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Opponents of Evolution Adopting a New Strategy - Comments

Tetsujin's Avatar Comment 1 by Tetsujin

This is wonderful if we also get to educate kids about the strengths and weaknesses of religious dogma. Why little Susie needs to die of bone cancer so that you have the opportunity to decide if you want to accept Jesus, or how Muslims confuse themselves with concepts of free will and predestination.

At least we have or are close to answers for the weaknesses... the creationists have had nothing for centuries.

While we're at it, let's talk about the weaknesses for the atomic theory and gravity.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 10:29:00 UTC | #179199

MarcLindenberg's Avatar Comment 2 by MarcLindenberg

it bottles the mind to try to grasp how someone denies evolution.
Really!?

*yes mind bottling... you know, where your thoughts get trapped, like in a bottle. :P

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 10:33:00 UTC | #179203

Tetsujin's Avatar Comment 3 by Tetsujin

just another case of MS Word taking precedence over proofreading

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 10:38:00 UTC | #179205

TruthByEvidence's Avatar Comment 4 by TruthByEvidence

The strengths and weaknesses?

So.... what does that mean?

"This section totally makes sense, class! However, this bit, not so much...unless you actually read it to a point that involves maintained comprehension of complex ideas that are backed by evidences that are so abundant that only someone not educated about such concepts would question it seriously, for all his inquiries and questions have already been answered decades ago by top notch scientists and biologists."

..."So, yeah class, you're 16, you're ALL intelligent enough to be capable of understanding these ideas enough to make your own assertions, for obviously, us professors and teachers have no place to classify these things as factual! What kind of absurdity would that be? You might actually learn something in science class, and we just simply can't have that!"

P.S.

Why is it that many high school science teachers in the US are usually rather unenthusiastic about the subject? Is it their wages and the apathy of the students, or do they just not like science? It makes me sad...

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 10:39:00 UTC | #179206

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 5 by mordacious1

Didn't Texas just fire their top person for science education, over her unbending support for evolution? The first step it looks like.

What these morons don't get is that evolution is a fact. Now, if they want to argue the pros and cons of Natural Selection, go for it, but only in a scientific, and here I mean "real science", way.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 10:40:00 UTC | #179208

JLD Calgary's Avatar Comment 6 by JLD Calgary

Wow that site is pretty bad; the way it's written, the shamelessly emphasized words, the plea to parents. The internet needs a giant "Crap" stamp that gets thrown on sites like this one that spew this kind of garbage out.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 10:47:00 UTC | #179211

WilliamP's Avatar Comment 7 by WilliamP

I'm glad that the Times is bringing this issue to a wide audience.

The Creationists are trying to seek "academic freedom" these days. This "strength and weakness" thing is more of the same one-sided crap. It only applies to ID, and not to any other crazy theory that doesn't belong in schools. I really hope that people with other crazy idea come forth to challange academic freedom laws that only address ID. Those who want academic freedom for ID don't want it for 9/11 conspiracy theories. They should want to teach the strengths and weaknesses of the official 9/11 story too if they are serious, but they don't. If a historian had a theory that Jesus was gay, they would probably openly fight the teaching of that theory in schools, and would be against allowing teachers to point out that he only hung out with men and never had a girlfriend. They only want to be "objective" when it comes to ID.

"Academic Freedom" is just a cover for ID and those behind these laws can easily be exposed as hypocrites when they refuse to support academic freedom for theories that are just as absurd as ID. I hope that other people come forward trying to teach their crazy ideas. I doubt that lawmakers will be able to distinguish one type of nonsense from another in their laws and still claim that they are pushing for academic freedom. That way none of this garbage will get into schools.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 10:49:00 UTC | #179212

falterer's Avatar Comment 8 by falterer

Just as the "God of the Gaps" argument forces God into an ever-shrinking box, creationists are being forced to reduce the magnitude of their claims. From "creationism" to "intelligent design" to "strengths and weaknesses" we can see them slowly being forced to eliminate bits of their story.

Unfortunately, whenever they win debates like these, it's a wedge of precedent for future proceedings.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 10:51:00 UTC | #179213

Geodesic17's Avatar Comment 9 by Geodesic17

If CDesign Proponentsists believe in free speech, the Discovery Institute should open its press releases to be commented on through its site. For people who claim to be squelched, they certainly do a good job of trying to silence others.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 10:54:00 UTC | #179216

bluebird's Avatar Comment 10 by bluebird

The Show-Me State's "academic freedom" bill failed to pass a few weeks ago:
http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2008/MO/751_missouri_antievolution_bill_di_5_19_2008.asp

Reason prevails, for the now...

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 11:04:00 UTC | #179228

Szkeptik's Avatar Comment 11 by Szkeptik

"...a state-appointed committee of science educators has already begun to review the curriculum requirements. Although the state education board is free to set aside or modify their proposals, committee members will recommend that the "strengths and weaknesses" phrase be removed..."

How come school boards consisting mainly of lay people and parents have a right to completely change or ignore a curriculum that is proposed by professionals of the relevant fields? This is an awfully inefficient way to maintain good science stabdards. Why is it this way in the USA?

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 11:08:00 UTC | #179233

zpokthesecond's Avatar Comment 12 by zpokthesecond

They have a nice form where you can tell on teachers that don't teach the "weaknesses" enough.

Here's my submission
"Thank you for submitting the following information:
...
D1: Texas
T2: Imadoofus
T3: Turnoutthelightplease
...

S1
Gravity is clearly not proven and against the natural order of things.
S2
I want to replace all instances of "gravity" with "God-magnetism".

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 11:27:00 UTC | #179246

Quine's Avatar Comment 13 by Quine

Strengths: Explains the diversity of life.

Weaknesses: You have to be able to think to "get" it. (Easier if you can also read.)

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 12:26:00 UTC | #179266

eh-theist's Avatar Comment 14 by eh-theist

Democracy - you have to love it! "If most of us believe it, it must be true!"

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 12:40:00 UTC | #179273

davemei's Avatar Comment 15 by davemei

Damnit! Why'd it to be texas again. I never ran into any of this...

It's a shame. I have a feeling I'll be fighting for my kids to get a secular education.

This guy doesn't deserve his certification to practice medicine...much less his degree.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 12:56:00 UTC | #179285

nunquam's Avatar Comment 16 by nunquam

I think this proves that anti-evolutionist arguments...are evolving! Yuk-yuk! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 12:59:00 UTC | #179286

davemei's Avatar Comment 17 by davemei

Dr. McLeroy believes that Earth's appearance is a recent geologic event â€" thousands of years old, not 4.5 billion. "I believe a lot of incredible things," he said, "The most incredible thing I believe is the Christmas story. That little baby born in the manger was the god that created the universe."

But Dr. McLeroy says his rejection of evolution â€" "I just don't think it's true or it's ever happened" â€" is not based on religious grounds.


Wait, what? Your basis for believing that the universe is about, I don't know, 6,000 years old...is NOT religious? You think the universe is created, but that claim is not based on Christianity? These folks are not just lying to themselves, they're lying to the public.

Courts have clearly ruled that teachings of faith are not allowed in a science classroom, but when he considers the case for evolution, Dr. McLeroy said, "it's just not there."


Oh, ok..it makes sense now. He's just trying to hide behind a veil.

"Science, I mean, evolution, in this case, can be misleading. We should, um, teach young earth science, because there is an equally valid non-religious explanation for it."

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 13:03:00 UTC | #179291

Szymanowski's Avatar Comment 18 by Szymanowski

DALLAS â€" Opponents of teaching evolution, in a natural selection of sorts, have gradually shed those strategies that have not survived the courts. Over the last decade, creationism has given rise to "creation science," which became "intelligent design,"...

The article neglects to mention cdesign proponentsists :)

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 13:13:00 UTC | #179298

RamziD's Avatar Comment 19 by RamziD

I'm from Texas and I think I got a very good scientific education from the public schools there all the way from high school through medical school. I'm doing my residency in Arizona, but to be honest, if something like this academic freedom bill passes in Texas, I will not move back. There is no way I would want to raise a family in a state that tries to teach religious theory in it's science classrooms (and I'm a very big supporter of public education, so I wouldn't want to send my children to private school). This is really quite a shame, the direction our state (country) is heading in. It almost makes me want to set up a practice in Europe when I'm done with residency.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:35:00 UTC | #179327

RevolvingImages's Avatar Comment 20 by RevolvingImages

Good grief - strengthsandweaknesses.org has Expelled links plastered all over it and a quote by C.S. Lewis on the front page. They also have this to say about Expelled: "It has received almost universally positive reviews". They're not interested in strengths and weaknesses, only ignorant bias.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 15:00:00 UTC | #179333

liberalartist's Avatar Comment 21 by liberalartist

with people defending this bill this way:

...believes that Earth's appearance is a recent geologic event â€" thousands of years old, not 4.5 billion. "I believe a lot of incredible things," he said, "The most incredible thing I believe is the Christmas story. That little baby born in the manger was the god that created the universe."

it has no chance of standing up in court. Let him be the mouth piece for this movement and I am not worried. And Bluebird, thanks for the MO update, its good news.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 15:10:00 UTC | #179335

notsobad's Avatar Comment 22 by notsobad

The one weakness I can think of immediately is that morons like people behind this initiative haven't been selected out of the gene pool yet.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 15:38:00 UTC | #179341

TalentedChimp's Avatar Comment 23 by TalentedChimp

In other words, don't bother this court with such frivolous legal drivel.


A rather telling interpretation of the decision to not uphold Yoko Ono's claim. How hypocritical then that the {$insert_latest_creationist_label} lobby is relying on the same "frivolous legal drivel" to shoehorn their views into science classes.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 15:47:00 UTC | #179344

SmartLX's Avatar Comment 24 by SmartLX

I just want to pick up on the expression "American sense of fairness". Australians have roughly the same thing: the ubiquitous notion of a "fair go".

I'm wondering, you folks from other places, does every democratic country think it's the fairest of them all or is it just us two?

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 15:48:00 UTC | #179345

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 25 by prettygoodformonkeys

Quine:

Strengths: Explains the diversity of life.

Weaknesses: You have to be able to think to "get" it. (Easier if you can also read.)
Excellent!

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 16:58:00 UTC | #179352

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 26 by rod-the-farmer

Re Comment #188708 by bluebird and the proposed Missouri legislation

teaching of biological and chemical evolution

Sorry, did I miss something ? Chemical evolution ? For example, when sodium and chlorine mate (sorry, evolve) and produce....salt ? Either I am more dense than I thought, or the person(s) drafting this made it only partway through high school. And as for Leroy the dentist, I wonder what would happen if someone asked the Texas Board of Dentistry (or whatever it is called) to re-examine his license to practise as a dentist, based on his apparent lack of basic science knowledge ?

I am always amazed that people NOT trained in a particular field will make strong statements ABOUT that field, in their official capacity, while disregarding the testimony of those who ARE experts. There has to be a name for this....other than f***tard.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 17:17:00 UTC | #179356

T4Baxter's Avatar Comment 27 by T4Baxter

Hi everyone,I love this community of commentators! It's a shame our collective wisdom is wasted on this site... you know, we would serve ourselves better by choosing a specified creationist site, each month. And talk about the issues raised on this site, there! :) not only would it be great advertising for RDF it would give the creationist bloggers something to read that might actually help them in achieving that awesome feeling of joy only found though the most probable understanding of the reality we inhabit! The only comment I want to read on here is where your all gonna be at 'this month' :) I think that would kick colon... oh yeah and we can devastate the pallid arguments we discover wherever we tread.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 17:52:00 UTC | #179358

EvidenceOnly's Avatar Comment 28 by EvidenceOnly

Ref. 17. Comment #188771 by davemei on June 4, 2008 at 2:03 pm

They claim ownership to morality that they want to enforce on everyone and spend a whole lot of time "lying for Jesus".

It seems that their morality is little more than "lying for Jesus" and child abuse by indoctrinating their nonsense through the educational system.

They are shameless hypocrites.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 18:30:00 UTC | #179364

EvidenceOnly's Avatar Comment 29 by EvidenceOnly

We need to encourage science teachers in those IDiotic states who vote to teach the strengths and weaknesses of evolution to also teach the weaknesses of the weaknesses.

A good summary can be found at:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/12/34_unconvincing_arguments_for.php

It is only a couple of pages long and very straightforward.

Could be thought convincingly in about 1 hour.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 18:41:00 UTC | #179370

Don_Quix's Avatar Comment 30 by Don_Quix

I don't have a problem with this as long as all students are also required to have an equal number of years of comparative religion courses where they discuss the "strengths and weaknesses" of major religions...with a particular emphasis of the discussion on fundamentalist interpretations of Christianity.

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 20:09:00 UTC | #179387