Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution

Update: On May 4, 2009, The New York Times, perhaps unsurprisingly, came out with a story casting the swine flu as an example of evolution, titled “10 Genes, Furiously Evolving.” Similarly, the staunchly pro-evolution site LiveScience.com has an article on the swine flu that opens by mocking Darwin-skeptics, stating: “Anyone who thinks evolution is for the birds should not be afraid of swine flu. Because if there’s no such thing as evolution, then there’s no such thing as a new strain of swine flu infecting people.” As is discussed in Luskin’s piece below, such a claim is a cheap-shot that completely mis-states and misrepresents the position of Darwin-skeptics. A few years ago, the media was abuzz over the scare of Read More ›

Texas Hold ‘Em Part III: Calling Ronald Wetherington’s Bluffs About Human Evolution in His January Texas State Board of Education Testimony

As a final installment in my “Texas Hold ‘Em” series calling the bluffs of Texas evolutionists, I’d like to highlight one section from Discovery Institute’s rebuttal to Ronald Wetherington’s Testimony before the Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE). Wetherington, who is a professor of anthropology at SMU, testified extensively to the TSBOE about human evolution, his area of expertise. Wetherington stated regarding human origins that we have “arguably the most complete sequence of fossil succession of any mammal in the world. No gaps. No lack of transitional fossils. … So when people talk about the lack of transitional fossils or gaps in the fossil record, it absolutely is not true.” But a close look at the evidence, as reported in Read More ›

Texas Hold ‘Em Part II: Calling David Hillis’ Bluffs About the Tree of Life in His January Texas State Board of Education Testimony

David Klinghoffer has recently posted some excellent (and entertaining) summaries of the highlights of Discovery Institute’s responses to the testimony of evolutionist experts David Hillis and Ronald Wetherington before the Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE) on January 21, 2009. (See also Ralph Seelke’s response to Hillis.) One part of the response to self-proclaimed tree of life “expert” David Hillis that should not be missed is Discovery’s response to his bluffs and misrepresentations regarding the congruence of molecular and morphological phylogenies within the tree of life. Specifically, Hillis told the board that there is “overwhelming agreement correspondence as you go from protein to protein, DNA sequence to DNA sequence” when reconstructing evolutionary history using biological molecules. But anyone accurately testifying Read More ›

Texas Hold ‘Em: Calling Evolutionist Julie Berwald’s Bluffs in her Report on the Texas Science Standards Hearing

Julie Berwald, a freelance textbook writer who testified against critical thinking on evolution last week before the Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE), has written an inaccurate and unhappy report at the highly partisan Wired Magazine website about the Texas Science Standards hearing on March 25. According to Berwald’s account, she stated: “It’s really hard to come up with scientifically based weaknesses to evolution.” The intelligent-design supporters exploded in protest. The chairman banged his gavel repeatedly. “I will not have that kind of outburst in this room. If it happens again, I’ll clear the room and we’ll only have the testifiers in here. I’ll do it!” This was Berwald’s first bluff. The problem is that Berwald, whose attention during her Read More ›

Texas Evolution Lobby Dealt Another Blow With Dismissal of Chris Comer Lawsuit

Last fall, John West blogged about a press release from Texans for Better Science Education (TBSE) about Chris Comer’s lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency (TEA), a lawsuit which has been highly touted by the NCSE and other evolution lobbyists as purported evidence of discrimination against evolutionists. They claimed that Comer was “expelled for real,” and the national newsmedia uncritically bought the story hook, line and sinker. As TBSE’s timeline of Chris Comer’s disciplinary problems observed, “News reports of Comer’s departure have parroted the claim that Comer was ‘fired’ because she opposed teaching ‘creationism’ and ‘intelligent design’ and supported evolution.” The reality is that Comer was not “fired” and her resignation came because (as West put it), “TEA documents … Read More ›