Correction: False Fear Syndrome HAS hit Michigan

Epidemic Update: Thanks to an alert from a correspondent blogger, we report with great dismay that False Fear Syndrome has indeed struck Michigan. This corrects our previous report that False Fear Syndrome had skipped Michigan and gone straight from Ohio to Wisconsin. This confirms a cluster in the Great Lakes region. False Fear Syndrome occurs when some educator or policymaker proposes that students critically analyze scientific theories, such as evolution, but then various opponents raise False Fears that critical analysis will bring intelligent design into the classroom. Here is a description of this latest case: Representative Brian Palmer in Michigan has submitted an excellent bill requiring critical analysis of scientific theories in schools. The language apparently states: “The course content Read More ›

False Fear Epidemic over Critical Analysis of Evolution Spreads to Wisconsin

Breaking News: False Fear Syndrome has skipped right over Michigan and spread directly from Ohio to Wisconsin. The primary symptom is the spreading of false fears about teaching intelligent design in states that are merely encouraging the critical analysis of evolution. The Syndrome is typically accompanied by paranoia among educators, politicians, and the newsmedia. This epidemic broke out in full force in Kansas last November. More recently it appeared in Ohio and South Carolina. Sadly, today there is a confirmed case in Wisconsin. A press release from Wisconsin Representative Terese Berceau indicates she has introduced a bill into the Wisconsin State Legislature seeking to “to stem the growing tide of intelligent design and other specious science.” This is interesting because Read More ›

One Long Article: Washington Post Highlights Persecution of Caroline Crocker

In a 7700 word article, Shankar Vedantam writes in the Washington Post about Caroline Crocker’s treatment at George Mason University. Some Darwinists I’ve known–who have never experienced what it is like to be a scientific minority in today’s climate–argue that she was not fired from her job. “Her contract was simply not renewed for reasons unrelated to ID” they claim. True: her contract was not renewed, and technically speaking, she was not “fired.” But from information I have heard, the non-renewal of her contract had much to do with her views and the fact that she mentioned ID in a biology classroom. It seems to me that Crocker’s account in the Washington Post is very accurate. Here are some of Read More ›

Another Excellent Response to the Dover Decision

139 pages of judicial overreach, ignoring important facts, scientific error, and logical fallacy (but other than that, it’s great!–why all the fuss?) have given the blogosphere much material to discuss. Richard Cleary has an extensive review of the Kitzmiller decision at Viewpoint. Cleary clearly highlights a fallacy in the argument ID is creationism repackaged: “The first claim, that ID must be religious, even though it doesn’t appear to be, because it evolved from (forgive me) creationism, is silly. Because one theory emerges from the embers of another doesn’t entail that it necessarily bears all or even many of the traits of the other. Modern theories of the atom are all descendents of Democritus’ belief that such entities exist, but the Read More ›

Response to Matzke and Padian’s Revisionist History and Gloat Parade

Nick Matzke and Kevin Padian have posted a celebratory rant at the NCSE website against ID and the Discovery Institute. But their rant is so extreme that it gives me reason to leap for joy. If there were any doubts that some people get over emotionally involved with this issue, Padian and Matzke’s gloat-parade makes it clear. With the lights shining brightly this rainy afternoon in Seattle, I offer the following comments: Thanks for Your Support! I’ll start with a short e-mail I received recently from a professor at a large state university, and also a movie quote. Recently a profesor responded to question about why he recently chose to join the Discovery Institute: “Actually, if you must know, after Read More ›