|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
The antievolution group in Nebraska appears to be Concerned Citizens for Objective Science Education.
Right on the home page, this group quotes Charles Darwin.
|A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.|
It is an interesting quote, now seen in the presentations of several "intelligent design" advocates. Their deployment of it is flawed, however. ID advocates don't "balance" facts and arguments for "intelligent design" against facts and arguments for evolutionary biology. The ID advocacy strategy is one of negative argumentation. This is apparently a cover for their inconvenient situation, which is that they seem to have no "facts and arguments" for their position.
But even that is not the whole story. The quote from Darwin is lifted from an interesting context. I will provide the complete paragraph here.
|This Abstract, which I now publish, must necessarily be imperfect. I cannot here give references and authorities for my several statements; and I must trust to the reader reposing some confidence in my accuracy. No doubt errors will have crept in, though I hope I have always been cautious in trusting to good authorities alone. I can here give only the general conclusions at which I have arrived, with a few facts in illustration, but which, I hope, in most cases will suffice. No one can feel more sensible than I do of the necessity of hereafter publishing in detail all the facts, with references, on which my conclusions have been grounded; and I hope in a future work to do this. For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question; and this cannot possibly be here done.|
-- Origin of Species
Darwin's statement does not support the notion, common among ID advocates, that in any educational circumstance when one mentions evolutionary biology one must then launch into discussion of the top ten reasons ID advocates are antievolutionists. Darwin recognizes that the context matters, even if ID advocates fail to take the point.
A Nebraska group opposed to "intelligent design" being inserted into the science curriculum is the Nebraska Religious Coalition for Science Education.
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker