Friday, August 12, 2005

Intelligent Design: Let's all stick our heads in the sand

...but try not to notice the fossil record while you're down there.

It upsets me to hear questions about that which I learned back in my schoolin' days, only to discover that the questions are bogus, and that those bogus questions are actually being successfully used by the flat-earthers and the hucksters that play to them.

Anyway, here's the link, via Kevin Drum.

When applied to evolution, the erroneous distinction between theory and fact shows why tactics such as the Dover disclaimer and the Cobb County textbook sticker are doubly pernicious. To teach that a scientific theory is equivalent to a "guess" or a "hunch" is deeply misleading, and to assert that "evolution is a theory, not a fact" is simply false. And why should evolution, alone among scientific theories, be singled out with the caveat "This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered"? Why haven't school boards put similar warnings in physics textbooks, noting that gravity and electrons are only theories, not facts, and should be critically considered? After all, nobody has ever seen gravity or an electron. The reason that evolution stands alone is clear: other scientific theories do not offend religious sensibilities.


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