Monday, September 29, 2008

Here it comes...
Anti-evolution textbook coming to a school near you.

According to Barbara Forrest at the Louisiana Coalition for Science, those lovely people at the Discovery Institute have produced a new textbook, Explore Evolution.

Scientist and writer John Timmer has reviewed the Discovery Institute’s stealth creationist textbook, Explore Evolution, in Ars Technica. Three of EE’s authors are well-known intelligent design (ID) creationists. Stephen C. Meyer is the director of the Discovery Institute’s ID creationist wing, the Center for Science and Culture (CSC). Two of his co-authors are his CSC associates Paul Nelson (a young-earth creationist) and Scott Minnich (a witness for the defense in Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District). The other two, Jonathan Moneymaker and Ralph Seelke, are lesser-known ID supporters.
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Contrary to its misleading title, Explore Evolution is a sustained, error-ridden attack on evolutionary theory. It also contains a section on Michael Behe’s concept of “irreducible complexity.” Both aspects of EE make it very much an intelligent design creationist textbook.
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Timmer closes his review with a parting reference to Louisiana. Recalling the statement by Kevin Padian, a scientist and expert witness for the plaintiffs in the Kitzmiller trial, that intelligent design “makes people stupid . . . essentially makes them ignorant,” Timmer concludes on a note that should resonate strongly with all Louisiana citizens who value our public schools and want our children to be decently educated:
Sadly, thanks to the actions of the Louisiana state government, that state’s students are much more likely to be exposed to this sort of stupidity.

But the book doesn’t only promote stupidity, it demands it. In every way except its use of the actual term, this is a creationist book, but its authors are expecting that legislators and the courts will be too stupid to notice that, or to remember that the Supreme Court has declared teaching creationism an unconstitutional imposition of religion. As laws similar to Louisiana’s resurface in other states next year, we can only hope that legislators choose not to live down to the low expectations of EE’s authors.
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Anyone with knowledge that Explore Evolution or any other creationist material is being used in Louisiana public school science classes should contact the National Center for Science Education or the LA Coalition for Science.
That would be a good idea for anyone who ever sees this book in the hands of a kid, regardless of the state or location.

Be sure to read the entire article at the Louisiana Coalition for Science or the full review at Ars Technica.

1 comment:

the chaplain said...

I guess some idiotic school board will adopt this piece of crap as a supplemental text, then the district will be sued, then a court will find that this book is a piece of crap and rule that it should be removed from the curriculum. In the long run, that would be a great finding. In the interim, thousands of kids will learn either bad science or no science. I really can't believe we're still fighting to keep this nonsense out of the science curriculum in the 21st century. Get ready for Asia to overtake the USA in technological and scientific breakthroughs and to follow that by dominating world markets. All signs indicate that it's coming, and it's coming fast.