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(2007-04-09 19:29:27)
[2007/01/11] Evolutionists Fret Over Persistent Creationism
Evolutionists Fret Over Persistent Creationism    01/11/2007  
Fretting and fuming over the persistence of creationism (and belief in God, which usually accompanies it), evolutionists are trying to come up with ways to combat it.  This presupposes that they are not listening to the arguments of the creationists.
  1. Ambassadors for Darwin:  In an editorial in Science Jan. 12, editor Alan Leshner encouraged scientists to become ambassadors.  Calling it the best of times (in terms of the rate of new discoveries) and the worst of times (because of public distrust of science): “Perhaps worse, public skepticism and concern are increasingly directed at scientific issues that appear to conflict with core human values and religious beliefs or that pose conflicts with political or economic expediency,” he said.  Specifically, “These include embryonic stem cell research, the teaching of evolution in schools, evidence for global climate change, and controversies over genetically modified foods.”  The complex issues and tensions in the creation/evolution issue, he said, requires a long-term commitment by scientists to public engagement, including “genuine dialogue with our fellow citizens about how we can approach their concerns and what specific scientific findings mean.”  Though toned down somewhat from last week’s war council (see “Become an Evo-Warrior,” 01/06/2007, bullet 3), the advice from Science left it ambiguous whether the content of said dialogue would be bidirectional.
  2. Grand Canyon rapids:  In the Random Samples newslets of the Jan. 12 issue of Science, mention was made again of Tom Vail’s creation book in the Grand Canyon bookstores, Grand Canyon: A Different View that caused a furor among secular geologists three years ago (see 01/18/2004, 10/06/2005, 09/16/2005).  The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) in Washington, DC is up in arms that the book is still sold, even after the National Park Service compromised by moving it to from the scientific section to the inspirational section.  PEER renewed its demand in December that the book should not be sold at all.  In addition, they issued a press release claiming that park rangers are being agnostic about the age of the Grand Canyon, citing some kind of policy that “park personnel are not permitted to tell visitors the Grand Canyon’s true age of 5 million to 6 million years.”  The National Park service “emphatically denies this charge,” Science reported (see PDF of statement) and defends its decision on book sales, saying “Our job is not to convince the public how to think.”
  3. Creationism a conservative plot, or evolutionism a liberal plot?  In a letter to the editor in the same Jan. 12 issue of Science, Allan Mazur, a member of the Public Affairs Program at Syracuse U, confirmed an earlier article hinting that “American views on evolution may be related to political liberalism and conservatism.”  Mazur cited polls that show correlated disbelief in evolution with political conservatism.  “Political liberals were significantly more likely than conservatives to believe that humans evolved,” he added.  “Belief in evolution rises along with political liberalism, independently of control variables.”
  4. Atheists on Attack:  Casey Luskin found cause for criticism of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) which has defended the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” parody of an “intelligent designer” (see Evolution News entry for Dec. 25).  As Luskin wrote for Evolution News, does this endorsement include the flagrant mockery of world religions?  The quotes he found by a satirist invoking this myth go beyond the pale of “light-hearted fun at the opposition’s expense” and get downright ugly and intolerant, in his opinion.  The feedback Richard Buggs got in The Guardian for defending intelligent design has a similar temperature and flavor.
  5. Turkish dogfight:  After exposing the creation heresy in Turkey recently (11/27/2006), Nature (Jan. 11) seemed glad to print encouraging news from the evolutionary field.  Two Germans and a Turk wrote the journal relaying that “Turks [are] fighting back against anti-evolution forces.”  The teaching of evolution is not a lost cause in Turkey, they cheered.  Against the discouraging backdrop of a 25-year conservative trend, and a poll of biology and teachers saying only 47% accepted evolution (27% of young teachers, a “more disturbing” statistic), Turkish scientists are working to reverse these trends.  How hard are they working?  “A group of graduate students known as Evrim Caliskanlari, or ‘hard-workers for evolution’, has started translating the University of California, Berkeley’s Understanding Evolution website into Turkish.”
        Apparently taking another tip from California, a non-governmental group in Turkey “has filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Education, demanding that creationism should be removed from textbooks and evolutionary biology should be covered appropriately in the curriculum.”  They are not sure how this will turn out.  “The ministry has responded by asserting that darwinism is scientifically suspect – using publications by the US intelligent-design Discovery Institute for reference,” they said.  “It goes on to claim that developed countries are including creation-like theories in their curricula and to imply that evolution is not compatible with Turkish ‘culture and values’.”  They ended by calling on more Turkish scientists to engage the battle, to “put pressure on their academic bodies to take a pro-evolutionary position,” to influence the ministry of education and public opinion.  “Better late than never,” they ended.
  6. Whose pressure?  A News Focus editorial by Nigel Williams in Current Biology (Volume 17, Issue 1, 9 January 2007, Page R2, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.11.056) was titled “Creation pressure,” but only spoke of the free packets with intelligent-design DVDs by Illustra media sent teachers by Truth in Science.  These free materials included no coercion or pressure to use them; in fact, by Williams’ own admission, the UK government “condemned” them as “not appropriate to support the science curriculum.”  Williams quoted evolutionists were “alarmed” that these materials were being used in at least 59 schools: but, presumably, those teachers chose to use them of their own free will.
        Williams went on about whether intelligent design is science or not, then alleged that “The DVDs were produced in America and feature figures linked to the Discovery Institute in Seattle, a think-tank that has made concerted efforts to promote intelligent design and insert it into high-school science lessons in the US,” a claim the Discovery Institute has repeated denied (see policy statement).  Williams then hailed the Dover decision as an event that should have trumped ID once for all (see 12/12/2006).  Despite its title, it was hard to find any instance of pressure by creationists in Williams’ editorial.
Except for the undefined word “dialogue” by Alan Leshner (bullet 1), in none of these cases was there a hint anywhere that the pro-evolution side was listening to or taking seriously any of the evidences for creation or scientific criticisms of Darwinism. 
The only “creation pressure” Williams is feeling is that of the victims tightening their muscles on Darwin’s Rack.  He wants them to just lie down and take their due like the compliant penitent heretics.
    When confronted with challenges to their beliefs, the Darwinists dig in their heels and become obstinate.  They don’t engage in debate, they run to their lawyers and threaten lawsuits.  They translate their propaganda into Turkish, but don’t reason about scientific evidence.  That tells you a lot.
    Compare today’s Darwiniacs with Charles Darwin’s own appeals to reason and desire to weigh both sides of each issue.  In the 1860s, evolutionists were in the minority.  Once they got power, it was like a communist takeover.  At first, communists just want seats in Parliament and a fair shake at the debate.  When they get their revolution, Parliament is quickly disbanded and the purges begin.  That’s why you can’t trust the Darwinists with Big Science control.  They talk science (reason, logic, evidence, impartiality) when in the minority, but once in power, they redefine science to keep everyone else out, make debate about alternatives unlawful, and force their indoctrination on the young.  And like under communism, a few elitists actually enjoy power while the masses suffer in silence.
    Notice again that evolutionary faith is strongly correlated with political liberalism.  That’s the side of the coin that is often ignored.  The Darwinist People of Froth rush to link intelligent design and creationism to “religious fundamentalism” but don’t face the counter charge that evolutionism props up their political agenda – stem cells, global warming and all – along with their entire progressivist world view and religion (atheism).*
    So let’s do a little scientific reasoning from a Darwinian perspective.  If you accept the logical rule that any self-refuting proposition is necessarily false, then explain, in terms of natural selection, why Darwinism consistently fails to gain a majority in a population of human organisms.  Clearly, faith in evolution must have negative survival value.  It might be that the selfish genes are conspiring to keep their secret about evolution suppressed.  But then, how would anyone know this is true?  Q.E.D.

   [2007/03/08] Deconstructing Darwinese:  Delighting in Ignorance


   [2007/01/06] Is Legal Hammerlocking the Way to Win a Scientific Controversy?


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