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  Topic: What are Darwinists so afraid of?, DI's Jonathan Witt in WingNutDaily< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Jason Spaceman



Posts: 163
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 26 2006,19:52   

Quote
Posted: July 27, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jonathan Witt
© 2006

As a doctoral student at the University of Kansas in the '90s, I found that my professors came in all stripes, and that lazy ideas didn't get off easy. If some professor wanted to preach the virtues of communism after it had failed miserably in the Soviet Union, he was free to do so, but students were also free to hear from other professors who critically analyzed that position.

Conversely, students who believed capitalism and democracy were the great engines of human progress had to grapple with the best arguments against that view, meaning that in the end, they were better able to defend their beliefs.

Such a free marketplace of ideas is crucial to a solid education, and it's what the current Kansas science standards promote. These standards, like those adopted in other states and supported by a three-to-one margin among U.S. voters, don't call for teaching intelligent design. They call for schools to equip students to critically analyze modern evolutionary theory by teaching the evidence both for and against it.

The standards are good for students and good for science.

Some want to protect Darwinism from the competitive marketplace by overturning the critical-analysis standards. My hope is that these efforts will merely lead students to ask, What's the evidence they don't want us to see?

Under the new standards, they'll get an answer. For starters, many high-school biology textbooks have presented Haeckel's 19th century embryo drawings, the four-winged fruit fly, peppered moths hidden on tree trunks and the evolving beak of the Galapagos finch as knockdown evidence for Darwinian evolution. What they don't tell students is that these icons of evolution have been discredited, not by Christian fundamentalists but by mainstream evolutionists.


Read it here.

   
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 26 2006,20:25   

Wait—they want to protect "Darwinism" (okay, for the sake of argument, let's mentally replace "Darwinism" with "evolutionary biology" to avoid going off on a tangent) from the "competitive marketplace"? What "competitive marketplace"? Does evolutionary biology have competition? Really? And what would that competition be, exactly? Intelligent Design? Creation "science"?

Jonathan, evolutionary biology doesn't have any competition. If Dover proved anything, it proved that. The few Intelligent Design proponents who actually had the testicles to get up there and testify couldn't even explain what the "theory" of Intelligent Design is.

If these guys want to provide some competition for "Darwinism," maybe it's time to actually go out there and create some. Whining about how scientists won't listen to competing theories is pretty pointless when there aren't any competing theories.

And the nonsense about these "icons of evolution" has been so thoroughly discredited that to even bring it up is the moral equivalent of a lie. These "icons of evolution" have no more been discredited than the germ theory of disease has been discredited.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 26 2006,20:35   

Stupidity


(Thats a reply to the thread title)

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 26 2006,20:40   

If I were to be at all charitable to him, I might sugges tthat what we need (Sorry, you need- I'm British) is a nationwide campaign to ensure that all biology classes have up to date textbooks.  Perhaps someone should ask him to donate towards it?

  
mcc



Posts: 110
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 26 2006,22:29   

It's fun how the subtext of this is 90% "COLLEGE PROFESSORS ARE ALL DIRTY LIBERAL COMMUNISTS WHO HATE FREEDOM".

Kind of odd, though, that despite his attempts to distance himself from the DIRTY LIBERAL COMMUNIST ACADEMICS, what he's really proposing here in supporting the Kansas standards is less a "competitive marketplace" of ideas (you know, where ideas rise and fall on their own merits and supply and demand govern themselves and whatnot), and more some kind of weird government-intervention model. Under this model the schools, rather than teaching ideas in proportion to how successful they are, are under a politically-mandated obligation to artificially sustain market competition by keeping failed ideas in play in the education system. That would be... what? A Keynesian marketplace or what? I never got around to taking macro in school :(

  
mcc



Posts: 110
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 26 2006,22:49   

Quote (guthrie @ July 27 2006,01:40)
If I were to be at all charitable to him, I might sugges tthat what we need (Sorry, you need- I'm British) is a nationwide campaign to ensure that all biology classes have up to date textbooks.  Perhaps someone should ask him to donate towards it?

Sounds great to me.

I keep wondering; before the ID wave of creationism dies down for good, is there some way "we" can take advantage of the amount of attention and mobilization that has been created in the fight against ID, and leverage it to call attention to deficiencies in the quality of science education nationwide? It would be a great thing if now that everyone's attention has been called to attacks on science standards, someone could seize the moment to improve science textbooks and standards on their own terms. It's even relevant to the whole creationism thing-- after all, the better science education becomes in the present, the harder it will be for creationists to peddle whatever nonsense they come up with once the next wave of creationism begins.

  
Bebbo



Posts: 161
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 27 2006,12:16   

Quote (Jason Spaceman @ July 27 2006,00:52)
Quote
Posted: July 27, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jonathan Witt
© 2006

As a doctoral student at the University of Kansas in the '90s, I found that my professors came in all stripes, and that lazy ideas didn't get off easy. If some professor wanted to preach the virtues of communism after it had failed miserably in the Soviet Union, he was free to do so, but students were also free to hear from other professors who critically analyzed that position.

Conversely, students who believed capitalism and democracy were the great engines of human progress had to grapple with the best arguments against that view, meaning that in the end, they were better able to defend their beliefs.

Such a free marketplace of ideas is crucial to a solid education, and it's what the current Kansas science standards promote. These standards, like those adopted in other states and supported by a three-to-one margin among U.S. voters, don't call for teaching intelligent design. They call for schools to equip students to critically analyze modern evolutionary theory by teaching the evidence both for and against it.

The standards are good for students and good for science.

Some want to protect Darwinism from the competitive marketplace by overturning the critical-analysis standards. My hope is that these efforts will merely lead students to ask, What's the evidence they don't want us to see?

Under the new standards, they'll get an answer. For starters, many high-school biology textbooks have presented Haeckel's 19th century embryo drawings, the four-winged fruit fly, peppered moths hidden on tree trunks and the evolving beak of the Galapagos finch as knockdown evidence for Darwinian evolution. What they don't tell students is that these icons of evolution have been discredited, not by Christian fundamentalists but by mainstream evolutionists.


Read it here.

If Jonathan Witt is in favour of a marketplace of ideas I take it he thinks it's okay to teach Holocaust denial in history classes and Astrology in science classes.

  
Glen Davidson



Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 27 2006,12:27   

Quote
Some want to protect Darwinism from the competitive marketplace by overturning the critical-analysis standards.


The untruth that Witt is trying to establish into minds is that "Darwinism" did not win out precisely in the competitive marketplace.  

Perhaps he is as deficient in understanding the marketplace as he is in understanding science.  The fact is that the marketplace produces winners whose products are typically superior to those of the losers.  Actually, given the issues of advertising, branding, and fads, the superiority in the actual marketplace is not as certain as in the "marketplace" of science, however good products generally displace (and effectively destroy) bad products in the economic sphere.  

Science is set up to favor merit more than the economy is, however, which means that even more so the good displaces the bad.  What Witt wants for ID is socialism (not my particular bugaboo--I think all economic forms should be judged in context (which does mean that socialism really doesn't work in many cases, but surely in some places and times it has merits)--but you know the DI hates socialism everywhere and always), wherein the bad product will be subsidized by the gov't because it is unable to compete with the good product produced by science.

So there you are, socialist Witt wants to impose the loser "explanation" on society.  The intellectual/scientific marketplace has spoken, and he can't stand the fact that it has decided against his false claims.

Glen D

--------------
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 27 2006,14:35   

Quote (guthrie @ July 27 2006,01:35)
Stupidity


(Thats a reply to the thread title)

It's also an answer to this question:

 
Quote
Does evolutionary biology have competition? Really? And what would that competition be, exactly?


It's not surprising that the pro-ID crowd should be calling for direct government intervention to prop up their ideas. As much as conservatives praise state's rights & decry government meddling in what state & local governments do, they're happy to have the federal government interfere in local policy if they feel it's their only way to get what they want.

--------------
"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

  
JonF



Posts: 632
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 27 2006,15:06   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 27 2006,19:35)
It's not surprising that the anti-ID crowd should be calling for direct government intervention to prop up their ideas.

ITYM "pro-ID crowd".

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 27 2006,16:08   

Quote (JonF @ July 27 2006,20:06)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 27 2006,19:35)
It's not surprising that the anti-ID crowd should be calling for direct government intervention to prop up their ideas.

ITYM "pro-ID crowd".

WHOOPS! Yes, fixed it. Thanks.

--------------
"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

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 28 2006,00:38   

Quote
If Jonathan Witt is in favour of a marketplace of ideas I take it he thinks it's okay to teach Holocaust denial in history classes and Astrology in science classes.
I think at a high school level you could teach these things as long as you explained why they are wrong int the context of the subject. Same goes for ID I guess, personally I think explaining the many flaws in the IC=unevolvable hypothesis is a very good way to teach molecular evolution. In the spirit of critical analysis, it would also be a good excersise in a Kansas (and anywhere else) science class to analyse the proposed Kansas science standards and explain why what they say is wrong.

  
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