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Activists Oppose Teaching Science in Science Classes!

Dave Thomas has published an op-ed in the Albuquerque Tribune entitled “Intelligent design supporters find new, creative ways to get their message out.” Predictably, Thomas uses invectives and misrepresentations to oppose a legitimate bill which would simply give teachers “the right and freedom, when a theory of biological origins is taught, to objectively inform students of scientific information relevant to the strengths and weaknesses of that theory.” I predicted that Darwinists* would attack the bill by trying to claim that it brings creationism, intelligent design, or religion into the classroom. As I’ve noted before, Darwinists* have no legitimate reason to make such attacks because the bill would protect the teaching of science, and science only, in the science classroom, as it is explicitly states that “‘[s]cientific information’ does not include information derived from religious or philosophical writings, beliefs or doctrines.” Yet Dave Thomas claims the bill is about religion, intelligent design, and, ludicrously, tries to tie the bill (through a series of odd free-association arguments) to “young Earth creationism.”

So what does Dave Thomas have to worry about? Thomas thus exposes his true reasons for opposing the bill: He laments that “the driving purpose” behind the bill “would have permitted and encouraged teachers to present so-called weaknesses of evolution science in biology classes” and asserts that we shouldn’t “encourage students to ‘reach their own conclusions.'” Dogmatic Darwinists* like Dave Thomas apparently find it very scary that students might not reach his preferred “conclusion” if they are taught the full range of the scientific evidence about Neo-Darwinism. So he’s forced to oppose a bill that sanctions the teaching of science, and science only, in the science classroom.

Let’s just say, hypothetically speaking of course, that someone had some little nugget of data or research result that was completely at odds with another data point supporting Darwinian evolution. Did I say hypothetical? Actually, the Cambrian explosion that Thomas mentions in his article isn’t just hypothetical, it’s actually what Time magazine called “Biology’s big bang” and is a real challenge to the Darwinian theory of evolution. As Darwin himself said when discussing this data, “I can give no satisfactory answer.” But if a tenth grader’s head is so full pro-Darwin data-points, it’s understandable that there would be room for just one data-point that challenges Darwin’s theory. It’s sort of shocking that, even though students learn dozens of other points supporting his theory, Thomas is scared of having just one point raised against it.

Finally, Thomas neglects to remind his readers that the New Mexico Science Standards requires that students “critically analyze the data and observations supporting the conclusion that the species living on Earth today are related by descent from the ancestral one-celled organisms.” It seems that he doesn’t want certain types of science taught.

Thomas is so desperate at this point that he attacks the religious beliefs and religious motives of various proponents of the bill. He says that the “creationists”** are getting “sneakier,”** but in reality it’s the Darwinists* who are getting more desperate in their attempts to oppose legitimate bills which would allow the teaching of science which challenges neo-Darwinism. Thomas’s anti-education dogmatism speaks for itself.


*Thomas also objects to usage of the word “Darwinists” even though the term is commonly used by, well, Darwinists, when talking about themselves.

** Thomas has replied calling my direct quotation of him here the equivalent of using scare quotes. That’s a weak response because I’m simply quoting his own words. In the English language, quotation marks are used when you’re quoting someone. That’s why I used quotation marks around those words because I’m quoting his words and I intended to show that. It’s not complicated.)

Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.