Friday, April 01, 2005

Discovery Institute and Intelligent Design

The Seattle Times's Linda Shaw had a front-page story about Stephen Meyers of Discovery Institute and their work in intelligent design.
Does Seattle group "teach controversy" or contribute to it?.
4/3 - I like Discovery's approach. They are saying there are questions about Darwinism. More on the questions in a bit. Since there are questions students should be told - first tell the teachers. So don't present Darwinism as a closed book, but look at the current situation - "the controversy" says Discovery. Questions: First the origin of the earth and life on it is history, not science. Science involves making a hypothesis, then setting up experiments to test it. It's water under the bridge. There is no way to do experiments on the atmospheric conditions at the time life first appeared. And the famous Miller-Urey experiment in the1950s that generated some amino acids came no where near to creating the necessary ingredients for life. The proteins have to be either left- or right-handed, not both. But the experiment produced a random mix. Second, much of what we learned about evolution is not true. The famous example of the moths in England evolving to be darker in color when coal pollution darkened the vegetation was fraud. The perpetrator glued the moths to the trees to produce the evidence. See the book Of Moths and Men: An Evolutionary Tale: The Untold Story of Science and the Peppered Moth by Judith Hooper. There are more examples of things we learned that are not true - the development of the human embryo going through evolution; Darwin's finches - in Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong by Jonathan Wells. Link So it makes sense to teach students about evolution, and that the book is not closed; there are questions. Teach the students to look at the controversy for themselves.

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