The Texas Freedom Network’s defense of sound science education was featured this weekend in a New York Times piece about the State Board of Education’s adoption of new biology textbooks — and, no surprise, anti-science pressure groups are hopping mad about it.
Check out this rant from the Discovery Institute, the Seattle-based organization that promotes the anti-evolution nonsense called “intelligent design” (essentially creationism dressed up in a lab coat):
Regardless of whether one thinks there is a genuine debate in the scientific community over Darwinian theory, there most definitely is a political and educational debate in Texas over how evolution should be covered in science textbooks. If the Times still wants to be considered an impartial news source, its reporters ought to fairly represent the different sides of that public debate, not suppress the viewpoints they disagree with.
In the first place, contrary to the Discovery Institute’s suggestion, the debate over the teaching of evolution is political, not educational. An educational debate would focus on which details about evolution students should master so that they can understand what mainstream science says. In contrast, the debate right now is largely over whether anti-science politicians and other fanatics should be permitted to pressure publishers into dumbing down their textbooks with junk science attacking evolution. Of course, that political debate affects education because it will determine whether Texas students get a 21st-century science education that prepares them to succeed in college and the jobs of the future.
Secondly, the Times piece does include viewpoints from anti-evolution activists. For example, it notes (discredited) claims by anti-evolution activists that the fossil record doesn’t support evolution. And it fairly quotes an anti-science textbook reviewer in Texas who called for new biology textbooks to include discussions of “creation science.” (That fact might be inconvenient for the Discovery Institute, but it’s a fact nonetheless.)
And the story includes this entirely accurate passage:
By questioning the science — often getting down to very technical details — the evolution challengers in Texas are following a strategy increasingly deployed by others around the country.
There is little open talk of creationism. Instead they borrow buzzwords common in education, “critical thinking,” saying there is simply not enough evidence to prove evolution.
If textbooks do not present alternative viewpoints or explain what they describe as “the controversy,” they say students will be deprived of a core concept of education — learning how to make up their own minds.
That is, of course, precisely the strategy pushed by anti-science activists and groups like the Discovery Institute. Frankly, the Times should be applauded for not permitting them to hijack the story with even more pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo.
Of course, the Discovery Institute also takes shots at us, calling TFN a “left-wing lobbying group” — as if support for sound science education should be a political litmus test. We hate to break it to the zealots at the Discovery Institute, but support for teaching sound science in public schools comes from the right, the left and the political center — although the energy behind the anti-evolution movement does come largely from the religious-right.
The real problem here for the Discovery Institute is that a newspaper reported the truth — the truth about the agenda and strategy of anti-evolution activists and the dangers they pose to the education of our kids in the 21st century. So now they’re doing the only thing they can: stamping their feet and pitching a hissy fit.
16 thoughts on “Anti-Evolution Group Pitches a Hissy Fit When a Newspaper Reports the Truth”
“In all of these efforts, the creationists make abundant use of a simple tactic: They lie. They lie continually, they lie prodigiously, and they lie because they must.” –William J. Bennetta
Remains cogent today.
“Creation science” is an oxymoron
Intelligent Designers OCD on disproving evolution, yet they can’t explain how zombie Jesus walked on water.
Keep up the good work. The country needs you!
Stop the presses. Discovery Institute tells The New York Times how to run a great American newspaper.
Just in case you folks out in Texas might not know (heck, I feel sure Babs Cargill doesn’t know), the real success of The New York Times has its roots deep in Tennessee soil.
“Regardless of whether one thinks there is a genuine debate in the scientific community over Darwinian theory…”
And you can stop listening to them right there. This is a discussion about science textbooks. If you don’t care whether there is a genuine debate about this in the scientific community, then you’re not relevant to the discussion.
Making decisions about science textbooks on the basis of political and religious positions is bad policy.
Just read this earlier today about the philosopher Giordano Bruno…”What he prized was the courage to stand up for the truth against the belligerent idiots who were always prepared to shout down what they could not understand.” [From “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern” by Stephen Greenblatt]
Watson and Crick put the knife in the back of evolution when they discovered DNA. Yes, a molecule so complicated there’s no way, not in trillions of years it could spontaneously appear.
And in today’s Name That Fallacy, the argument from incredulity.
thats funny because DNA evidence is where evolution is veryyyyyyyyyyy strong at.
-Large portions of useless nonsense DNA
-Human Chromosome number 2 giving direct evidence we came from ape ancestors.
Real Cute Gene, as Dan has already commented, DNA is the proof of the pudding that evolution is reality !
Where did you get this crapola you posted?
From Rush and the crew of fools?
Just because your to stupid to understand how this all works doesn’t mean it isn’t the way it works, it just means your stupid !
It seems the stupid of America have an escape clause so they can hide behind God!
Do you honestly believe that if there is a God, that his purpose is to hide the fact your an idiot?
Intelligent design is nothing but creationism. They should fly under their real name , Progressive creationism.
They have terrible evidence for there claims.All they do is start rumors. There is no controversy about evolution in science and it has stronggggggg support.
Teach other sides? what other sides? Loll.. Guys, after chemistry class lets teach the controversy for alchemy. Guys after astronomy lets teach astrology. Instead of teaching plate tectonic theory in geography class lets teach wizard landmass theory.
ID and creationism are not science. Keep it out of the class room. Save it for sunday school.
If we are to teach alternative theories to evolution in biology classes then we must not discriminate between the creation myths of Christianity, Islam, Native American mythology, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism and so many others. Because Christian mythology isn’t the only “creationist” mythology out there in the market of ideas.
But what we know of the Christian creationist mythology and its proponents is that these people want preferential treatment for their solely religiously based idea of teaching non-science science.
These creationists and IDeists must not be Texas republicans. The Texas GOP is completely against the teaching of critical thinking skills in our schools. link
Here We have the Least educated in our Nation trying to tell everyone what they should be learning !
it seems to me that their biggest worry is that their children will get educated and figure out their parents are really morons !