Revisiting Those Pesky Embryo Drawings

A few years ago, former NCSE-spokesman Nick Matzke called complaints over the use of Haeckel’s embryo drawings in textbooks a “manufactured scandal.” However, a variety of leading scientific authorities — proponents of neo-Darwinian evolution — have also complained about the use of these drawings and the way that embryology is used to support evolution in biology textbooks. Are these authorities in on the big conspiracy to “manufacture” this “scandal” too? Here’s where things stand today: Despite the fact that (in 2010 at least) out-dated concepts like “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” have been almost completely removed from new textbooks and that many (though not all) new textbooks use embryo photographs instead of fudged drawings, an examination of both recent textbooks and complaints Read More ›

California Science Center Plays Shell Game to Avoid Disclosing Public Records

As recently discussed on Evolution News, Discovery Institute has settled its lawsuit with the California Science Center (CSC). From our perspective, this is a very favorable settlement because (1) we are getting all of the documents we originally requested but they withheld, and (2) CSC is paying part of our court costs and attorneys’ fees. But now that the case has settled, the untold story is the pre-textual explanations that CSC made to rationalize why they refused to disclose public documents from certain employees, documents which might have shown evidence of CSC’s viewpoint discrimination against intelligent design (ID). Our lawsuit filed last December alleged that “CSC has failed to provide a single document reflecting communications from decision makers at CSC Read More ›

California Science Center to Pay Attorneys’ Fees and Settle Open Records Lawsuit by Intelligent Design Group

The California Science Center (CSC) has agreed to settle a lawsuit with the pro-intelligent design Discovery Institute and release records that it previously sought to conceal regarding its cancellation of the screening of a pro-intelligent design film last year. “After months of stonewalling by the Science Center, this is a huge victory for the public’s right to know what their government is doing, especially when the government engages in illegal censorship and viewpoint discrimination,” said Dr. John West, Associate Director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. The Science Center continues to “deny any and all liability relating to the claims,” according to the settlement agreement. However, it agreed to pay Discovery Institute’s legal fees and to surrender more Read More ›

Doug Axe Knows His Work Better Than Steve Matheson

When Stephen Meyer faced Steve Matheson and Art Hunt at Biola University last month, one scientist’s research was key in their debate: Doug Axe, Director of Biologic Institute. While there’s a good deal of back and forth on the subject, for the first time Dr. Axe has something of his own to say on the subject of his work. From Biologic Perspectives: The specific work to which Meyer, Matheson and Hunt referred [4] has added to the scientific case for functional protein sequences being extraordinarily rare within the whole space of possibilities. Matheson started off by arguing not that this deduction of extraordinary rarity is incorrect, but rather that it is irrelevant to the debate between Darwinism and Design. Axe Read More ›

The Fact-Free “Science” of Matheson, Hunt and Moran: Ridicule Instead of Reason, Authority Instead of Evidence

I was not in Los Angeles on May 14, when Stephen Meyer debated Stephen Matheson and Arthur Hunt at Biola University. But I have followed some of the blog war that preceded and followed the debate–a blog war that now includes Richard Sternberg and Laurence Moran. Since Matheson, Hunt and Moran are all tenured professors at institutions of higher learning, one might have expected a discussion based on reason and conducted in a collegial spirit. And since the discussion is about science, one might have expected lots of references to evidence published in the scientific literature. But Matheson, Hunt and Moran have abandoned reason and resorted to ridicule; and instead of citing evidence they expect us to bow to their Read More ›