2013 Was a Terrible Year for Evolution… but Only if You Tried to Teach It At a Christian School

Karl Giberson (below) has a PhD in Physics from Rice University and once held the title of Vice-President of The BioLogos Foundation, a group that attempts to reconcile faith and science. That blemish aside, you can imagine the trouble he got in when he attempted to teach evolution at a Christian institution. Even though the science he taught was sound, the administration, along with parents and donors, wanted him to lie to the students and teach Creationism instead. He refused to do that and had to leave as a result.

In an article for The Daily Beast, he says 2013 was a “terrible year for evolution”, but his story indicates that it was only terrible if you were a professor at a Christian school trying to convince a bunch of people living inside a bubble that they were misinterpreting the Bible at the expense of reality:

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Bryan Fischer Thinks People Who Accept Evolution Should Be ‘Disqualified From Holding Political Office’

Ah, Bryan Fischer, we meet again.

In the past, we’ve sparred (rather one-sidedly, I must admit) about gay people, NBA players, abortion rights and tax law, and I think it can be agreed upon that at least a couple of those topics are ones that neither of us are actually qualified to discuss.

And yet here we are to discuss another area of mutual expertise: Politics.

Today, Sir Fischer decided that those of us who believe in evolution should be “disqualified from holding public office in the United States of America.”



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Hey, Bill Nye, Why the Hell Would You Agree to Debate a Creationist?

For reasons that I can’t understand right now, Bill Nye the Science Guy has agreed to debate Creationist Ken Ham at the Creation Museum on February 4. The topic: “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”

There’s no debate to be had here. The answer is already an unqualified “Not a snowball’s chance in hell.”

So why bother with the charade? No matter what Nye says, this will only end in victory for Answers in Genesis. Here’s why:

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Over the Past Four Years, Republicans Have Become More Likely to Accept Creationism

When Gallup released its 2012 data on Americans’ acceptance of evolution, we learned that 46% of Americans were Creationists, believing that God created us in our present forms within the past 10,000 years. (An additional 32% believed in God-guided evolution while only 15% accept natural evolution.)

Now, the Pew Research Center has released its own data on the matter and they appear to have slightly better news: Only 33% of Americans are Creationists!

According to Pew’s data, 24% of Americans believe in God-guided evolution while only 32% offer the response that all the evidence points to.

So why are those responses so different from Gallup? Mostly, I would think, because the phrasing of the question is slightly different in the two instances.

But here’s where it gets really weird… yet completely predictable.

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Research Suggests the Brain Benefits Socially and Cognitively from Prayer

According to new research, the act of prayer can strengthen one’s will and refuel an exhausted brain. This comes to us from a post at Scientific American by Piercarlo Valdesolo, where we learn that Prof. Malt Friese and Michaela Wanke put participants through some emotionally and cognitively draining tasks — suppressing emotion and laughter while watching a funny video followed by identifying the colors of words that spell different colors as they flash by rapidly. Then the participants were told to pray for 5 minutes, and what happened?

Participants who were asked to pray about a topic of their choosing for five minutes showed significantly better performance on the [color identifying task] after emotion suppression, compared to participants who were simply asked to think about a topic of their choosing. And this effect held regardless of whether participants identified as religious (70 percent) or not.

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