Austrian Darwinist Relies on Questionable Authorities in His Inaccurate Attacks on Explore Evolution

The Darwinists are clearly not happy about the supplemental textbook Explore Evolution (EE), and given their showing thus far, they’re getting increasingly desperate to find ways to attack it. The latest review attacking EE was published in the journal Evolution and Development by Brian Metscher, a biologist in Austria. Employing what ID historian and rhetorician Thomas Woodward calls the “sledgehammer” approach, Metscher makes the grand sweeping conclusion that “[e]very talking point in the book has been dealt with already.” Metscher doesn’t specify precisely what those “talking points” are, but if EE is so wrong, surely Metscher can give us a scholarly refutation of the book. Instead Metscher cites to TalkOrigins and an internet Darwinist named Lenny Flank, who offers some 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 ›

The Catechism Versus the Data (Part 6): Timmer’s Double Standard on Textbook Treatments of Evolution

This is the sixth 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. 6. Timmer’s Double Standard on Textbook Treatments of Evolution Timmer repeatedly attacks EE for allegedly trying to “divide and conquer” evolution because it discusses the different lines of scientific evidence (i.e. fossil, anatomical, molecular) regarding common descent in separate sections. Timmer’s criticism reveals either his gross ignorance of how contemporary biology texts cover evolution, or that he’s using a blatant double standard. EE was written to complement the coverage of evolution in standard biology textbooks, and so it follows the Read More ›

The Catechism Versus the Data (Part 5): When Did Neo-Darwinism Become a Dirty Word?

This is the fifth 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, and the fourth here. 5. When Did Neo-Darwinism Become a Dirty Word? Timmer objects to Explore Evolution‘s subtitle, “The Arguments For and Against Neo-Darwinism,” claiming that “[d]uring the roughly 20 years I was directly involved in biology research, I’d never come across the term ‘Darwinism.’” EE‘s subtitle actually uses the word “neo-Darwinism,” not “Darwinism,” but regardless, Timmer’s complaint reveals more about his own ignorance than it does about any inaccuracy on the part of EE. Terms like “Darwinism” and “neo-Darwinism” (or similar cognates like “Darwinian,” “neo-Darwinian,” or Read More ›

Proving Evolution, Doggy-Breeding Style

I admit it: I’m something of a Snoop Dogg fan. We’re from the same hometown, went to the same high school, and Snoop is basically revered like a god among my hometown friends. In Snoop’s words, “I’m somewhat brain boggled” by a recent press release issued by Darwinist researchers at the University of Manchester who are claiming that evolution is supported because “changes to the shape of [the St Bernard] breed’s head over the years can only be explained through evolution and natural selection.” And what is their evidence for “evolution and natural selection”? You have to see this to believe it: “over time … breeders selected dogs that had the desired physical attributes. … we can be confident that Read More ›