MSNBC does creditable review of students’ anxieties over evolution

This is my second post in 2 days praising media articles which get this issue right. Let there be no mistake: the Evolution News & Views blog is not a “media complaints desk.” It’s a place for objective analysis–and we just try to call the balls and the strikes as we see them! MSNBC’s Current Magazine article by Victoria Bosch (“Monkey Business“), manages to objectively discuss the question of how doubters of Darwin are treated in college science classes. The article sensitively talks about how students who are skeptical of Darwinism cope with the issue. It was also gratifying that Niall Shanks at Wichita State professes to require only that students simply understand–not fully endorse–Darwinian evolution. Not only is it Read More ›

Busting Another Darwinist Myth: We’d love to take credit for “Darwinism,” but we can’t.

In the November 28, 2005 issue of Newsweek, the renowned Harvard sociobiologist E.O. Wilson claims that the term “Darwinism” is a “rhetorical device” merely invented by opponents of, well, Darwinism. The article quotes Wilson as follows: “‘In part, the fascination with the man is being driven by his enemies, who say they’re fighting ‘Darwinism,’ rather than evolution or natural selection. ‘It’s a rhetorical device to make evolution seem like a kind of faith, like ‘Maoism’,’ says Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson, editor of one of the two Darwin anthologies just published. … ‘Scientists,’ Wilson adds, ‘don’t call it Darwinism.’” (“Charles Darwin: Evolution of a Scientist,” by Jerry Adler, Newsweek November 28, 2005, pg. 53) The question must be asked “Is Wilson Read More ›

Chicken Little: Why The Sky is NOT Falling in Kansas, Even Though “Pro-Darwin”-Only Proponents Say Otherwise

Critics have been loudly proclaiming that the sky is falling because Kansas is daring to teach lines of scientific evidence which challenge Neo-Darwinism (evidence which is based in mainstream peer-reviewed literature). These critics have provided a parade of horribles that these standards will lead to everything from “teaching creationism,” to “teaching religion,” to “teaching intelligent design,” to ridicule, and worst of all, God. Yet the latest draft posted on the Kansas State Board of Education website (from August 9, 2005) says the following about teaching intelligent design: We also emphasize that the Science Curriculum Standards do not include Intelligent Design, the scientific disagreement with the claim of many evolutionary biologists that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion. Read More ›

Top News: Smoking Causes Cancer; Unrest in the Middle East; 7000 Scientists Support Darwin

A press release has reported that over 7000 people (over half of which are scientists with Ph.D.s) have signed an online petition rejecting ID. Elsewhere, equally newsworthy reports tell us that there is unrest in the Middle East, and smoking causes cancer. Oh yeah, and according to Al Jazeera, Europe apparently still doesn’t support George Bush. Incredible? Think again. Seriously, no one denies that Darwin’s theory is the majority view. What’s the big deal about this press release? The issue is whether the Darwinists are right to make appeals to authority to argue that evolution should be taught one-sidedly in schools. It is for this reason that Discovery has made it clear that a growing number of legitimate, highly-credentialed scientists Read More ›

Avian Flu: An Example of Evolution?

There has been a lot of talk lately about the Avian (i.e. Bird) Flu, and how it’s a new virus which has sadly killed a few dozen people and millions of birds. This post will briefly assess whether the Avian Flu is an example of evolution, and also assess the implications for the origin of new genes and biological structures. Our immune systems are engaged in an eternal arm’s race, or perhaps better put, a cat-and-mouse game, against pathogens like viruses. Viruses are trying to hijack our cells’ machinery to make more copies of themselves. When they succeed, our cells can become damaged or destroyed. Our bodies respond by generating antibodies which can attack these viruses and stop them. But Read More ›