RSSCategory: Evolution

Evangelical War on Evolution

January 29, 2007 | By | 5 Replies More
Evangelical War on Evolution

Here’s a short video that takes you deep into a fundie lecture hall to be taught by the likes of Ken Ham.  I learned of this video by visiting a well-written science blog, Pharyngula (written by biology professor Paul Z. Myers). Watching the video is startling, disturbing and depressing.  The young children are being taught to mindlessly repeat […]

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A free science education, compliments of science blogs

January 29, 2007 | By | 5 Replies More
A free science education, compliments of science blogs

I’ve recently been digging into the family of blogs that goes under the umbrella name: scienceblogs.com.  Here’s the general mission: Our mission is to build a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about science and its place in our culture, and give them a place to meet. The Science Blogs are a tremendous resource, consisting 57 […]

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How to fight off Creationist school boards and politicians

January 21, 2007 | By | 27 Replies More
How to fight off Creationist school boards and politicians

Here’s a site for scientists looking for help in presenting the need to vigorously teach evolution, when confronted by anti-science types.  I keep falling into the trap that this should be easy to convince people to study evolution in light of the abundant evidence in support and the elegance of natural selection.  On the issue […]

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How does one explain the stubborn resistance to Darwinism?

January 2, 2007 | By | 8 Replies More
How does one explain the stubborn resistance to Darwinism?

In this recent interview, published by Salon.com, Ronald Numbers (a former Seventh-day Adventist and author of the definitive history of creationism) discusses “his break with the church, whether creationists are less intelligent and why Galileo wasn’t really a martyr.” Here’s a sampling.  Aren’t anti-evolutionists anti-scientific?  It’s not that easy, according to Numbers: [M]ost people who […]

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U.S. Park Service refuses to admit the age of the Grand Canyon

December 29, 2006 | By | 13 Replies More
U.S. Park Service refuses to admit the age of the Grand Canyon

According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the U.S. National Park Service won’t admit the well-established age of the Grand Canyon. Why?  Because our National Park Service doesn’t want to offend young earth creationists.  Here’s the well-established geological story: The principal consensus among geologists is that the Colorado River basin (of which the Grand Canyon is a […]

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Christmas Displays

December 25, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More
Christmas Displays

We’re right in the middle of massively expensive Christmas displays. No, not just the light displays. I’m referring to the numerous expenditures of time, energy and money that, because they are expensive, serve as reliable messages to others that we are interested in bonding with them . . . or not. Christmas is as good […]

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Creationism: another casualty of Innumeracy

December 20, 2006 | By | 11 Replies More
Creationism: another casualty of Innumeracy

Some of us who sincerely treasure the scientific fact and scientific theory of evolution have brought on some of our own problems with our choice of nomenclature. For instance, sometimes “random mutations” gets uncoupled from natural selection, leading some to believe that it is the randomness of the process that is the be-all and end-all of evolution. Consider also Francis Crick’s description of the associations of amino acids with their three base codons as a “frozen accident.”

Creationists, ignoring these (legitimate) scientific and scientific/poetic usages, have jumped all over the terms such as “random” and “accident” to characterize scientific evolutionary theory in the following warped way: “All life forms just suddenly spring into existence as accidents.” Though I am aware that sophisticated creationists would embellish this attack, this characterization is certainly the straw man put forth by most of the people out there who tremble at the thought that human beings are (gad!) animals.

It recently occurred to me that, perhaps, creationists’ willingness to assume that evolutionists are claiming that complex life forms “just happen” might be another symptom of “innumeracy.” It might be that they don’t understand how incredibly rare it is that biological “accidents” survive and reproduce. In his bestseller, Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences (1988), John Paulos introduced the term “innumeracy” to refer to “an inability to deal comfortably with the fundamental notions of number and chance.” Paulos bemoaned that innumeracy “plagues far too many otherwise knowledgeable citizens.”

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Failure To Communicate

December 15, 2006 | By | 9 Replies More
Failure To Communicate

There are some (usually unacknowledged) semantic disconnects (“failures to communicate“) whenever theists and Atheists argue. Neither side responds as though they were aware of the unstated fundamental assumptions of the other side. Here are some of these for your consideration. For Atheist and Ignostic consideration: Theist’s perceptions of atheism (as far as I’ve been able […]

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Hey, anti-Darwinists! Reconcile this!

December 2, 2006 | By | 32 Replies More
Hey, anti-Darwinists!  Reconcile this!

In Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex among Apes (1982), Frans de Waal discusses reconciliation, but he’s not talking about human beings who are making up after fighting.  Rather, de Waal is describing the reconciliation he has observed in communities of chimpanzees: Sometimes the maneuver is fairly obvious.  Within a minute of a fight having ended […]

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