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  Topic: Eden and Evolution< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Jason Spaceman



Posts: 163
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 04 2006,04:38   

Quote
Religious critics of evolution are wrong about its flaws. But are they right that it threatens belief in a loving God?

By Shankar Vedantam

Sunday, February 5, 2006; Page W08

Ricky Nguyen and Mariama Lowe never really believed in evolution to begin with. But as they took their seats in Room CC-121 at Northern Virginia Community College on November 2, they fully expected to hear what students usually hear in any Biology 101 class: that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was true.

As professor Caroline Crocker took the lectern, Nguyen sat in the back of the class of 60 students, Lowe in the front. Crocker, who wore a light brown sweater and slacks, flashed a slide showing a cartoon of a cheerful monkey eating a banana. An arrow led from the monkey to a photograph of an exceptionally unattractive man sitting in his underwear on a couch. Above the arrow was a question mark.

Crocker was about to establish a small beachhead for an insurgency that ultimately aims to topple Darwin's view that humans and apes are distant cousins. The lecture she was to deliver had caused her to lose a job at a previous university, she told me earlier, and she was taking a risk by delivering it again. As a nontenured professor, she had little institutional protection. But this highly trained biologist wanted students to know what she herself deeply believed: that the scientific establishment was perpetrating fraud, hunting down critics of evolution to ruin them and disguising an atheistic view of life in the garb of science.

It took a while for Nguyen, Lowe and the other students to realize what they were hearing. Some took notes; others doodled distractedly. Crocker brought up a new slide. She told the students there were two kinds of evolution: microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution is easily seen in any microbiology lab. Grow bacteria in a petri dish; destroy half with penicillin; and allow the remainder to repopulate the dish. The new generation of bacteria, descendants of survivors, will better withstand the drug the next time. That's because they are likely to have the chance mutations that allow some bacteria to defend themselves against penicillin. Over multiple cycles, increasingly resistant strains can become impervious to the drug, and the mutations can become standard issue throughout the bacterial population. A new, resistant strain of bacteria would have evolved. While such small changes are well established, Crocker said, they are quite different from macroevolution. No one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat in a laboratory.


Read it here.

Crocker's students might want to ask for their money back.

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 04 2006,05:08   

Slaveador Cordova is all over that on Uncommon Pissant.

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But this highly trained biologist wanted students to know what she herself deeply believed: that the scientific establishment was perpetrating fraud, hunting down critics of evolution to ruin them and disguising an atheistic view of life in the garb of science.
Starring PZ Myers as the Cigarette Smoking Man!

   
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 04 2006,09:54   

According to Salvador, his creationism-embracing scientist:
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... received her PhD under the guidance of Derek Burke, who discovered interferon.  
This is news. The discovery is generally ascribed to Isaacs and Lindenmann.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 04 2006,10:02   

Evolution challanges a literal interpretation of the bible
It does not pose a threat to theism.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 04 2006,14:05   

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No one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat in a laboratory

I did once, although i was in the bathroom when it happened, and the lab door was open so people say the dog just wandered out and a cat wandered in. But it did happen goddamnit!

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2006,10:30   

Quote (Jason Spaceman @ Feb. 04 2006,10:38)
Crocker said, they are quite different from macroevolution. No one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat in a laboratory.

...Which proves that Crocker doesn't know anything about evolution.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2006,11:35   

Quote
Crocker said, they are quite different from macroevolution. No one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat in a laboratory.

Quote
...Which proves that Crocker doesn't know anything about evolution.
But if Crocker really has the credentials she claims, she can't possibly have this superficial an acquaintance with how evolution really works. Unless she has suffered some kind of dementia process, she is just telling the creationists what they want to hear, and using her science background to lend it undeserved credibility.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2006,11:44   

In other words, she is a good example of Intellectual Dishonesty.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 05 2006,12:43   

Quote
In other words, she is a good example of Intellectual Dishonesty.
Couple of oddities about the audio "autobiographical sketch" Cordova posted for Dr. Crocker.

First, I can't find a single paper published by Burke and Crocker. Perhaps she published under her pre-married name? But I can't even find a single publication with the appropriate first initials.

Secondly, she lists her history in research, starting with PhD study with Burke, then going into microbiology, then multiple sclerosis research, then - finally, because the challenge was so "awesome" - immunology. Yet she says she has a PhD in immunology.

I wonder if the dishonesty here is just of the abstract "intellectual" type?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 06 2006,04:44   

I read that yesterday (I get the WaPo) and this part really stuck out for me...

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Before the class, Crocker had told me that she was going to teach "the strengths and weaknesses of evolution." Afterward, I asked her whether she was going to discuss the evidence for evolution in another class. She said no.

"There really is not a lot of evidence for evolution," Crocker said. Besides, she added, she saw her role as trying to balance the "ad nauseum" pro-evolution accounts that students had long been force-fed.

So, when they talk about "teaching the controversy" this is what they really mean.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 06 2006,06:34   

Quote (GCT @ Feb. 06 2006,10:44)
I read that yesterday (I get the WaPo) and this part really stuck out for me...

Quote
Before the class, Crocker had told me that she was going to teach "the strengths and weaknesses of evolution." Afterward, I asked her whether she was going to discuss the evidence for evolution in another class. She said no.

"There really is not a lot of evidence for evolution," Crocker said. Besides, she added, she saw her role as trying to balance the "ad nauseum" pro-evolution accounts that students had long been force-fed.

So, when they talk about "teaching the controversy" this is what they really mean.

Crocker is the perfect, quintessential, socratic model of an 'intelligent design scholar'. A walking stereotype and a pathological liar all rolled into one.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
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