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.
>> 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?