Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the title is Let students judge for themselves. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do we’ll omit the writer’s name and city; but we’ll tell you this much — after his name it says: “management consultant,” so if you need some help in Louisiana, now you know where you can find it Okay, here we go:
Your Aug. 12 editorial rightly warns that vouchers might lead to teaching creationism in private schools. But the debate about teaching evolution is much broader.
We tried, but we can’t find that editorial. No matter, really. There’s been a lot written about Louisiana’s state-financed voucher program for private creationist schools. For some background, see Louisiana Creationism Is National News. Returning to today’s letter:
Most science curricula present Darwin’s theory as the only credible idea. Yet many scientists feel that living organisms are too complex to have arisen by random mutations and natural selection.
Oooooooh! — “many scientists” feel that way! Yes, some do, and virtually all of them are on the payroll of a certain theocratic think-tank in Seattle. Let’s read on:
Dozens of scientific articles in the fields of paleontology, microbiology, biochemistry, probability theory, information theory and scientific inference discuss the flaws and weaknesses in the basic Darwinian ideas.
“Dozens of scientific articles” — dozens! That’s a few silly articles out of … how many scientific papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals? Surely it’s several million — and not one of them presents evidence that supports the letter-writer’s claim. We continue:
Over 800 scientists have expressed skepticism about Darwinian evolution in http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org.
The letter gives a link to the Discoveroids’ sad little list of confused people who signed their Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.. We’ve discussed it here: NCSE’s “Project Steve” Now Has 1,200 Steves. The letter goes on:
A better approach is to present both Darwin’s theory and opposing evidence, and let students evaluate both arguments and reach their own conclusions.
Great idea! And while they’re doing that for evolution, they should also present both sides for the flat-earth controversy, the astrology controversy, and moon-landing denial too. Dump it all on the kiddies and let them sort it out. Here’s more:
An excellent textbook that takes this approach is Exploe [sic] Evolution — The Arguments For and Against Neo-Darwinism.
That’s how the paper printed the book’s title. The letter-writer obviously refers to Explore Evolution (Amazon listing), one of several creationist books we discussed here: Discovery Institute: Their Recommended Reading List.
Here’s how the letter ends:
Teaching students that good science is based on questioning existing theories helps them understand how science has progressed successfully over the centuries through the challenges of Galileo, Descartes, Newton and other founders of modern science.
So there you are, dear reader. And what have we learned from this? Only that the Discoveroids have a loyal fan in Louisiana — one who reads only the Discoveroids’ blog for his information. Years ago we met someone who thought AOL was the entire internet; but we eventually convinced him otherwise. This guy in Louisiana has it worse — he thinks the Discovery Institute is the whole universe of science, and it’s doubtful that anyone can change his mind.
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