Discovery Institute: Casey at the Bat

In yet another attempt to argue that the “strengths and weaknesses” of the theory of evolution should be taught to students in state-run schools, the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) have a new article at the Discoveroid blog.

To our delight, it’s written by everyone’s favorite creationist, Casey Luskin. As you know, we recently honored Casey for his creationist work and we posted the announcement here: Casey Luskin Is Named a Curmudgeon Fellow

Casey’s article is titled Article on Evolution Education in “Science” Endorses Teaching Students Evidence “That Supports … Or Does Not Support”. This should be an easy one for Casey. But first, we must digress with a bit of introductory material from here:

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Okay, let’s get on with it. Casey says, with bold font added by us:

In a recent article in Science titled Arguing to Learn in Science: The Role of Collaborative, Critical Discourse, education theorist Jonathan Osborne explains the importance of using debate, argument, and critique when teaching science.

[…]

Osborne notes that a major deficiency in modern science education is its lack of emphasis upon the arguments that scientists use when showing why certain ideas are right, or wrong

That seems to be a much bigger deficiency in the education of creationists. Let’s read on:

Osborne cites work from sociology, philosophy, and science education showing that students best understand scientific concepts when learning “to discriminate between evidence that supports (inclusive) or does not support (exclusive) or that is simply indeterminate” [emphasis in the original].

As all rational, science-literate people know, there is no credible evidence that contradicts evolution — zero, zip, nada, nihil. In other words, there isn’t any. Similarly, there is no evidence whatsoever that supports creationism (or ID). But somehow that escapes Casey. His article continues:

Learning about evidence that “supports … or does not support” sure sounds like learning about the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories. But didn’t we constantly hear last year during the Texas debate that teaching the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution is “bad” for students, or would bring “creationism” into the science classroom?

That’s right, Casey, that’s what you heard, because it would indeed bring creationism into the classroom. But that’s okay. We know you don’t get it.

Here’s more:

This much I know: leading pro-Darwin educational authorities who praise inquiry-based science education seem to ignore or disavow such beneficial methods of studying science when recommending ways to study evolution.

That’s what Casey knows. Let’s see … is there anything else in Casey’s article other than saying the same thing and over again? Not really, but this is what he says at the end:

Perhaps the lack of inquiry-based learning in evolution-education reflects the fact that skepticism on evolution is exactly what Darwin-lobbyists fear the most.

Right, we’re afraid! Anyway, our title was “Casey at the Bat,” and we’ve watched him give this subject his best efforts. Like the poem says:

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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2 responses to “Discovery Institute: Casey at the Bat

  1. Shorter (if possible) Casey: Whaaaaaahhhh!

  2. Curmudgeon: “As all rational, science-literate people know, there is no credible evidence that contradicts evolution — zero, zip, nada, nihil. In other words, there isn’t any. Similarly, there is no evidence whatsoever that supports creationism (or ID).”

    Depends on what you mean by “rational, science-literate” people. Most who would consider themselves that haven’t given 5 minutes’ thought to how ID/creationism misrepresents science, and thus can be fooled into agreeing that teaching “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution in science class is a good idea. That in fact described me for the first half of my career as a chemist. I naively though that comparing evolution to creationism would convince all but those already commited to denying evolution that evolution is the correct explanation. Then I found out that anti-evolution activists have ho intention of doing that, but rather seek to promote unreasonable doubt of evolution and only evolution. Needless to say I quickly changed my mind.

    If, however, you define “all rational, science-literate people” as only those who are already clued it to the scam, you must admit that they are a very small % of the public.

    Yet even that small % rarely takes the DI to task for not devoting “equal time” for the “strengths and weaknesses” of creationism/ID. The DI’s strategy avoids addressing ID and creationism altogether. Their loophole is to concede that it is inappropriate in science class (when their not trying to have it both ways by defending “teach ID” types in court, as they did at Dover). But that loophole evaprorates because they are free to teach that in a nonscience class. And free to back up their “ID is not creationism” whine on their websites and books by actually refuting YEC and OEC.

    The fact is, that the DI knows that the weaknesses of creationism/ID are infinitely greater than their phony “weaknesses” of evolution. That’s the real reason that they shrewdly omit any reference to ID/creationsim in their “strengths and weaknesses” scam.