Evolution Education Survey Underreports Darwin-Doubting Teachers

A new paper in the journal Science reports results of a survey of how science teachers cover evolution. Titled “Defeating Creationism in the Courtroom, But Not in the Classroom,” the paper laments that more teachers aren’t pushing neo-Darwinian evolution in a dogmatic fashion, even attacking one teacher who dared to suggest, “Students should make up their own minds” on evolution. The survey forces teachers to fit into 1 of 3 categories: “Advocates of evolutionary biology,” “Advocates of creationism,” or “Advocate of neither.” According to the survey, 28% of teachers are “Advocates of evolutionary biology,” 13% are “Advocates of creationism,” and a full 60% are “Advocates of neither.” (These are the percentages reported in the survey–odd how they add up to Read More ›

Jerry Coyne vs. NCSE, AAAS, & NAS

In a recent blog post titled “Truckling to the Faithful: A Spoonful of Jesus Helps Darwin Go Down,” University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne firmly and publicly rejects the attempts by Darwin-lobbying organizations like the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) to convince the American public that Darwinism and Christian faith are compatible. In case these organizations really want to know my opinion, I’m on Jerry’s side. Except that I’m only mostly on his side. You see Jerry is spot on when he writes But any injection of teleology into evolutionary biology violates precisely the great advance of Darwin’s theory: to explain the appearance of design by a purely materialistic process — no deity required. In a letter to his Read More ›

Could Science and the Chronicle of Higher Education Be Any More Biased — or Wrong?

The documentary Expelled keenly observes that scientific ideas begin in the academy, but if they’re to get out to the people, they must pass through a series of barriers and “checkpoints,” which means they can be hindered or stopped at any point along the way. In the film, the first checkpoint is the academy, which polices journals and controls research grants and funding. The second checkpoint is comprised of watchdog groups, like the NCSE, that work hard to organize and kindle opposition against Darwin-skeptics. The next checkpoint is the media, which carefully selects the sources of information it will broadcast to the public on this issue. When all those checkpoints fail, the final checkpoint is the courts. (This idea is Read More ›