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Now what? The Atlantic fails to show proper respect to the Darwin lobby

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In reporting on the recent article in the Atlantic on Darwin in the schools, David Klinghoffer, a nicer person than News (we reported yesterday), says,

Usually these articles obediently quote Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education, swallowing everything he says, and fail to interview anyone from Discovery Institute. I have seen this so many times. But you know what? This piece by Ms. Khazan is a cut above. She quotes Discovery Institute’s John West and Sarah Chaffee, accurately. This could be because they conducted the interview by email. (See below for the full text.)

And while she naturally also talked with Glenn Branch, she notes that she is a “little skeptical” of something he says (about how not learning about human evolution “might make it harder for, say, doctors to understand superbugs, or for farmers to understand the nuances of agriculture,” as she paraphrases him).

David Klinghoffer, “From The Atlantic on Teaching Human Evolution, a Bit of Rare Honesty in Reporting” at Evolution News and Science Today

What? She actually thinks that Darwinian claims should be subject to skepticism like any other? Something’s changing for sure.

Of course Branch’s claim is bullocks but imagine someone writing for a traditional medium actually considering that possibility… wow.

Meanwhile,

Hint: Yes, while the fallout falls out, Chaffee should stick to e-mail.

Hint 2: Khazan should look into horizontal gene transfer, a swift but non-Darwinian mechanism for rapid changes in virulent bugs.


See also: A cry from grievance culture: She never learned Darwinism in school. If Darwinists had been in charge of Khazan’s education, she would mainly have a bunch of stuff to unlearn. As it is, she can start with Suzan Mazur’s Darwin Overthrown: Hello Mechanobiology and Michael Behe’s Darwin Devolves. Steve Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt is good on the Cambrian explosion…

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4 Replies to “Now what? The Atlantic fails to show proper respect to the Darwin lobby

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Perhaps, as a journalist concerned with discovering what is actually happening, Khazan should have asked why her high school science teacher did not address human evolution. Perhaps the teacher was one of the approximately 60% who choose not to mention it for fear of a hostile reaction from students and parents, in other words, intimidated into keeping his or her mouth shut by Christian creationists. Or maybe the teacher was one of the 13% who openly teach creationism in the science classroom in clear breach of their ethical and contractual obligations as teachers and the US Constitution.

  2. 2
    vmahuna says:

    Seversky @ 1, it’s been a while since I had to put together a formal lesson plan, but in any ORGANIZED block of instruction the instructor is GIVEN a list of “key teaching points” and a list of knowledge, skills, and abilities the student is supposed to demonstrate at the end of the block of instruction.
    So I gotta wonder about individual teachers in publicly funded schools simply CHOOSING to present classes that ignore or diverge from the specific knowledge REQUIRED to pass the course.
    The American Army got this down to pretty much a science back in the post-Vietnam period, and also informed instructors to flat out TELL the students that certain factoids were “true for TEST purposes”. That is, you can believe whatever you want in your heart of hearts, but if you wanna pass THIS course and you encounter the question: “Humans are descended from apes”, the correct answer is “Yes/True”.

  3. 3
    Belfast says:

    @Vmahuma@2
    Interesting little detail there, thanks.
    Reminds me of the Caine Mutiny part where the young ensign had to give the Test answer to the use of submarines (for defence, when Allied shipping was clearly an offensive target.)

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky holds that to teach ‘creationism’ in science classrooms is a violation of the establishment clause of the constitution. What Seversky fails to realize or mention, (since Darwinism is far from being religiously neutral), is that to teach the false doctrine of Darwinian evolution in the science classroom is also a violation of the establishment clause of the constitution.

    Southwestern University Law Review: DEALING WITH THE ENTANGLEMENT OF RELIGION AND THE ORIGIN OF LIFE IN AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
    Excerpt: But each time we present a theory of life’s origin to our schoolchildren, we are showing preference. And by actually looking at the theories and what they represent, as well as looking at what religion provides for people, we can see that the government, even in limiting the teaching to only evolution, is endorsing a religious ideology. A message exists behind this endorsement – the same message people feared would exist if we allowed schools to teach biblical creationism theories or even intelligent design theory. The message itself is an endorsement. Accordingly, the government is endorsing a particular religious belief – the belief that no supernatural being exists. In effect, this endorsement not only advances that particular religious belief and inhibits other religious beliefs, but also it shows an utter failure of maintaining the government’s requisite neutrality involving religion and the government.
    https://litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com/webcd/app?action=DocumentDisplay&crawlid=1&doctype=cite&docid=37+Sw.+U.+L.+Rev.+1&srctype=smi&srcid=3B15&key=90873d971bf3d768563adad5bf41fe28

    In the following articles, Casey Luskin, who has a law degree, reveals that it is indeed constitutional to teach evidence against Darwinian evolution in public schools:

    Is It Legally Consistent for Darwin Lobbyists to Oppose Advocating, But Advocate Opposing, Intelligent Design in Public Schools? – August 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....37311.html

    Darwin’s Poisoned Tree: Atheistic Advocacy and the Constitutionality of Teaching Evolution in Public Schools
    By Casey Luskin M.S., J.D., ESQ – Trinity Law Review – Fall, 2015
    https://www.discovery.org/m/2019/03/Darwins-Poisoned-Tree-Casey-Luskin-Trinity-Law-Review-Spring-2016.pdf

    Needless to say, no theory in science should ever be above critique from the scientific evidence. That Darwinists would try to protect their theory from critique from the evidence by appealing to the constitution is yet another sure clue that we are dealing with a pseudoscience, even a religion for atheists, instead of dealing with a real, testable, science.

    And to repeat what I said yesterday, Darwinists will often falsely claim that to teach Intelligent Design in school is to teach religion in school (and claim that ID therefore violates the establishment clause of the constitution). What they fail to mention, (besides the fact that all of science itself is based on the Theological presupposition of the universe being rational and that we, being made in the image of God, can understand that rationality), is that Darwinian evolution, since it has no real time scientific evidence supporting its sweeping claims, is itself crucially dependent on faulty Theological presuppositions in order to give the false appearance of being scientific. That is to say, to teach Darwinism is schools is, ironically, to teach a false religion, (i.e. a false set of beliefs about God), to your children in public school.

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    – per evolutionnews

    Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don’t – Published – 2019-06-02
    The Problem of God-talk in Biology Textbooks
    Abstract: We argue that a number of biology (and evolution) textbooks face a crippling dilemma.
    On the one hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks include theological claims in their case for evolution.
    (Such claims include, for example, ‘God would never design a suboptimal panda’s thumb, but an imperfect structure is just what we’d expect on natural selection.’) On the other hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks exclude theological claims in their case for evolution. So, whether textbooks include or exclude theological claims, they face debilitating problems. We attempt to establish this thesis by examining 32 biology (and evolution) textbooks, including the Big 12—that is, the top four in each of the key undergraduate categories (biology majors, non-majors, and evolution courses). In Section 2 of our article, we analyze three specific types of theology these texts use to justify evolutionary theory. We argue that all face significant difficulties. In Section 3, we step back from concrete cases and, instead, explore broader problems created by having theology in general in biology textbooks. We argue that the presence of theology—of whatever kind—comes at a significant cost, one that some textbook authors are likely unwilling to pay. In Section 4, we consider the alternative: Why not simply get rid of theology? Why not just ignore it? In reply, we marshal a range of arguments why avoiding God-talk raises troubles of its own. Finally, in Section 5, we bring together the collective arguments in Sections 2-4 to argue that biology textbooks face an intractable dilemma. We underscore this difficulty by examining a common approach that some textbooks use to solve this predicament. We argue that this approach turns out to be incoherent and self-serving. The poor performance of textbooks on this point highlights just how deep the difficulty is. In the end, the overall dilemma remains.
    per blyinstitute

    It might further surprise some to learn that Darwin’s book “Origin of Species” was far more of a theological argument than it ever was a scientific or mathematical argument (In fact there was no mathematics or experimental work in Darwin’s book)

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):
    1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    per evolution news

    Darwinists, with their vital dependence on misleading Theological presuppositions, instead of any actual substantiating scientific evidence, in order to try to deceive people into believing in Darwinian evolution, (besides violating the establishment clause of the constitution), are as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.

    “In other words, the non-Christian needs the truth of the Christian religion in order to attack it. As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”
    Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

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