An historian’s call to understand and engage creationists

God and DarwinDan Ansted

On February 4th this year, Bill Nye, the science guy, debated Ken Ham, the president of the Creation Museum in Kentucky. After the debate there was an abundance of commentary – some of it good, but most of it a mere repetition of old useless arguments that creationism isn’t science (in my opinion true, but an uninteresting observation). What seems to be missing from the various commentaries is a genuine attempt to understand how creationism arose and what creationists believe. Thus, while the Ham v. Nye debate is the occasion for this essay, it’s not its subject. [Read more…]

Not-so-intelligent design

Connor Wood


Chalk up another setback for the intelligent design (ID) crowd. In a lengthy treatment of unfortunate sexual traits in Science News, writer Susan Milius explores the counterintuitive notion that evolution can sometimes produce characteristics that are, well, no good. The examples cited range from bemusing to downright gross: seed beetle genitalia that grievously injure females during the mating act, sexual apparatuses in ducks that are remarkably incompatible between males and females, and costly peacock tails that—contrary to decades of speculation about their role in mating advertisement—actually seem to do nothing to attract females. [Read more…]