Which Controversy Shall We Teach?
You can get a t-shirt if you want!

Seriously though... What exactly is the controversy that creationists want to teach?

One of the Discovery Institute's text books, Explore Evolution, says there are three major groups of controversy with evolution: existence of common descent, power of natural selection, and the existence of proteinaceous machines.

Common Descent: The Discovery Institute focuses on embryology, anatomy, and the fossil record; thus presenting common descent as controversial within the animal kingdom. The thing is, real scientists don't disagree about the common descent of animals, that's completely noncontroversial. Real scientists disagree about common descent in the microbial world, that's where the controversy is; Discovery's text book never even touches this realm.

Natural Selection: There really is very little controversy here, and most of it can again be connected to the microbial world. Discovery's text book instead focuses on identifying the consequences of selection. At times almost personifying natural selection as an intelligent agent; or implying that individuals chose their mutations based on their surroundings.

Molecular Machines: This is the "motor boat propeller argument" - basically that some aspects of cellular life are so machine-like that they could not have been accidents of natural selection. Also proposing that one missing part of the machine makes it useless, thus connecting it as an argument against natural selection. This proposal (and argument) are so flawed that many in the biological community find it laughable, some find it a distractions, and the rest just ignore it.

So... There is some controversy in evolution, in fact there is plenty; but none of it involves the basic principles of evolution! All of the controversy in evolution, in real science, are in the minute details. Scientists are NOT arguing whether-or-not evolution happens; they are arguing the fine details of HOW it happens.

Discovery is just creating controversy where none exists, and not bothering with the existing controversy (cause its too small to bother with). Thus all these bills supporting academic freedom to teach the controversy are a horrible idea. They are backed by Discovery, the Religious Right, and creationists; creating the controversy where none should be.

Nod to ARS.

Views: 24

Comment by Pam on April 7, 2009 at 8:08am
Love the t-shirts! Great post as always Johnny.
Comment by Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. on April 7, 2009 at 9:26am
Awesome. I want to collect 'em all.
Comment by River Otter on April 7, 2009 at 11:50am
The Discovery Institute got a taste of their "Molecular Motor" medicine in Dover, where they threw Behe under the bus.

Thanks for a terrific post! Love the Tee's.
Comment by Johnny on April 7, 2009 at 12:19pm
Yea, funny thing about Behe and the motor; even after they both got thrown under the bus in Dover, Discovery and creationists still use it.
Comment by River Otter on April 7, 2009 at 1:02pm
I know it. That, and the Institute bailing on Behe, shows their blatent dishonesty, and their true cowardice.
Comment by Johnny on April 19, 2010 at 11:34pm


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