Thursday, January 17, 2008
David Gibbs' and crew have released their updated memo as promised and it is better written but still devoid of any educational content. You can find links and a good analysis over at Florida Citizens for Science.
The same attempts to water down the science being taught in Florida are rehashed. There is more quote mining, particularly of Ken Miller and, for contrast, Richard Dawkins. Add in Dan Dennett (incorrectly identified as an "evolutionary scientist") and you get the setup for the still disingenuous attempt to cast the teaching of evolutionary theory as a violation of the Establishment Clause:
Ponder carefully that these three evolutionary scientists have summarized the dangerous educational outcomes if Evolution, as a fact, is allowed to become the "fundamental concept" by which all of life is interpreted and understood. It will demand that the concept of "God" be banished from the mind and replaced by atheism; It will displace any idea that there is purpose for man except to discover what it means to be human; It will demonstrate that other species of animal life have as much value and right as man; and it will require a mind devoid of biblical theism -- devoid of any concept of God.As I noted before, the Gibbs' cohort are engaged in nothing more than sleight-of-hand. The standards are talking about how evolution is the fundamental concept within the science of biology. That is a simple fact. Biologist have considered evolution to be the organizing idea for understanding biology for 150 years now. ID hasn't made a dent in that because it can't come up with the goods.
The courts have decreed that evolution is not a religion, but even its own advocates declare that it is antireligious and atheistic leaving no room for religion in the life of the mind. It is not a religion -- but if it is allowed to become educational Benchmarks -- it will be a government sanctioned anti-religious movement designed to replace God, a Biblical worldview, and spiritual and ethical values in the minds of our children.
Gibbs et al. conflate the Standard's recognition of this state of science with "an interpretive system" that goes outside science and demands that the very concept of God "be banished from the mind and replaced by atheism." It is only the opponents of science who are trying to turn evolution into a religion here. In any event, many people, including Miller, don't think evolution could serve to banish God.
But Dan Dennett is right. Ideas are dangerous ... especially when all that oppose them are ancient myths.