Skip to comments.Scientific Illiteracy and the Partisan Takeover of Biology
Posted on 04/19/2006 3:57:51 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
A new article in PLoS Biology (April 18, 2006) discusses the state of scientific literacy in the United States, with especial attention to the survey research of Jon D. Miller, who directs the Center for Biomedical Communications at Northwestern University Medical School.
To measure public acceptance of the concept of evolution, Miller has been asking adults if "human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals" since 1985. He and his colleagues purposefully avoid using the now politically charged word "evolution" in order to determine whether people accept the basics of evolutionary theory. Over the past 20 years, the proportion of Americans who reject this concept has declined (from 48% to 39%), as has the proportion who accept it (45% to 40%). Confusion, on the other hand, has increased considerably, with those expressing uncertainty increasing from 7% in 1985 to 21% in 2005.In international surveys, the article reports, "[n]o other country has so many people who are absolutely committed to rejecting the concept of evolution," quoting Miller as saying, "We are truly out on a limb by ourselves."
The "partisan takeover" of the title refers to the embrace of antievolutionism by what the article describes as "the right-wing fundamentalist faction of the Republican Party," noting, "In the 1990s, the state Republican platforms in Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Missouri, and Texas all included demands for teaching creation science." NCSE is currently aware of eight state Republican parties that have antievolutionism embedded in their official platforms or policies: those of Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas. Four of them -- those of Alaska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas -- call for teaching forms of creationism in addition to evolution; the remaining three call only for referring the decision whether to teach such "alternatives" to local school districts.
A sidebar to the article, entitled "Evolution under Attack," discusses the role of NCSE and its executive director Eugenie C. Scott in defending the teaching of evolution. Scott explained the current spate of antievolution activity as due in part to the rise of state science standards: "for the first time in many states, school districts are faced with the prospect of needing to teach evolution. ... If you don't want evolution to be taught, you need to attack the standards." Commenting on the decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover [Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al.], Scott told PLoS Biology, "Intelligent design may be dead as a legal strategy but that does not mean it is dead as a popular social movement," urging and educators to continue to resist to the onslaught of the antievolution movement. "It's got legs," she quipped. "It will evolve."
ID cannot be falsified. Therefore, it cannot be tested.
Without philosophy and its wisdom your "science" is nothing but an efficient means to maleficence.
P.S. evidence --- "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. "
You can't keep Darwin out of politics when the government via the courts imposes it on citizens. Still retaining some rights to freedom of thought, those opposed to it will rebel against this tyranny. You reap what you sow.
Another theological point always evident when Darwinists get heavy handed is the doctrine of human depravity.
Physics doesn't have this problem. Mathematics doesn't have this problem. Chemistry doesn't have this problem. Biology apart from darwinist dogma doesn't have this problem.
Darwinian evolution has this problem. It has this problem because it makes faith claims it can't back up and stifles its honest critics because its zealots lack confidence n their "science" and would rather avoid or win the debate through intimidation or state coercion.
It's a pathetic and abominable scientific theory that has to rely on the state to secure and protect its privileged position.
Read the Dover decision. Then you'll know who tried to impose what on whom: Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al.
Nothing to do with evolution.
"why we're here (no reason--ultimately existence is pointless),"
Nothing to do with evolution.
" where we're going (early extinction and heat death)."
Nothing to do with evolution.
Have anything that is actually about evolutionary biology?
Darwinian evolution ID/creationism has this problem. It has this problem because it makes faith claims it can't back up and stifles its honest critics because its zealots lack confidence n their "science" and would rather avoid or win the debate through intimidation or state coercion."
Fixed that for ya. :)
"It's(ID/creationism) a pathetic and abominable
scientific theory theological/philosophical claim that has to rely on the state to secure and protect its privileged position insinuate itself into legitimate science classrooms.
Fixed again. :)
No charge for the editing; it's a special service from DarwinCentral, the conspiracy that cares.
for readers who want to cut straight to the chase:
from pp. 137-138 of the Court's decision:
Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.
Judicial activism is when judges make up law that doesn't exist. Judge Jones followed precedent every step of the way in his jurisprudence; in point of fact he had no choice; to do otherwise would have been an act of the very "judicial activism" for which his detractors have such contempt. The only "activists" in this case were the nutballs on the school board who lied and connived to change the science curriculum to suit their personal religious beliefs and preferences, and the dorks in the anti-Evo PR organizations and law firms who egged them on.
The reality is if they don't want federal judges messy around in public school curriculum then they ought to mad at the school board members who sought out the activist law firm BEFORE they changed the science class policy (without ever seeking any professional scientific advice), which means they were already lining up legal representation BEFORE a lawsuit was ever filed!
In short, the law form was itching for a Federal case on ID, and the Dover School Board was loaded with exactly the sort of dupes they wanted to gen up a case for them.
The judge was right when he said the students and taxpayers of Dover were ill-served by this litigation, and the people to blame for it are the idiots on the Dover school board (who repeatedly lied under oath) and the law firm that conned them into this ill-advised adventure.
As Plaintiffs meticulously and effectively presented to the Court, Pandas went through many drafts, several of which were completed prior to and some after the Supreme Court's decision in Edwards [Edwards v. Aguillard], which held that the Constitution forbids teaching creationism as science. By comparing the pre and post Edwards drafts of Pandas, three astonishing points emerge:Source: Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al.(1) the definition for creation science in early drafts is identical to the definition of ID;This word substitution is telling, significant, and reveals that a purposeful change of words was effected without any corresponding change in content, which directly refutes FTE's [FTE = the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, the publisher of Pandas] argument that by merely disregarding the words "creation" and "creationism," FTE expressly rejected creationism in Pandas. In early pre-Edwards drafts of Pandas, the term "creation" was defined as "various forms of life that began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features intact -- fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc," the very same way in which ID is defined in the subsequent published versions.
(2) cognates of the word creation (creationism and creationist), which appeared approximately 150 times were deliberately and systematically replaced with the phrase ID; and
(3) the changes occurred shortly after the Supreme Court held that creation science is religious and cannot be taught in public school science classes in Edwards.
Fret of fret, people don't like things crammed down their throats. One day Darwinists will evolve enough to figure that one out.
The Creationists carefully picked a court fight.
The Creationist witnesses perjured themselves (although trying to excuse perjury by pleading drug addiction.)
The Creationists lost.
Good question. If you were teaching the "Theory of Evolution", in the year 2006, how would you state the Theory based on today's knowledge?
Hey, science is science. It goes where the data lead. Scientists hate it when their hypotheses or theories are overturned, but that's the way it is in science.
Yet you want science censored to fit your religious beliefs? "You can study this, but you can't study that because I don't like it!"
Is this really what you are telling us?
What's insulting about the word "evomaniac"?
My kids are proud to be called "roller coaster maniacs" and get caught up in "dancemania". It's not unusual for the younger generation to refer to people who are passionate about something as "maniacs".
Normally I don't bother when the meaning is clear. But she repeated it in two successive posts.
I assume she meant 40 years. Which is kind of a silly point, since evolution was the accepted theory over 120 years ago.
Government funding is a post-Manhattan-Project phenomenon and has nothing whatsoever to do with the success of Darwin's theory.
Oh, please. Your explanation is positively Clintonian.
No one self-identifies as an evomaniac.
Or "Darwinist" either.
No college I ever attended offered courses in "Darwinism."
That's simply a derogatory term used by anti-evolutionists. Must have run out of arguments or something.
And lets not forget, the poster(I cannot remember who), that insists on using the word, 'EvoThink'...ah, such catchy words...
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