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.
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.
***Exactly. Show me a fossilized velociraptor with a fossilized rabbit in its stomach and I’m a creationist, no doubt about it.***
Dr. Carl Werner was challenged about the theory of evolution by a friend. He decided that if he could find modern organisms in the same strata as dinosaurs that would falsify evolution.
He spent 30 years of his life visiting dino digs and museums. He found fossils of every modern species and genera in the same strata as dinosaurs..... including the rabbit that you mention.
He chronicled the whole thing in a book called “Evolution: The Grand Experiment - Living Fossils” There’s also a DVD out on it.
You can check out his books at Amazon. He also has some Youtube stuff out there.
Normally what happens when this kind of evidence is produced to a disciple of evolution they start with the ad hominems. They call the author a quack, a liar and a fraud. That way they never have to confront the actual issue and the evidence that he presents.
I hope, Notary that you aren’t one of those.
In my previous post (#51) I meant to say “many species and genera” not “every”.
I came across the word cladistics in "Darwin's Ghost" by Steve Jones ... a modern rewrite of Darwin's "Origin of the Species," with the same exact chapter names in Darwin's work.
Following is from Wikipedia ...
"History of cladistics The term clade was introduced in 1958 by Julian Huxley, cladistic by Cain and Harrison in 1960, and cladist (for an adherent of Hennig's school) by Mayr in 1965. Hennig referred to his own approach as phylogenetic systematics. From the time of his original formulation until the end of the 1980s cladistics remained a minority approach to classification. However, in the 1990s it rapidly became the dominant method of classification in evolutionary biology. Computers made it possible to process large quantities of data about organisms and their characteristics. At about the same time the development of effective polymerase chain reaction techniques made it possible to apply cladistic methods of analysis to biochemical and molecular genetic features of organisms as well as to anatomical ones."
There's a lot to be learned out there Folka.
It’s so obvious how one-sided your ‘research’ of the crevo debate is. If the TOE really has a billion ‘just-so’ data points then there are somewhere on the order of trillions of data points ignored, covered-up and discarded that support creation and young ages.
DNA code can neither write nor improve upon its’ origins - it required an intelligence far superior to anything science could ever produce.
101 Evidences for a Young Age of the Earth...And the Universe
Center for Scientific Creation - In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood
Typo. “Folka” should be folks.
There’s more than enough evidence in the 2 links in my prior post to put the evo theory to shame.
Even Darwin himself admitted if you do not find thousands upon thousands of transitional fossils that TOE completely falls apart. Darwin was a major racist headcase and much more a failure than a scientist.
You folks who always want to shine the evo science credentials and your fearless leader is sore lacking any at all. Just the math alone leaves you needing more than trillions of years for mutations to ‘have enough time.’
You make good points. I can guarantee you, however, that evolution teaches, or at a minimum implies in HS texts that all animals have a common ancestors, and that we DID “evolve” from lower life forms. Blessings, Bob
I understand theory. The point is, in practice, it’s obvious that gravity EXISTS and WORKS.
Meanwhile, it’s not even intuitively obvious that anything such as evolution should exist. You have to deliberately “theorize” on it, because otherwise you cannot prove to Joe Schmoe beyond doubt that it exists. If it were so obvious, paleontologists wouldn’t keep changing their minds about what different dinosaurs are or what they did or ate or how they stood (never mind the new revelation that apparently so many of these animals had feathers, which at least has real evidence). They can’t even test their theories. That’s all it is - theory. They often base things on what they know of existent animals. All they can REALLY say is, “this creature existed”.
I am a mechanical engineer; not a specialized science expert, but I do know something about science.
Can you please elaborate on your reasons for including a reference to The Apostles' Creed and how it was changed in 2011. How does this support your position?