Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Fear On Her Face Was Palpable

There is a long article in today's Washington Post that opens with a focus on Caroline Crocker and discusses Darwinian fundamentalism:

A woman in the back of the class raised her hand. Her voice shook with emotion. "If science is the pursuit of truth, why is evolution not questioned?"

"I've heard scientists say people won't understand, so they should be told only one side," Crocker replied.

There was a long moment of silence. Finally the student said, "Isn't that lying to the public?"

Crocker declined to answer the question, but someone else grimly observed, "Won't be the first time."

I went up to this last student after the class. She initially agreed to be identified, but moments later, remembering what Crocker had said about the scientific establishment's intolerance of dissent, she begged me not to publish her name. The fear on her face was palpable. She wanted to be a veterinarian and was convinced that dream would be smashed if powerful scientists learned she had dared to question evolution.


However, the subheading of the article contains this:
Religious critics of evolution are wrong about its flaws.

What? In a news article, not an editorial, the Post can assure us that the critics of evolution are wrong about its flaws? And that is neutral factual reporting? That is precisely what the entire debate is about!

Why stop there? Why not assure us: "Scientists who doubt Darwinian theory because of its flaws are wrong." If the religious critics are wrong, the scientists must be wrong too.

As I read further, I discovered that the writer is hopelessly uninformed. He quotes this from Alan Leshner and provides no counter-balance:
The theory of evolution, Leshner announced to the students, was as firmly established as the theory of gravity. . . . [T]he more science learns, the more the living world looks exactly like what would be expected if evolution were true.

This is obscenely misleading and half of America knows it is. Small wonder the American people doubt evolutionary theory. They know that many in the scientific community are feeding them a pile of misinformation and half-truths.

Consider this from one of America's leading paleontologists, David Raup, who was formerly the curator of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago:
Darwin's general solution to the incompatibility of fossil evidence and his theory was to say that the fossil record is a very incomplete one that it is full of gaps, and that we have much to learn. In effect, he was saying that if the record were complete and if we had better knowledge of it we would see the finely graduated chain that he predicted. And this was his main argument for downgrading the evidence from the fossil record. Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information - what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin's problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years and we still have a record which does show change but one that can hardly be looked upon as the most reasonable consequence of natural selection. (Raup D.M., "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Field Museum of Natural History: Chicago IL, January 1979, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp.22-29, pp.24-25)

So how can anyone honestly say that the fossil record is exactly what you would expect if macroevolutionary theory were true?

Raup's observations are merely the tip of the iceberg of problems with macroevolutionary theory. For more, look here.



10 Comments:

At February 04, 2006 11:23 AM, Blogger Red Reader said...

Hello Lawrence.
Thanks for your emphasis on one of the more negative aspects of the current state of Darwinian Dogamtic Despotism reigning in public schools.

2 Points reinforcing the reality that may be culled from the post.
1) There really is an Inquistion going on.
2) Student interest in science is being suppresed by the dogmatic indoctrination.

1) Inquisition:
Dr. Dembski posted an email from a colleage pointing to the fact that Darwinism now prays to Courts to enforce its teaching: "...a scientific theory that requires a judge to enforce its teaching cannot be said to be in good INTELLECTUAL health. By proclaiming it illegal to “disparage or denigrate” neo-Darwinism, Judge Jones adopted the principle of the Inquisition...."

I offered this comment there to make one implication even more explicit:
....
The Judge made it illegal for the school board to establish a policy that would include even legitimate criticism of evolution. That done, the alternative is not “voluntary” criticism of evoution by free-thinking teachers: the only alternative is no criticism.

Any criticim thereafter a violation of the board's policy and teachers who violate the policy will be warned, then terminated. Termination, BTW, won’t be for teaching criticsism of evo, it will be for violation of school board policy against presenting “religious” ideas in violation of separation of church and state.

More explicitly: criticism of evolution is now a relgious violation.
....

2) Student Interest.
"Scordova" also posted the Washingtom Post article at Dr. Dembski's blog. He highlighted the nacient "insurrgency" in science education.
http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/779

As usual, the thread went all over the place. But what glared most obviously to me was the interest of the students. Sorry to be repetitive, but this is the comment I made about student interest:
....
The thought is this: ID would be a BOON to science education, not a disintegration of it as is so often charged.

If anything jumps out of the first 15 paragraphs, it is the reporter’s observation of the intense and immediate attention Crocker drew from the students when she started her lecture.

Prior to the lecture: “they fully expected to hear what students usually hear”. Same ol’ same ol’. The 3 hour credit is required for graduation, otherwise many students would just as soon skip the class. Perhaps basket weaving would be more interesting.

But once the lecture started: “The students leaned forward.” “Ripples of excitement spread through the class.” “Gasps and giggles burst out.” “The students sat stunned.”

Neither was the science lecture gratuitous. Science came alive again--or maybe for the first time for some of the students.

Evidence, observation, experimataion–SCIENCE! “Crocker brought up a new slide. She told the students there were two kinds of evolution: microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution is easily seen in any microbiology lab. Grow bacteria in a petri dish; destroy half with penicillin; and allow the remainder to repopulate the dish. [snip]….”

I have no doubt these kids were seeing science in a whole new light: science in pursuit of the truth, following the evidence where it leads, evaluating the evidence based on facts.

Instead of “science” meaning memorization of dogmatic edicts issued by elite, tenured PHDs in far away labs, science is logic, evaluation, testing, discovery.

This article illustrates the pent-up interest students have for real science as opposed to dogma.

Doomsayers of disaster predict the end of science if ID is taught. I believe the pent-up interest is a harbinger rather of a rebirth of scientific inquiry.
....

Thanks for posting. It's an important report and deserves attention from several angles.

 
At February 04, 2006 11:49 AM, Anonymous rob said...

Im only thankful that religious fanatics cannot (in this country, yet) crucify people who do not believe in their supernatural mythological fantasies. there is nothing scientific about an opinion that is based on wishful thinking and imagination. ID is drivel. You are just children who are afraid of the dark and like all fanatics... if you could you would likely kill anyone who will not buy into your superstitions

 
At February 04, 2006 12:09 PM, Blogger Lawrence Selden said...

Rob, you are the one who sounds like a fanatic. Your comment lacks factual support, and seems to be driven by nothing but irrational hatred.

 
At February 06, 2006 7:58 PM, Blogger Vargas said...

I wish Dembski would come to Portland, OR and lecture. We need highly informed academics like him and Behe out here to speak on this issue. If he has alreaedy come to the Pacific Northwest I missed him.

 
At February 06, 2006 9:30 PM, Blogger stewie said...

Pseudo-science should always fear science.

Always.

 
At February 09, 2006 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Im only thankful that religious fanatics cannot (in this country, yet) crucify people who do not believe in their supernatural mythological fantasies."

It is uninformed opinions of history which get you killed.

Under 10,000 people were killed during the Spanish Inquisition. Similarily, several thousand in England.

China - Communism - Est. over 40Million easily dead from Mao
Russia - Communism - Ext. over 20Million easily dead from Stalin
Germany - Dogmatic belief in Evolutionist Natural Selection of the Strongest Blue-eyed, Blond-Haired Society Hitler could create. Death and Destruction? 6Million Jews, over 100,000 Americans, Millions of Europeans, 20 Million Russians.

Your inappropriate, unintelligent and misinformed comment to this thread has just been shredded.

"there is nothing scientific about an opinion that is based on wishful thinking and imagination."

Scientific observation, detailed at the micro-level, nano-tech observations even show the design of a rotary engine spinning at 20,000RPMs with the ability to shift direction in under a milli-second. This is good observational science with a hypothesis. This is what scientist do. Behe, Dembski and others are good scientist. Gould - Renowned Evolutionist admitted the weakness of evidence in macro evolution, so much so that he created a new theory - punctuated evolution to try and solve the huge problems in macro evolution. This is all standard known fact in the scientific community. They know that macro evolution does not stand up under observation.

"ID is drivel. You are just children who are afraid of the dark and like all fanatics... if you could you would likely kill anyone who will not buy into your superstitions"

Only childish, uninformed people make such statements. You have not contributed one objective comment to the thread. You attacked with false accusations and propaganda.
This seems like a teenager's comments.

 
At February 09, 2006 1:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is much progress to be made in the micro world of bioengineering. This will not be done with evolution theory because it did not understand how such complex life worked when Darwin proposed it. Instead, building upon Mendels laws thru math, computers, engineering and information algorythms and unlocking the communication of cell components, gene storage systems and developmental pathways, new theories will take place. Understanding foremost how information is exchanged, delivered and communicated through the living system is key. Once the pathways of communication and information exhange are broken open, then its a matter of time to develop entire new species.

New species cannot be developed through evolution. They can only be developed by Scientist with intelligent minds. This in and of itself makes macro-evolution pointless.

 
At February 10, 2006 1:37 AM, Blogger Sailorette said...

Annon--
Ouch! I know I wasn't that bad when I was a teenager. About 12, yes, but not by 13....

 
At February 15, 2006 5:02 PM, Anonymous Farshad said...

rob said...
Im only thankful that religious fanatics cannot (in this country, yet) crucify people who do not believe in their supernatural mythological fantasies. there is nothing scientific about an opinion that is based on wishful thinking and imagination.


rob,

Well if you dare to read some resources and honestly challange this theory, your faith for darwinism will fade quickly.

Again I loved the above statement of yours! That's exactly the way we define Darwinism:

-wishful thinking
-lots of imagination
-daydreaming

"I don't know how long it is going to be before astronomers generally recognize that the combinatorial arrangement of not even one of the thousands of biopolymers on which life depends could have been arrived at by natural processes here on Earth. Astronomers… have difficulty at understanding this because they will have been assured by biologists that it is not so, the biologists… by others that it is not so. The "others" are a group of persons who believe quite openly in mathematical miracles. They advocate the belief that tucked away in nature, outside of normal physics, there is a law which performs miracles" Fred Hoyle 1981. "The Big Bang Astronomy," New Scientist 19 Nov 1981. Pp. 521-527.

 
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