Verdt and Wundt

If you spend any time looking through creationist literature, you will become accustomed to lists of scientists who supposedly reject evolution, doubt Darwin, and the like, although the exact complement of the lists changes over time, of course. A famous example is from Luther Tracy Townsend’s Collapse of Evolution (1905), which mentions:

scientists who have devoted their lives to the investigation of nature’s phenomena and who have taken rank in the past and who take rank to-day with those who stand the highest in their departments of study—such men as Agassiz, Beale, Carpenter, Dana, Davy, Dawson, Faraday, Forbes, Gray, Helmholtz, Herschel, Lord Kelvin, Leibnitz, Lotze, Maury, Pasteur, Romanes, Verdt[,] and hundreds of others …

Townsend, as Ronald L. Numbers notes in The Creationists (1992), “assembled one of the earliest—and most frequently cribbed—lists in order to prove that ‘the most thorough scholars, the world’s ablest philosophers and scientists, with few exceptions, are not supporters, but assailants of evolution.’”

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Charles W. Eliot, via Wikimedia Commons

I return, with cries of delight, to Hell and the High Schools (1923), T. T. Martin’s unforgettably titled indictment of the teaching of evolution. In previous posts, I’ve discussed chapter 5, “Evolution Repudiated by Great Scientists and Scholars,” which consists, as is usual in creationist books of the Scopes era, of a hodgepodge of misquoted, misattributed, and misinterpreted passages, relieved only by the occasional expression of editorial opinion, aimed at disputing the claim that there is a scientific consensus on evolution. (See “Misquoting Murchison” for a discussion of Martin’s treatment of “Sir Roredick Murchison” and “The Three Balfours” for discussion of Martin’s treatment of Francis M. Balfour.) Now, however, I want to examine a passage from chapter 4, “Evolution is Not Science.”

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rush limbaughIs Rush Limbaugh baiting NCSE? The thought crossed my mind when I heard his remarks in response to the unfortunate killing of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. Using the highly-publicized killing of this great ape as a springboard to mock evolution, Limbaugh exposed his poor grasp of basic biology. To wit:

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Jack FriedmanThe big blue Institute for Creation Research logo at the top of the page stood out from all the other colorless, bland papers and letters. What the dickens was Duane Gish, ICR debater extraordinaire, writing about to Jack Friedman (right), NCSE board member and chair of the New York Council for Evolution Education?

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Since December 2005, when Judge John E. Jones III ruled that “intelligent design” is not science and cannot be forced into public school science classes, we’ve celebrated December 20 as Kitzmas. We write carols (and haikus). But we’ve never really had a Kitzmas tree before.

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Eberhard Fraas, via Wikimedia CommonsI’m looking at Oscar Fraas’s Vor der Sündfluth! Eine Geschichte der Urwelt (1866)—that’s Before the Deluge! A History of the Ancient World—because, ultimately, I tend to be suspicious. Seeing a quotation in William A.

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Oscar Fraas, via Wikimedia CommonsThe title of the present post really ought to be “Tracking Dr. Fraas”—or perhaps “Fracking Dr. Fraas” for the alliteration?—for, as I explained in part 1, it turns out that “the famous paleontologist Dr.

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Extract from the September 9, 1911, Literary Digest.Reminded, in a recent discussion with Jason Rosenhouse, of William A. Williams’s The Evolution of Man Scientifically Disproved (1925), a Scopes-era effort in using pseudomathematics to debunk evolution, I was skimming the book again.

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Historical marker: "The River of Blood: Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot, 'The Rapids', on the Potomac River. The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as 'The River of Blood.'"The supposedly historical marker on Trump's golf course. None of what it says is true.
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