Rationalization in the Debate over Evolution

Thanks to a notice by William Dembski at UncommonDescent, people are becoming aware that video footage of the “Beyond belief: Science, religion, reason and survival” conference where scientists bashed religion at the Salk Institute is now online. A panel discussion, which included Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss, and Michael Shermer, discussed why as many as 15% of National Academy of Sciences (NAS) scientists believe in God. Tyson expressed surprise that the number was as high as 15%: Tyson: I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God, I want to know why 15% of the National Academy don’t. That’s really what we’ve got to address here. Otherwise the Read More ›

Follow-up on Junk-DNA

Since my post on “junk-DNA” last week, I would like to report a couple interesting discoveries on the topic. Wonderful List of References for Functionality of “Junk-DNA” I discovered a website at http://www.junkdna.com/new_citations.html which has compiled dozens of citations to articles discussing functionality for non-coding junk-DNA. The site also provides two quotations readers should consider: “…a certain amount of hubris was required for anyone to call any part of the genome ‘junk’.” — Francis Collins (2006) “You only believe theories when they make predictions confirmed by scientific evidence.” Star Trek Promotes the “Introns are Evolutionary Junk” Myth Last last night I was amused by watching an episode of Star Trek: the Next Generation. The episode, called “Genesis,” featured the Enterprise Read More ›

Darwinist Groups Stumbling Over Academic Freedom in Ouachita

As we recently reported, the Ouachita Parish School Board in Monroe, Louisiana, has passed a policy protecting Academic Freedom to Teach Scientific Evidence Regarding Controversial Scientific Subjects. The policy observes that “some teachers may be unsure of the district’s expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects” and guarantees teachers the academic freedom to teach both scientific strengths and weaknesses of controversial scientific subjects: Toward this end, teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught. What could be less objectionable? Indeed, according to an article in the News Star in Monroe, Louisiana, a local attorney Read More ›

Language of Ouachita Parish’s New Academic Freedom Policy

As noted here, Ouachita Parish around Monroe, Louisiana recently passed a policy on academic freedom for teaching controversial scientific subjects. Here is the text of Ouachita Parish’s new resolution on academic freedom as well as their new their curricular policy: From http://www.opsb.net/downloads/forms/Ouachita_Parish_Science_Curriculum_Policy.pdf Ouachita Parish Science Curriculum Policy Adopted November 29, 2006 RESOLUTION ON TEACHER ACADEMIC FREEDOM TO TEACH SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE REGARDING CONTROVERSIAL SCIENTIFIC SUBJECTS: WHEREAS, the Louisiana Constitution declares that among the legitimate ends of government is “to promote the …education … of the people….” (1), and; WHEREAS, Congress in 2001 declared that “Where topics are taught that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, Read More ›

Busting Another Darwinist Myth: Skeptics of Evolution Do Exist Outside the United States!

A common Darwinist myth is that the only people who are skeptical of evolution are Americans. A recent article in the Virginia Informer stated, “John Swaddler, UK native and associate professor of biology at the College [of William and Mary], noted that the media phenomenon of creationism/ID vs. evolution doesn’t happen in countries besides America.” Saddler is promoting a common Darwinist claim which is simply untrue: As we’ve noted recently, there has been a push to teach intelligent design in the United Kingdom. This summer an article in the London Guardian noted that over 30% of British students support non-evolutionary accounts of the history of life. Such skepticism extends far beyond the U.K. Nature reported that Poland is experiencing an Read More ›