NDSU’s Response to Campus Creationist Revival

A few days ago we told you about a Discoveroid Revival Meeting in North Dakota. It was sponsored by a creationist group and scheduled to be held on 11 February on the campus of North Dakota State University (NDSU).

We haven’t heard anything about the event, but we just found an item in the NDSU campus newspaper which seems to be a subtle response to the embarrassment of the event’s being located on their campus. The article is Celebrating Evolution: Happy Birthday, Darwin. It doesn’t specifically mention the Discoveroid revival, but it’s a very tasteful repudiation of the revival meeting. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Today marks the birthday of the man credited with the theory of evolution. In honor of Charles Darwin, NDSU has celebrated its fifth annual Darwin Days this week.

We know all about Darwin Day, so we’ll omit that stuff and get to what we suspect is the response to the Discoveroids’ event:

“First and foremost we want people to know that Darwin was one of our greatest scientists and that the theory of evolution is one of the best scientific theories in existence,” said Steve Travers, assistant professor of biological sciences. “Many students, and presumably people in general, are unaware how much evidence there is in support of evolution as the source of the planet’s biodiversity and for Darwin’s explanation of descent with modification. There is no scientific controversy about evolution as a foundation of biology, only a public one that is mostly restricted to the United States.”

Wham-Bam! How do you like that, Discoveroids? Let’s read on:

The department will educate interested students in legal confrontations involving teaching Intelligent Design as well as the difference between the most recent creationism theories and the evolution theory taught in the classroom.

There’s not much doubt that this is intended — at least in part — to rebut the misinformation and propaganda that was spewed at the Discoveroid revival. We continue:

“Our goal here is to raise awareness about the efforts of the Discovery Institute to portray Intelligent Design as a science, when in fact it is creationism re-packaged and therefore faith-based according to a federal court decision,” Travers said.

Well said! The rest is about the expected Darwin Day stuff, like: “The departments will also serve cake in honor of Darwin’s birthday and sell T-shirts,” and we don’t need to tell you about that. Here’s one more zinger that seems to be aimed at the revival meeting:

Travers said Darwin’s theories have led to thousands of important discoveries that affect mankind on a daily basis. He worries about an anti-science legislation proposed every year that intends to ban teaching evolution in public schools.

Nicely done, NDSU. Nicely done indeed. Alas for the creationists on campus, they didn’t even get mentioned. That’s appropriate, because they don’t deserve it.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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5 responses to “NDSU’s Response to Campus Creationist Revival

  1. I’m sure we’ll be hearing from the Wedgies very soon.

  2. This should be mandatory reading for every legislator in every state legislature in the nation, and every school board member in the country as well.

  3. He worries about an anti-science legislation proposed every year that intends to ban teaching evolution in public schools.

    Well, Luskin will not doubt say that the evolutionists are lying, they don’t intend to ban the theory evolution.

    Rather, they do want children to be taught “evolution”, defined as “a rock turned into a spider” (as Don McLeroy of Texas would put it) or “nothing turned into everything” (as Ray banana man Comfort would put it.)

  4. Great article. It’s amazing how the Discoveroids seem to prompt swift rebuttal from the biology department of every non-bible-college they appear at. Obviously no university wants to be associated with them. One would think they would avoid speaking on college campuses, but they must have the opinion that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

  5. ‘”as well as the difference between the most recent creationism theories”

    The above quote from the NDSU editorial is another example of undermining validity of argument from misuse of terms.

    The term ‘theory’ has a specific meaning. Theories make claims, yes, but not all claims are theories. Indeed, far from it; creationism claims are anything BUT a theory. Creationism is not even a useful/valid hypothesis because it cannot be falsified.

    Similarly, hypotheses are NOT theories. Yet even members of the professional scientific community not infrequently (almost exclusively when speaking, not writing, but still) say ‘theory’ when they only ought to use ‘hypothesis’.

    This distinction is important. Ever hear anyone in the lay community disparage a theory (e.g., evolution) by mistaking theory for hypothesis? Of course you have. Frequent misuse of these terms further confuses the genuinely ignorant, but worse provides ready ammunition for deliberate religiously motivated deceivers like the Discoveroids.