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Selling Pandas

Title: 
Selling Pandas
Author(s): 
Robert J. Schadewald
Issue: 
1

For about a year, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) has been trying to get the creationist book Of Pandas and People into the public schools as a supplementary text. Scott Brande described how FTE, Haughton Publishing Company (the nominal publisher), and various religious activists tried to get it approved in Alabama (NCSE Reports 9(6):5, 10(1);8). Eugenie Scott has reviewed Pandas (NCSE Reports 10(1):16).

Year: 
1991
Date: 
January–February
Page(s): 
10–11
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.

The Foundation for Thought and Ethics

National Center for Science Education Reports
Title: 
The Foundation for Thought and Ethics
Author(s): 
John A. Thomas
Issue: 
4
Year: 
1990
Date: 
July–August
Page(s): 
18–19
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.

Readers of NCSE Reports know that a new creationist book, Of Pandas and People, is making the rounds. Scott Brande has described the efforts of Haughton Publishing Co. to get Pandas adopted in Alabama as a supplementary text (NCSE Reports 9(6):5 and 10(1):8). Pandas presents the "intelligent design" version of the origin of species in an attractive wrapper without any explicit sign of religious creationism (see review, NCSE Reports 10(1):16).

Review: Of Pandas and People

NCSE Reports
Year: 
1990
Issue: 
1
Date: 
January–February
Page(s): 
16–18
Reviewer: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director of NCSE
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.
Work under Review
Title: 
Of Pandas and People
Author(s): 
Dean Kenyon and Percival Davis, edited by Charles Thaxton
Dallas: Haughton Publishing, 1989.


Of Pandas and People (hereafter Pandas) exemplifies the new creationism, which conceals its theological underpinnings better than the old Institute for Creation Research variety. Here, the Creator is cloaked in the euphemism "intelligent design." Like traditional creationist works, this book is laden with misstatements, misunderstandings, or incomplete descriptions of evolution, and the errors and omissions always favor "intelligent design." This review will describe only a few of its errors.

New Creationist Book On the Way

National Center for Science Education Reports
Title: 
New Creationist Book On the Way
Author(s): 
Eugenie C. Scott
Issue: 
2
Year: 
1989
Date: 
March–April
Page(s): 
21
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.

The Texas-based Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) has been looking for two years or so (to our knowledge) for a publisher for a supplemental textbook for public school science classes. FTE’s goal is "to help restore freedom of choice to young people in the classroom, especially as it relates to matters of religion and conscience." Creationist-watchers will recognize this as a term of art for getting sectarian religious views into the classroom. Their supplementary book, originally entitled Biology and Origins, looks like it is going to finally get published.

Denton Becomes a (Teleological) Evolutionist

Year: 
1998
Title: 
Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe
Issue: 
2
Date: 
March–April
Author(s): 
Michael J. Denton

This review currently available in pdf format. Download link below.

Page(s): 
10–14
Reviewer: 
Philip T. Spieth
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.

Review: "Evolution — A Theory in Crisis"

Year: 
1987
Review Date: 
June 1
Reviewer: 
Philip T. Spieth
Title: 
Evolution: A Theory in Crisis

Evolutionary biology is in robust health. The current flurry of debates is an early sign of a new burst of growth. Some observers, apparently deceived by the hyperbole that has accompanied these debates, have mistaken growth pains for terminal illness. Michael Denton is one such observer. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis is an anti-evolution treatise. Its theme, exemplified by the title and stated explicitly in the preface, is that there is a crisis in evolutionary biology of fatal
Author(s): 
Michael Denton
Bethesda, Md.: Adler & Adler, 1986. 369 pages.
About the Author(s): 
Philip T. Spieth
Associate Professor of Genetics
University of California, Berkeley
resources: 

Review: Developing a Christian Worldview of Science and Evolution

Year: 
2004
Title: 
Developing a Christian Worldview of Science and Evolution
Issue: 
3–4
It is not until after the end of this book that we learn what it is really about:
Only the Christian worldview provides a rationally sustainable way to understand the universe. Only the Christian worldview fits the real world and can be lived out consistently in every area of life (p 197).
This book is about salvation — how to assure one's own, and, perhaps more important, how to assure that of one's children. However, it is clear very quickly that this is emphatically not a book about science or evolution.
Author(s): 
Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey
Date: 
May-August
Wheaton (IL): Tyndale House Publishers, 2001. 196 pages.
Page(s): 
32–34

References

[Anonymous]. 2002. Atheism and evolution. Creation Science Resource. Available on-line at http://www.nwcreation.net/atheism.html. Last accessed June 30, 2002.

Ball P. 2000 Jun 22. A handle on handedness. Nature Science Update. Available on-line at http://www.nature.com/nsu/000622/000622-10.html. Last accessed June 30, 2002.

Ball P. 2001 Dec 20. Shooting stars sugar coated. Nature Science Update. Available on-line at http://www.nature.com/nsu/001220/011220-11.html. Last accessed June 30, 2002.

Berstein MP, Sandford SA, Allamandola LJ. 1999 Jul. Life's far-flung raw materials. Scientific American 281 (1): 42–9.

Cronin JR, Pizzarello S. 1997 Feb 14. Enantiomeric excesses in meteoritic amino acids. Science 275: 951–5.

[FBI] Federal Bureau of Investigation 2002. Crime Trends 2001 — Preliminary Figures. Available on-line at http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel02/01bprelimcius.htm. Last accessed July 1, 2002.

[Gallup] The Gallup Organization. 2002. Poll analyses. Available on-line at http://www.gallup.com/poll/releases. Last accessed June 30, 2002.

Horgan J. 1997 May. The sinister cosmos. Scientific American 276 (5): 18–21.

Kauffman SA. 1993. The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution. New York: Oxford University Press.

Lehn J-M. 2002 Mar 29. Toward self-organization and complex matter. Science 295: 2400–3.

Orgel L. 2001 Nov 7. Self-organizing biochemical cycles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 97: 12503–7.

Reviewer: 
Andrew J Petto, University of Wisconsin
About the Author(s): 
Andrew J Petto
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
PO Box 413
Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
ajpetto@uwm.edu
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.

"Intelligent Design" in the Bitterroot Valley

Title: 
"Intelligent Design" in the Bitterroot Valley
Author(s): 
Skip Evans and Glenn Branch, NCSE
Issue: 
2
Darby, Montana, located in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana near the Idaho border, is a modest town of about 1000 people, where "everybody knows everybody" is not just a cliché. But Darby recently became a flashpoint in the perennial creationism/evolution controversy, when a local minister attempted to have the school board add "intelligent design" to the biology curriculum of the town's public schools. The ensuing acrimonious debate received national attention, including pieces in The New York Times and on National Public Radio.
Year: 
2004
Date: 
March–April
Page(s): 
4–12
About the Author(s): 
Glenn Branch
NCSE
PO Box 9477
Berkeley CA 94709-0477
branch@ncseweb.org
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.

President Bush Addresses "Intelligent Design"

Title: 
President Bush Addresses "Intelligent Design"
Author(s): 
Glenn Branch
Issue: 
3–4
During a press conference with a group of Texas reporters on August 1, 2005, President George W Bush responded to a question about teaching "intelligent design" in the public schools.
Year: 
2005
Date: 
May–June
Page(s): 
13–14
About the Author(s): 
Glenn Branch
NCSE
PO Box 9477
Berkeley CA 94709-0477
branch@ncseweb.org
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.
Media Type: 

Review: The Privileged Planet

Year: 
2005
Title: 
The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery
Issue: 
1–2

The Same Old Shell Game

The Privileged Planet is based upon the odd notion that the more unsuitable our universe is for producing intelligent life, the more likely it is that our universe was "designed" to produce intelligent life by a "designer" of indeterminate nature; put another way, supposedly the less likely it is that there could be a planet in our universe that supports intelligent life, then the more likely it is that the universe was "designed" to produce a particular intelligent life form — us — that can and will investigate the nature of the universe.
Author(s): 
Guillermo Gonzales and Jay W Richards
Date: 
January–April
Page(s): 
47–49
Washington (DC): Regnery Publishing, 2004. 444 pages
Reviewer: 
William Jefferys
University of Texas at Austin

References

Ikeda M, Jefferys WH. 1997. The anthropic principle does not support supernaturalism. Available on-line at ; last accessed January 4, 2005.
Pennock RT. 1999. Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press.
Perakh M. 2004. Paul Davies: Emergentist vs reductionist. Available on-line at ; last accessed January 4, 2005.
Seife C. 2004 Jul 23. Physics enters the twilight zone. Science 305 (5683): 464–6.
Sober E. 2003. The design argument. In: Manson NA, editor. God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science. New York: Routledge. p 27–54. Also available on-line at ; last accessed January 4, 2005.

About the Author(s): 
William H Jefferys
Department of Astronomy
University of Texas at Austin
Austin TX 78712-1020
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.
Media Type: 

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