Skip to comments.Doubting Darwin: panic in the suites of evolution
Posted on 04/25/2012 6:54:15 PM PDT by Caleb1411
The sky is falling! Many interest groups and journalists raced to tell that to the public when a modest but important bill became law in Tennessee early in April. The law instructs teachers and administrators to "create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues."
What's not to like? The law, similar to one in Louisiana, also protects teachers who help students (I'm quoting from the official legislative summary) "understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught. ..." Oh, here's the problem: Evolution is one of the theories that can now be analyzed and critiqued.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, and many others have gone ape over the inclusion of evolution. They revere critical thinking and the freedom to explore, but not when it might produce irreverence toward their idol.
Those groups and many journalists brought up Tennessee's 1925 law that made illegal the teaching of evolution in public schools and led to the Scopes "monkey trial." They did not note that most public schools in the four score and seven years since then have gone to the other extreme by forbidding the teaching of anything but evolution. In states from Virginia to Washington true believers in evolution have harassed and driven away teachers who dared to teach both sides of the Darwin debate.
If macro-evolution were proven, the true believers would have a case, but more than 800 Ph.D.-bearing scientists have signed a statement expressing skepticism about contemporary evolutionary theory's claims that random mutation and natural selection account for the complexity of life. These scientists say, "Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."
The 1925 law tried to close off debate, but the think tank that has proposed laws like Tennessee's new one, the Discovery Institute, is working to increase the coverage of evolution in textbooks. It wants evolution, including its unresolved issues, to be fully presented to students: "Evolution should be taught as a scientific theory that is open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can't be questioned."
That gets to the heart of the hysteria. The New York Times editorialized in 1925 for "faith, even of a grain of mustard seed, in the evolution of life." The Times said evolution gives us hope for progress: "If man has evolved, it is inconceivable that the process should stop and leave him in his present imperfect state. Specific creation has no such promise for man."
Specific creation, of course, has the ultimate promise: God cares. Sadly, many look desperately for hope elsewhere, anywhere. Last month the New York Times editorial page editor, consistent with his predecessors, criticized critics of evolution who have "learned to manufacture doubt." The Times, of course, daily manufactures doubt regarding God, but thunders, "Thou shalt not doubt" evolution. If other states follow Tennessee's example, we'll have a robust debate instead of more attempts to suppress it.
They're obviously all a bunch of hacks who got their "doctorates" from a correspondence school in Skokie, Illinois.
As I see it, there is zero evidence of phyletic evolution. If we really evolved from common ancestors, to me the evidence says punctuated equilbria or special creation are the only possible theories.
Make lefties go even more batty than they already are by pointing out the contradictions involved in insisting upon Darwinian explanations for everything EXCEPT social and economic issues. How do they reconcile “survival of the fittest” with “No keeping score! EVERYONE’S a WINNER!”;)
I wouldn't exactly call that a ringing condemnation of evolution theory. Of course you should examine the evidence carefully. What scientist wouldn't agree with that?
If you are anyone has an alternative Scientific Theory (not a guess and not depending on the supernatural) that explains the billions of data points that currently support TToE, all of science is waiting.
No one has produced one to date.
Give us a modern horse found in the 12 million year strata and you have our attention.
Of course, you know a Scientific Theory is NOT a “grown up guess” right? And you know the Theory of Gravity is less understood nor documented than TToE, right?
I suggest we start with “alternative theories (guesses)” with:
The universes are made by Lord Brahma the Creator, maintained by Lord Vishnu the Preserver and destroyed by Lord Shiva. Since the universes must be destroyed before they can be recreated, Lord Shiva is called the Destroyer and Re-creator. These three gods are all forms of Supreme One and part of the Supreme One. The Supreme One is behind and beyond all.
Obviously science no longer measures the physical world, so it really measures nothing.
>>Make lefties go even more batty than they already are by pointing out the contradictions involved in insisting upon Darwinian explanations for everything EXCEPT social and economic issues.<<
You are not familiar with the term “stochastic” are you?
Applying physics to non-physical events is a non sequituer on the highest order. Analogies do not create fact from that which is being analoged...
“the Theory of Gravity is less understood nor documented than TToE”
There’s 1 huge problem with your comparison.
Gravity is intrinsically evident to EVERYONE, EVERY DAY, even the biggest ninkumpoop. It is intuitive - what comes up, must come down. There is no theorizing about that, not on this earth.
Biology generally and evolution specifically is alot of guesswork.
Are the CrEvo wars still going on here on FR? I’ve pursued a rather different path, but I couldn’t resist a shout-out for old time’s sake. Life was simpler back then.
***”We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
I wouldn’t exactly call that a ringing condemnation of evolution theory. Of course you should examine the evidence carefully. What scientist wouldn’t agree with that?***
You’re kidding, right?
Scientists (see Global Warming/Climate Change) get locked into a worldview and browbeat those who disagree into silence. They use circular reasoning to make evidence fit their theory, they don’t present any evidence that sheds a negative light on their theory and they dismiss any “naysayers” as quacks.
I might suggest you check out the documentary “Expelled”.
There is certainly room to doubt the theory of evolution as propounded by Darwin and still be well within the bounds of the scientific method. However, there is no room to suggest that the universe is less than ten thousand years old and still be within any reasonable definition of "science".
There are some interesting arguments in favor of creation that I am willing to entertain. But can we agree that once you start talking about a creator's morality and/or personal interest in humans that we have left science far behind? I might possibly be convinced that there is a creator, but with that as a given I would conclude that the creator is indifferent at best, malicious at worst.
Dark matter/dark energy is going to die.
String theory will die.
The big bang is dead.
The Primordial soup is dead.
It's dead Jim.
Untold billions of dollars to try to avoid “Design”.
Cro-Magnon had a larger cranial capacity than modern humans and an average height of about 6’. Evolution?
Exactly. Show me a fossilized velociraptor with a fossilized rabbit in its stomach and I'm a creationist, no doubt about it.
Admit it guys, changes in DNA are more akin to mixing paint with a super computer, and far removed from cows chewing cud.
We watch and wait, and then someday you will slip up and drop your guard and it'll be all over for your kind! (Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
The theory of evolution is more rife with falsehoods and fabrications than man made global warming.
Hmm. How do you cut and past a post without reading it?
Akin to “Hiding the Decline” in AGW science.
Let there be no debate....only castigations.
>>Theres 1 huge problem with your comparison.
Gravity is intrinsically evident to EVERYONE, EVERY DAY, even the biggest ninkumpoop. It is intuitive - what comes up, must come down. There is no theorizing about that, not on this earth.<<
Proof you have no idea what a Scientific Theory is. The observed effect of Gravity is one thing — WHAT CAUSES IT?
But I appreciate your making my point for me.
The TTOG is less understood than the TToE — and your post points that out.
>> but I couldnt resist a shout-out for old times sake. Life was simpler back then<<
I usually post only once or twice to let the outside world know there are scientifically literate people on FR.
But the CRevo wars as you knew and dissembled to them will never be fought again.
>>The theory of evolution is more rife with falsehoods and fabrications than man made global warming.<<
And you base this statement on...?
(I can easily make the contrary case but it will be fun to see you prove your point).
>>We watch and wait, and then someday you will slip up and drop your guard and it’ll be all over for your kind! <<
Ah, I see my ex-wife’s brother is here!! Man, you scared the heck out of me, especially at Christmas!
These laws COULD open the door to crackpot theories...and that's not to say pure Darwinism is not a crackpot theory.
But it also opens the door to religious dogma being taught as a counter-point to pure Darwinism which most folks don't subscribe to today anyway.
If I sent my kid to a PUBLIC school that taught Biblical Creationism as a counter-point to classic Darwinism, even I would sue them.
And I believe in Biblical Creationism.
People, don't open this door in the modern era. It will be the worst mistake your blindness ever made.
Want your kids to be educated in Islam (the version of Islam popular in leftist lore)? Want them to learn that Gaia is just another name for God?
Don't fall for the silly-assed aspirations of the zealots. It will not serve you well.
This is a political forum. Let's keep it that way.
Which sex “evolved” first, male or female, and if a given organism could reproduce successfully with only one sex, what would be the point of it slowly evolving a second sex? The whole theory is goofy, frankly. It’s about time that students were taught to think critically about origins, and not be force-fed a secularist lie. Bob
>>Sure you don’t want to give an “everybody be nice” ping to the a**holes who plagued this board around 2005 and prior?<<
Those a**holes tried to provide facts to people. And were persecuted and driven from it for daring to educate people who refused to be educated. Like giving electricity to aboriginals.
>>This is a political forum. Let’s keep it that way.<<
Agreed. Why this thread was posted, I have no idea, but I have made it clear that some of us know the difference between a Scientific Theory and a layperson’s concept of a theory. I have made my point.
I shan’t post to this thread again.
You’d sue them for what? Even YOU concede that Darwinism may be a “crackpot” theory, and your suspicions are correct. The answer for the classroom is, “We don’t know!” Bob
Using public dollars to fund the teaching of a religious dogma.
This is a no-brainer and I'm surprised you asked.
There is very substantial court precedent over the last 50 years and validation by the USSC in multiple cases.
I still have a hard time thinking that all this is chance.
Those that think they have evolved are the ones that need examining. If we learn anything about knowing our DNA is that conditions not time change us. Its all about the environment.
You would be His work, is that how you see Him reflected in His creation, you? If you believe Him to be such, is it because that is how you see or know yourself? If you view Him this way, don't wonder if that is how He responds to you.
Then why aren’t you suing your district for teaching secularist religious dogma every bit as silly as athropogenic “climate change”? There is no science in macro=evolutionary theory whatsoever. Bob
So you are either saying that no religious dogma can be true, by merit of it being a religious dogma, or that even if it is absolutely true, a lie must be taught in it's place. Do you really think that you are making sense? A lie is better than the truth, if it involves your Creator, who created everything that is being taught about? What a convoluted world you provide.
I don’t have enough faith to believe in Darwinism.
Pray for America
I agree with that, but there is a great deal of science supporting in-species evolution.
Still, a secular fantasy is far less threatening, from my point of view, than the state adopting a "book" religious perspective to education. I believe that should be left to parents and preachers.
I have a very substantial fear of the state...and the state with a religious flavor terrifies me.
You have to remember, this is not the year 1217 and we are NOT the Holy Roman Empire.
I this modern era, in the USA and the rest of the Western World...you don't know WHAT you'll get from a government religion.
Sure, a Roman Catholic, or any other mainstream Christian Religion would give you a tolerable state order.
But that's not a certain outcome.
Consider: What if Mormons, Assemblies of God, Catholics, Muslims etc. gained the reins of state? Would you then be so sanguine? Jehovah's Witnesses? L Ron Hubbard?
Beliefs belong in church.
Your post makes it look like you are giving way to the old atheist dream of combined martyr complex / revisionist history. Patrick Henry *did* have his homepage removed without warning by Jim Robinson; I never heard the full story from each of those gentlemen, so I can't meaningfully comment further.
But JR did note that this is a pro-God site and that among the evos (in the general population) were a number of atheists seeking to use evolution and a battering ram against Christianity; he didn't want that to happen here.
As far as the "energy to aboriginals" that is the typical autofellatory ad hominem we have come to love and know from liberals; it would be an interesting sociological study to map out the degree to which the evos hold that view, and how well that view correlates with the evo's position on the conservative -- libertarian spectrum. (Compare, for example, Rush Limbaugh's screen persona of bombast with Jason Lewis's intellectual preening.)
I don’t believe in taeaching Adam and Eve in school, but it probably was for the first century and a half in America with little ill effect. What I take issue with is the idea that “secularist fantasy” is non-threatening. When taught under the auspices of *science*, vulnerable young minds come to believe that we are our own gods. After all, if God is irrelevant to creation, we can all make our own rules with no consequence unless we get caught. If we have no more value than a chimp or protozoa, why treat others morally? Why do the right thing when no one is looking?
IMO, the theory of evolution has brought us a poisoned society where the most angry, hateful Marxists in America can now be elected President. They lie and prey upon susceptible to calls for envy and greed, and persuade a population incapable of critical thinking. Bob
So unless someone is in Church they are to believe in nothing nor speak of believing in anything? So, in your mind, does God Himself evaporate every time one steps out of a Church?
Perhaps you should actually talk to a few kids that are in school, where you will find that this is already being taught, to the total exclusion of Christianity.
Schools now have rooms with little rainbows on the door so the gay, lesbian, transgender, or transvestite can easily find a safe room, on the other hand Christians are on their own and subject to ridicule.
And more than 1200 scientists whose first name is Steve have signed a statement that says, "Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry." Steves account for about 1% of scientist; you can do the math. Not that the fact that more scientists named Steve express support for evolution than all those that expressed skepticism means that evolution is valid. But hey, they didn't start the numbers game.
You said: “I wouldnt exactly call that a ringing condemnation of evolution theory. Of course you should examine the evidence carefully. What scientist wouldnt agree with that?
What scientist wouldn’t agree with that? Scientists routinely ignore things that don’t fit their worldview. All I did was point out one example. I can give you many others if you’d like.
The School Board in Rio Rancho, New Mexico went down this road in 2005. It didn’t end well, even though the whole intent was simply to allow discussion of alternative theories of the origins of life.
I was living there when this first went down, and I personally know 3 of the 5 members of the board at that time.
Some organization has a bunch of links about the issue here: http://www.nmsr.org/riorncho.htm
The media, with their usual facility for dumbing everything down to the simplest imaginable soundbites, universally claim that the Tennessee "monkey law" forbade the teaching of evolution. It really forbade telling kids that we came from animals, no more than that, and for just the reason you bring up.
Why are we always told that the law prohibited the teaching of evolution outright? 1) It promotes the perception that opposition to evolution is ignorant religious obscurantism, and 2) It conceals the real reason for evolution's appeal to those who are pushing it.
It depends on how the terms are defined.
I can give you a modern tree that's buried across a couple of hundred million years of strata.
Sounds more plausible than the story about the Magical Miller-Urey Monster who created life from non-life against all known rules of organic chemistry...
They will say that your example does not apply because blah blah blah exception, exception, peer review blah blah, and you are not a scientist so you wouldn’t understand anyway.
Suggestion: take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostles'_Creed
In particular, note the beliefs expressed therein and the changes made to that Creed in 2011.