Today’s letter-to-the-editor isn’t new. It appeared on 05 April, but we just ran across the thing in the Quad-City Times of Davenport, Iowa. It’s titled Schools should not teach evolution. The letter attracted 55 comments.
Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. We’ll use only his first name, which is Frank. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
New science standards for schools in Iowa are being determined by a team of science education leaders … .
Frank refers to a newspaper article about Iowa’s pending adoption of the evolution-friendly Next Generation Science Standards. The National Center for Science Education wrote about that subject a few weeks ago: Anti-NGSS bill in Iowa dies. But that’s not the focus of Frank’s letter. He says:
Some members are expressing concerns with including evolution. I agree wholeheartedly with them; evolution is not science.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Okay, Frank. That got our attention. Tell us why evolution isn’t science. He does:
The scientific method requires that the results of research be repeatable.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The results should be repeatable? We see that claim all the time, and we’ve always wondered where it comes from. And what does it mean — we have to re-create the universe before the Big Bang can be considered a scientific theory? Do we have to re-create the Earth’s biosphere in order to demonstrate evolution? How about the meteor strike that killed off the dinosaurs? Do we need to repeat that too? Yes, that’s what Frank means. Let’s read on:
Evolution is not repeatable.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The Index to Creationist Claims at the TalkOrigins website has a brief item on that: Science requires experiments that can be replicated. Evolution can not be replicated, so it is not science.. They inform us that the source of that clunker is old Henry Morris, the founder of the Institute for Creation Research, and they say:
1. Science requires that observations can be replicated. The observations on which evolution is based, including comparative anatomy, genetics, and fossils, are replicable. In many cases, you can repeat the observations yourself.
2. Repeatable experiments, including experiments about mutations and natural selection in the laboratory and in the field, also support evolution.
Yes — repeatable observations and experiments. And even then, as in the case of an observation during an eclipse, that specific eclipse doesn’t require repeating. Is this so difficult to understand? For creationists, it is. Frank continues:
Neither is creation [repeatable]. Both require an objective analysis of the evidence to come to the proper conclusion.
Frank makes no reference to the evidence for evolution — which is formidable — nor does he mention the evidence for creationism, which doesn’t exist. Does Frank worry that he can’t repeat Noah’s flood? Apparently not.
The remainder of his letter promotes a speech by a creationist at a local church. That event occurred two weeks ago, so this is where we’ll leave Frank’s letter.
Well, we learned something. The origin of the “repeatable” mantra was old Henry Morris. That guy was a bottomless pit of misinformation.
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