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Postscript: Evolution Readiness Project Readily Evolving Before Our Very Eyes

Casey Luskin

Recently I observed that the NSF’s $1,990,459 taxpayer-funded Evolution Readiness Project declared on its website that a main concern driving the project is that “it is unacceptable that 150 years after the birth of the theory of evolution only four out of ten Americans believe in it!”

Although their website expressly stated that a motivating factor is the low numbers of Americans who “believe in” evolution, the project’s principal investigator, Paul Horwitz, denied that their agenda was to convince people of evolution. As Horwitz told the NABT: “We are not promoting a belief system … Our goal is to help kids understand natural selection as a mechanism for evolution, whether they believe in it or not.” Indeed, the project’s announcement still boasts that they aim “to teach young children how Darwin’s model of natural selection explains the observation that organisms are adapted to their environment.” It sure seems like they want to get young children to believe in evolution.

But it seems that the Evolution Readiness Project is a little shy about acknowledging to the world that its goal is get young children to believe in evolution. Since I blogged about it, the phrase “it is unacceptable that 150 years after the birth of the theory of evolution only four out of ten Americans believe in it!” has now mysteriously disappeared from their website.

You can still see a Google cache here containing the original phrase, “it is unacceptable that 150 years after the birth of the theory of evolution only four out of ten Americans believe in it!” The Google cache is permanently stored here.

Whether or not they’re concerned with getting “young children” to “believe in” evolution, it’s clear that there’s a disconnect between the project’s stated goals and its apparently evolving motivating factors.

 

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.

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Evolution Readiness Project