Barb’s at it Again!

Barbara Forrest is at it again. In her latest review of Meyer & Campbell’s Darwinism, Design & Public Education Forrest substitutes strident affirmation for science and scorn for reasoned argumentation. Forrest never chooses to engage the arguments of design theorists but rather questions their qualifications: “John Angus Campbell, who also serves on the journal’s editorial board, is a rhetorician. Stephen C. Meyer is a philosopher.” What pray tell was your Ph.D. in Barbara? And why is it you don’t apply that same standard to Robert Pennock when he deigns himself fit to comment on evolution? What Forrest more often than not fails to comprehend is that merely asserting that “there is no argument” and “ID is not science” doesn’t settle Read More ›

Derbyshire II: Of Bones and Beads

John Derbyshire recently rebutted a series of objections against Darwinism and, in the process, leveled a series of objections against intelligent design. He dismisses design by ignoring the actual arguments of its theorists and shadowboxing with letter writers instead. He shows, thereby, a lack of seriousness on his own part by trivializing and demeaning scholars whose views he apparently has not really bothered to understand. One problem is that Derbyshire’s objections against design theory often state the positions of leading design theorists–in other words, he agrees with leading design proponents without even realizing it. For instance, one of his blog visitors tried to refute Darwinism by asserting, “The fossil record is incomplete.” Derbyshire responded, “Well, duh. Fossilization only happens under Read More ›

Derbyshire Protects Darwinism from Dissent

John Derbyshire keeps reburying the design argument over at The Corner, with evidence he assures us is elsewhere. By assembling a host of misconceptions about design theory into a single, compact essay (generally unencumbered by supporting evidence), Derbyshire has done us a great service, providing us a forum to respond to each misconception in a series of posts over the next several days. I’ve never met John Derbyshire. I love his name. It makes me think of England and Middle Earth. I imagine him wearing a stylish derby and living in a tasteful shire somewhere, an articulate conservative with strong opinions — but who just might stop and take a second look at a position with a much older pedigree Read More ›

From the don’t know whether to laugh or cry department . . . .

Last Sunday’s episode of Boston Legal (“From Whence We Came”) was ripped straight from the headlines in typical David Kelley style. Hotshot young attorney Lori (Monica Potter), with help from Denny Crane (played by William Shatner, and for which he won a Golden Globe the same Sunday night) and Shirley Schmidt (the newest addition to the show, played by Candace Bergen), defends a school superintendent being sued by two science teachers who were fired for refusing to teach creationism. Kelley’s writing is always sharp and his dialogue is witty, but his take on the evolution issue merely regurgitates the old Inherit The Wind trope of religion vs. science. He never even bothers to really define evolution or intelligent design, which Read More ›

CA school district sued for violating civil rights in evolution controversy

A California school district has been sued in federal court for allegedly violating a parent’s civil rights during a controversy over how to teach evolution. For more than a year, Larry Caldwell tried to get the Roseville Joint Union High School District outside of Sacramento to consider changing how it taught the theory of evolution in its biology classes. Caldwell, who has three children, says he wanted the district to correct factual errors in its biology textbooks as well as to introduce students to some scientific criticisms of modern evolutionary theory. Caldwell did not propose that the district teach creationism or alternatives to evolution. The Roseville district ultimately rejected Caldwell’s recommendations. But in the process of trying to scuttle his Read More ›