Explore Evolution: The Discovery Institute’s winsome creationist textbook

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A blogger has an interesting report on the event that the Discovery Institute just held for teachers at Biola (Bible Institute of Los Angeles) University in order to promote their newest disguise for creationism, the textbook sneakily entitled “Explore Evolution.”

I’m sure it’s a just coincidence that the very first person to blog this event – this no-way-it’s-creationism-no-sirree event – did it from the Old Earth Creation Homeschool blog and works for the old-earth creationist ministry Reasons to Believe.

Anyway, here’s the interesting bit:

This is intended to be a supplement to a standard biology textbook. It strictly presents the strengths and weaknesses of the evolutionary position and allow students to decide for themselves whether neo-Darwinism is, in fact, supported by the scientific record. The book does not promote Intelligent Design in any way, shape or form. However, it is written by leaders in the Intelligent Design movement and they don’t seem to be making any secret about this.

I think I agree at least in principle in what they are trying to do. But I remain skeptical that using such a book won’t cause all kinds of problems for public school teachers. I joked with one of the authors whether a legal retainer was included with the purchase of each book. The media guy from the Discovery Institute who was there assured me that informal curriculum similar to this approach is being used in public schools all over the country without incident. Supposedly, the reason we don’t hear about them is that the media only reports on the controversial situations like Kansas, Ohio, and the Dover disaster a couple years ago.

Gee, that reminds me of the Discovery Institute’s old position which they now deny on “intelligent design.”

In other news, did you know that the Discovery Institute’s Explore Evolution textbook is winsome? (pdf link)

256 Comments

The media guy from the Discovery Institute who was there assured me that informal curriculum similar to this approach is being used in public schools all over the country without incident.

Then surely the book should come with an indemnification against legal challenges to its use in the classroom, right?

Won’t cost the DI a dime :)

Who is supposed to pay for these supplemental texts? If Explore Evolution really is so watered down that ‘this approach is being used in public schools all over the country without incident’ why should taxpayers have to shell out for the book?

From Judge Jones’s decision.

Accepting for the sake of argument its proponents’, as well as Defendants’ argument that to introduce ID to students will encourage critical thinking, it still has utterly no place in a science curriculum. Moreover, ID’s backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID.

Sounds like that legal retainer would be well advised.

Not just winsome, but “lepidoptory” too.

Since Homeschooling is free to include religious ideas in science class, I wonder if the OECs will devote “equal time” to a critical analysis of YEC?

From the EE website;

This textbook is ideal for: * AP Biology teachers who need a stimulating capstone unit for the last 5-6 weeks of their AP course after their students have taken the AP biology test.

The DI hacks may be charlatans, but only to a point. These guys aren’t going to take the risk of having students compare this cheap pamphlet against a science textbook.

.…this no-way-it’s-creationism-no-sirree event.… Oh, I think that cover was blown the minute the venue for this little soiree was chosen. Or did Biola just offer them a really cheap meeting-space rate?

There is an ongoing discussion and critique of Exploring Evolution on this thread at After the Bar Closes. So far it appears that the DI (or a local school board) will have some difficulty in dissociating this latest efforts from its creationist roots.

Eamon Knight Wrote:

Oh, I think that cover was blown the minute the venue for this little soiree was chosen.

This blows the cover to whom? To us critics the cover was blown years ago. Certainly no latter than 1999, when “Tower of Babel” was published and the Wedge document was leaked. Meanwhile, as long as they can bait critics to say “ID ‘is’ creationism,” and quickly retort with the differences between ID and YEC (and thus cleverly exploit the differences in two senses of “creationism”), their target audience, including many non-fundamentalist nonscientists who accept evolution but fall for the “teach the controversy” scam) will continue to erroneously think of them as more open-minded than we are.

Minor point, but the post about the Biola meeting said “legal guy” from the DI, not “media guy.” But if the “legal guy” is–as I suspect–Casey Luskin, then he’s advising teachers on how they can sneak ID stuff into their classes, which could get both Casey and teachers in big legal trouble.

Albatrossity Wrote:

There is an ongoing discussion and critique of Exploring Evolution on this thread at After the Bar Closes. So far it appears that the DI (or a local school board) will have some difficulty in dissociating this latest efforts from its creationist roots.

Which is quite ironic, since all they have to do to dissociate with ID and classic creationism is to “explore” some of the “theories” that claim to be alternatives to evolution. These include the mutually contradictory “what happened and when” accounts promoted by classic creationists and a few IDers like Behe. If the mere assoctiation of the personnel with design-based anti-evolution activism is still a problem, they could just “explore” the “naturalistic” alternatives of Schwabe and Senapathy. The irony becomes even greater becsuse S & S deny common descent, and no IDer does explicitly (Behe even unequivocally accepts it). Thus S & S positions are actually friendly to classic creationism than ID is. Yet the whole ID scam depends on the pretense that S & S don’t exist.

Frank J Wrote:

Not just winsome, but “lepidoptory” too.

I think that’s the study of butterflies that have only right wings.

Minor point, but the post about the Biola meeting said “legal guy” from the DI, not “media guy.” But if the “legal guy” is—as I suspect—Casey Luskin, then he’s advising teachers on how they can sneak ID stuff into their classes, which could get both Casey and teachers in big legal trouble.

You’re right, I just noticed – the post was changed from “legal guy” to “media guy” just before I copied the text to quote on PT evidently.

Meanwhile, as long as they can bait critics to say “ID ‘is’ creationism,” and quickly retort with the differences between ID and YEC (and thus cleverly exploit the differences in two senses of “creationism”), their target audience, including many non-fundamentalist nonscientists who accept evolution but fall for the “teach the controversy” scam) will continue to erroneously think of them as more open-minded than we are.

Um, no. Noting that ID is creationism is the most accurate simple thing you can say about ID. Years ago, the “deny the creationism connection strategy” might have worked for the ID guys, but in the end that denial strategy backfired horribly for them when the cdesign proponentsists smoking gun was discovered.

There is an ongoing discussion and critique of Exploring Evolution on this thread at After the Bar Closes. So far it appears that the DI (or a local school board) will have some difficulty in dissociating this latest efforts from its creationist roots.

Which is quite ironic, since all they have to do to dissociate with ID and classic creationism is to “explore” some of the “theories” that claim to be alternatives to evolution. These include the mutually contradictory “what happened and when” accounts promoted by classic creationists and a few IDers like Behe. If the mere assoctiation of the personnel with design-based anti-evolution activism is still a problem, they could just “explore” the “naturalistic” alternatives of Schwabe and Senapathy.

They are way ahead of you, Schwabe at least is cited several times in the book. This is an example of the “we’re not ID/creationists, we’re cranks instead!” strategy.

The irony becomes even greater becsuse S & S deny common descent, and no IDer does explicitly

This is wrong – you have accidently swallowed one of the DI’s talking points here. In reality, basically all of the IDers deny common ancestry explicitly except Behe. See e.g. this discussion.

(Behe even unequivocally accepts it).

Only on good days. On bad days:

Even now, I am sometimes singled out by Darwinists as the most “reasonable” Intelligent Design proponent, because I’ve written that I think common descent is true. I’m embarrassed to admit that I derive some odd, involuntary pleasure from being thought the “best” of the lot. My reaction is especially irrational because some of my Intelligent Design colleagues who disagree with me on common descent have greater familiarity with the relevant science than I do.

(p. 19 of Michael Behe (2005). “Scientific Orthodoxies.” First Things 158, pp. 15-20. December 2005. Bold added.)

You conclude:

Thus S & S positions are actually friendly to classic creationism than ID is. Yet the whole ID scam depends on the pretense that S & S don’t exist.

Obviously I disagree. I think you are falling into the carefully-laid trap that the ID guys have set. You wouldn’t be the first, especially in the late 1990s a lot of insufficiently cynical people bought the “ID isn’t creationism, no sirree” line that the DI was putting out.

PS: Previous PT discussion of Behe & YEC/common ancestry.

It strictly presents the strengths and weaknesses of the evolutionary position…

I wonder what percentage of space they allot to presenting the strengths of the evolutionary position?

If it’s ever accepted somewhere, can someone petition for a disclaimer sticker?

Noting that ID is creationism is the most accurate simple thing you can say about ID. – N. Matzke.

Nope, Matzke’s statement is not true.

Creationism is certainly explicitly based on the Bible, and Intelligent Design certainly is not. – M. Dunford.

Seems clear enough, honestly.

FL

You’re right, I just noticed — the post was changed from “legal guy” to “media guy” just before I copied the text to quote on PT evidently.

Well, isn’t Casey Luskin technically both the “legal guy” AND the “media guy” over there?

Creationism is certainly explicitly based on the Bible, and Intelligent Design certainly is not. — M. Dunford.

But is Intelligent Design Scottish?

Well you know what they say, “You winsome, you lose some.” They’ve already lost some court cases, maybe they’re counting on the law of averages?

It may be winsome, but it’s certainly not toothsome. No bite whatsoever.

Maybe Well’s failed Centrosome hypothesis is in this winsome volume?

…oh I got more!

Actually ID Creos don’t care about doing science any longer. Even someone like Minnich who I thought was simply a deluded scientist, till I read the Xpt of his grilling at K v.D, is past caring about hewing to a scientific line. He knows that whatever he tries he is not going to find design, so he is content spinning his wheels while pretending there is a controversy. Behe is hanging on only because of tenure. Wells’s career never took off, and Dembski’s is done for good. They don’t care about any scientific principles at all but for those that will keep them safe and sound, like the one that says humans can’t fly or breathe under water! Others like Pail Nelson and Myers are lightweights and their opinions aren’t well informed. And then let’ not talk about the ones who provide the laughs.

Creationism is certainly explicitly based on the Bible, and Intelligent Design certainly is not. — M. Dunford

Seems clear enough, honestly.

FL

LOL. Read Mike’s full post. See especially the bit about the “two-faced nature of the Intelligent Design movement.”

Then ask where ID’s ideas about how evolution is only “variation within the kind” come from. Or the bit about how ID is just an expression of the Logos theology of John’s gospel.

FL wrote:

Creationism is certainly explicitly based on the Bible, and Intelligent Design certainly is not. — M. Dunford.

Seems clear enough, honestly.

Assuming your quote is reflective of the context, Mike is wrong on this one. Creationism does not need to be explicitly based on the Bible to be considered such, from either a legal or a scientific standpoint. Leaving aside the obvious issue of non-Judeo-Christian forms of creationism, there is the actual problem that Creationists have been trying to actively hide their Biblical inspiration for decades, for tactical reasons. Therefore, explicit reference to the Bible cannot be a reliable indicator of Creationism.

For instance, in his affidavit for Edwards v Aguillard, Dean Kenyon was adamant that Creation science was not based on the Bible either:

Creation-science does not include as essential parts the concepts of catastrophism, a world-wide flood, a recent inception of the earth or life, from nothingness (ex nihilo), the concept of kinds, or any concepts from Genesis or other religious texts. [emphasis mine]

but the courts and anyone else with a functioning brain clearly realized that this was just a ruse.

FL: So what, exactly, is the significance of that phrase “cdesign proponentsists?”

Creationism is certainly explicitly based on the Bible, and Intelligent Design certainly is not. — M. Dunford.

Already read “Mike’s full post.” Nothing in “Mike’s full post” contradicts this particular statement of Mike’s.

FL

The creationists are going around and around in circles, and the DI is experiencing an exponential decline.

The original effort in Kansas in 1999, although surely inspired by the Wedge Document, was merely to cut all mention of evolution out of the curriculum.

I argued at the time (by posting on the internet, that is) that there might be a legal remedy. I pointed out that this would deprive all Kansas students of an expected element of a modern high school science curriculum, to the presumed benefit of a single sectarian group. Such deprivation could have substantial pragmatic negative consequences in university admission interviews, freshman science courses, and so on.

However, that turned out to be irrelevant, as the voters were understandably annoyed by heavy-handed censoring of scientific material, and that school board was voted out.

So the creationists decided that they had to peddle something “positive”. Hence the propaganda build-up to Dover, with garbage-filled but bamboozling (to some) books published for the lay public, and the dopes of the “mainstream media” eagerly providing editorial after editorial on the “new maverick idea that has liberal scientists running scared” (those words are made up and exaggerated for effect, but that was the typical implication).

That led up to implosion in Dover and the growing recognition in the media that ID is the kind of thing that Stephen Colbert might make look silly.

So now, full 180 degree turn. Back to the old “just censor or deny evolution, and let Pat Roberston provide the alternative on Sunday” routine.

But now they’re even more fenced in than before. They’ve learned that just censoring or denying evolution doesn’t go over well. After Dover, they have to really, really pretend not to be religious. That makes them look unsatisfying to the fundamentalists, and like liars to everybody else.

Their new strategy is that this is just an extra book for schools to buy. And the point of it is that, after teaching evolution and getting any serious exams out of the way, you use valuable science classroom time to teach some lying “criticisms” of evolution as a “supplement”, while vehemently denying any relgious, social or political motivation for doing so.

At this point what the DI is struggling for is the survival of the DI. They just need to do something. It’s interesting to note that, since 1999, no a single new major player has adopted ID that I can think of - it’s all still Behe, Dembski, Wells, Johnson (lightweight blog trolls like Dave Scott Springer and Denyse O’Leary don’t count, and are a little moldy themselves).

My prediction is that when this implodes, there will be a subsequent, even weaker effort to produce some more bamboozling, dissembling, illogical “positive arguments for design”. At that point they may even be reduced to trying to strong-arm crap into private religious schools and onto home-schoolers, with only a symbolic effort at impacting public schools.

It’s obvious to rational people that every nickel given to the DI is a complete waste,

And btw, since we’re reading Mike’s full post, Mike says:

“It’s extremely uncommon for me to find myself in agreement with Denyse on anything (and it’s not a comfortable feeling), but in this case I do think she’s got a good point.”

Immediately before that statement, he quotes Denyse O’Leary:

“Then the creationists in turn help the ID theorists by making clear what creationism is and what it is not. Creationism is about the BIBLE, see? It’s not about intelligent design theories like Behe’s* Edge of Evolution or Dembski’s design inference.”

Immediately after his statement expressing agreement with O’Leary, Mike then says:

“Creationism is certainly explicitly based on the Bible, and Intelligent Design certainly is not.”

Therefore, the context and meaning of Mike’s sentence “Creationism is certainly explicitly based on the Bible, and Intelligent Design certainly is not” is clear and unmistakable. There is no duckin’, no dodgin’, no slippin’, and no dippin’, on what he said. Very straightforward, very true statement.

“Creationism is certainly explicitly based on the Bible, and Intelligent Design certainly is not.”

“Explicitly” is the key word there. Creationists don’t hide what they are all about, but Intelligent Design does. But they are both creationism. Therefore ID is all about creationism. Therefore, “ID is creationism” is the most accurate simple thing you can say about ID. Now stop causing trouble!!!

FL -

If ID is not dressed-up creationism, and you are, as we know, a creationist, then why do you and other creationists support ID?

FL seems to be making the same point that many here have made. Creationism was booted by the courts because it was explicitly biblical, teaching Adam and Eve and Noah’s Flood directly. This was supplanted by “scientific creationism” which tried to keep the same basic doctine intact, but remove those parts that corresponded closest to one-to-one with Genesis. The courts disagreed, and said it was Genesis.

ID has made the two-faced attempt to expunge ALL superficial resemblance between creationism and the bible, by conceding that goddidit, but refusing to pin themselves to any literal doctrine, but the substitution of “cdesign proponentists” is hard to sleaze out of. In other words, FL and Dunford are correct - ID is deliberate *implicit* Genesis, rather than explicit. Or, depending on which wording we prefer, we can say that ID encodes Genesis in a way calculated to be obvious to contributors yet provide courts with the opportunity to play dumb and say “gee, we don’t see anything religious here at all…” if only they can find a suitable creationist judge. Scalia would be dead-center ideal.

Forrest has traced the history of this tactic in considerable detail. I’m unwilling to concede that FL is unfamiliar with Forrest’s work - but he can *pretend* he is; this sort of pretense lies (through its teeth!) at the heart of creationism.

Frank Degenaar wrote:

… what are you trying to say Mr. Biggs?

I thought what I said was quite clear, either your reading comprehension is in need of improvement or you are intentionally misrepresenting what I wrote. Modern Creation “scientists” presuppose their literal interpretation of the Bible and do not allow any observation that contradicts that interpretation to be considered. That is why I put scientists in scare quotes when the word appears behind creation. Newton on the other-hand did not presuppose anything about how God did things, he investigated phenomena and produced models to explain the world. He did not depend solely on the Bible for all of his answers. That is why I and many others don’t consider him a creation “scientist”. By your definition, Frank, theistic evolutionists would be considered creation scientists because they also believe that God created the universe, however, ID/Creationists will quickly say that TE’s are not part of their group. I think you know what I meant considering that I said “I wouldn’t qualify Isaac Newton a creation scientist so much as he was a scientist that happened to be a devout christian”. So go ahead Frank, redefine what a creation scientist is, just remember that it will only mean the vast majority of creation scientists accept that the theory of evolution is the best scientific explanation for the history of life and biological diversity.

I think, to rebut the arguments in EE (I also have not seen a copy, but I can deduce the quality of scholarship it contains from what I know of its authors and sponsors), all we need to do is a copy-and-paste job from Talk Origins.

Not even going to read and think through the Exploring Evolution textbook for yourself, eh? Just gonna rely on whatever Talk-Origins regurgitates for public consumption, mmm?

Well…no complaints from me, nope nope. In fact, my hope is that ALL the evolutionists in my state and hometown will follow your example!

FL :)

I think, to rebut the arguments in EE (I also have not seen a copy, but I can deduce the quality of scholarship it contains from what I know of its authors and sponsors), all we need to do is a copy-and-paste job from Talk Origins.

Not even going to read and think through the Exploring Evolution textbook for yourself, eh? Just gonna rely on whatever Talk-Origins regurgitates for public consumption, mmm?

Well…no complaints from me, nope nope. In fact, my hope is that ALL the evolutionists in my state and hometown will follow your example!

FL :)

There’s a start on an “Explore Evolution Companion”, and the open discussion forum already has the run-through of EE recycled creation science arguments linked to the Index of Creationist Claims.

FL,

If they did a global swap and replaced every mention of intelligent design with “teach the controversy”, would I have to read Of Pandas and People again?

Of course you should read a book before criticizing it. Only two problems with that. One, creaationists never seem to read the scientific literature they are critical of. Two, creationist arguments never seem to change, only the buzz words. No real new ideas in 150 years. Still using the same old discredited Paley argument and not because it proves anything either. As long as the arguments have already been addressed, doesn’t that in itself show that the arguments haven’t really changed in this “new” book? And even if there is anything reaally new, it won’t take long for the archive to contain a stinging rebuttal.

Get into the lab and do some science. Maybe then there will be something new to discuss.

FL: if a book promises, in the first chapter, to “prove” something I know to be false, and if all of its fans praise it for “proving” something the rest of us know to be false, there’s no need to read it any further. We know it’s crap, therefore we kick it to the curb.

Besides, you yourself show no signs of having read EE either. So who are you to pretend you’re the smartest guy in the room?

Hoary Pucoon Wrote:

I really do feel absolute contempt for you and your kind.

So much for your sense of humor. You turned the tables on yourself.

Hoary Pucoon Wrote:

You came on this thread posing as a simple searcher after truth.

Nope, I came on to this thread after doing a search for creation material… followed the link to this page… wrote something.… responded.

Hoary Pucoon Wrote:

Since then you have shown your true colors as a devious manipulator whose only real goal in being here is to derail a discussion of Explore Evolution, which might, had you not intervened, led to useful ideas for responding to that mess.

I would never be able to derail a discussion, and that was not my intention. I never expected my comments to be a magnet of criticism. What people choose to respond to is up to them. Then you have contributors to this thread who challenge one to engage, even after I repeatedly acknowledge that I am only responding as others had wished and provoked… and why do you get so flustered at me responding to an intentional insult? In fact, I have kept my answers short, instead of copy-pasting from the vast resources on the internet.

Hoary Pucoon Wrote:

I hope and trust the Disco Institute or other plotters against the United States constitution paid you well for your contemptible behavior.

You have no idea who I am or where I am. I am a South African living in Central America. I lead a simple and humble life (in terms of education, profession and involvement in anything related to politics).

Hoary Pucoon Wrote:

You have abused the courtesy of this site, you have abused the good will of many honest people here, and, in my opinion, you have abused everything Jesus of Nazareth preached and stood for.

Jesus Christ is my Saviour, and I take his words literally… ummm… some people here have mocked him in various ways, not I. I´m sorry if you feel that I have abused you… and I hope that all others on this page don´t feel the same way. My language is not abusive, such as much of what I see here… and even so I don´t tell people that they are abusing me.

Hoary Pucoon Wrote:

I for one will no longer respond to anything you post here. Go back to your dunghill, troll. P.S. No, this is not a joke.

If you and others would like, you would simply have to ask me, and I would never post another comment here. I have no problem with that. Deal? God bless.

Besides, you yourself show no signs of having read EE either.

Correct. I’ll let you know when I’ve got that done.

But I’m not the one suggesting that it’s not even necessary to read the EE textbook. Mmmm.

No matter what side a given textbook may happen to support, I don’t do that kind of suggestion.

FL

Nigel D., correct, I did write this: “Moses possessed a higher degree of education and literary skill than Raven”. Thanks for taking the time to find it. I also talked about the difference between mere knowledge and wisdom. Through education or instruction you may acquire wisdom and knowledge… but wisdom or intelligence do not come automatically. That is to say that some people after having “completed their formal education” may in practice be utterly bereft of the desired benefits or purpose thereof. Let me point out that I also talked about intellectual capacity - which Raven assumes to have a higher level thereof. There‘s no way to compare Moses and Raven in this area… nevertheless I would bet my bottom dollar on an assumed certainty, come to think of it, that Moses has a higher intellectual capacity than Raven, despite being a simple-minded sheepherder as Raven puts it. Perhaps we should ask Raven to lay his credentials on the table, other than possessing internet access. Even when talking about straight-forward knowledge… not the apparent sophistication thereof, but perhaps in quantitative terms… just out of interest, how many languages does Raven speak? Moses was adept in multiple. For the sake of brevity, I would still say that Moses possessed a higher degree of education than Raven, considering he was schooled in Pharaoh‘s court (at the very least). Consider the fact that education is not a synonym, in it‘s entirety, for knowledge. Failing to acknowledge which, back to the initial comment that Raven claimed to have a higher intellectual capacity than Moses, I was hardly emphasizing knowledge… and actually to go back to my original thought - that of intellectual capacity (or potential)… I did mention this in the context of evolutionary thought - that there was a mere few thousand years difference separating us and Moses… which is hardly enough time to substantiate an increase in intellectual capacity to sufficiently boast that we have a higher intellectual capacity. It can not be proved. We simply have additional knowledge, that‘s all. Now the real question is that of being simple-minded, and the intention with which that statement was made - intended to belittle that which he had no absolute certainty to back it up.

Before this thread gets derailed AGAIN, FL– Nobody suggested that we could critque EE without reading it. The few things that I have heard about it from people who have read it make it sound extremely scientifically dubious. The things that Paul Nelson (the author of EE) has written on PT were not impressive. People would make points that I among others found transparently simple and clear, and Nelson wouldn’t seem to understand them. It’s based on that information that I’m guessing EE would be easy to refute. If you have the book and can quote from it, go, boy. I think we’d all welcome some real information here.

Frank Degenaar Wrote:

Nigel D., correct, I did write this: “Moses possessed a higher degree of education and literary skill than Raven”. Thanks for taking the time to find it. I also talked about the difference between mere knowledge and wisdom. Through education or instruction you may acquire wisdom and knowledge… but wisdom or intelligence do not come automatically. That is to say that some people after having “completed their formal education” may in practice be utterly bereft of the desired benefits or purpose thereof. Let me point out that I also talked about intellectual capacity - which Raven assumes to have a higher level thereof.

But Raven was predominantly posting about knowledge, not about intelligence.

There’s no way to compare Moses and Raven in this area… nevertheless I would bet my bottom dollar on an assumed certainty, come to think of it, that Moses has a higher intellectual capacity than Raven, despite being a simple-minded sheepherder as Raven puts it.

Well, since, as you mention, there is no way to test this, it is just speculation.

Perhaps we should ask Raven to lay his credentials on the table, other than possessing internet access.

To what end? What purpose would this serve?

Even when talking about straight-forward knowledge… not the apparent sophistication thereof, but perhaps in quantitative terms… just out of interest, how many languages does Raven speak? Moses was adept in multiple.

This is a bit too OT for me.

For the sake of brevity, I would still say that Moses possessed a higher degree of education than Raven, considering he was schooled in Pharaoh’s court (at the very least). Consider the fact that education is not a synonym, in it’s entirety, for knowledge.

Be that as it may, I have no doubt that Raven’s knowledge of how the universe works is greater than the sum total of knowledge in this field at the time of Moses.

Failing to acknowledge which, back to the initial comment that Raven claimed to have a higher intellectual capacity than Moses, I was hardly emphasizing knowledge… and actually to go back to my original thought - that of intellectual capacity (or potential)… I did mention this in the context of evolutionary thought - that there was a mere few thousand years difference separating us and Moses… which is hardly enough time to substantiate an increase in intellectual capacity to sufficiently boast that we have a higher intellectual capacity.

My recollection is that Raven’s main point was indeed about knowledge. The measurement of “intelligence” is a very difficult subject.

It can not be proved. We simply have additional knowledge, that’s all. Now the real question is that of being simple-minded, and the intention with which that statement was made - intended to belittle that which he had no absolute certainty to back it up.

Well, I don’t think that’s a question to address here in this thread. I don’t quite feel up to wading through the 250-odd posts to find out word-for-word what Raven actually did say. Raven may or may not have made claims about intelligence as an aside to the point about knowledge, but from what I recall, the main thrust of his/her argument was that human knowledge about the universe is now immense compared with a few thousand years ago.

Your posts, however, did seem to include clear contradictions, although this could have been the result of a confusion over terminology. “Degree of education”, “wisdom”, “intellectual capacity”, “intelligence”:- these are all a bit vague, whereas “knowledge” is simply what a person (or a collection of people) knows.

FL Wrote:

Not even going to read and think through the Exploring Evolution textbook for yourself, eh? Just gonna rely on whatever Talk-Origins regurgitates for public consumption, mmm?

Well, you raise two separate points here: (1) Should I read EE first before I criticise the arguments it contains? (2) Am I just going to rely on TO as a source for refuting those arguments?

(1) As others have pointed out, if EE contains no new arguments, why should anyone read it, except to confirm for themselves that this is indeed the case? I have read two or three reviews of EE, each of which focussed on a different set of arguments. However, none of the arguments was anything new.

Additionally, the reviews were posted by individuals I have come to trust, and the reviews were freely interspersed with references. On this basis, I feel no need to read EE myself, since I have come to trust the sources (note the plural) that tell me it doesn’t contain anything that has not been published before elsewhere. But those sources also suppy references so that I have the option of checking for myself.

(2) I have read nearly everything in the Talk Origins archive, but this is not my only source. However, the essays in TO form a very nice summary of the state of knowledge in the field. I myself have qualifications in biochemistry, and everything I have read at TO accords well with what was already known to me. Additionally, I have read some technical literature, some popualr science books, and some articles in science magazines (such as The Biochemist) that pertain to the subject at hand.

Furthermore, I have a tendency to be critcal of what I read, and I cannot fault what is published in the TO archive.

Therefore, I feel entirely justified in using TO as a sole source for refuting the arguments expounded in EE. Since TO summarizes evidence from many different sciences, and since it summarizes arguments from many fields within the biological sciences, I feel it does indeed contain all the information needed to refute everthing in EE.

However, TO also contains copious references, so that anyone who wishes to find out more may do so.

Contrast this with the creationist literature, that often fails to mention important work that contradicts what is claimed.

Well…no complaints from me, nope nope. In fact, my hope is that ALL the evolutionists in my state and hometown will follow your example!

Well, I’m too modest to echo this. I feel that everyone should research the evidence and the arguments for themselves and reach their own conclusion. Just don’t expect me to keep quiet if you’ve reached a conclusion with which I disagree.

Nigel D.……

Where are the comments on TO site. The disco institute seems very picky about who gets the book.

The TOA doesn’t have specific information on “Explore Evolution” yet, but it does have a pretty comprehensive index to creationist claims, and since EE is comprised of retread antievolution arguments, you’ll find quite a lot of the content is already discussed. Even a couple of the quotes examined so far have been featured in the TOA Quote Mine Project.

The weather seems to be rather troll-y. We mop up the messes as we find them.

My buddy referred this particular link to me. This really is specifically what I had been looking for.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on August 5, 2007 3:06 AM.

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