism of the Bible and (implicitly, sometimes explicitly) why Literalism is foolish. Ehrman even goes a little into his own personal religious history, from “born again” to “agnostic” and how learning more about the Bible rather than just reading it led him into the latter. The content of the book itself and the examples it uses are almost entirely uncontroversial to textual critics (despite not meshing well at all with a lot of fundamentalist ideas about scripture), even if Dr. Ehrman takes more controversial stances in other areas of Christian history. A little knowledge about the history of the Bible itself is a useful thing to have.

Hellobmh - this is just a testing, don’t worry about it

Disco Wrote:

Conference Fees (not including service and shipping charges of ticketing agency)

* General Admission: $55

* Students: $5 with valid Student ID (on a space available basis)

After March 20th, tickets may be purchased at the door with CASH or CHECK only.

If you have been given information regarding a group discount, please bring your code with you and we will honor the rate.

Students of who or what? Cheaper by the busload. Who will the lucky groups be?

Thomas Woodward and Lee Strobel are really honest peoples who had explored the substance of the Neo-Evolution idea. As you see the pictures on left side of this page, the earth and its plants and animals are so beautiful. If those were evolved by Darwinian Evolution process such as mutation and natural selection, those could not be so beautiful. If you gave a brush and some paints to apes, evolutionist grandfather, they can not make any of beautiful pictures. Apes will draw the picture as random process. Those will not be beautiful, and those shall be chaotic matters like evolution thoughts. How do you think about your wife or your daughter who are so beautiful to you. Can you imagine that they were evolved from some dust? If you think so, you are a liar. There is zero probability that evolution makes human beings from dust. Do you think the nature selects beautiful things only? If it is correct, the evolution process has a directional attribute in the prcess. It is not natural selection. I can not understand Darwinian peoples.

I have two comments.

First, I think this site would be oh-so-much more professional and convincing if you managed to comment on recent developments in the ID community without making snide comments about it. Really.

Maybe it will make evolutionists laugh. Maybe that’s all you’re looking for. But if you’re here to give people news or information, the sarcasm adds nothing, and it detracts from the respect that people have for you. Does it make you look good to say things like, “Oh my, what a clever title for the new Discovery Institute textbook!”? Think about it.

Secondly. I believe that students in any school, anywhere, should not be taught one point of view and one only. School is not meant to teach students FACTS. It is meant to teach them to THINK. You present both sides of the matter, you give them the FACTS, and you let them decide for themselves. What kind of math teacher tells his students to memorize 2+2, but does not teach them to add? Maybe you’re against evolution. Maybe you’re against ID. It doesn’t matter. Whether you’re right or wrong is not determined by how many people you ‘convert’ to your side.

Mel said: I think this site would be oh-so-much more professional and convincing if you managed to comment on recent developments in the ID community without making snide comments about it. Really.

I suppose you are right Mel. However, keep in mind that scientists are people too. After suffering through years of having their work misrepresented, having novices (or worse) dismiss years of their painstaking research based on the most superficial of analysis, having lies told about them and their views, and having their evidence-based responses completely ignored, it’s understandable that they’d get a little snide.

The bottom line that becomes clearer the more one follows this debate is that the ID community is not interested in an honest discussion of the science. They are political animals pursuing a political agenda. As such they aren’t worthy of the sort of respect you are requesting for them

I believe that students in any school, anywhere, should not be taught one point of view and one only. School is not meant to teach students FACTS. It is meant to teach them to THINK. You present both sides of the matter, you give them the FACTS, and you let them decide for themselves.

School is meant to teach kids facts AND to teach them how to think, though granted we could do a lot better job on the latter. However, allowing kids to draw whatever conclusions they want is just silly, especially when we consider that on most subjects there are FAR more than “both” sides. There could be hundreds of competing hypothesis. And you think we should overwhelm the kids with all of this and hope they can figure it out? Rubbish.

Kids don’t know how to discern the truth of complicated matters like world history and biology, which is part of why we have schools (and research scientists) in the first place - to weed out the nonsense, and let kids benefit from the work of those who preceded them.

What kind of math teacher tells his students to memorize 2+2, but does not teach them to add?

I agree, but your comment above suggests we shouldn’t tell the kids that 2+2=4, but should let them make up their own mind about it. We should (according to you) also present them with the theory that 2+2=5, and hope they figure out which is true.

Shouldn’t we instead teach them both the fact that 2+2=4 and the process of addition that leads to that fact? Likewise, why shouldn’t we teach them both the fact of common descent and the scientific theory of evolution that explains that fact?

Maybe you’re against evolution. Maybe you’re against ID. It doesn’t matter. Whether you’re right or wrong is not determined by how many people you ‘convert’ to your side.

There is no one here that would disagree with you. Reality, revealed through the results of falsifiable testing, is the ultimate arbiter. The purpose of schools is to give the kids the benefits of the knowledge gained from that process, as well as an appreciation for that process so they might one day be capable of implementing it themselves. That process has conclusively shown that evolution is solid science and ID isn’t, and kids should be made aware of that. There is no reason to expect or want kids to figure it all out themselves.

FUCK THE RELIGIOUS WAY

Wow, it really amazes me that such a constituency of haters has nothing better to do than to build websites attacking other people. If you’re really for a free-thinking America then let people explore their ideas… oh how many times the consensus in the scientific community have been ignorantly amiss.

I have read EXPLORE EVOLUTION, and it is mind-bogglingly enlightening. You’d be amazed at the things your traditional evolutionary textbook has presupposed or even fabricated… my father died a lonely death in his “search for God,” but he was searching in all the wrong places. I discovered without a doubt, a couple years after he died, that there is a God.

Life’s short.

Yes yes yes of course. Care for a cup of decaf?

Cheers – MrG / http://gvgpd.proboards.com

Yes, but, is it so wrong to question theories. Most of the comments I have read seems more like religious fanaticism to me. If it were not for Darwin to question the scientific consensus, then there would be no theory of evolution. So why stunt the growth of scientific research by claiming evolution to be an absolute truth. That sounds like a fundamentalism to me. Have many our scientists become religious fanatics by claiming to be Darwinists. Are you Catholic? No, I’m Darwinist, and I study the book of our lord and savior Darwin, holder of the absolute truths. As soon as we give in to scientific consensus and dare not argue the status quot, then we become stationary and stagnant.

Grome said:

Yes, but, is it so wrong to question theories. Most of the comments I have read seems more like religious fanaticism to me. If it were not for Darwin to question the scientific consensus, then there would be no theory of evolution. So why stunt the growth of scientific research by claiming evolution to be an absolute truth. That sounds like a fundamentalism to me. Have many our scientists become religious fanatics by claiming to be Darwinists. Are you Catholic? No, I’m Darwinist, and I study the book of our lord and savior Darwin, holder of the absolute truths. As soon as we give in to scientific consensus and dare not argue the status quot, then we become stationary and stagnant.

If you can demonstrate how a rival hypothesis, like, say, “Intelligent Design” can describe the diversities of life and the mechanisms that lead to and continue to alter aforementioned diversities better than the theories of evolutionary biology can, do realize that the entire scientific community is all ears.

Otherwise, spare us the gratuitously false accusations, and call the waaaaaaaaaaaaambulance.

Grome said:

Yes, but, is it so wrong to question theories.

No. Scientists do it all the time. They do it by finding contrary evidence and publishing it and allowing others to examine it and if it turns out to be substantial, they change the theory, or even junk it. Then they award a Nobel to the scientist who did it. The creationists want to do that, only without the evidence. That won’t fly.

Most of the comments I have read seems more like religious fanaticism to me.

You are mistaken. Scientists feel indignation at unjustified attacks on their competence, ethics, probity, hard work and learning. They feel legitimate frustration when they encounter invincible and immovable ignorance. They resent being misrepresented and libelled. They are bewildered and angered when the enormous progress that science has made in understanding the Universe and improving life is ignored and belittled by the very people who have gained the most from it. Scientists sometimes express these emotions. But they are not fanatics, and this is not in any sense religious.

If it were not for Darwin to question the scientific consensus, then there would be no theory of evolution.

Darwin didn’t “question” the scientific consensus. He produced a new explanation for what had puzzled scientists for over a century, even then. If he had not published, Wallace or a dozen others would have. The theory of evolution would have arisen anyway. It was and is the best explanation for the variety and distribution of life on earth, and someone would eventually have seen it.

So why stunt the growth of scientific research by claiming evolution to be an absolute truth.

As has been explained here to the point of weariness, no scientist ever believes that he or she has found or is following “absolute truth” in his or her scientific endeavours. That idea is exclusive to religious thought, as is demonstrated by the fact that the various creationist “think tanks” (they’re really only media fronts) do no research at all. Not one single real piece of research supportive of a better alternative to the theory of evolution has ever been published anywhere.

Scientists know that the theory of evolution is the explanation that best fits all the evidence available, and that no other explanation comes close, or in scientific terms, even exists. They want that fact taught as a fact in science classes. That’s all.

That sounds like a fundamentalism to me.

It would to me, too, if your description of the discourse were correct. Only it isn’t.

Have many our scientists become religious fanatics by claiming to be Darwinists. Are you Catholic? No, I’m Darwinist, and I study the book of our lord and savior Darwin, holder of the absolute truths. As soon as we give in to scientific consensus and dare not argue the status quot, then we become stationary and stagnant.

Having made your strawman (acceptance of the theory of evolution = fundamentalism) you set about attacking it. Until this you were only displaying ignorance, and a certain degree of ill-will, but with this you go off the deep end. Your identification of science and scientists with fundamentalism is deeply insulting, as malevolent as it is unjustified. And you wonder why scientists respond heatedly? You only demonstrate how blind you are.

Grome wrote:

“As soon as we give in to scientific consensus and dare not argue the status quo[t], then we become stationary and stagnant.”

Agreeded. Now, which side do you think is more “stationary and stagnant”: creationism (which hasn’t published a single paper with supporting evidence in any scientific journal ever and clings to a myth thousands of years old while enforcing strict adherance to a single interpretation of that myth through legislation and intoimidation and brainwashing from infancy); or evolution (for which there are literally millions of papers in the scientific literature providing evidence from dozens of fields and where millions of dollars are spent every year finding new evidence and revising old theories)?

Oh yea, I almost forgot - hail Darwin full of grace, blessed be he among men.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on March 23, 2007 1:23 PM.

Interview on the Inoculated Mind was the previous entry in this blog.

Vacuity of ID: Dembski Channeling Colbert? is the next entry in this blog.

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