Last time we examined what creationists think about how the rocks of Grand Canyon were formed. Now we’re going to look at the fatal flaws in this creationist model, and why it doesn’t fit with what we see in Grand Canyon.

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One of the most popular resources on NCSE’s website is Robert A. Moore’s “The Impossible Voyage of Noah’s Ark,” which originally appeared in Creation/Evolution 4(1):1–47 in 1983—which, indeed, was the whole of that issue.

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After last month’s Texas textbook vote, I was ready to declare total victory. I wrote:

It's a joy to be able to report on a sweeping victory for science education in Texas, and to be able to give an eyewitness report of the fight over the textbooks that will be used in that massive textbook market for years to come.

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About eleven miles past the launch point to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, boats just beginning their voyage down the turbulent, vermillion river often pull over to the left bank to examine a bedroom-sized slab of pale sandstone. This block of the Coconino Sandstone long ago detached from vertiginous cliffs high above, skidding to an off-kilter stop on layers of maroon shale. Rafters unaccustomed to walking on a swaying boat gingerly find their sea legs as they wend their way around bulky, unfamiliar gear.

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It's a joy to be able to report on a sweeping victory for science education in Texas, and to be able to give an eyewitness report of the fight over the textbooks that will be used in that massive textbook market for years to come. The 2009 battle over Texas science standards made it quite possible that the textbooks adopted last week would be riddled with creationist claims, or would give creationist board members a toehold to demand that publishers rewrite their books or be left off of the state's approved list.

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Genie Scott and I share a fondness for the songs of Tom Lehrer, the satirical songwriter of the 1960s. The NCSE holiday party where we were prevailed upon to sing his Christmas carol (“Christmas time is here, by golly, / Disapproval would be folly / Deck the halls with hunks of holly / Fill the cup and don’t say when”) will not soon be forgotten, unfortunately. So, in the words of a different Tom Lehrer ditty, gather ’round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun.

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A friend e-mailed the other day wondering just how many people in the United States are young-earth creationists.

The answer begins with a question the Gallup poll has been asking since the early ’80s:

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The history of the “intelligent design” creationist textbook Of Pandas and People is probably known in greater detail than the history of just about any other textbook. Pandas was central to 2005’s Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, and was the first publication to lay out the major themes of the “intelligent design” movement.The chart from Barbara Forrest's Kitzmiller testimony showing that references to creation were switched to design in 1987 In the course of the Kitzmiller trial, material from NCSE’s archives led to a subpoena for the early drafts of Pandas, which demonstrated that the textbook started out as an overtly creationist project, and that references to “creationism,” “creationist,” “creator,” and related terms were swapped for “intelligent design,” “design advocates,” “designer,” and so forth. The infamous chart from Barbara Forrest’s testimony in Kitzmiller showed that switcheroo, and featured prominently in Judge Jones’s conclusion that intelligent design is a form of creationism.

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