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Doubting Darwin: panic in the suites of evolution
WORLD ^ | 5/5/12 | MARVIN OLASKY

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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: creation; evolution; scientism
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1 posted on 04/25/2012 6:54:22 PM PDT by Caleb1411
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To: Caleb1411
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.

They're obviously all a bunch of hacks who got their "doctorates" from a correspondence school in Skokie, Illinois.

/s

2 posted on 04/25/2012 7:08:51 PM PDT by Yashcheritsiy (Anybody but Obama and Romney)
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To: Caleb1411
I've studied many areas of science including evolution and I can only shake my head at those die-hards who insist phyletic (gradual) evolution is a fact.

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.

3 posted on 04/25/2012 7:09:02 PM PDT by scripter ("You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." - C.S. Lewis)
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To: Caleb1411

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!”;)


4 posted on 04/25/2012 7:13:31 PM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: Yashcheritsiy
"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?

5 posted on 04/25/2012 7:15:44 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Caleb1411

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.


6 posted on 04/25/2012 7:17:01 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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Get a Grip, and NTSA!

7 posted on 04/25/2012 7:19:41 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Frank_2001

>>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...


8 posted on 04/25/2012 7:20:30 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: freedumb2003

“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.


9 posted on 04/25/2012 7:25:49 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: Caleb1411

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.


10 posted on 04/25/2012 7:26:02 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (Decriminalize concealed carry on campus! Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus)
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To: DManA

***”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”.


11 posted on 04/25/2012 7:26:16 PM PDT by schaef21
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To: Caleb1411
Just a couple of thoughts:

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.

12 posted on 04/25/2012 7:29:35 PM PDT by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: Caleb1411
“. . . often featured a call for progress towards making predictions that could be tested at the LHC [Large Hadron Collider]. With LHC data now coming in, [opening speaker David] Gross acknowledged that this had been a failure: there are no string theory LHC predictions.”

http://spritzophrenia.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/the-multiverse-is-a-dead-parrot-is-atheism-in-trouble/

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?

13 posted on 04/25/2012 7:30:40 PM PDT by Puckster
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To: freedumb2003
Give us a modern horse found in the 12 million year strata

Exactly. Show me a fossilized velociraptor with a fossilized rabbit in its stomach and I'm a creationist, no doubt about it.

14 posted on 04/25/2012 7:32:05 PM PDT by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: scripter
Epigenetics combined with as yet unknown ways to accomplish transfer of genes between unrelated species probably accounts for all of it ~ and then, too, DNA is probably engaged in its own examination, analysis and solution to biological problems and may be thought of as self-assembling itself rather than simply being a passive vehicle for an invisible magical force called "Natural Selection".

Admit it guys, changes in DNA are more akin to mixing paint with a super computer, and far removed from cows chewing cud.

15 posted on 04/25/2012 7:32:25 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Puckster
The Cro-Magnon people are still with us.

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

16 posted on 04/25/2012 7:34:28 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Caleb1411

The theory of evolution is more rife with falsehoods and fabrications than man made global warming.


17 posted on 04/25/2012 7:35:16 PM PDT by rsobin
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To: schaef21

Hmm. How do you cut and past a post without reading it?


18 posted on 04/25/2012 7:35:29 PM PDT by DManA
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To: muawiyah

Akin to “Hiding the Decline” in AGW science.

Let there be no debate....only castigations.


19 posted on 04/25/2012 8:00:26 PM PDT by Puckster
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To: the OlLine Rebel

>>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.<<

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.


20 posted on 04/25/2012 8:08:37 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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