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Scopes Redux

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Written by Basil on 05/6/2005 7:53 PM. Filed under:

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In Kansas, Darwinism Goes on Trial Once More – New York Times

Don’t hold your breath; the jury is in, even though the defense hasn’t yet rested its case. A kangaroo court in Kansas hopes to provide the public a display of problems with the biological account of our origins.

Sighing was Cheryl Shepherd-Adams, a physics teacher who took an unpaid day off from Hays High School to attend the hearings. “Kansas has been through this before,” she said. “I’m really tired of going to conferences and being laughed at because I’m from Kansas.”

What’s interesting is that the prosecution is providing “scientific demonstration” that evolutionary biology is not based on solid science — by a chemist. Insert discussion of Darwin’s Black Box and biochemical complexity. No biologists? How strange.

If the board adopts the new standards, as expected, in June, Kansas would join Ohio, which took a similar step in 2002, in mandating students be taught that there is controversy over evolution.

Um, sorry. Controversy? I see religious people refusing to accept good science, not scientific controversy. I do not see papers being presented for peer review with opposing models of biological history. I see physicists, engineers, and mathematicians pretending to be biologists and geologists and putting forth “science” based, essentially, on literal readings of Genesis. (That’s the Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis folks.)

I see lawyers doing very bad philosophy, making a categorical mistake by confusing science’s methodology with a worldview commitment. (That’s the falsely-named “Intelligent Design” folks, who also have their own share of mathmeticians, philosophers, and biochemists pretending to be biology’s saviors.)

From a related article:

[Lawyer Philip] Johnson had played on the fact that evolution has, well, evolved since Darwin’s The Origin of Species was published nearly 150 years ago, and scientists do have disagreements over its details. It’s the nature of science, after all, that any theory can be rocked by the newest discoveries — and can be completely overthrown if new evidence demands it. But despite the claims of ID proponents, evolution’s central tenets are more strongly supported by the world’s scientific community today than at any time in the past.

I do not see scientists questioning the basic fact that there has been development from the advent of life on earth to the present.

Should an opposing scientific model of merit be proposed, it will be groundbreaking, newsworthy, and controversial. It has not yet appeared.

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2 Responses to “Scopes Redux”

  1. Bryan_Peter Says:

    Oh, brother…

    Thanks for posting this…I have a good friend who, unfortunately, is so desparately committed to the total innerrancy of Scripture that he vehemently defends the Genesis account as unquestionably literal (for if one can take Creation allegorically, one can begin to pick at the rest of the book. And after all, we MUST present a united front…


  2. Basil Says:

    Bryan Peter, you may also be interested the rather extended series I wrote on the subject, which begins with On the Dogma of Creation.