I’m occasionally told my life would be easier if I backed off from my relentless efforts to advance evolution education. Maybe so. But to shy away from emphasizing evolutionary biology is to fail as a biology teacher. I continue to teach biology as I do, because biology makes sense only in the light of evolution.
Troubles in Paradise is a review of the history and arguments of the creationism/intelligent design movement, written by James Downard.
Bill Nye is debating the head of the Creation Museum tomorrow. Ken Ham, founder of Northern Kentucky tourist attraction "Answers in Genesis" Creation Museum, has challenged Science Guy Bill Nye to a duel, errr, a debate. Nye, while tolerant of Ham's religious beliefs, draws the line at creationism creeping into science curriculum. More pre-event throwdowns are here. [more inside]
Bill Nye recently described in a Youtube video why he thinks that Creationism is inappropriate for children. Representatives of the Creation Museum have a response.
Durango Bill's Home Page. With topics that include: 3D end-to-end tour of the Grand Canyon, the origin and formation of the Colorado River, and examples of river systems that cut through mountain ranges instead of taking easier routes around them in Ancestral Rivers of the World. [more inside]
Genesis Revisited scientifically summarises the scientific field of Creation Science (warning: science) [transcript]
Charles Pierce, author of the 2005 essay "Greetings from Idiot America" decrying the rise of faith-based anti-intellectualism, has expanded his rant into a full length book: Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. (via) [more inside]
AronRa has done some really nice YouTube vids on science (previously). In this latest vlog An Archaeological Moment in Time, he take(s) a look at how different societies are advancing at different rates on the same date in the distant past.
In a breathless, passionate, yet level-headed 15 part series, YouTube user, paleontologist, ex-Christian, and potential Space Coyote impersonator AronRa presents an uncommonly well-written and presented argument against what he identifies as the 14 "Fundamental Falsehoods of Creationism." [more inside]
Bracing for Islamic Creationism (PDF). "To avoid a vast rejection of evolution in the Muslim world, scientists can present the theory as the bedrock of biology and can stress its practical applications." [Via]
16% of US science teachers believe human beings have been created by God within the last 10,000 years. 25% of science teachers spend some time teaching about creationism or intelligent design. 12.5% teach it as a "valid, scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species". 2% say they do not cover evolution at all. Teachers who have taken more science courses themselves devote more time to evolution - "This may be because better-prepared teachers are more confident in dealing with students' questions about a sensitive subject."
Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a pro-Intelligent Design, anti-evolution polemic, arrived in theaters Friday to overwhelmingly negative reviews and anemic ticket sales. In response to the claims made in the film comes Expelled Exposed, a website which seeks to "show you why this movie is not a documentary at all, but anti-science propaganda aimed at creating the appearance of controversy where there is none."
The Inner Life of an Intelligently Designed Cell? Remember The Inner Life of a Cell animation (discussed here)? Apparently the Discovery Institute (recently discussed here) is showing it in presentations with a new title and narration, and without attribution.
Incompetent Design is yet another entry in the battle regarding the origin of humans.
Welcome to Idiot America: "The America of Franklin and Edison, of Fulton and Ford, of the Manhattan project and the Apollo program, the America of which Einstein wanted to be a part, seems to be enveloping itself in a curious fog behind which it's tying itself in knots over evolution, for pity's sake, and over the relative humanity of blastocysts versus the victims of Parkinson's disease."
Intelligent Design on trial! The ACLU of PA is blogging the current trial in Dover, PA between the parents of students and the local school board which wants to teach students Intelligent Design. Over at The Panda's Thumb, they're also keeping track of the goings on. The main ACLU website has statements from most of the plaintiff's experts in the case, including this long, well-supported pdf from philsopher Barbara Forrest, whose testimony is being used to dismantle the canard that ID is not Creationism. Over at the Legal Affairs Debate Club Beckwith and Laylock argued, last week, about whether teaching ID is legal. For background: this 2002 special report from Natural History Magazine on Intelligent Design Creationism.
Why "Intelligent Design" Isn't. The New Yorker takes an informative look at the "factual" basis for so-called "Intelligent Design" theory, while an all too infrequent victory is won in Georgia.
Fig-leaf-eating Velociraptor Scandal! Look, I've got nothing against religion but if you believe a word of it you are, in the words of Robert Burns, "a dumbass fuck".
"Set your irony meters on maximum." All this week, a three-member subcommittee of the Kansas State Board of Education is holding hearings on how to teach science. [background] Creationists, er, advocates of "intelligent design," are using it to bootstrap their claim that evolution through natural selection and creationism are two sides of a story. While many scientists are boycotting what one newspaper is calling "Barnum on steroids," IDers have brought out the big guns -- including one Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish, Muslim, newspaper columnist with a Masters in history and a close associaton with a group that presents evolution "as a conspiracy of the Jewish and American imperialists to promote new world order and fascist motives." Get your official scorecard to the Scopes Trial II here!
Scientific American to stop reporting science, more creationism. There's no easy way to admit this. For years, helpful letter writers told us to stick to science. They pointed out that science and politics don't mix. They said we should be more balanced in our presentation of such issues as creationism, missile defense and global warming...But spring is in the air, and all of nature is turning over a new leaf, so there's no better time to say: you were right, and we were wrong.
[Resolved, the Kansas Dept. of Education is hereby directed to collect comments from the public regarding the various proposed changes to the Science Curriculum Standards, either contained within the Science Curriculum Standards Draft or contained within the minority report.] Kansas Citizens for Science are arguing that the intelligent design folks are just trying to put religion in the schools. But are the proposed changes in the minority report really pro-religion, or are they just pro-"raise kids to be inquisitive"? I, for one, am honesty not sure.
Teaching bad science is not something only creationist wingnuts do. The redoubtable Bill Beaty sets us straight. (thanks, Laen)
Noted British atheist Antony Flew has changed his mind, persuaded by scientific evidence that God exists and that "intelligence must have been involved" in the origin of life. As Professor Emeritus in Philosophy at the University of Reading and the author of several influential books on the subject of atheism, Flew was once one of rationalism's leading lights. He now compares his beliefs with the predominantly American concept of Intelligent Design. "My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads," he says.
"Just for the record, do you believe the Sun goes around the Earth or the Earth goes around the sun?" : Ages before "Intelligent Design", a bold PaleoCreationist pseudoscientific gobbledygook - embodied by Tom Willis, Creationism's man in Kansas and head of the Mid Atlantic Creation Research Society - strode the Earth. The AAAS dissected the mess in "Lions, Tigers and APES, Oh My! ; Creationism vs. Evolution in Kansas" ( Google cache) and one writer concluded : "The War between the creationists and the public schools is over. The creationists appear to have won" : now, in a Kansas that's scientifically proven flatter than a pancake, Mona Lisa is as happy as a clam, and Kissing Frank's ass and appeals to mysterious watchmakers predominate, while on the national stage, God is a real estate developer.
Meanwhile, a new group proposes better zoning bylaws : Scientists and Engineers for Change
Meanwhile, a new group proposes better zoning bylaws : Scientists and Engineers for Change
Just found this one. The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a Berkeley website for supporting science teachers teaching evolution. The project was built with a grant from the National Science Foundation and has received an additional grant to expand the site to develop content for students and adults. More coverage from The Daily Bruin at UCLA and a brief clip from Science News.
The Panda's Thumb is a multi-authored blog "dedicated to explaining the theory of evolution, critiquing the claims of the anti-evolution movement, and defending the integrity of science and science education in America and around the world." [Via The Loom.]
Creation Science Fair - the first place for elementary level was won by Cassidy Turnbull, who demonstrated the differences between her uncle and a monkey. Much more impressive was the winner of the high school level who used prayer to make microbes evolve antibiotic resistance. I, for one, am glad that children across the world are learning the power of Creation Science! (via New Scientist)
Oh, God! Under the Bush administration there were a lot of things we had to forget, things like how democratic presidents get elected, how to sell democracy to undemocratic peoples, how to be free, patriotic, etc. Now, it seems, is the time to forget all about this menace to mankind: SCIENCE.
15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense From Scientific American..."Opponents of evolution want to make a place for creationism by tearing down real science, but their arguments don't hold up. Besieged teachers and others may increasingly find themselves on the spot to defend evolution and refute creationism. The arguments that creationists use are typically specious and based on misunderstandings of (or outright lies about) evolution, but the number and diversity of the objections can put even well-informed people at a disadvantage. To help with answering them, the following list rebuts some of the most common "scientific" arguments raised against evolution. It also directs readers to further sources for information and explains why creation science has no place in the classroom." Creation "science?"
Evolution resumes in Kansas. Two of the three state school board members who de-emphasized evolution in the science curriculum have lost in primary elections. Survival of the fittest is a bitch, ain't it?