NCSE's Deputy Director takes exception to the idea that proposed changes to a draft of state science standards in Arizona which dilute the teaching of evolution are "unremarkable and unobjectionable."

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Wyoming state welcome sign, along Interstate 80, entering from Utah. Photograph by ErgoSum88 via Wikimedia Commons.Unless you are middle school embryology?

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Miller's Crossing poster

In Miller’s Crossing (1990), one of my favorite movies of all time, the gang boss Johnny Caspar murders his henchman Eddie Dane, on the mistaken assumption (fostered by Tom Reagan) that Dane double-crossed him, and remarks by way of explanation, “I had a theory about this son of a bitch!” In “Speculatin’ about Hypotheses,” I gratuitously quoted Miller’s Crossing before I began to criticize the National Academy of Sciences definition of “hypothesis,” so I may as well take the opportunity to address its definition of “theory” now.

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Miller's Crossing poster

In Miller’s Crossing (1990), one of my favorite movies of all time, the corrupt chief of police O’Doole speculates that the boss of the town, Leo O’Bannon, is losing his grip, whereupon O’Bannon’s right-hand man Tom Reagan reproaches him, ending, “there are plenty of coppers I know who wouldn’t mind bein’ chief and could swallow it clean.” Hastily backpedaling, O’Doole protests, “Jesus, Tom, I was just speculatin’ about a hypothesis.” Here, however, I’m going to speculate not about a hypothesis but about the concept of a hypothesis.

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