Explore Evolution is a book and website published under the auspices of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. The book, authored by Stephen C. Meyer, Paul Nelson, Jonathan Moneymaker, Scott Minnich, and Ralph Seelke, seeks to put as many old-time antievolution arguments into the science curriculum as possible, without explicitly mentioning their preferred alternative. This, they hope, will make their text the basis of widespread lawsuit-free K-12 instruction. This is a vain hope. The antievolution arguments themselves are erroneous; there is no valid secular purpose in teaching students falsehoods. Further, the history of these errors is, in ensemble, unique to the religious antievolution movement.
In setting forth their arguments in Explore Evolution, the authors consistently present mistaken, weak, or misleading synopses of concepts in evolutionary science; overlook, misrepresent, or otherwise ignore relevant confirming experiments and data; and present their antievolution objections last, with no attempt to rigorously assess the legitimacy of the criticism.
Students should be taught the best available science, the science that has shown its accountability by presentation to the scientific community, a history of scrutiny and testing by that community, and, in the end, general acceptance of its legitimacy by the scientific community. Evolutionary science has that accountability. The antievolutionary objections of Explore Evolution do not.
This project is aimed at bringing together resources that discuss Explore Evolution, and to provide a detailed compendium of critical analysis that the authors failed to incorporate in their pages.
See also: Open discussion of "Explore Evolution"
This is the starting point for a collaborative project. The idea here is to gather together the scattered information concerning criticism of antievolutionary ideas and rhetoric and make it available in a readily-accessible form. This is to be, essentially, a compilation of a history of ideas.
Format of entries
It will be useful to standardize on an entry format so that readers don't have to try to interpret several different ways of presenting information.
Needed information per entry:
- Topic of criticism (include keywords so search will return the entry)
In 1981, a remarkable court case in Arkansas pitted creationists against pastors, priests, teachers, and scientists. "McLean et al. vs. Arkansas" sought relief from Arkansas' Act 590, which mandated that evolutionary biology instruction be balanced with "creation science". Unlike the 1925 Scopes trial in Tennessee, the Arkansas court heard testimony from a large number of witnesses on both sides of the case. Judge Overton ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and Act 590 was deemed unconstitutional. Overton's clearly written decision has been widely reprinted, and is available on the Web at several locations (see below).