EVOLUTION UNDER SIEGE: Day Four! - Evolution News & Views

Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

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EVOLUTION UNDER SIEGE: Day Four!

Saturday the Boston Globe broke the story of this infant century. Creationists, against all odds and the Supreme Court, are taking over the world.

Now, thanks to the nation's paper we learn about the plight of the besieged and persecuted Darwinist science teacher. Our nation's esteemed paper of record, The New York Times, gives us the lowdown on teachers forced to smuggle evolution into the classroom.

Early on Cornelia Dean writes:

Though the teaching of evolution makes the news when officials propose, as they did in Georgia, that evolution disclaimers be affixed to science textbooks, or that creationism be taught along with evolution in biology classes . . .
This is an implicit admission that the teaching of evolution doesn't make the news when states such as Ohio, New Mexico and Minnesota adopt standards that teach all about the theory, including the scientific challenges to it, but only makes the news when the local amateur hour decides to downplay evolution or promote religion in science class. Why is the latter news, but the former is ignored or barely mentioned at best? Or, why doesn't the teaching of evolution make the news when a parent is denied his civil rights by a Darwinist school board and then tries for some modicum of justice?

But wait! There's more.

"Others give it very short shrift or discuss it without using "the E word," relying instead on what Dr. Lerner characterized as incorrect or misleading phrases, like 'change over time.'"
Indeed this is the --non-contentious-- definition that credible scientists challenging evolution, or promoting intelligent design theory, are accused of having violated. How absurd. Change over time is the most often cited definition of "evolution" -- and the one least likely to be challenged as unscientific by anything other than a guitar-strumming hillbilly.

Now for a bit of having your cake but not being able to eat it too.

"But in a 2001 survey, the National Science Foundation found that only 53 percent of Americans agreed with the statement "human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals."
So, 53% agree with the over populized idea of evolution.

Hold on!

"Americans, he said, have been evenly divided for years on the question of evolution, with about 45 percent accepting it, 45 percent rejecting it and the rest undecided."
So, either 53% percent believe in evolution, or 45% percent believe in evolution. Which is it a majority or a minority? The New York Times, our national paper of record, seems incapable of reporting which it is, or even identifying that there is a discrepenacy.
Dr. Gerald D. Skoog, a former dean of the College of Education at Texas Tech University and a former president of the science teachers' organization, said that in some classrooms, the teaching of evolution was hampered by the beliefs of the teachers themselves, who are creationists or supporters of the teaching of creationism.

"Data from various studies in various states over an extended period of time indicate that about one-third of biology teachers support the teaching of creationism or 'intelligent design,' " Dr. Skoog said.

But then the reverse would be that two thirds of the teachers support evolution. Does their bias leak through?
Advocates for the teaching of evolution provide teachers or school officials who are challenged on it with information to help them make the case that evolution is completely accepted as a bedrock idea of science.
Well now, that is completely objective. Good for them. It's not hard to envision a school administrator saying: "Now, don't worry, we won't allow anyone who challenges Darwinian evolution to present scientific evidence that disputes the theory."

Moving right along:

In fact, when a researcher from the University of Georgia surveyed scientists' attitudes toward religion several years ago, he found their positions virtually unchanged from an identical survey in the early years of the 20th century. About 40 percent of scientists said not just that they believed in God, but in a God who communicates with people and to whom one may pray "in expectation of receiving an answer."
And this means what about Darwinian evolution? Am I missing something here? What scientific evidence was changed one way or the other based on this survey?

And now dear reader we come to the defining moment of this New York Times sponsored piece of drivel.

Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, said he thought the great variety of religious groups in the United States led to competition for congregants. This marketplace environment, he said, contributes to the politicization of issues like evolution among religious groups.

He said the teaching of evolution was portrayed not as scientific instruction but as "an assault of the secular elite on the values of God-fearing people."

Let me just reiterate: "the teaching of evolution was portrayed not as scientific instruction but as 'an assault of the secular elite on the values of God-fearing people.'" I couldn't agree more. The teaching of evolution is indeed portrayed "not as scientific instruction." It is most often portrayed, as this article does, as a religious and political issue. There is no doubt that this is true when you repeatedly read newspapers saying that this is merely religion vs. science. That this very article succumbs to this . . . . well, do I need to say anymore?

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