Why Are Lobbists Against Being Critical About Evolution?

Back in 2008, Louisiana passed a law that was very controversial in the minds of some, which states the following…

C.  A teacher shall teach the material presented in the standard textbook supplied by the school system and thereafter may use supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner, as permitted by the city, parish, or other local public school board unless otherwise prohibited by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

D.  This Section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion.

The battle then turned to Texas science standards. The focus was on the strengths-and-weaknesses requirement for evolution and other theories. Lobbist Eugenie Scott and others lead the charge to remove the clause. They were successful! The language was removed but with something way better than anyone expected and to the horror of Scott! The new clause states as follows…

in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.”

“Analyze and evaluate the evidence regarding formation of simple organic molecules and their organization into long complex molecules having information such as the DNA molecule for self-replicating life…analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell.”

This was one of the most important victories on how science should be taught in the public schools and a major blow to the opposition. Why would the likes of lobbist Eugenie Scott and the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology who voted to not hold their convention in Louisiana as a result of the bill being passed, would be so against it? Why would there be opposition for the likes of Don McLeroy who was chairmen on the state board of education in Texas? Why were there attempts to kill his nomination?

“Shapleigh said there is a perception that McLeroy is using the chairmanship of the State Board of Education as a bully pulpit for promoting his religious point-of-view and pushing it into the public arena.

The nomination was eventually voted upon, and Don McLeroy was not confirmed as chairmen. So why the fuss? Obviously part had to do with critical thinking and the other part had to do with a creationist pushing for its teaching to students rather than an evolutionist. But doesn’t critically analyze mean to criticize and if one criticizes evolution in light of this three-year law, does this mean public schools like in Louisiana and Texas now teaches the overturning of evolution’s status as a ‘theory’ by consensus? No! So why then was there and still continues to be so much opposition that even lead to the removal of a well qualified chairmen?

Eugenie Scott tries to give her own rational on why students at the public schools cannot be taught critical thinking when it comes to evolution…This was posted in youtube on July 7, 2011…

In the video at 46:29, she says…“Okay, what else can you not do? I have a little asterisk here. You cannot teach evidence against evolution. There have been some court decisions that have talked about this including Kitzmiller, but there has not been a really clean test of this idea of teaching evidence against evolution…”

Later on in the video she clarifies why you can’t teach evidence against evolution, “There is no evidence against evolution…Nothing out there is running a big neon light saying, ‘Whoa! Evolution fails here! We have to toss it out!’ But “critical thinking” which has been passed has nothing to do with that statement. And it can’t be replaced by creationism because it’s outlawed in the public schools!

So the only thing she can get paid for in this battle is being afraid on what students believe in evolution if they are taught to be more critical about it and find out it’s not as solid as they try to make you believe. But like one scientist told me in here, scientists are always critical of “theories” and finds no logical reason why students can’t be either. The fact of the matter is, Christians are way more tolerate of other people’s beliefs than what is demonstrated with the creationism vs evolution debate.

The fact of the matter is, it took a creationist to get the best science standards which allows students to critically analyze every theory including evolution!

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16 thoughts on “Why Are Lobbists Against Being Critical About Evolution?

  1. Of course, evolution is – like most other scientific theories – not finished and polished. But so far no clear evidence against evolution has been shown, so one should also not claim that there is in a classroom.
    If such evidence does show up, and is verified and test by others (as has been done with evidence for evolution), then that is another matter.

  2. elco, “vertical evolution” and “information-building evolution” are creationist terms, and have no meaning in the biological sciences. They both refer to that sort of evolution that is not sufficiently proven to their satisfaction. This area becomes smaller and smaller., Initially, it included all evolution, then only species change, and then “major” novelties.. Meanwhile these faux terms allow them to be smug in their ignorance.

  3. Eelco,

    You say, “Of course, evolution is – like most other scientific theories – not finished and polished. But so far no clear evidence against evolution has been shown, so one should also not claim that there is in a classroom.” The language of “strengths and weakness” which was the battle ground by those who supported evolution in the public schools here in the States which has been strengthen even more with better language but this has nothing to do with overturning evolution in the public schools! Even the reality of it says that theories have their strengths and weaknesses, it was still being opposed by evolutionists and in some cases major society groups that contained scientists also opposed it.

    That is not to say there is no evidence against evolution, there is, and much of it has to do with the untestable past. For example, plants perform an amazing wonder with its design that captivates many from the ancient past to the present. Plants have this ability to reproduce mathematically perfect patterns! The ability is called phyllotaxis, which can be described mathematically with the Fibonacci Series and the Golden Angle! Even though the mechanics of plants is poorly understood, being able to understand its mechanics doesn’t explain origin. Learning about its mechanics is true science, saying that a mindless thing like natural selection designed it, is not.

    Wikipedia a huge promoter of evolution, oversimplifies the explanation as a consequence of natural selection, claiming that the solution was found within a decade of Darwin by Wilhelm Hofmeister. If that were true, then the researchers who published in this week’s Current Biology about plants would not remain baffled by it. His simplistic model of competing mechanical forces is so 1896 that it would not satisfy what is known about plants today.

  4. That is not to say there is no evidence against evolution, there is, and much of it has to do with the untestable past. For example, plants perform an amazing wonder with its design that captivates many from the ancient past to the present. Plants have this ability to reproduce mathematically perfect patterns! The ability is called phyllotaxis, which can be described mathematically with the Fibonacci Series and the Golden Angle! Even though the mechanics of plants is poorly understood, being able to understand its mechanics doesn’t explain origin. Learning about its mechanics is true science, saying that a mindless thing like natural selection designed it, is not

    So evidence against eviolution is that it happened in the untestable past. Then Michael would accept that evidence against special creation is that it happened in the untestable past. Be careful what you wish for.

    Evidence against evolution further comprises amazing capabilities of plants, such as their feats of mathematics. Then Michael must accept that the perfect mathematical symmetry of ice crystals is evidence against the ability of water to freeze mindlessly, without divine guidance. Be careful what you wish for.

    .

    If only scientists could be satisfied with such diaphanous evidence! We could prove almost anything.

  5. Bugger, Olorin, I was just going to use the ice crystal example as well !
    Which you can see forming naturally anywhere where it is cold enough.

    Michael, you’re not quoting evidence against evolution. You are just showing wonder at how things form such pretty patterns like ice crystals. If you would really want to, you could dig into the literature and find out how this works. A lot is known already, but of course a lot we don’t know yet.

    But not knowing is not the same as evidence against. If you have evidence against, you would actually *know* why evolution would cannot work. That you have not shown at all.

    Wikipedia is NOT a promotor of evolution, but simply an encyclopedia of what we currently know and understand AND what sort of ideas are around (creationism is also covered by wikipedia).

  6. The patterns formed by sunflower seeds and by ice crystals are both “mathematical.” Yet Michael would have one be the product of a creative intelligence, while the other is a simple matter of natural forces.

    The patterns in ice do not form because they are mathematical. They form because their pattern has the lowest energy for their atomic structure. As more energy is removed, the ice falls naturally into lower energy configurations.

    The Fibonacci series formed by sunflower seeds do not result from its knowledge of mathematics. Sunflowers are best adapted when they have the maximum number of seeds in a given flower area. (Because flowers require energy and materials to grow.) A Fibonacci series achieves this adaptation. Therefore, a sunflower having spiral arms of seeds will outcompete one having linear arms; and the more nearly the spirals approach a Fibonacci series, the better it competes with its conspecifics.[1] We call this process “natural selection.”

    One of the most amazing mathematical tricks is that of the cicada, whose populations erupt, commonly, every 17 years. There are other cicadas having other cycles. But almost all of them are prime numbers: 11, 13, 17. Prime numbers! The mathematical discovery that blew the minds of the ancient Greeks, who assigned them magic powers. Did cicadas learn about them from the Greeks? No. A number of cicada predators also have multi-year cycles. If their cycles matched those of the cicadas, or any divisor of that cycle, then goodbye cicadas. The way to minimize this risk is to have a cycle which is a prime number—then the cicadas escape, unless the predator exactly matches both the length and the phase of the cicada cycle. Once again, those cicadas outcompete their fellows, and increase their numbers. Eventually, the survivors settle into one of the prime-number patterns. We call this gradual, mindless process “natural selection.”[2]

    .

    If mindless natural selection can explain them, we might ask What explanation can special creation offer for these mathematical features?

    Why would a creator choose a Fibonacci series for the pattern of sunflower seeds? Mathematical elegance? Then why not arrange them in a Julia set, which is even more elegant and complex? Flowers bloom at the golden angle? Why not at rational-number angles. which embody the highest mathematical symmetries? Why would a creator assign prime-number cycles to cicadas, rather than, say a power series?

    This is precisely the difference between science and creationism. Science offers explanations, thus increasing knowledge, understanding, and control. Creationism comes to the table of knowledge empty-handed—things are as they are because they are as they are. End of story.

    This is one of the reasons why creationism is not science.

    ==============

    [1] See, e.g., “Flower pattern and Fibonacci Numbers” Flowers bloom at the golden angle for the same reason.

    [2] Michael teases us with an undisclosed paper in Current Biology alleging that biologists are “baffled” by the patterns of phyllotaxis. Since Michael usually gets his facts wrong, and creationists generally misstate the reviewed literature, we shall dismiss this as a load of dingoes kidneys, absent an independent verification.

  7. . . . . . . Why Are Lobbists Against Being Critical About Evolution?

    “Lobbist” seems to be another of those made-up terms beloved of creationyists, like “vertical evolution.” A “lobbist” would appear to be a person who believes in moving heavily or clumsily. I have seen videos of Genie Scott, and clumsy she is not.

    .

    Regardless of his imputations, Michael asks the wrong question.

    The question is not why are rational people against criticism of evolution. The question is, why are creationists NOT critical of quantum mechanics and relativity theory.

    Creationists single out for criticism a theory whose broad outlines are supported by tons of evidence. Yet they do not clamor for the criticism of two leading theories that are absolutely incompatible with each other, and which we know are grossly incomplete, if not wrong.

    Tell us, Michael: Why do creationists call for high-school students to criticize evolution, but not quantum theory??

    There seems to be something rotten in the state of Denmark here.

  8. My personal attraction to the golden ratio, Phi=0.6180399, is this—

    Phi^-1 = Phi + 1
    Phi^-2 = Phi + 2

    These amazing relations are obviously evidence for evolution….

    .

    /s/ Julio H. Lobbista

  9. Eelco,

    You say, “Michael, you’re not quoting evidence against evolution.” There are so numerous and in some cases longstanding, it’s unreal.

    “Experimentation is a tool for keeping our thinking under the contraint of testing; constantly looking to see whether what we have reasoned conforms to what we have experienced.” This logical statement is not practice in Darwinian evolution…Here is some evidence against it and then some…

    Testing mutations for evolution. I love these experiments! In Nature, we read…“Experimental evolution reveals resistance to change.” Wait! Isn’t evolution about changes with mutations? Isn’t that what the ‘theory’ predicts on how animals progress?

    “Experimental evolution systems allow the genomic study of adaptation, and so far this has been done primarily in asexual systems with small genomes, such as bacteria and yeast. Here we present whole-genome resequencing data from Drosophila melanogaster populations that have experienced over 600 generations of laboratory selection for accelerated development…“We conclude that, at least for life history characters such as development time, unconditionally advantageous alleles rarely arise, are associated with small net fitness gains or cannot fix because selection coefficients change over time.”

    Despite their success in creating an enormous amount of mutations with the fruit flies, their designed bodies resisted change. That should not be happening if evolution was fact! Instead, their fruit flies should be open to change according to evolution! Creationism predicts a downward trend with nature.

    I’m going to jump out of Darwinism and point out something in space, The solar system is believed to have been formed over a massive amount of time by dust particle build up through a process called, “accretion” which you believe, but it has too been failing tests. Labs in the modern era have shown particles bouncing off one another or break into smaller pieces not forming into larger or even more complex particles. This confirmed James Clerk Maxwell who showed in 1859, based on his model of Saturn’s rings, that larger particles cannot coagulate from revolving small particles!

    Other criticisms against evolution are naturally based as well. Darwinian evolution has hurt science! Because its been used to try and change or maintain people’s values about what they believe the science is leading. Reporter Suzan Mazur put it this way in her book…

    “The Alternberg 16: An Expose Of The Evolution Industry”

    “The National Center for Science Education director Eugenie Scott told me that her organization does not support self-organization because it is confused with intelligent design “design-beyond laws” as Michael Behe, a biochemist at Lehign University describes it. NCSE also pays lucrative fees to conference speakers who keep the lid on self-organization by beat the drum of Darwinian natural selection. NCSE and its cronies completely demonize the intelligent design community, even those who agree with evolution happened. Religion is not a target since even National Academy of Science embraces religion. So it seems the real target is those who fail to kneel before Darwinain theory of natural selection and prevent the further fattening of the Darwinain industry tapeworm.

    So even those who believe in evolution, but do not buy into natural selection is evidence against evolution as well. But its not the overturning stuff that testing mutations presents! I just love those experiments! :)

  10. Sorry Michael, but you still do not quote any evidence against evolution. The solar system has nothing to do with evolution, of course, and quoting Maxwell is a little out of date, I’d say.
    Your other quotes:
    “resistance to change” is not evidence against evolution: resistance does not mean it is impossible.

    Then: “unconditionally advantageous alleles rarely arise”
    Rarely is not never. Evolution needs lots of time. We know that. And there was lots of time.
    You also did not print ‘unconditionally’ in bold. Why ? That matters, of course.

    Your last part is political, not scientific, and no evidence against evolution.

    Finally, ‘Darwinism’ is not a scientific term: an ‘-ism’ is an ideology. No biologist uses the term ‘Darwinism’. Only creationists.

  11. Reporter Suzan Mazur put it this way in her book…

    “The Alternberg 16: An Expose Of The Evolution Industry”

    I can’t believe anyone still quotes Suzan Mazur.

    First, the Altenberg Conference was orghanized precisely to boot around unconventional ideas that at this time have little or no support in the community of evolutionary biologists. The point was to brainstrom outside the box, to see whether it would lead anywhaere. (This far, it has not.)

    Second, every one of the 16 attendees of the Conference has said in print that Mazur grossly distorted what they said. When a bunch of people who disagree with each other all agree that thay have been misquoted, then something is terriblly wrong. And they do agree that the level of Mazur’s reporting goes beyond misinterpretation, and slips into deliberate FRAUD.

    Quote Mazur if you are really that desperate for msaterial,. Everyone else is laughing.

  12. @Olorin:
    that’s interesting, and indeed really desperate on Michael’s part ….

  13. There is one inconvenient bit of evidence concerning evolution and creation that Michael continues to gloss over.

    Evolution happens today. We can see it. We can see stickleback fish change into different species. We can see lizards forming ring species just by driving a couple hundred miles along the San Joaquin Valley in California. (Or by circumnavigating Lake Superior.) New frog species appear on an island in the Adriatic in 30 years. New bacteria species that digest Nylon and PCPs—chemicals that did not exist a century ago. Famously, Richard Lenski added a material to his bacteria as an inedible substrate, yet his bugs evolved a novel metabolic pathway to eat it.

    On the other hand, even the most strung-out creationists tell us that creation does not happen today. Oh, no. No one sees it; no one has ever observed it. One must believe it. Even the ID folk have never pointed to a specific act of design that they have observed first-hand on one of their numerous field trips or in their modern laboratory at the Biologic Institute.

    Evolution does not occur only in the past. It occurs today in plain sight. Creation, however, can only be inferred from the untestable past—the vary method which Michael proclaims to be unreliable.

    Go figure.

  14. Olorin says,

    Second, every one of the 16 attendees of the Conference has said in print that Mazur grossly distorted what they said. When a bunch of people who disagree with each other all agree that thay have been misquoted, then something is terriblly wrong. And they do agree that the level of Mazur’s reporting goes beyond misinterpretation, and slips into deliberate FRAUD.

    Quote Mazur if you are really that desperate for msaterial,. Everyone else is laughing.

    Now it is interesting that Creationists love to point to Piltdown Man, Archeoraptor, Hackle’s Embryos and Nebraska Man and claim that “Evolutionists” are perpetrators of fraud….even though no once cites them anymore.[1] If Michael is now quoting a fraud, then I guess fraud is okay when it is the creationist perpetrating it. After all, “a lie in the name of the Lord is not a sin.”

    —————–
    [1] Piltdown man was intended to show the British race as superior with it’s big brain since the Germans had the Neanderthals with their larger than modern human craniums, so the purpose had more to do with racism than it had to do with proving evolution. No one ever cited Archeoraptor since the scientific community was skeptical of it from the start. It only fooled National Geographic which is not even a scientific publication. Nebraska Man was not a deliberate fraud since the tooth of a Peccary is extremely hard to distinguish from a primates tooth, so it was not as if scientists were trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

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