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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

About Antievolution

How Old Is The Earth? Answers from IDC Advocates

The Kansas State Board of Education held "unofficial" hearings in 2005 to decide between the antievolution-influenced rewrite of proposed state science standards and those developed by the writing committee. They brought in over twenty "experts" in "intelligent design" creationism to testify. Attorney Pedro Irigonegray asked many of them to give their opinion of how old the earth is. Their answers are instructive.

William Harris:
Q. Sir, I have only a few questions for you. As it was stated earlier, my name is Pedro Irigonegaray, I represent the majority. You've told us a little bit about your beliefs and your opinions and how you came to those. I'd like to ask you for the record, first, can you tell us how old you believe the earth is?

Weasel Words

  1. Object: Evolve an English word -- any dictionary word -- starting with a random Mother.
  2. Each generation presents fifty children, based on the current Mother.
  3. To play, click on any of the fifty children to make it the new Mother
  4. Each character in each child has an equal chance of mutating. Children having

    Creation, Power, and Violence

    Essay by Blake Stacey (originally at Science After Sunclipse)

    The amount of hatred one can earn simply by speaking one's mind and doing one's job never fails to astonish me. All the more remarkable is how the people who hate so viciously are the very ones you'd expect to be tolerant, or at least quietly begrudging — people whose ancestors, both familial and ideological, were themselves the targets of bigotry in generations past, when different powers were the oppressors. Yet today, even in a country which prides itself on a long list of freedoms, speaking the plain, factual truth of the world is a sure way to win oneself ire, derision and abuse.

    Both history and current events teach us that forces of prejudice and inequity oppose the dissemination of truth to certain sectors of society. As recently as 2006, the Afghan schoolteacher Mohammed Halim was drawn and quartered by motorbikes, the remains of his body put on display so that others would think twice before defying Taliban law and committing the unforgivable crime of teaching female children. I doubt the Taliban thugs who beat the algebra teachers of Ghazni have any particular animosity towards the mathematics; given a moment's reflection, they might wholeheartedly support the math lessons necessary to train engineers who then build weapons to be used against the United States. The crime in their eyes, I'd wager, is not the material, but the audience.

    In the country where I grew up and am writing now, the story is a little different: most of the time, hatred against educators does not escalate to physical violence, although threats of violence are common enough, and most of the time, the factor provoking abuse is not the audience, but the lesson itself.

    The plain truth I'm talking about is the biological principle of evolution. The single most powerful idea in biology, this discovery has withstood decades of criticism to emerge triumphant as one of the most well-checked propositions in human history. Learn about evolution, and you can go to work on diseases, or help find out where species both living and extinct fit into the family tree of life. You can understand the living world, and help preserve human life within it.

    Open your mouth about evolution around the wrong people, though, and you can find yourself harassed, ejected from your job and even beaten in the street.

    Just ask these people.

    Viewpoints on Evolution, Creation, and Origins

    (This essay was originally posted around 1998.)

    People have different opinions.  The issue of origins and evolution is no different in having a wide range of opinions expressed.  I want to introduce you to how I classify this diversity of opinion in a fairly simple classification scheme.  Here comes a Venn diagram to help illustrate things:

    E stands for those who accept evolutionary change in the sense of common descent of life on earth.
    C stands for those who believe in a creator.
    A stands for those who reject evolutionary change or evolutionary mechanisms.
    S stands for "scripturalists", who base their beliefs upon their interpretation of some text they hold sacred.

    This gives me six categories to explain.  Some of them may appear inconsistent at first glance, but I hope to convince you that there really people who occupy each of the categories.

    Script of SMU Presentation


    The following is my script for the fifteen minute presentation I gave at the SMU debate on April 25th. I hope to do some more with this, but I need to check with the organizers to make sure I won't step on any toes, if they plan to sell audio or video from the event.



    Tonight I am considering a public policy question. That question is, "Should intelligent design be taught as science in the public schools?"

    [Short answer]

    The short answer is, of course, no. I'm going to give some background, and come back to elaborate on the short answer.

    [Not could be slide]

    First, you have to recognize that "intelligent design" (or ID for short) is a recognizable body of arguments. This is not about what ID could be, would be, or even should be. This is about what ID demonstrably has been. We first saw it systematically used and defined as a phrase in the Dallas-based Foundation for Thought and Ethics's supplemental high school textbook, Of Pandas and People. Remember that. We'll come back to it.

    To understand "intelligent design" or any modern religious antievolution, you have to know that it is based on a two-model view of the world, one I heard expressed in March of this year by ID advocate William Dembski, that ID and evolutionary causes were mutually exclusive and exhausted all the possibilities between them, therefore evidence against evolution counted as evidence for design. This is about as convincing an argument as, "Yo momma!" But this is what religious antievolutionists are stuck with, to simply attack evolution and trust to cultural literacy that people will then fall into their camp.

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