John G. West

A True Liberal in Liberal, Kansas

A writer for the newspaper of record in Liberal, Kansas (yes, there is a town with that name in Kansas) endorses the truly liberal policy of teaching the scientific controversy over evolution. He argues that opponents of teaching the controversy should come up with a good argument on why teaching only the evolution theory does not violate the state education science mission statement to make all students lifelong learners who can use science to make reasoned decisions. Presenting only one life science theory in classes without alternatives breeds ignorance and violates the mission statement. The author of the essay is wrong to suggest that the Kansas Board of Education is considering adding intelligent design to the Kansas state science standards. Read More ›

Jonathan Witt

Derbyshire VI: Behe’s Bacterial Flagellum–Still Stirring Up Trouble for Darwin’s Defenders

John Derbyshire is on The Corner arguing that we can never safely infer that certain biological structures were designed. To a reader who asserted that organizational complexity cannot arise from impersonal processes, Derbyshire replies, “How do you know it can’t? It is true that the genesis of organizational complexity is not currently well understood; but to leap from that to telling me we shall NEVER be able to find a natural-law explanation for it is just dogma.” Derbyshire’s argument is worth confronting because it represents the opinion of leading Darwinists. Biologist Kenneth Miller, for instance, routinely makes just such an argument. Design theorist William Dembski responds thus: Miller claims that the problem with anti-evolutionists like Michael Behe and me is Read More ›

Jonathan Witt

One of These Things is not Like the Other

BY KEITH PENNOCK Some school boards seem to have confused their role with that of the FDA, placing warning labels on textbooks as though they were a package of cigarettes that should be kept out of the hands of minors. Fortunately, there’s a better way. Rather than noting the scientific controversy over Darwinism by placing stickers on textbooks, we advise that school boards attempt to teach the controversy by augmenting their curriculum using supplemental materials. Ohio and Minnesota followed this approach, and now students there can learn both the strengths and weaknesses in Darwin’s theory. And neither state has been drawn into a legal flap. Smart.

Jonathan Witt

Darwin, Derbyshire and the Dogma of the Gaps

John Derbyshire of The Corner, and Darwinists on every street corner, insist that we should never cram God into the gaps of our scientific knowledge. As if detecting design meant cramming the designer into the work itself: Imagine Leonardo da Vinci trapped inside the Mona Lisa. Derbyshire proceeds apace: “History shows that these puzzles always get resolved sooner or later in a natural way, … sending the ‘God of the Gaps’ traipsing off to find a new place where he can hang his starry cloak for a while.” Bracket off for the moment that this particular history of modern science is an urban legend. Derbyshire’s argument falls apart all by itself, apart from the historical record. Because more and more Read More ›

Seth Cooper

Rev. Lynn’s separation of truth from caricature in ID debate

The Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State continues to serve in the Ministry of Dis-Information when it comes to intelligent design theory. A dogmatic opponent of intelligent design, the Rev. Lynn recently authored an op-ed that dismisses ID out of hand–not even bothering to take on any of the empirical, scientific claims made by Dr. Michael Behe or any other ID theorists. Comes now Darrick Dean of Science Watch. Dean gives the Rev. Lynn the full-court press in a very noteworthy blog post. Rev. Lynn wishes to continue playing the motives game instead of assessing the scientific arguments for ID. But as Dean argues, the red herring arguments can cut BOTH ways.