Does the NCSE Target Faith Viewpoints?

A recent blog post here at ENV by Michael Egnor, “Why Doesn’t the NCSE Have an Atheism Project?,” stated that “for quite a while; people of faith have long been the target of NCSE litigation.” To be fair to the NCSE, I don’t think that Egnor’s statement is exactly accurate; however, the truth is probably just as bad, or worse. It would be more accurate to say that the NCSE targets people who adhere to a certain purported faith and has eagerly supported litigation against those people. Part III (A) of my law review article from last year, “Zeal for Darwin’s House Consumes Them: How Supporters of Evolution Encourage Violations of the Establishment Clause,” provides some documentation on this: In Read More ›

Eugenie Scott Endorses Discrimination Against Darwin-Doubting Scientists

We’ve previously reported on the case of Martin Gaskell (here, here, here), an astronomer who was denied a job at the University of Kentucky (UK) due to perceived sympathy for “creationism.” In reality. Gaskell is no creationist, and calls himself an “old earth theistic evolutionist” who has “no trouble with the natural selection process.” Gaskell alarmed the Darwinian thought police at UK because in online notes from a talk, he favorably cites the works of proponents of intelligent design like Michael Behe and Phillip Johnson, and states, “there are significant scientific problems in evolutionary theory,” and “these problems are bigger than is usually made out in introductory geology/biology courses.” In his deposition testimony he further stated that “when it comes Read More ›

Sneers and Double Standards Pass for Scholarship in Evolution: Education and Outreach

Pop quiz: Did the following quote come from (A) Panda’s Thumb, or (B) An article in a scholarly journal published by Springer science publishing? “An especially good example of silliness is the ID assertion that natural processes cannot create new genetic information. ID advocates have recently been pushing this line heavily as of late (Meyer 2009)…” If you answered (A), then… …you’re wrong. It came from a recent article by former NCSE staff-member Nick Matzke in the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach — an NCSE-aligned outfit, where apparently such language passes for scholarly argument. But in the words of Jay Richards, “a sneer is not an argument.” Of course Matzke’s reference in the quote from his recent paper is to Read More ›

New York Times Repeats NCSE’s False Account of Selman v. Cobb County Case

Last week’s New York Times article on academic freedom legislation makes a false assertion that the Selman v. Cobb County Board of Education claimed it was illegal to single out evolution in a curricular policy. The NY Times article wrongly states: The legal incentive to pair global warming with evolution in curriculum battles stems in part from a 2005 ruling by a United States District Court judge in Atlanta that the Cobb County Board of Education, which had placed stickers on certain textbooks encouraging students to view evolution as only a theory, had violated First Amendment strictures on the separation of church and state. Although the sticker was not overtly religious, the judge said, its use was unconstitutional because evolution Read More ›

Thank Goodness the NCSE Is Wrong: Fitness Costs Are Important to Evolutionary Microbiology

The evolution of antibiotic resistance is typically the result of small changes allowing for survival in a microbe or other organism under special circumstances where the organism faces extremely strong selection pressure due to the presence of some antibiotic drug. In other cases, it is the result of the transfer of pre-existing antibiotic resistance genes from one microbe to another, and the selection of such microbes in an environment containing antibiotics. Even in the first example, evolution does not produce a truly new function. In fact the change produced often makes the microbe less fit when the antibiotic is removed–it reproduces slower than it did before it was changed. This effect is widely recognized, and is called the fitness cost Read More ›