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The Khan Academy markets 1980s Darwinism


From back when all official “evolution” claims were expected to be reverently accepted by everyone:

I’ve been reviewing the Khan Academy video on “Evidence for Evolution,” which misleads students and teachers with some seriously outdated science about biological origins. See my two earlier posts, here and here, detailing the video’s treatment of what biologist Jonathan Wells calls “icons of evolution,” long ago discredited lines of evidence that never seem to go away. After using circular arguments for common ancestry based upon homology, the Khan Academy video goes on to push another evolutionary icon: fossil horses.

Khan draws straight arrows from one species of fossil horses to the next and says “there is a constant change and we can see it directly through the fossil record.” The video even shows a continuous cross-section of rock strata and draws lines on it as if we find this “gradual” sequence of horses in the same unit — in the same location over long periods of time, thus showing evolution in operation at a “very, very gradual pace.”

Casey Luskin, “Khan Academy “Evidence for Evolution” Video Pushes the Fake Fossil Horses Series” at Evolution News and Science Today (February 9, 2022)

It sounds so neat, it could have come from the Office of Correct Thought. The only problem is, history is messy:

But in the famed series, the horse fossils don’t evolve in a straight line, nor are they found in the same place, nor do they show a continuous direction of change.

Casey Luskin, “Khan Academy “Evidence for Evolution” Video Pushes the Fake Fossil Horses Series” at Evolution News and Science Today (February 9, 2022)

This vid gives some sense of it:

The evolution of the horse is often portrayed as a simple progression from small, 4 and 5-toed browsers to the large, one-toed grazers of the modern-day – but the truth is so much more complex than this.

It’s fair to say that the human imagination, seeking order, imposes neatness on a picture that, by itself, demonstrates nothing of the kind. How do the folk at the Khan Academy know that the kids wouldn’t have more fun with and learn more from a more factually correct interpretation of the story?

From the little I know about khan Academy they are a student site. Their readers are students who will be sitting for exams. The explanations that Khan gives, I guess, are the accepted answers in schools and colleges, they take their lead from school curricula. I read where a senior teacher said, in some exasperation, the students give all the right answers but 90% don’t believe it. I guess the Khan Academy’s and teachers of this world will change what they teach when the official line changes, assuming they get to hear the line has changed. In “the Caine Mutiny” there was an official line of the use of submarines. A student, when asked about the use of subs, procrastinated with his answer until, seeing he was getting nowhere with the truth, blurted out the official line. I guess the Official Answer takes precedence everywhere. Belfast
To me the more interesting question about ungulates is how they ended up with a leg that's all toe. It's an EXTREME design departure from the default vertebrate template, but it works beautifully in a wide variety of environments. polistra
Again genetics is conflated with Evolution. But my guess is that genes will explain the difference between one and multi-toed horses. If not, then that should be the news. jerry

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