Re: [asa] Brownback on evolution

From: David Clounch <>
Date: Sun Jun 03 2007 - 15:08:18 EDT

>much like 'teach the controversy' approach chosen by ID

A cardboard cutout type of thinking. No, that didnt come from the ID
movement. It came from a Supreme Court Justice in either a holding or a
majority opinion. Discovery Institute merely echoed it as a compliant

But I don't for a microsecond believe PvM really cares about what the Court
said, or what the constitution says. I myself really would prefer to quote
all the language in a decision. Some random guys perceptions of what the
decisions said are worse than mere hearsay. They don't mean anything. They
aren't even an argument. But, one can't do justice to the subject in
email. Its hard to believe this is one of asa's primary inter-member
communication mechanisms.

If I put the entire case on the web and highlight the background of the
language of the decision showing the requirement that controversy must be
required to be taught, would that help? On what site would it go?

There's nobody on either side who seems interested in that type of analysis
As far as I can tell.

If one were to engage in that type of reasoned analysis, then probably a
radical would come along and say "oh, someone wrote in 2005 that you said
this and must be a creationist with an agenda". I expected a
more sedate approach from the asa people.

On 6/3/07, PvM <> wrote:
> The following may explain the concepts of science as they relate to
> terminology such as theory and fact. The fact of evolution is well
> established, the explanation(s) of the facts become theories and the
> theory of evolution seems quite deserving of its title.
> However the Cobb county stickers were not meant to inform but rather
> to confuse the issues, much like 'teach the controversy' approach
> chosen by ID now that ID has failed to be scientifically relevant.
> None of this is about encouraging critical thinking or teaching though
> and the courts see straight through this.
> Perhaps the stickers may be about hatred, hatred of science but I
> cannot speak in too broad brushes, however ID, YEC and other religious
> attempts to redefine science hardly seem to come from a loving
> perspective of science (nor theology I'd argue)
> Cobb County Georgia:
> <quote>In "Remove stickers, open minds," published in the Boston Globe
> on January 22, Kenneth R. Miller applauds the Selman decision from a
> unique standpoint: he is the coauthor (with Joseph Levine) of the high
> school biology textbook used in the Cobb County School District.
> Miller comments, "So what's wrong with telling students that evolution
> is a theory? Nothing. But the textbook they were using already
> described evolution as a theory, and I ought to know." Challenging the
> misuse of "theory" in the disclaimer, he writes, "Theories in science
> don't become facts -- rather, theories explain facts," explaining,
> "Evolutionary theory is a comprehensive explanation of change
> supported by the facts of natural history, genetics, and molecular
> biology." Isolating evolution for special attention, as in the
> disclaimer, is unwarranted: as Miller ironically comments, "The
> sticker told students that there was just one subject in their
> textbooks that had to be approached with an open mind and critically
> considered. Apparently, we are certain of everything in biology except
> evolution. That is nonsense." Removing the disclaimer is what truly
> promotes critical thinking, Miller writes, by letting "students see a
> science of biology in which all theories, not just one, are the result
> of constant, vigorous, critical analysis." Miller, who teaches biology
> at Brown University, is a Supporter of NCSE.</quote>
> Hope this helps
> More:
> and Ken Miller's remove stickers open minds

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Received on Sun Jun 3 15:08:44 2007

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