Darwinist Ronald Wetherington Recommends Imposing Dogmatism in Expert Review of Texas Science Standards (Part 2)

In Part 1 I discussed how some Darwinist reviewers of the Texas Science Standards are opposing giving students the opportunity to use critical thinking skills when learning the modern Darwinian theory of evolution. One glaring difference between the reviews submitted by those opposing critical thinking on evolution and the reviews of those supporting it is the lengths of the respective sets of reviews. The TEKS reviews submitted by Stephen Meyer, Ralph Seelke, and Charles Garner in support of students applying critical thinking skills to evolution were each over 25 pages in length. In contrast, two of the three Darwinist reviewers submitted reviews that were 8 pages or less. It seems that some of the Darwinist reviewers didn’t take much time Read More ›

Darwinist David Hillis Recommends Imposing Dogmatism in Expert Review of Texas Science Standards (Part 1)

In Origin of Species, Charles Darwin famously wrote, ”A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.” One might think that modern proponents of Darwin’s ideas would endorse his approach to scientific thinking within evolution education, but it’s not so. The Texas State Board of Education recently received reviews of the proposed Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) from six science reviewers. Three of those reviewers–who are scientific skeptics of Darwinian evolution–support TEKS that would give students a strong grounding in critical thinking skills by asking them to “analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence Read More ›

Is There a “Consensus” in Science? Remembering the Late Michael Crichton

Anyone who was awed when they watched Jurassic Park and saw realistic-looking dinosaurs walking around on the big screen for the first time should take a moment to remember Michael Crichton. Crichton, a famous science-fiction author, wrote the books that became the Jurassic Park movie series, as well as many other popular novels. He also had an appreciation for the importance of dissenting views within the scientific community and was a keen observer of how some in the scientific community use rhetoric to quash minority scientific viewpoints. Crichton passed away earlier this month after losing a battle with cancer, so in remembrance of Michael Crichton, I’d like to re-post this quote from a speech he gave that was recently reprinted Read More ›

Discovery Institute Announces Academic Freedom Day Student Video and Essay Contest

One Grand Prize Winner will take home $500 Discovery Institute is sponsoring a student video and essay contest to commemorate Academic Freedom Day, February 12, 2009, on Charles Darwin’s bicentennial. Darwin once wrote, “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.” That famous quote will be the touchstone for students to communicate support for academic freedom to explore the evidence for and against Darwinian evolution. “The next generation values open dialogue in a way that is aptly expressed in their creativity and imagination,” Discovery Institute Director of Communications Robert Crowther said. “This is a fun way to honor that expression and encourage critical thinking on the Read More ›

The Catechism Versus the Data (Part 7): Timmer’s Mis-Aimed Critique of Inquiry Based Learning (Updated)

This is the seventh installment of a series responding to John Timmer’s online review of the supplementary biology textbook Explore Evolution (EE). The first part is here, the second here, the third here, the fourth here, and the fifth here, the sixth here. 7. Timmer’s Mis-Aimed Critique of Inquiry Based Learning Timmer calls Explore Evolution‘s use of Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) a “sham” because he asserts the textbook “abdicates the responsibility for reasoning entirely.” But his criticism is bogus. EE contains multiple sections that encourage students to weigh the evidence and consider open-ended questions about the evidence like, “Which picture best illustrates the history of life?,” “Do all living things, past and present, share a common ancestor?,” “Can natural selection Read More ›