Victories and Warnings for Evolution

So the Ohio School Board overturned a previous decision to add wording about ?critical analysis? of evolutionary theory. Though the wording sounds somewhat innocuous several evolution defenders have painted it as the next permutation of Intelligent Design?s grand plans to cram a creation story into science class. So, this is an important victory and only one of the first that can be nearly directly attributed to the outcome of the Dover case.

By | February 15, 2006

So the Ohio School Board overturned a previous decision to add wording about ?critical analysis? of evolutionary theory. Though the wording sounds somewhat innocuous several evolution defenders have painted it as the next permutation of Intelligent Design?s grand plans to cram a creation story into science class. So, this is an important victory and only one of the first that can be nearly directly attributed to the outcome of the Dover case. Quotes from the __New York Times__ linkurl:article;http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/15/national/15cnd-evolution.html hit the chords you would expect from the major players on both sides of the argument, except for a striking plea by IDer Michael Behe who has taken to calling on dead people to support his case. Of those that would use the government to discount ID (as opposed to using the government to push a scientifically vacuous concept), he says. **Do they really want to be on the side of the people who didn't want to let John Scopes talk or who tried to censor Galileo?** Scopes is an odd choice to say the least. Elsewhere on the web, linkurl:Carl Zimmer reviews;http://loom.corante.com/archives/2006/02/14/movie_night.php Flock of Dodos, a documentary that takes a witty look at the rise of Intelligent Design in the U.S. From the reviews and the linkurl:short preview;http://www.flockofdodos.com/ I saw on the web a while back, it has the style and flair of a Michael Moore piece -- approaching sources with a friendly honest tone, but leaving them on camera just long enough to hang themselves. Indeed, this tactic works both ways, and the caricature of scientists he paints apparently places them in the ivory tower a bit. The characterization has stirred up some dust amongst scientist bloggers. Inarticulate and high-handed, their descriptions of real science can?t compete with IDers slick presentation of nonsense. Perhaps that explains the polls that say most Ohioans still want ?controversy? in the curricula. ID is off most scientist?s radar, and if it doesn?t help one?s career to be able to explain science simply, many mightn?t bother, contends linkurl:PZ Myers;http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/02/the_image_of_scientists.php of Pharyngula. Still, I?m not sure that?s a good enough excuse.

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