Darwinism has succeeded at something at last: The dead walk. Okay, in the minds of millions, they do walk.
In 2000, biologist Jonathan Wells took the science world by storm with Icons of Evolution, a book showing how biology textbooks routinely promote Darwinism using bogus evidence—icons of evolution like Ernst Haeckel’s faked embryo drawings and peppered moths glued to tree trunks. Critics of the book complained that Wells had merely gathered up a handful of innocent textbook errors and blown them out of proportion. Now, in Zombie Science, Wells asks a simple question: If the icons of evolution were just innocent textbook errors, why do so many of them still persist? Science has enriched our lives and led to countless discoveries. But now, Wells argues, it’s being corrupted. Empirical science is devolving into zombie science, shuffling along unfazed by opposing evidence. Discredited icons of evolution rise from the dead while more icons—equally bogus—join their ranks. Like a B horror movie, they just keep coming! Zombies are make believe, but zombie science is real—and it threatens not just science, but our whole culture. Is there a solution? Wells is sure of it, and points the way. Release date: April 18, 2017. More.
Maybe there is a solution, more likely many little solutions. Some of us think that a serious analysis of the causes should include two elements: Corruption in the textbook publishing industry and the ongoing collapse of traditional mainstream media:
Textbook publishing is lucrative because jurisdictions are forced to buy and taxpayers to fund whatever drivel is stamped in by a handpicked committee for a vast jurisdiction. The longstanding Darwin-in-the-schools lobby sewed those committees up a long time ago. It has nothing to gain from reform. Reform would certainly require giving schools more say, as in the charter schools movement, within guidelines that prevent the mere promotion of causes other than Darwinism. Competition would force textbooks to introduce the real, complex world of evolution, not a museum of simple, plausible hoaxes.
With the decline of traditional media, science journalism became mere cheerleading for science, often done by people who are—to put the matter charitably—not the brightest lights on the string. They wouldn’t dare investigate; they’re not even curious. That’s no longer their job description.
See also: Denis Noble’s new book calls for “fundamental revision” of neo-Darwinian theory Darwin apologists can probably convince the New York Times but these days that’s only a participation trophy.
Science writing in an age when we ran out of pom poms to wave
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