Holocaust Denier Led the Charge Against Academic Freedom on Evolution in Alabama

For the last three years, defenders of academic freedom and free speech on evolution have supported Alabama’s Academic Freedom Bill. Although the bill has come close to final passage, it recently died again in the Alabama legislature. An outspoken opponent of the bill has been activist Larry Darby. Mr. Darby’s vehement opposition to the Alabama Academic Freedom Bill was on full display at a House Education hearing back on April 29, 2004. According to reports I have received, committee chair, Rep. Yvonne Kennedy (D), did not allow citizens to testify for the bill. But for some reason she let Mr. Darby alone provide special commentary on it. Blasting the bill, Mr. Darby claimed that Alabama already had enough legislation filled Read More ›

Misquoting Michael Behe in the U.K.

“Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow” John Kelleher has made an egregious misquote of Michael Behe in the Times’ Educational Supplement (TES Teacher, May 5 2006, pages 8-11). The article is “The Inside Story In the beginning: evolution, creationism or intelligent design?” It is the cover story with wording “BLUEPRINT FOR LIFE EVOLUTION OR INTELLIGENT DESIGN?,” and does not appear to be available online, but those who read it report that Kelleher’s article wrongly implies that Michael Behe is an odd sort of creationist that believes the fossil record does not reflect any earth history. Not only does this article completely misrepresent Behe, who accepts an ancient age of the earth and even accepts common descent, but it twists a passage out of Read More ›

Evolution By Intelligent Design is Intelligent Design

A short news article in Molecular Systems Biology is another example of scientists discussing the controversy that doesn’t exist over irreducible complexity. In an article discussing how some molecular biologists increased the selectivity of certain enzymes for their substrates by inducing mutations, they conclude: “Finally, they assumed that the mutations were additive–that the effect on selectivity of combining two mutations could be predicted by adding the effect of each mutation done singly. With this assumption, it was straightforward to predict combinations of single mutations identified as controlling selectivity without decreasing the total productivity. The striking result of this design is that the simple additivity assumption was validated–the authors obtained several triple to quintuple mutants with nearly perfect selectivities for the Read More ›

Judge Jones Extends his Time in the Spotlight

What do you get when you declare intelligent design unconstitutional? You get your photo on the cover of Time Magazine and get called one of the top 100 most influential people! In an article by science writer Matt Ridley (the one who said, “Our minds have been built by selfish genes, but they have been built to be social, trustworthy and cooperative”…except, I might add, for when people aren’t social, trustworthy, or cooperative), he says that Judge Jones “proved to be the answer to Darwinians’ prayers”: “Jones, 50, the grandson of a golf-course developer of Welsh ancestry, whose previous claims to fame were a failed attempt to privatize Pennsylvania’s state liquor stores as chairman of the Liquor Control Board–and banning Read More ›

Evidence for Human Evolution Still Scant and Controversial After 25 Years

A post made 2 weeks ago highlighted how in 1981, Constance Holden wrote in Science that emotions, rather than abundant evidence, often rule the field of paleoanthropology and its claims about human evolution. Yesterday, an article by Charles Matthews in the San Jose Mercury News reiterates that same point. Reviewing a book by Ann Gibbons, Matthews notes: “Gibbons, who reports on human evolution for Science magazine, gives a lucid account of the science involved in finding fossils, establishing how old they are, and ascertaining whether they in fact belong to the ancestors of humankind. She also shows how difficult and sometimes dangerous the work of hunting for 7 million-year-old fossils can be. And that, like most humans, anthropologists are subject Read More ›