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Developments in Evolutionary Biology for 2001

This is a continuation of the Pandas Update series. The name has been changed to reflect the fact that subsequent creationist publications, such as Sarfati's Refuting Evolution and Wells' Icons of Evolution, cover essentially the same topics as Pandas and People which was the first Intelligent Design "textbook".

Of Pandas and People: A Brief Review

Year: 
1999
Reviewer: 
Kenneth R. Miller
Title: 
Of Pandas and People
Author(s): 
Dean Kenyon and Percival Davis, edited by Charles Thaxton

Of Pandas and People, which pretends to be an open, objective examination of the pros and cons of evolutionary biology, is actually nothing of the sort. It is, instead, a collection of half-truths, distortions, and outright falsehoods that attempts to misrepresent biology and mislead students as to the scientific status of evolutionary biology.

A complete critique of the many problems with Pandas would take almost as many pages as the book itself, but here are a few points of special concern:

Dallas: Haughton Publishing, 1989.
resources: 

News Coverage

The articles below cover incidents where Of Pandas and People made the news. New Creationist Book On the Way by Eugenie C Scott
Originally published in NCSE Reports 9(2).

Alabama Textbook Selection in Context
Originally published in NCSE Reports 9(5).

Science Textbook Adoptions in Alabama: Part I by Scott Brande

Bookwatch Reviews "Pandas" Issue

Year: 
1989
Reviewer: 
Eugenie C. Scott and Gordon E. Uno
Title: 
Of Pandas and People

Introduction

Why Pandas and People?

Usually, Bookwatch Reviews publishes analyses of textbooks from mainline publishers whose names and titles are familiar to the educational world. Why have we chosen to pay such attention to the first textbook published by an obscure agricultural publisher, and a supplementary text at that? The reason is that teachers in the U. S. are very likely to be exposed to Of Pandas and People during the coming months, and, as one of our reviewers says, "Teachers should be warned against using this book."

Author(s): 
Dean Kenyon and Percival Davis, edited by Charles Thaxton
Dallas: Haughton Publishing, 1989.
resources: 

One Day Wonders

National Center for Science Education Reports
Title: 
One Day Wonders
Author(s): 
Molleen Matsumura
Issue: 
4
Year: 
1995
Date: 
Winter
Page(s): 
16–17
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.
Some of the local challenges with which NCSE assists last for months or even years; for example, the attempt to place the creationist textbook Of Pandas and People in the schools of Louisville, Ohio, began in mid-1993 and has been continuously opposed by local NCSE activists. Others are resolved more quickly. In February, 1996, NCSE received two similar requests for help within two days-one from Morgan Hill, California (not far from Silicon Valley), and one from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Media Type: 

Texas Textbook Adoptions: Whither (Wither) Evolution?

National Center for Science Education Reports
Title: 
Texas Textbook Adoptions: Whither (Wither) Evolution?
Author(s): 
Eugenie C. Scott
Issue: 
4
Year: 
1996
Date: 
Winter
Page(s): 
6
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.
Texas is the largest single purchaser of textbooks in the nation, thus what Texas wants in its textbooks strongly influences what other states get. In past years, evolution was systematically deleted or downplayed in textbooks because Texas required textbooks to print a disclaimer that any textbook dealing with evolution.
Media Type: 

Evolution Challenged in Colorado's Largest School District

National Center for Science Education Reports
Title: 
Evolution Challenged in Colorado's Largest School District
Author(s): 
Molleen Matsumura
Issue: 
2
Year: 
1996
Date: 
Summer
Page(s): 
21
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.
This June an ad-hoc committee of the Jefferson County, Colorado schools, a Denver area school district, responded to Wheat Ridge High School sophomore Danny Phillips's complaints about evolution education by recommending that teachers stop using a videotape, "The Miracle of Life," and have it removed from the district resource center. Phillips had complained about more than the videotape, a film about human reproduction which opens by discussing the common ancestry of all life.
Media Type: 

Close Ohio House Vote Scuttles "Evidence Against Evolution" Bill

National Center for Science Education Reports
Title: 
Close Ohio House Vote Scuttles "Evidence Against Evolution" Bill
Author(s): 
Eugenie C. Scott
Issue: 
1
Year: 
1996
Date: 
Spring
Page(s): 
18
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.
On May 28, 1996, state representative Ron Hood's HB 692 was voted down in the Ohio House of Representatives Education Committee by a vote of 8-12. When introduced on April 12, 1996, the bill stated that
Media Type: 

Washington School District Wrestles with Creationism, "Intelligent Design Theory"

National Center for Science Education Reports
Title: 
Washington School District Wrestles with Creationism, "Intelligent Design Theory"
Author(s): 
Eugenie C. Scott
Issue: 
1
Year: 
1996
Date: 
Spring
Page(s): 
17
This version might differ slightly from the print publication.
From February through April, 1996, the small town of Sultan, WA, was the site of now-familiar rancorous school board meetings over the question of whether creationism should be taught with evolution. Teacher Meg Town had attended a workshop on creation and evolution at a National Science Teachers Association regional meeting (taught by NCSE board member Dr. Duane Jeffery), so she knew where to go for help when the school board was approached with the request that it introduce creation "science" and Intelligent Design Theory into the curriculum.
Media Type: 

Off-site Resources


If the NCSE Resources Page on Of Pandas and People isn't enough for you, there are many offsite resources available. Note: NCSE is not responsible for the content or upkeep of other websites.

THE BOOK "OF PANDAS AND PEOPLE: THE CENTRAL QUESTION OF BIOLOGICAL ORIGINS"

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