Re: The Dover trial

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Mon Oct 03 2005 - 15:58:55 EDT

This is getting more and more confusing. Not teaching ID and yet we hear
how Dover did insist on teaching ID?

For instance Dembski observes that:

"Unfortunately, members of the Dover school board have, through their
actions, conflated ID with an apparent religious agenda."

If one proposes accurate teaching of evolution why the deal about Pandas
which is all but a reliable source on these issues?
What about the complaints by Dover school board representatives about
the books being 'too Darwinian"?
I understand that 'teach the controversy' sounds far less anti-science
than teach intelligent design but both approaches seem quite flawed.
The latter for being scientifically vacuous, the former for often being
scientifically incorrect.

So what controversy should be taught to students? ?

<quote>And yet, setting intellectual property questions aside, the more
I ponder the matter and read the commentators on both sides, the more I
tend to think that a case can be made for teaching the controversy
between ID and Darwin.</quote>

Graff continues to observe however that


Not that the sides in this debate are equal, as Bush’s comment suggests.
If we judge the issues strictly on their scientific merits, the
Intelligent Designers don’t seem to have much of a case. In a lengthy
and detailed article in /The New Republic/ (August 22 & 29), the
evolutionary scientist Jerry Coyne persuasively shows that the supposed
“flaws” in the theory of natural selection that IDers claim to point out
simply don’t exist. H. Allen Orr had made a similarly persuasive
refutation of ID in /The New Yorker/ (May 30), and these arguments have
been further reinforced in articles by Daniel C. Dennett in /The New
York Times/ (August 28) and by Coyne again and Richard Dawkins in /The
Guardian/ (September 1).

Taken together, these writers make an overwhelming case that Darwinian
evolution, if not a total certainty, is as certain as any scientific
hypothesis can be. As Coyne puts it, “it makes as little sense to doubt
the factuality of evolution as to doubt the factuality of gravity.” From
a strictly scientific standpoint, there seems to be no real
“controversy” here that’s worth teaching, just a bogus one that the
IDers have fabricated to paper over the absence of evidence in their
critique of evolutionary science.

Richard Colling similarly observed that


    Prof. Richard Colling wrote:

    In his new book, “Random Designer,” he writes: “It pains me to
    suggest that my religious brothers are telling falsehoods” when they
    say evolutionary theory is “in crisis” and claim that there is
    widespread skepticism about it among scientists. “Such statements
    are blatantly untrue,” he argues; “evolution has stood the test of
    time and considerable scrutiny. [1]”

    (Sharon Begley in *Tough Assignment: Teaching Evolution To
    Fundamentalists*, Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2004; Page A15 )

So what is this 'controversy' all about? Text book orthodoxy for
focusing on a well established theory?

Cornelius Hunter wrote:

>> Has the YEC group completely kidnapped the ID hypothesis in the Dover
>> trial? Does an acknowledgement of the ID hypothesis in school textbooks
>> have to include an acknowledgement of the YEC falsehood? How can the
>> court
>> make a judgement for ID without opening up the door to YEC content? In
>> short, what variety of ID is being debated in this court case? Has Behe
>> come out and stated that ID is not an alternative theory to old earth
>> and
>> evolutionary processes?
>> Douglas
> Douglas:
> YEC has nothing to do with this. I was involved in an initiative to
> teach evolution. Not only were we not advocating YEC, we were not even
> advocating ID. We were advocating an accurate teaching of the theory.
> The idea succeeded like a lead balloon. Any challenge to textbook
> orthodoxy on origins will bring out strong opposition.
> --Cornelius
Received on Mon Oct 3 16:00:56 2005

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