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Real Science Required Here

In some US schools, students are taught creationism along side, or as a substitute for, the science of evolution.

Fortunately, not everyone is accepting that as a good education. The University of California is refusing to "certify high school science courses that use textbooks challenging Darwin’s theory of evolution".

Of course, they’re being sued over that policy. A group of Christian schools seem to believe they have a constitutional right to re-imagine science any way they want. And that colleges must accept their undereducated graduates.

The University has other ideas.

"These requirements were established after careful study by faculty and staff to ensure that students who come here are fully prepared with broad knowledge and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed," Poorsina [a spokesperson for the University].

Exactly!

Also in the continuing campaign to keep mysticism out of science, a professor of philosophy offers an outstanding analysis of the crap used by creationists to push their anti-science and why they have no case.

Instead, the proponents of intelligent design use a ploy that works something like this. First you misuse or misdescribe some scientist’s work. Then you get an angry rebuttal. Then, instead of dealing forthrightly with the charges leveled, you cite the rebuttal as evidence that there is a "controversy" to teach.

Note that the trick is content-free. You can use it on any topic. "Smith’s work in geology supports my argument that the earth is flat," you say, misrepresenting Smith’s work. When Smith responds with a denunciation of your misuse of her work, you respond, saying something like: "See what a controversy we have here? Professor Smith and I are locked in a titanic scientific debate. We should teach the controversy in the classrooms." And here is the delicious part: you can often exploit the very technicality of the issues to your own advantage, counting on most of us to miss the point in all the difficult details.

Indeed, no intelligent design hypothesis has even been ventured as a rival explanation of any biological phenomenon. This might seem surprising to people who think that intelligent design competes directly with the hypothesis of non-intelligent design by natural selection. But saying, as intelligent design proponents do, "You haven’t explained everything yet," is not a competing hypothesis. Evolutionary biology certainly hasn’t explained everything that perplexes biologists. But intelligent design hasn’t yet tried to explain anything.

It’s a long essay but well worth reading. However, there is a problem with the professor’s writing. He uses large amounts of logic and common sense. Both of these qualities are completely missing in supporters of "intelligent" design.

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1 Comment

  1. Jack Neill

    Another outstanding (albeit lengthy) article on this matter: http://www.fcps.edu/southcountyss/departments/publications/courier.html

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