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And The Hits Just Keep On Coming…

Dawkins says

Lamentably, the scientific education of most British and American students omits all mention of Darwinism, and therefore the only alternative to chance that most people can imagine is design.

Hello? Earth to Richard Dawkins. Do you copy?

From What Do The State Science Standards Say About Evolution and Intelligent Design?

The Education Week Review
According to a 2005 Education Week survey of state science standards from 41 states, 39 state standards documents offer some description of biological evolution and how it accounts for the diversity of species that exist today, while 35 of these documents go further and give similar treatment to Darwin’s principle of natural selection.

Note that the title of the article has “Intelligent Design” in it. Note that the body of the article does not. But hey, that’s more than K-12 students in the USA hear about intelligent design where even the mention of “intelligent design” is legally censored and any criticism of natural selection is a violation of the 1st amendment establishment clause.

‘Nuff said.

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25 Responses to And The Hits Just Keep On Coming…

  1. My last post was sent to spam, I think.

  2. Natural selection is very important because it PREVENTS change. Without it there could never have been any evolution don’t you know.

    Allelic mutation, natural selection and sexual reproduction all served the same purpose which was to permit a purely emergent and ascending evolution to take place by eliminating the intermediate creatures which were required as stepping stones to the final product, Homo sapiens, the last mammal to ever appear on the planet.

    How does that grab you Darwimps?

    I hope it gives them gas!

    “All great truths begin as blasphemies.”
    George Bernard Shaw

    Is that basphemous enough for you? If not let me know. I will do better next time.

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  3. 3

    Perhaps Dawkins assumes that British and American students don’t ever take biology as part of their science education.

  4. Biology class is a requirement of all high school students in the United States. It is taken in either the ninth or tenth grade. Dropping out of high school is not allowed before the age of 16. That age is typically not attained before the 11th grade. If Dawkins doesn’t know that he has no business being in the business he’s in.

    Moreover, a passing grade in biology is a prerequisite for graduation in all U.S. high schools. Given that the high school dropout rate according to the 2000 census is less than 10% the inescapable conclusion is that the vast majority of Americans were exposed to the theory of natural selection. One might quibble about the exact percentage but in any case Dawkins was stupidly or dishonestly wrong.

  5. I barely learned any evolutionary theory in my high school. It was mandated, sure, but the school was leery of upsetting all those delicate little Christian egos that need to protected, precious flowers that they are. So it was touched on, rather lightly, and we moved on to other things.

    Besides which, it’s one thing to have states that mandate the teaching of natural selection, and another thing entirely to have teachers who are actually competent enough to teach it in a way that students can understand it.

    the vast majority of Americans were exposed to the theory of natural selection.

    Being “exposed” means zip. You can “expose” a chimpanzee to calculus, and the zookeepers can have a rule that the chimps be “exposed’ to calculus, and guess what? Nothing’s gonna happen.

    The analogy is not quite right, because chimps are incapable of learning calculus. But when I think of all the things that I’ve been exposed to but don’t understand — including, sad to say, calculus — it becomes clear to exposing something to someone doesn’t mean that they will understand it.

    Now, Dawkins might be faulted for inferring that if someone understands NDE, then they will accept it, and conversely, the only reason why someone would not accept it is if they don’t understand it.

    I tend to think that most people who don’t accept it also don’t understand it — though there are exceptions — but I also tend to think that most people who accept it, don’t understand it. They accept it because they’ve been told to.

    The enthusiasm and passion of intelligent design movement can be seen as a rebellion against authoritarianism. Seen that way, there is something almost noble about it. The popularity of intelligent design is an indictment against American science education and against the American education system as a whole. College education, which I’ve been involved in for almost ten years now (as a teaching assistant and as a lecturer), is triage work.

  6. In my public school education I was taught evolution several times, in history, anthropology, science, and biology.

    I was taught all the great evidences of evolution like ontongeny recapitulates phylogeny, how the Miller-Urey experminent created life by striking the prebiotic soup with lightning, how dark peppered moths were proof of natural selection, and how Darwin invented the idea of evolution after observing finches evolve on the Galapagos Islands.

    Dawkins clearly has no clue what he is talking about.

  7. Carl Sachs,

    You wrote, “the school was leery of upsetting all those delicate little Christian egos that need to protected, precious flowers that they are. ”

    Well then, how delicate are the little Darwinist egos that cannot even tolerate a teacher mentioning that there is a book on ID in the library that disagrees with evolution?

    What would happen if I was to go on Panda’s Thumb and post “the school was leery of upsetting all those delicate little athiest egos that need to protected, precious flowers that they are.” How long would the post last?

    Of course, I try to avoid ad hominem attacks.

  8. Who cares what Dawkins thinks? Don’t honor him by mentioning his name. He is history. Treat him as such.

    A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  9. 7 That’s fair. But notice that the problem in the Dover County case wasn’t that teachers could mention the existence of Of Pandas and People. The problem was that they were required to do so. It was a mandate from the school board that they read the statement. They refused to do so, on the grounds that they cannot be required to teach something that they regard as false. That why the parents and teachers sued.

    I have no problem with Of Pandas and People being available in the library, or with teachers telling students that it’s there. I have a problem with requiring the teachers to tell the students that it’s there.

  10. 10

    I think my signature is all that should be taught about the MECHANISM of evolution at the high school level. It is only the MECHANISM that was ever in question.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

    That single sentence disposes of the whole Darwinian myth in short order.

    I love it so!

  11. carl

    Your delicate flower remark earned you a place on the moderation list. A repeat and you’re gone. Capisce?

  12. carl

    No teachers sued in Dover. It irks me to have to correct simple matters of fact. The science teachers refused and an adminstrator read the statement instead. Strike two.

  13. I also tend to think that most people who accept it, don’t understand it. They accept it because they’ve been told to.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. In the past I myself accepted it without question and without truly comprehending it. It was only my interest in nanotechnology which invariably led to biology and a deeper interest in this subject. Of course, once I comprehended it my engineering background screamed, “That’s not even remotely reasonable!”.

  14. 11 Don’t bother. I won’t be back.

  15. No teachers sued in Dover. It irks me to have to correct simple matters of fact.

    It irks me to see technicalities overplayed. Kitzmiller plaintiff Bryan Rehm was a physics teacher in Dover who resigned his job just six months before filing suit against the school board. Did he resign because of the school board’s gross misconduct? Yes.

    Believe it or not, many Americans don’t say, “I’m gonna sue! I’m gonna sue!” at the drop of a hat. The Dover science teachers had plenty reason to sue (being made to watch Icons of Evolution seems enough to me), but the fact is that suing a public institution in a small community you live in is generally not the best way to get along.

  16. 16

    Carl Sachs

    There is no evolutionary theory yet. Just a couple of thoroughly discredited hypotheses. I wrote a paper about it. Just click on John A. Davison on the side board where you will find it.

    “Do we have an evolutionary theory.”

    It is supposed to be in the current issue of Rivista di Biologia, or so I was informed by the Managing Editor.

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  17. (My apologies in case this shows up twice – first with blockquotes)

    DaveScot:
    ‘Note that the title of the article has “Intelligent Design” in it. Note that the body of the article does not.’

    From the body of the article:
    ‘The standards also clearly state that they do not endorse teaching intelligent design.’

    and

    ‘…, none included questions about intelligent design in their high school science state tests.’

    I’ll get me coat.

  18. steveh

    Mibad. No need to get your coat. It’s warm outside. ;-)

  19. Do’h, in that case I owe you an apology because I just complained on ATBC that I seem to have been put on a spam list for a light-hearted remark to Denyse O’ Leary.

    Sorry. Mibad. Steveh

  20. and my apologies to Denyse too!

  21. Tom English

    It’s hardly a technicality. Sachs implied teachers sued because they were required to teach ID. First of all, no teacher was ever required to teach ID. But if you’re looking for a stretch of logic look no further than calling it “required teaching” when the teaching in question is a 60 second statement read to the class by an administrator which any student could opt out of hearing by leaving the room beforehand.

    Moreover, Rehm’s last day of employment by the Dover School District was June 21st, 2004. The decision to read the statement about ID was made by the school board on October 24th, 2004. Unless he’s prescient I don’t see how he could have resigned over something that was months in the future. :razz:

    Anything else I can clear up for you?

  22. steveh

    You’re not being moderated. Both your comments (duplicates) were caught in the spam filter but I have no idea why. I didn’t see any blacklisted words in them.

  23. steveh

    To give you an idea of how touchy the spam filter is, even though I’m a mid-level mod all of my comments for most of today were caught in it. I had to manually approve my own comments after writing them. Then abruptly it stopped. For a while I thought I’d managed to piss off Dave somehow. ;)

    Anyway, just thought I’d relate this so everyone knows we’re not purposely delaying comments.

  24. patrick

    It could have been a problem at akismet. You see, all comments get shipped off to an outside source (akismet) where they are scrutinized. A verdict of spam or not spam is then returned. In addition we have our own list of words, names, email addresses, and ip addresses that cause a comment to marked as spam if present in them.

  25. Once again, I think this link, prior to Dawkins’ latest book, is really a wonderful reasoned and powerful rebuttal to “Dawkinism”!

    http://evolutionoftruth.com/evo/rdawkins.htm

    When carried to their logical conclusions, Dawkins’ statements lead you right back to God

    Are these statements of scientific fact, or are they simply the viewpoints of one who starts with a preconception that God does not exist and then sets out to justify his beliefs?

    Can you scientifically determine the existence of God based on the percentage of who people follow the religion of their parents? An equally telling fact is that while there are differences, the common teaching of all the major religions is that there is but one God, our Creator, whose greatest command for us is that we love Him and one another. Of course by Dawkins’ own logic, it would also be a telling fact that those raised among atheists would likely follow in those footsteps as well, begging the question of how Dawkins’ own background was a factor in predetermining his beliefs.

    Does a universe that produced sentient beings capable of creative thought, art, music, love and pondering their own existence really exhibit “precisely the properties we should expect of no design,” or would a universe with no design more likely be nothing but lifeless matter? Are conclusions such as this the product of of science and reason or simply an atheistic rationalization?

    If Dawkins concludes that nature itself lacks all design or purpose, is it consistent to then conclude that genes, which are part of nature, have “selfish” purpose while man, also a part of nature, does not? He states that the gene must survive and that it doesn’t care which life form is used to accomplish this goal. Humans are no better than rats. A dismal view, to say the least, but does reason let you stop there or are we just looking at a half truth concocted to support a particular viewpoint of life? Why not say instead that matter itself doesn’t care whether it exists as hydrogen or uranium atoms, organic or inorganic molecules, as long as it continues to exist? Why not go one step further yet to say that all that really counts is the infinite source of energy from which all matter itself came and to ponder ITS purpose rather than that of supposedly “selfish” genes? If Dawkins would take his thinking to its logical conclusion he might be well on the road to finding the God he so passionately wants to prove does not exist.

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