In February 1870, Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-founder with Charles Darwin of the concept of natural selection, responded to an advertisement in a journal entitled Scientific Opinion placed by members of the Flat Earth Society. The event, most recently told by Ross Slotten in his biography of Wallace (The Heretic in Darwin’s Court: The Life of Alfred Russel Wallace, New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), was described by Wallace as “the most regrettable” incident in his life. The ad enticed Wallace because, short on funds, he saw an easy way to make
Pseudoscientists love to use "abracadabra" words to dazzle an ill-informed audience, and for creationists, the word "entropy" fills the bill nicely. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that, in an isolated system, the entropy tends to increase. As entropy may be considered a measure of disorder, the orderliness of living systems and the complexity of organic molecules are taken by creationists to be a violation of this law of physics, requiring divine intervention.
An example of this sort of thinking is provided by Henry Morris (1989: 32, emphasis in
The emergence of the new, highly virulent bird flu is just the latest example of how the microscopic world is constantly evolving into new forms that threaten to devastate the human population. The seriousness of the threat was underscored yesterday by President Bush's announcement of a new $7.1 billion national preparedness plan.
To fight off this threat, we need to understand everything we can about the influenza virus. But even if we succeed completely in defeating the flu today, the problem is not going away. Not only will flu pandemics continue, but also we never know when
During a press conference with a group of Texas reporters on August 1, 2005, President George W Bush responded to a question about teaching "intelligent design" in the public schools. The reporter referred to "what seems to be a growing debate over evolution versus 'intelligent design'" and asked, "What are your personal views on that, and do you think both should be taught in public schools?" In response, Bush referred to his days as governor of Texas, when "I said that, first of all, that decision should be made to local school districts, but I felt like both sides ought to be properly+ read
The origin of the 2005 threat to science education in South Carolina can be traced back five years to the initial adoption of science curriculum standards by our state board of education. Those standards, subsequently awarded a grade of "A" by the Fordham Foundation, included a rigorous treatment of evolutionary science. (See RNCSE 2000 Jan–Apr; 20 [1–2]: 14–5 for a review of the controversy surrounding the adoption of a standard science curriculum for South Carolina in 2000.)
One might expect that legislation requiring textbooks and other educational materials to
As of 2004, the US market for creationism was at least $22 million — as measured by adding up donations to and purchases of products and services from ten of the largest creationist groups. Of that amount, Answers in Genesis accounted for 59%, making it clearly the dominant player in US creationism (Lippard 2007). But in October 2005, Answers in Genesis (AiG) suffered a schism. This became public at the end of February 2006, when the groups in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa that had operated under the AiG name rebranded as Creation Ministries International (CMI), while+ read
A document recently received by NCSE outlines the Discovery Institute's upcoming plans for its so-called teach the controversy strategy. In 2007, the Discovery Institute plans to release a "supplemental textbook" entitled Explore Evolution. According to the document, the textbook and auxiliary materials will teach the students the Discovery Institute's talking points against evolution. These talking points will evidently include the standard list of long-refuted creationist claims promoted by the Discovery Institute, including the inadequacy of the fossil record, biological+ read
The first I heard of it was when I got an e-mail from a Turkish colleague, Cengiz Camci, in aerospace engineering, who had read an article of mine in American Scientist about the threat that "intelligent design" poses in the US. Cengiz told me that representatives from the Turkish Harun Yahya movement were coming to our campus (Penn State) to speak. He asked me to attend to support a small group of faculty and students who were opposed to the Harun Yahya sect and wanted to counter their presentation with pertinent questions and rebuttals.
Cengiz succinctly called
In January 2006, BBC News published an article entitled "Britons unconvinced on evolution", reporting that only 48% of those questioned accept the theory of evolution. About 17% chose "intelligent design" (ID), 22% opted for creationism, and the rest did not know. Several months later, an anti-evolution seminar was scheduled for members of the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels. The meeting took place on October 11, 2006, and was announced under the following title: "Teaching evolutionary theory in Europe. Is your child being indoctrinated in the classroom?"
Creation science comes as a surprise to many scientists, and thus I suspect that the fact that there is creationist systematics will come as an even bigger surprise to systematists. Yet creationists do practice a form of systematics, called "baraminology", and for creationist science it is surprisingly rigorous and internally consistent. It employs terminology and methodology not wholly unfamiliar to mainstream systematists (see sidebar, p 21).
The term "baraminology" comes from baramin, which was constructed from the Hebrew root words bara (created)
- older ›