Creationism

Texas creationism will contaminate US textbooks?

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So some smart alec Brit pub says here. First, how do they know?

Who knew Texas existed? Sounds like an interesting place to your usual news writer who has rarely or never been …

23 Replies to “Texas creationism will contaminate US textbooks?

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    It’s not like the brits don’t know alot about contaminating other cultures. 😉

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    Looks like a spin game on the decision that strengths and weaknesses of sci theories should be discussed with students. NS used to be so fascinating when I was a 6th former. Now, it reads as shrilly as some of the marxist agit prop I used to have to wade through way back. KF

  3. 3
    wd400 says:

    First, how do they know?

    I dunno, why don’t we ask… News at uncommon descent

  4. 4
    Alan Fox says:

    *Applauds*

    Hilarious, wd400!

  5. 5
    Barb says:

    wd400 @ 3: You do realize that “they” in the question could refer (and probably does refer) to the British publication referenced in the headline, right?

    Try again.

  6. 6
    wd400 says:

    Barb,

    I do know that. I also think it’s just conceivably possible that the actual journalists at New Scientist have the same powers of research as “News” here.

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    Thank God for Texas! Long Live the Alamo!

  8. 8
    Barb says:

    wd400 @ 6: The point isn’t having powers of research; it’s that the publication is making a prediction: creationism in textbooks produced in Texas will lead to questioning the validity of evolution.

    Because Texas and California buy so many textbooks, what they read and teach could eventually find its way to other schools in other states. That’s the point of the article.

  9. 9
    wd400 says:

    Yes, that’s certainly the answer to the question “how do they know?”. What point are your trying to make?

  10. 10
    lifepsy says:

    Another chapter in the saga of “How Evolutionists are terrified of Skepticism

    Does anyone honestly believe that proponents of a *real* scientific theory are going to be this worried about a critical view of that theory in some schoolbooks?

    As usual with the evolution industry, it will be maximum propaganda overdrive as they use the media to convince 99% of the unwitting public that this is a religious conspiracy to insert Genesis into a biology textbook. These tactics are important when you’re terrified of open skepticism, criticism, and debate, and must avoid it at all costs.

  11. 11
    Mung says:

    Darwinism is not a *real* scientific theory. That’s the problem.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    It would not surprise me if Darwinists pushed to include known falsehoods into the textbooks:

    Falsehoods In Textbooks – Ten Icons of Evolution – overview – Dr. Jonathan Wells – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050609

    The “Icons of Evolution” – video playlist – video
    http://www.youtube.com/playlis.....94E1D66A08

    Dr. Wells writes a article defending his criticism against the Ten Icons of Evolution in detail here:

    Inherit the Spin: The NCSE Answers “Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher About Evolution”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2....._answ.html

    (Not) Making the Grade: Recent Textbooks & Their Treatment of Evolution (Icons of Evolution update) podcast and paper – October 2011
    http://www.idthefuture.com/201.....nt_te.html

    Selling Evolution To Young People Through Deception
    podcast – On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin sits down with CSC Fellow Dr. Cornelius Hunter, who recently signed up to take a free online course at Duke University titled “Introduction to Genetics and Evolution.” Tune in as Dr. Hunter shares about his experience & discusses the misrepresentations and fallacies that are presented in the typical undergraduate evolutionary biology course.
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....0_02-08_00

    Icons of Evolution 10th Anniversary: Haeckel’s Embryos – January 2011 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0kHPw3LaG8

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    corrected link:

    Icons of Evolution 10th Anniversary: Haeckel’s Embryos
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAC807DAXzY

  14. 14
    tjguy says:

    “Texas creationism”!

    Lol! Don’t you just love how they use labels to purposefully create false impressions and unjustified fear in their readers?!

  15. 15
    Barb says:

    wd400: “Yes, that’s certainly the answer to the question “how do they know?”. What point are your trying to make?”

    You really don’t get it? I pointed out what “they” referred to, indicating that you were in the wrong in criticizing News for posting this item.

  16. 16
    wd400 says:

    Barb, I can honestly say I have no idea what you are talking about.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    WD400:

    I think we should distinguish (A) the fact that the two largest textbook markets — Texas and California — will naturally have a large influence through financial power, from (B) the grounds (or otherwise) of the claim that Texas’ Creationists will use such power to taint textbook contents.

    You seem to assume B to be well-grounded, and then focus on A.

    First, do you appreciate how a mirror psychology reading renders that? Given, that we often project to others how we tend to think?

    Sobering, in light of say, Lewontin (and Sagan) reporting the views of many of the scientific elites as they see how they should influence the thinking of society:

    the problem is to get [the public] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations [–> notice the dismissive hostility taken for granted as is it were self-evidently true], and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth [[–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]. . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [From: “Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997. If you think this is quoted out of context and distorted — an all too common talking point, kindly cf here in context.]

    . . . and say Dawkins on the implications for morality (a further, much deeper concern):

    Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This lesson is one of the hardest for humans to learn. We cannot accept that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous: indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose [–> CRD, maybe that’s because people of ordinary common good sense recognise that the world is simply not like you have imagined and see such thought as a reductio ad absurdum of materialistic ideologies] . . . .

    The true utility function of life, that which is being maximized in the natural world, is DNA survival. But DNA is not floating free; it is locked up in living bodies, and it has to make the most of the levers of power at its disposal. Genetic sequences that find themselves in cheetah bodies maximize their survival by causing those bodies to kill gazelles. Sequences that find themselves in gazelle bodies increase their chance of survival by promoting opposite ends. But the same utility function-the survival of DNA-explains the “purpose” of both the cheetah [–> i.e. predator] and the gazelle [–> i.e. prey] . . . .

    In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference . . . . DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. [“God’s Utility Function,” Sci. Am. Aug 1995, pp. 80 – 85.]

    In short, a lot of people will find in such views and a priori impositions of materialism dressed up in the lab coat, strong reasons to doubt the soundness of the schemes of thought that have been aggressively pushed into textbooks under the notion that they are science. In fact, they are a priori evolutionary materialist scientism, which arguably distorts both science and ethics, not to mention pushing very questionable worldview claims.

    In that context, it is very understandable that what goes into textbooks will be controversial, and is subject to debate and negotiation towards compromises that no one will be fully happy with but which people are willing to live with. So, the sort of scaremongering New Scientist has indulged comes across as known radical ideologues complaining that they are not getting all they demanded while shaking their lab coats and demanding due genuflection. Where, it is increasingly known that too often the cry “Creationists” is little more than projecting a bogeyman stereotype and ill-founded lurid and defamatory conspiracy narratives.

    In addition, it just simply is a fact that science is inherently provisional and limited, due to its underlying inductive logic. Where also origins science in particular deals with a remote past that none of us have or could observe as a direct test of our reconstructions. Further — despite all too many brazen assertions and bland assurances to the contrary — the evolutionary materialist narrative of the past is indeed riddled with serious challenges starting with want of observational grounds to warrant claims that blind chance and necessity have demonstrated capacity to originate the FSCO/I (functionally specific complex organisation and/or associated information) required for origin of life and of body plans, compounding into the increasingly known contradictions across molecular trees and with the traditional Darwinist evolutionary tree of life.

    So, in that context, something like this declaration by the US National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Board in 2000 comes across in a very different way from its intent:

    The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements in the production of scientific knowledge. [[NSTA, Board of Directors, July 2000. Emphases added.]

    What this boils down to is an ideologised and question begging imposition of a priori materialism on the very definition of science and its methods — intended to be taught to students in a way that induces them to swallow a lot of ideological baggage.

    The contrast with say the more traditional definitions found in high quality dictionaries before this push, is illuminating:

    science: a branch of knowledge conducted on objective principles involving the systematized observation of and experiment with phenomena, esp. concerned with the material and functions of the physical universe. [Concise Oxford, 1990 — and yes, they used the “z” Virginia!]

    scientific method: principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge [”the body of truth, information and principles acquired by mankind”] involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. [Webster’s 7th Collegiate, 1965]

    In that light, the Texas School Board decisions in recent years to teach students on the strengths and limitations of science in general and to apply that to various theories is in fact quite reasonable. Especially in a context where we CAN document a major and sometimes ruthless push to put a priori materialistic scientism and its implicit amorality into the world’s education systems.

    KF

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The wave of questionable critiques of UD News posts makes my antennas wiggle, it sounds uncomfortably like an agit-prop swarm-down credibility kill attempt by burning strawmen and crying where there’s smoke there has to be a fire. Yup, but if it’s burning strawmen, that is a very different issue. KF

  19. 19
    Mung says:

    Texas creationism is a particularly virulent strain, even worse the DI ID’ism.

  20. 20
    wd400 says:

    The wave of questionable critiques of UD News posts makes my antennas wiggle, it sounds uncomfortably like an agit-prop swarm-down credibility kill attemp…

    Whoah… may be time to step away from the keyboard KF.

    I don’t why you’d imagine criticism of shoddy reporting was tantamount to some conspriacy to spread disinformation. For my own, I started asking question of “News” because I really can’t understand what the point of the news desk is? It seems to switch between actively misrepresenting stories (to the point of, and I still can’t quite get over this, copy-pasting a section a story that never happened and presenting it as if it did) and just reproducing junk press releases without understanding what they are saying.

    It’s odd to have a News desk that doesn’t care about news, isn’t it?

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    WD, looks to me on too many cases of alleged shoddiness, that on closer inspection the shoe repeatedly turns out to be on the other foot. Was it thrice over several days? Above, being a capital example where a big question was begged as I discussed at 18, the immediate context for 18. I note, you don’t seem to have engaged that context, which raises several substantial issues. KF

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Discussed at 17, context for 18.

  23. 23
    wd400 says:

    I didn’t reply re what you consider the “context”, because it doesn’t seem to be related to the article. Neither News’ piece nor the New Scientist one is suggesting a strategy by creationists to get at students via the Texas system. Just that if publishers have to fit creationist points into their books, they’ll make it into the rest of the country’s too.

    As to my comments re the News desk. Here’s what I’ve commnted on recently.

    News claimed a paper genetics of a song bird wasn’t comptably with what we know of genetics. In fact, the paper describes plain old vertical descent.

    An almost content-free snark passed on one paragraph of a pay-walled article

    A claim, without explanation, that a new study proves most taxonomy is a mess

    A post made almost entirely of a quote describing something THAT NEVER HAPPENED

    I’m think I’m justified in conlcluding those posts represent a mix of meaninglessness and shodiness.

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