Antievolutionism in the Classroom and around the Blogosphere

My freshman “Faith, Doubt and Reason” class yesterday took an unexpected turn, as a discussion of Paul Tillich’s treatment of symbols in his Dynamics of Faith raised the issue of whether faith is necessary in the natural sciences, which led some students (the vast majority, at least of those who spoke) to express a “lack of belief in evolution.”

So we discussed how scientists draw conclusions, what a “theory” is in the natural sciences, and the legitimacy of inference and deduction. I used the inferences drawn by linguists about languages having evolved from common ancestors, based on “fossils,” to the inferences drawn from the evidence in biology.

Elsewhere around the blogosphere, others have been touching on matters of evolution and creationism.

Kyle Hill offers a simple rebuttal to the common creationist argument from incredulity. Steve Matheson discusses what Darwin did and didn’t know.

David Hayward made a cartoon illustrating the fears some Christians have of science:

Jerry Coyne shared an image of Jewish creationist propaganda (for discussion of real sci-fi go here):

He also discussed a fake fossilized cowboy boot on display at a creationist exhibit.

Arni Zechariassen discusses Michael Reiss’ recent statements on creationism in the science classroom. Jim Kidder discussed David Attenborough’s stance.

Mike Klymkowsky shared a link to an article about new methods of correlating fossils and DNA evidence.

Joel Watts shared a relevant video clip, as well as emphasizing that problems with treating Genesis 1 as historical/factual have been around significantly longer than Darwin’s theory of evolution. Jim West considers annoying atheists to be more important than teaching science accurately.

In trying to make sense of the thinking behind various forms of denialism, note the recent research indicating that people tend to assume that a silent, non-voting majority is on their side.

John Wilkins discusses science and the investigation of the unnatural.

Matthew Paul Turner shared a photo that nicely expresses the impression Christian give when they link Jesus to pseudoscience:

If you need some humor to comfort you after all that, see David Lamb’s completely unrelated post on planking in the Bible.


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