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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In “It Came from Outer Space,” I hinted that it would be fun to track Chandra Wickramasighe’s claims about extraterrestrial life in earth’s upper atmosphere back to the early days, when he was a witness for the creationists in the McLean v. Arkansas trial.

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A paper in the less-than-credible Journal of Cosmology claims to present evidence of life entering earth’s atmosphere from space. Phil Plait examines and nicely debunks the details, but there’s a creationist angle here, and even a link to climate science, and that’s as good an excuse as any to look at the paper.

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