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Scientific controversy vs. social controversy

In the first few pages, Explore Evolution misidentifies social controversy as scientific dispute, misdefines basic terminology, misrepresents scientists, and misunderstands pedagogical principles. The book’s religious agenda is misleadingly obscured. Papers and government policies are presented out of context and thus likely to be misunderstood. These errors are smoothly woven together like a conjurer’s words, misdirecting the reader from the mundane mechanics going on up the authors’ sleeves.

These errors are not random; they are all essential to sustain the premise of the book which is that under the guise of “critical thinking”, students should be encouraged to embrace creationist criticisms of evolution as valid science, and thus reject evolution in favor of intelligent design or some other form of creationism. That premise justifies the authors’ presentation of supposed “critics” of evolution, the identities and agendas of whom are masked. Under the guise of “presenting all sides”, the authors instead present information rejected by the scientific mainstream, obscuring from students the fact that ongoing research into evolution is scientifically uncontroversial. Current research and scientific debate focuses not on whether evolution happens and can explain the diversity of life, but which evolutionary mechanisms have dominated. Students reading Explore Evolution will not understand this key fact, and will be ill-prepared for more advanced science classes.