Re: [asa] Fw: Message to Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of Michigan

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Sat Apr 05 2008 - 18:28:12 EDT

If biological evolution is equivalent with just 'evolution,' then why bother adding the term 'biological'? The phrase 'everybody knows' (bolded below) is just window-dressing - it has no meaning when spoken in that way. A person can easily be opposed to evolution in one sphere, while supporting it in another. Do you accept this?
  In what spheres do you oppose evolution, George??? In none, is my guess! (Or, if you actually do, then you won't say it out loud.)
  If so, then a logical conclusion is to blame some of the misunderstanding on those who are not willing to add the term 'biological' to 'evolution' when they are really speaking only about biologically 'evolving' things, and not about social, cultural or economic things. Some at ASA have expressed recognition of the importance of being clear linguistically and not pretending that evolution = biological evolution, that is, to the exclusion of all other types of evolution. If one means specifically 'biological evolution,' then he or she should say 'biological evolution' and not ASSUME that is what is meant (with one's insulated, predisposed dialogue partners) by simply saying 'evolution'!
  What's wrong, George with forgetting about (better: rejecting) 'evolutionary philosophy'? If you are not able or willing to answer this, then your strong TE/EC view has little or no ground to stand on, there may be actually no balance at all in your perspective on how science, philosophy and religion are inter-related. It may be that your philosophy has become eventually tainted by accepting the 'power' of biological thought on other areas of the contemporary academy.

George Murphy <> wrote:
          The agenda of those opposed to evolution in public education is precisely that, opposition to evolution. (& by that I mean & they mean - N.B. Gregory - opposition to biological evolution. Everybody knows what is meant by the word "evolution" in such a statement and there is no need to be hyper-pedantic by spelling it out every time the word is used.) I.e., their primary concern in dealing with education in public schools concern is not what to put in place of evolution - ID, 6-day creation, &c. They'll debate that among themselves. What they would like to do first of all is get rid of evolution. Failing that, they at least want to keep students from taking it seriously. That's the whole point of the "teach the controversy" slogan. By "expressing skepticism" about evolution they can convey to students who already may be biased against it from their home & church environments that while they may have to learn some stuff about evolution on tests, they can
 forget it as soon as the class is done.
  ----- Original Message ----- From: "gordon brown" <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>
  To: <>
  Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 10:53 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Fw: Message to Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of Michigan


Do any of you know exactly what this teacher was teaching and in what
class? Did she teach irreducible complexity or Dembski's filter? I am
interested in knowing how relevant the arguments in the letter to the
governor are. By googling I found out that A Scientific Dissent from
Darwinism is worded in such a way that it merely expresses skepticism
about the sufficiency of random mutation and natural selection to account
for life's complexity. It doesn't mention Intelligent Design, and among
its 714 signers are several prominent ASA members. It is not clear that
they would all agree with the actions of this teacher or that they agree
with each other on details.

Gordon Brown (ASA member)

On Fri, 4 Apr 2008, D. F. Siemens, Jr. wrote:

> ----- Forwarded Message -----
> Recently a public school teacher was fired for presenting Intelligent
> Design to her students.
> Coral Ridge ministries wrote an interesting request to the Governor of
> Michigan. I thought you might like to note its contents - for your own
> storehouse of knowledge.
> The FACT that HUNDREDS OF PH.D.-LEVEL SCIENTISTS, including those with
> doctorates from Cambridge, Standford, Cornell, Yale, Rutgers, Chicago,
> Princeton, Purdue, Duke, Michigan, Syracuse, Temple, and Berkeley, and
> teachers at MIT, Tulane, Rice, Emory, George Mason, Lehigh, and the
> Universities of California, Washington, Texas, Florida, North Carolina,
> Wisconsin, Ohio, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Georgia, New Mexico,
> Utah, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, have publicly expressed deep
> skepticism of Darwinism, with one-hundred signing their names to a A
> THE FACT that scientists such as biophysicist Dr. Dean Kenyon, author of
> a leading textbook on biology, astronomer Dr. Allan Sandage, called by
> the New York Times "the Old Man of Cosmology," and countless others have
> NATURE based on their scientific observations;
> THE FACT that leading paleontologists, such as Dr. Colin Patterson of the
> British Museum of Natural HIstory, and the late Dr. Stephen J. Gould of
> Harvard, have admitted that after 150 years of discovering fossils, MAJOR
> THE FACT that teaching the Intelligent Design Theory of nature or
> questioning Darwinism DOES NOT VIOLATE THE U. S. CONSTITUTION because it
> does not require tax-funded schools to teach any particular viewpoint,
> but only science;
> THE FACT that many well-qualified academics and researchers, as both The
> Coral Ridge Hour Hour television program and the movie "Expelled: No
> Intelligence Allowed" have shown, have been denied tenure and, in some
> cases, employment as a consequence of questions raised or doubts
> expressed about the evolutionary account for the origin of life:
> I join with thousands of other citizens to insist that our state
> guarantee full protection to
> any instructor in a publicly-funded educational institution, who
> teaches objections to
> Darwinism or Intelligent Design Theory - shielding them from
> termination, demotion,
> harassment, or any other penalty they might incur, due to their
> balanced inclusion of
> Intelligent Design Theory or challenges to Darwinism in their
> instruction of students.
> Please let me know what you intend to do to protect the academic
> freedom of science
> instructors in our state.
> Respectfully,
> Signed
> My response:
> The Honorable Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of Michigan
> P.O. Box 30013
> Lansing, MI 48909
> Dear Madam:
> One if your constituents E-mailed me a copy of the letter sponsored by
> Coral Gables Ministries about the teaching of Intelligent Design (ID).
> I'm sure you've received many of them. The claim that ID is science is
> bunk. Relatively few of the individuals who signed "A Scientific Dissent
> from Darwinism" are versed in the biological sciences. It took some time
> to collect the signatures. However, a contrary statement was signed by
> many more biologists almost overnight. Additionally, I have read the
> testimony given in the Dover, PA, trial regarding the teaching of ID,
> along with Judge Jones' decision. The judgment that ID is religion rather
> than science is clearly correct. Hence no jurisdiction in your state
> should espouse this view and be subject to judicial condemnation.
> I visited the Coral Gables Church some twenty years ago. I noted numerous
> cars in the church parking lot with bumper stickers claiming that bar
> codes are the mark of the beast, 666. Unfortunately for their view, I
> have yet to find bar codes on the forehead or right hand of human beings
> any place on earth (see Revelation 13:16-18). I believe these bumper
> stickers are indicative of the lack of rationality in much of what the
> group sponsors.
> Respectfully yours,
> Dave (ASA)

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Received on Sat Apr 5 18:29:27 2008

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