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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08.08.2016

School district to teachers: “Okie dokie, science teachers, here’s your supply budget for the year: 40 cents per student, go for it!”

Private foundation to teachers: “No, we can’t give you any extra supply money for your science classroom. Not enough of your students go on to college.”

Is there an emoji for jaw on the ground? There should be. How can science teachers possibly provide the hands-on, inquiry-based science experiences that might actually get a kid excited about science, and motivated to go to college with a supply budget of 40 cents per student per year?

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08.05.2016

It’s pretty much all evolution, all the time, this week. Pokémon, humans, creationists, even our understanding of the past—everything evolves.

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Let me begin by saying that while I’m not a Luddite, I’m also not a technology whiz. I’m one of those less-than-cool people who still use Facebook, have no idea what WhatsApp is, and don’t know which expresses approval—swiping left or swiping right. I recently asked my way-cooler-than-me au pair to show me SnapChat and I didn’t really get it. So it should come as no surprise that while most of the rest of the world was playing Pokémon GO, I remained happy in a cocoon of ignorance.

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