Dan Ely's colleagues take down his Kansas testimony

Dr. Dan Ely of the University of Akron testified at last year’s Kansas Creationism hearings. Ely represented himself as knowledgeable about the issues, and supported the Kansas minority report that gutted the teaching of evolutionary biology in Kansas schools.

Ely was also a member of the writing team that produced the ID creationist model lesson plan for Ohio, and testified before the Ohio State Board of Education on a number of occasions. He was also touted as an expert by several board members, including Deborah Owens Fink who first introduced a “two model” approach (evolution and ID) to the Ohio Board of Education in 2000.

Now Ely’s colleagues at the University of Akron have written an open letter to the Kansas State Board of Education taking down Ely’s qualifications, his representations of his conversations with them, and his conclusions. Pat Hayes at Red State Rabble has the story here and here.

One of the money quotes from the Akron biologists’ letter:

It is clear from these statements about his own research that Dr. Ely knows literally nothing about the evolutionary processes that he claims to be competent enough to criticize, which is understandable in that he is a physiologist with no graduate-level training in evolutionary biology whatsoever.


Addendum A correspondent points out that Ely’s behavior is of a piece with the ID movement’s general practice of having “experts” who attest to material well outside their area of professional competence. If one looks at the “experts” who testified at the Kansas hearings, not one evolutionary biologist or paleontologist was in the list of supporters of the creationist Minority Support.