This Week in Intelligent Design – 05/07/10

Intelligent design news from the 31st of June to the 5th of July, 2010.

News from the world of the Discovery Institute was slightly slow this week, so I’m going to take that as a sign that we “Darwinists” were less religious in our thinking, more correct about the science of evolutionary biology, and uncovered fewer ground-shaking pieces of evidence against evolution that we refuse to acknowledge the implications of than the past few weeks. Okay, I can believe that… I suppose.

What really shocked me, beyond the lack of anti-scientific outpouring, was that nobody from the Discovery Institute wrote about this. Come on! Fossils are discovered that push the evolution of multicellularity back at least 200 million years from previous evidence and they have nothing to say? Not even a quick “Haha, more evidence against Darwinism, because you’ve got less time to evolve stuff, nyah nyah nyah”? I’m strangely disappointed.

Anyway, moving onto what was said by the Discovery Institute, Jonathan McLatchie, on Evolution News & Views, responded on behalf of Casey Luskin to Nick Matzke and Matt Young from The Panda’s Thumb over Haeckel’s embryos:

Casey Luskin recently posted two blogs showing that textbooks still misuse Haeckel’s long-discredited embryo drawings when attempting to provide evidence for Darwinian evolution (see here and here). Luskin provided ample documentation to demonstrate that these drawings are still printed in some recent textbooks.

Over at The Panda’s Thumb blog, apologists for Darwinian theory have defended (see here and here) Ernst Haeckel from the charge of fraud and have argued, albeit unconvincingly, that, in principle, the concept of recapitulation is a valid one.

As I mentioned on the miniblog, Jonathan conveniently left out mentioning my refutation of Casey’s arguments and comments. Of course, I never expected him to pay attention to it, because those busy, busy ID proponents never do, but it’s interesting to read Jonathan’s post and then what I wrote – he’s actually missing the entire point about Hackel’s embryos and recapitulation. While I’m sure he’s wrong about some of the facts he pulls out, his interpretation of embryology with regards to evolutionary biology is warped. He finishes with this quote from Jonathan Wells:

If the implications of Darwin’s theory for early vertebrate development were true, we would expect these five classes [bony fish, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal] to be most similar as fertilized eggs; slight differences would appear during cleavage, and the classes would diverge even more during gastrulation. What we actually observe, however, is that the eggs of the five classes start out noticeably different from each other; the cleavage patterns in four of the five classes show some general similarities, but the pattern in mammals is radically different. In the gastrulation stage, a fish is very different from an amphibian, and both are very different from reptiles, birds, and mammals, which are somewhat similar to each other. Whatever pattern can be discerned here, it is certainly not a pattern in which the earliest stages are the most similar and later stages are more different.

No, Jonathan, we wouldn’t necessarily expect that. Who’s to say that evolutionary forces can’t affect the basic stages of development as well as the later ones? When you assume that a strict “cone shape” relationship (with little or no differences between taxa at early stages of development and large differences at later stages) is predicted by evolutionary theory, you assume wrongly. Early development is fairly malleable, evolutionarily speaking.

The real reason that embryology backs up evolutionary theory is that there is a conserved stage called the pharyngula, where all vertebrate embryos share common features. It’s this stage that shows that there is an evolutionary relationship between all vertebrates. The fact that earlier stages are not conserved or that each pharyngula stage is slightly different is besides the point – any conservation is evidence for evolution.

Of course, this was all explained in my blog post about Haeckel’s embryos…

———

Casey Luskin, instead of personally responding to the criticisms of his Haeckel posts, instead decided this week to get all indignant on Evolution News & Views about having a comment of his deleted from Chris Mooney’s blog:

In May, I wrote an article on Evolution News & Views commenting on Darwinian Atheists Lecturing Religious People on Proper Belief in God. Chris Mooney then wrote a response, and I then tried to submit a comment in reply. For some reason, perhaps innocent, perhaps not–I don’t really know–Chris Mooney’s Discover Magazine Blog refused to publish the following comment from me:

Chris, you make hay that my blog post is apparently posted on some “BibleProphecyUpdate” website. You then say “Wow.”

For the record, I’ve no idea what “BibleProphecyUpdate” is, nor do I know anything about them. I originally posted my blog at Evolution News & Views (ENV) — just follow the link from my name. From your post here today, I’ve learned that this “BibleProphecyUpdate” site apparently has taken my material and reposted it without my knowledge or permission. Such is the way of the Internet.

I find it difficult to believe you’re a regular reader of “BibleProphecyUpdate.” Given that you’ve read and responded to ENV in the past, you’re capable of finding my material where you’re well aware I’m a regular writer. If you have a “Chris Mooney” Google News alert, then you’re also well aware that my blog originally appeared at ENV. So why didn’t you link to ENV, instead making hay that my post appears on some religious website? Such is the way of the ID= “anti-science” critic. Perhaps “Wow” is right.

I’m with Casey on this one – there’s no reason why that comment should have been deleted, unless it was an error. However, this strikes me as slightly hypocritical when Uncommon Descent, a well-known Discovery Institute blog, regularly deletes comments that it doesn’t like (read: are defending evolutionary biology/criticising intelligent design), even if they’re being civil and kind. I have a personal example, but I know of others who have had the same problem.

Really, Casey, you shouldn’t complain until you fix UD’s commenting policy and the action of its moderators, it’s ridiculous.

———

Wow, just… wow. You might want to take a minute to prepare yourself before you read what Stephen C. Meyer wrote on Evolution News & Views this week about the US celebration of July 4th, Thomas Jefferson and intelligent design:

Taken to heart, Darwin’s view of man does undermine the vision of the Founders. As evolutionary biologist George Gaylord Simpson explained, Darwinism denies evidence of design and shows instead that man is the product of a “purposeless process that did not have him mind.” Fortunately, discoveries in modern biology have challenged this perspective and vindicated Jefferson’s thinking.

Since 1953, when Watson and Crick elucidated the structure of the DNA molecule, biologists have increasingly come to recognize the importance of information to living cells. The structure of DNA allows it to store information in the form of a four-character digital code, similar to a computer code. As Bill Gates has noted, “DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created.”

No theory of undirected chemical evolution has explained the origin of the digital information in DNA needed to build the first living cell on earth. Yet we know from repeated experience—the basis of all scientific reasoning—that information invariably arises from minds rather than from material processes.

Software programs come from programmers. Information—whether inscribed in hieroglyphics, written in a book, or encoded in radio signals—always comes from a designing intelligence. So the discovery of digital code in DNA points decisively back to an intelligent cause as the ultimate source of the information in living cells.

The growing evidence of design in life has stunning and gratifying implications for our understanding of America’s political history—and for our country’s future. On the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the evidence for “Nature’s God,” and thus for the reality of our rights, is stronger than ever.

Excuse me? Evolutionary biology “undermine[s] the vision of the Founders”? What does politics have to do with science? Oh, wait, Thomas Jefferson thought that things were designed and the evidence “vindicates” this, so… Nope, I’m still confused.

Really, is this how low the Discovery Institute has fallen from their already subterranean perch? Appeals to American patriotism?  Stephen, a scientific theory doesn’t live or die based on whether or not it supports “the rights of the people”, and I think you know this –  that’s why you’ve made sure to outline all the other evidence that you think supports intelligent design. Clearly, you thought “Ooh, if I just appeal to patriotism it’ll look rather weak – I’d better be sure to throw in the standard lines about digital information and intelligence.” sometime during the writing process. You were almost certainly certain that your argument from politics was weak.

Or perhaps I’m giving Stephen too much credit. I never know what to say these days – if I call someone stupid, it’s an ad hominem attack, but if I don’t, I’m not being harsh enough. What’s the best way to go? I have no idea, so I’ll play it safe and not call Stephen a moronic IDiot, like so many do.

However, I will say – poor show, Stephen, poor show. I expected better from the writer of the ludicrously hyped Signature in the Cell. But then again, not everything lives up to the hype.

———

Last, and probably least, Kevin Wirth from The ID Report gives us a plug of another new pro-ID book – Caroline Crocker’s Free to Think:

Dr. Crocker, who appeared briefly in the 2008 movie Expelled, was an untenured adjunct professor at GMU and had signed a 3-year contract extension, which others also read. In her book, Crocker recounts how her good fortune was short lived, however, as she became the victim of a bait-and-switch scheme in which her original contract was changed to a one-year term shortly after being accused of teaching creationism in her classes – a charge she steadfastly denies. In fact recent evidence has come to light from one of her former students that a student who Dr. Crocker caught cheating retaliated against another student and made allegedly false accusations against Dr. Crocker, which eventually culminated in the loss of her job as a professer at GMU. The appeals process as told by Dr. Crocker was little more than a railroading and a denial of her academic freedom per GMU’s own code – and readers are provided with her first-ever complete retelling of what happened in her own words as well as her response to the findings of her grievance committee (all documented in Appendix IV).

Many of Dr. Crocker’s critics make the point that she SHOULD have been let go for teaching creationism. However, according to Dr. Crocker, all she did was challenge her students to think outside the box a bit and come to their own conclusions based on ALL of the available evidence, not just the usual consensus views of science. Crocker relates in her book exactly how and what she taught her students, including many in-class interactions. Readers will be left to decide whether they believe her approach was reasonable. I submit most readers will concur that she did nothing to warrant the treatment she received.

Okay, it’s clear that Dr. Crocker wasn’t “teaching creationism”, but she was giving information to students in a biased manner. Whenever someone says that they need to give all of the available evidence about evolution to their students, they’re coming at things from a biased perspective. It’s true, that’s a coded phrase from someone who doesn’t think that evolutionary theory is correct.

The only time students need to be given both sides of a controversial issue is when there actually is a genuine controversy. Within evolutionary biology, there isn’t. The evidence is clear and unequivocal. Evolutionary biologists don’t discuss amongst themselves whether or not evolution occurred, whether or not it’s the best explanation for the diversity of life on Earth, or whether or not intelligent design can fill the gaps that have yet to be fully explained. There is no controversy, and therefore students should not be taught that there is one.

Now, I don’t know if Dr. Crocker should have lost her job for what she did, but she should have, at least, lost the respect of her peers. The behavior that she displayed damages science at a fundamental level, and for that there is no excuse except ideological bias. Ideological bias has no place in the science lab or the science classroom.

Of course, I haven’t read Dr. Crocker’s book – she mightn’t have been implicitly defending intelligent design after all. But if that were true… then why would the intelligent design movement be plugging her book?

25 thoughts on “This Week in Intelligent Design – 05/07/10

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Global Atheist and Jack Scanlan. Jack Scanlan said: New Homologous Legs blog post: "This Week in Intelligent Design – 05/07/10" http://is.gd/dg35X […]

  2. Really, Casey, you shouldn’t complain until you fix UD’s commenting policy and the action of its moderators, it’s ridiculous.

    Casey isn't affiliated with UD, is he? He is definitely associated with Evolution News and Views which doesn't allow any comments at all. Almost all fundamentalist sites refuse to allow comments. They can't stand it when people disagree with them.

    • Casey doesn't post on Uncommon Descent, but UD is affiliated with the Discovery Institute. They're all interconnected.

      Yes, I'm surprised that UD even allows comments, because as you point out Evolution News & Views doesn't. They don't even allow trackbacks anymore – or, if they do, they only allow them from sites that are being positive about them. I make sure include their special trackback URLs on every post I do about an EN&V post, but they never seem to allow it… I wonder why… ;)

    • Hold the phone: this post – http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/06/the_recapitu… – just accepted my trackback request. Apparently, Jonathan McLatchie never got the memo. :p

  3. Segment 1

    You wrote:

    "Okay, it’s clear that Dr. Crocker wasn’t “teaching creationism”, but she was giving information to students in a biased manner. Whenever someone says that they need to give all of the available evidence about evolution to their students, they’re coming at things from a biased perspective. It’s true, that’s a coded phrase from someone who doesn’t think that evolutionary theory is correct."

    This is a seriously twisted rationale. If presenting ALL the facts is a "biased" approach, then I would suggest the problem lies not with Dr. Crocker. People who consider only one set of facts (ie, such as may be convenient to only their perspective) are in fact the ones who are guilty of bias. Also, those who make excuses, exceptions, and far-fetched explanations to account for evidence that does not conform with evolutionary tenents are guilty of overextending the boundaries of reason, logic, and common sense.

    • I agree, but this all assumes, wrongly, on your part that there is actually evidence that goes against evolutionary theory. I'm quite used to coming across objections to evolution by intelligent design proponents and more blatant creationists that are just misinterpretations of the science – misinterpretations that make the evidence that we do have seem contradictory to evolutionary theory. A great example, which was touched on in this post, is Hackel's embryos and the pharyngula stage of vertebrate development – Jonathan Wells wants you to think that differences between the early embryos of the various vertebrate taxa invalidates common descent, but this isn't the case.

      If a teacher was teaching that to their students, they are being biased – it's just incorrect information coming from either willing distortion of the science or just misinformation that's been passed down through channels that tend to pass down such misinformation, such as the Discovery Institute.

  4. Segment 2

    I challenge you to read "Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution" by Robert Carroll, for example. This work is literally rife with admissions of what we DON'T KNOW about evolutioanry relationships. Hardly what you'd expect to read if the evidence for macroevolution is so overwhelming.

    And when you pontificate that "There is no controversy, and therefore students should not be taught that there is one" then I refer you to the comments found in Carroll's book, which clearly indicate otherwise:

    The petalodonts, which are usually classified with the holocephalians, also have obscure affinities. (p. 70)

    Our knowledge of Paleozoic and early Mesozoic elasmobranchs is still very limited (Carroll, p. 73)

    • I'd be happy to read that book (I am, however, going to assume it's quite expensive, as most specialized textbooks are, and I am but a poor student, so I won't be purchasing it), but there's a few things you should know about the nature of science first…

      All of these examples that you have listed, about what we don't yet know in vertebrate evolution, just go to show what science is – it's the process of finding things out, of discovering new information, of explaining the world. Of course you can find examples of things we don't know about in the field of evolutionary biology, of course you can find things that we can't yet explain – if you couldn't, then why do evolutionary biologists still exist? Why are they doing research? Is it perhaps because we don't know everything yet?

      These holes in our knowledge that you have so kindly pointed out don't impact on the general scientific nature or validity of evolutionary theory in the slightest. What, we don't know how a certain taxonomic group evolved from this certain taxonomic group yet? Oh dear, evolution is flawed, we'd better teach that to the children to be fair and balanced. No, you'd be confusing the children to no end – these details are going to exist, whether you like it or not, and they won't be gone until the scientific process is finished. And last time I looked, science was still going strong.

  5. Segment 3

    We have not established the specific origin of the neoselachians (Carroll, p. 74)

    All other batoids may have evolved from the early rhinobatoids, but no intermediates between the various well-established lines have been found (Carroll, p. 77)

    Although we have not determined specific relationships among the Paleozoic sharks…we must begin with the living genera and try to trace their ancestry among a confusing assemblage of Paleozoic groups whose general relationships have not been determined (Carroll, p. 78)

    • Again, these gaps in our knowledge don't invalidate evolutionary biology as a science. We still don't know how some disease are caused – does that invalidate the germ theory of disease? We still don't know what dark matter is – does that invalidate the Big Bang model of cosmology?

      When you nitpick the science so finely that you start bringing up examples of things that don't have any broad relevance, you really show your biases, Kevin. Only someone with an ideological position against the theory of evolution would go this far to discredit it, only to miss the bigger picture and the nature of scientific inquiry.

  6. Segment 4

    The entire book reads like this from one end to the other, and I call your attention to the frequency of these comments by looking at the page numbers I have cited. The frequency of such admissions is VERY HIGH throughout this book.

    Just because a large number of folks believe something (like macroevolution) is accurate, does not make it so. We need to see the evidence. Where the evidence is lacking, controversy exists and is warranted, regardless of what you may think.

    Meanwhile, we continue to find growing evidence of STASIS, not EVOLUTION in the fossil record.

    I'll let others school you on the unlikely evoloution of cellular structures.

    • "Where the evidence is lacking, controversy exists and is warranted, regardless of what you may think."

      Yes, controversy exists, but not on the broader "is evolution true" scale. A few scientists may disagree with a few different scientists over the precise phylogenetic placement of a certain extinct or extant species, and yes – if the education is specialised enough, such a controversy may be included to be taught in the curriculum. I have no problem with that. But your insistence that a broad controversy exists in the scientific community about the validity of evolutionary theory as a whole is just plain wrong.

      "Meanwhile, we continue to find growing evidence of STASIS, not EVOLUTION in the fossil record. "

      Examples, please. Statements of fact with supporting evidence is tiresome and wastes everyone's time.

      "I'll let others school you on the unlikely evoloution of cellular structures."

      We'll see if they do, Kevin.

  7. "Now, I don’t know if Dr. Crocker should have lost her job for what she did, but she should have, at least, lost the respect of her peers. "

    Just the kind of comment I would expect from someone who prefers to make judgments before examining the facts.

    "The behavior that she displayed damages science at a fundamental level, and for that there is no excuse except ideological bias. Ideological bias has no place in the science lab or the science classroom."

    Actually, if you read the book, I challenge you to find anything she did that damages science. She deliberately left her ideological bias in the parking lot at GMU.

    "Of course, I haven’t read Dr. Crocker’s book – she mightn’t have been implicitly defending intelligent design after all. But if that were true… then why would the intelligent design movement be plugging her book?"

    Maybe because people like you prefer to judge her before reading her story.

    • "Just the kind of comment I would expect from someone who prefers to make judgments before examining the facts."

      Pot kettle black?

      Sure, I don't have all the information, but I've read enough about other cases like this to know that, if it's similar to those, this teacher was a bit out of line. Is that such a hard conclusion to come to? Of course from your perspective she was doing nothing wrong, but then again, your perspective may not be the most accurate one I've come across today.

      "Actually, if you read the book, I challenge you to find anything she did that damages science. She deliberately left her ideological bias in the parking lot at GMU."

      I'd be happy to read the book if I had the money to buy it – I don't suppose anyone's about to buy it for me. So no, I can't make a definite conclusion about Dr. Crocker's case, but again, from what I know about other cases like this, it's highly likely that she's been a bit lax with her science education.

      "Maybe because people like you prefer to judge her before reading her story. "

      I'm not so sure the intelligent design movement is so charitable, Kevin. There's always an ulterior motive.

      • "Is that such a hard conclusion to come to? "

        You want to start with a conclusion based on your bias rather than start with the facts. Wow, that's a great approach. This is exactly the attitude that does harm to science.

        Perhaps we should say that even though we've never seen any clear bat transitional fossils, we already know they MUST exist or that at least their ancestors MUST have existed because we already KNOW that evolution is a fact Fact FACT! And oh yeah, lets just say the same thing for all the other fossils talked about in Carroll's book…

        I'd much perfer to see us forget about any so-called "ulterior motives" and just stick with the facts. At least I'd think you'd want to start there.

        • "You want to start with a conclusion based on your bias rather than start with the facts. Wow, that's a great approach. This is exactly the attitude that does harm to science."

          Well, now I have more information, thanks to the article John dug up, and my initial hunch has been confirmed. Hypothesis? Confirmed from all available supporting evidence.

          "Perhaps we should say that even though we've never seen any clear bat transitional fossils, we already know they MUST exist or that at least their ancestors MUST have existed because we already KNOW that evolution is a fact Fact FACT! And oh yeah, lets just say the same thing for all the other fossils talked about in Carroll's book…"

          Hey now, they nobody's claiming absolutely that they do exist, just that it is extremely likely that they do, based on what we know about the evolutionary process and the molecular/genetic evidence for a common ancestor between bats and other living organisms. You're over-reacting here, jumping to exaggerated claims of evolutionary biology claiming absolute certainty. Nobody's claiming that, but the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that it is so close to certainty so as to be basically ridiculous to question its explanatory power. Of course, some people still do (yourself included), but their objections mostly spring from misunderstanding the science and the evidence involved.

          "I'd much perfer to see us forget about any so-called "ulterior motives" and just stick with the facts. At least I'd think you'd want to start there."

          We do, Kevin – it's called university education. The facts, and nothing but the facts. We don't teach these "controversies" to first-year undergraduates, as I have already explained, because they don't affect evolutionary biology as a whole, just subsections within it. Branches and twigs on the Tree of Life, if you will (you probably won't).

    • Thanks for the comments though, Kevin, I appreciate someone finally reading my blog posts – acknowledgment is hard to get from people associated with the Discovery Institute…

      • No Problerm. And, just for the record, I'm not "from" the Discovery Institute, I'm from ARN.ORG (though I admit I am on speaking terms with many folks at the DI)

        • Ah, okay. I wasn't aware of the distinction between the ARN and the Discovery Institute – I just assumed that they were intimately connected because most of the pro-intelligent design websites are traceable back to the Discovery Institute (eg. the Biologic Institute, Uncommon Descent etc.). I consider them all different mouthpieces of the same group of people, although clearly that may be simplifying things just a little bit.

  8. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jack Scanlan, Jack Scanlan. Jack Scanlan said: Kevin Wirth, oh, I'm not wirthy of your presence in my blog comments… ;) http://is.gd/dhcId […]

  9. You might want to see what Crocker was actually "teaching":
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

    "Before the class, Crocker had told me that she was going to teach "the strengths and weaknesses of evolution." Afterward, I asked her whether she was going to discuss the evidence for evolution in another class. She said no.

    "There really is not a lot of evidence for evolution," Crocker said. Besides, she added, she saw her role as trying to balance the "ad nauseum" pro-evolution accounts that students had long been force-fed."

    That's just a sample.

    • Thank you so much, John, for sharing this – how fascinating that Dr. Crocker was actually wheeling out the same old arguments against evolutionary theory that we always see from ID proponents and other creationists! Here's some telling examples:

      "Crocker was about to establish a small beachhead for an insurgency that ultimately aims to topple Darwin's view that humans and apes are distant cousins. The lecture she was to deliver had caused her to lose a job at a previous university, she told me earlier, and she was taking a risk by delivering it again. As a nontenured professor, she had little institutional protection. But this highly trained biologist wanted students to know what she herself deeply believed: that the scientific establishment was perpetrating fraud, hunting down critics of evolution to ruin them and disguising an atheistic view of life in the garb of science.

      It took a while for Nguyen, Lowe and the other students to realize what they were hearing. Some took notes; others doodled distractedly. Crocker brought up a new slide. She told the students there were two kinds of evolution: microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution is easily seen in any microbiology lab. Grow bacteria in a petri dish; destroy half with penicillin; and allow the remainder to repopulate the dish. The new generation of bacteria, descendants of survivors, will better withstand the drug the next time. That's because they are likely to have the chance mutations that allow some bacteria to defend themselves against penicillin. Over multiple cycles, increasingly resistant strains can become impervious to the drug, and the mutations can become standard issue throughout the bacterial population. A new, resistant strain of bacteria would have evolved. While such small changes are well established, Crocker said, they are quite different from macroevolution. No one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat in a laboratory.

      The students leaned forward. They were starting to realize that this was unconventional material for a biology class. Many scientists, Crocker added, believe that complex life reveals the hand of an intelligent designer. The theory of intelligent design holds that while the evolutionary forces of random genetic mutation and natural selection may shape species on a small scale, they cannot account for the kind of large-scale differences between, say, chimpanzees and humans. Only some form of intelligence — most people read that phrase as "God" — could have accounted for the origin of life from nonliving matter, or the existence of complex structures within cells and organisms that rely on many parts functioning together. While many advocates of the theory of intelligent design, including Crocker, are religious, some are not. What unites these advocates is not religion but the belief that supernatural forces are active in everyday life. Science, they say, fails to see the true nature of the world when it refuses to admit anything other than material evidence. Crocker believes that biological systems cannot grow more complex on their own any more than a novel, through chance typographical errors, can turn into a different book, with a different story. How could anyone think that new books get written because of typos in old books?"

      Well well well. Kevin, what do you have to say about this?

    • Yeah, and????

      Evolution IS being force-fed, and often under threat, to many students in universities all across the USA. They are often given lower grades if they do not fully accept the mantras and consensus views of science. This is exactly what we DON'T want to do to our students if we want to produce first class scientists. They need to be FREE TO THINK.

      • No, evolution is not being force-fed, as much as chemistry or geology are not being force-fed. Evolutionary biology is a science, and that science is being taught, as it should be.

        Of course students need to think, I absolutely agree with that. But dishonestly teaching them misinformation under the garb of "teaching the controversy" or "presenting all the facts" is unacceptable! Read that article again, Kevin, and understand, PLEASE, that the "facts" Dr. Crocker was touting were the old, boring, and endlessly-refuted arguments that creationists still use today.

        To quote from the article again – "While such small changes are well established, Crocker said, they are quite different from macroevolution. No one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat in a laboratory." – this stuff makes me think about bashing my head into a wall I've heard it so many times, and it's wrong! It's completely and utterly wrong! How could someone with such a flawed understanding of the evolutionary process be TEACHING students about it? I'm actually getting quite angry at the thought of it!

        Please read that article again, and please tell me you don't think the arguments she's using are valid in any way, shape or form.

  10. "Evolution IS being force-fed, and often under threat …"

    Horsehockey! … unless it is being 'forcefed under threat' when students are required to *know* calculus in a math class in order to get a good grade. Crocker was *not* teaching those kids science, she was — dishonestly — teaching them her religion. If she wants to teach religion, she should get a position teaching comparative religion. If she wants to rail against metaphysical materialism, she should get a position teaching philosophy. No one can think clearly if they are confused about such basic categories. University students have ample opportunities to explore religion and philosophy and wasting their time by dragging those subjects into a science class is just stealing their tuition money.

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