Daily Archives: September 3, 2010

Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design

i-5545603e6630aacbffde7a2ccceb8dd4-Forrest_Gross.jpgCreationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design is a must read for those interested in the Evolution – Creationism controversy. In particular, this volume is an essential part of the personal library of every science educator, for reasons that I will describe below. If you know a Life Science Teacher, this is a perfect birthday present. If you have a child in the public K-12 education system in the US, or the analog somewhere else, donate a copy of this book to the appropriate life science teacher!

In this important book published by Oxford University Press in 2004, Forrest and Gross assert that there is a new strategy afoot among pro-creationists. What Forrest and Gross claimed four years ago is every bit as much true today. This strategy consists of …

… a no-holds-barred commitment to particular, parochial religious beliefs about the history and fabric of the world … This variant has eliminated brilliantly the obstacle of rational opposition to ideology … The new strategy is wonderfully simple. Here is how you implement it: exploiting that modern, nearly universal, liberal suspicion of zealotry, you accuse the branch of legitimate inquiry whose results you hate, in this case the evolutionary natural sciences, of — what else? — zealotry! … Crying “viewpoint discrimination,” you loudly demand adherence to the principle of freedom of speech, especially in teaching, insisting that such freedom is being denied your legitimate alternative view…

This bold strategy is working, not just with religious fundamentalists, who do not need to be convinced anyway, but with people who have no such fundamentalist commitment and who are in principle well-enough educated to see what is happening. …

This lusty new variant of creationism is advancing rapidly by means of a strategy called “The Wedge.”

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Creationism and Evolution in the Classroom

A little over a year ago, there was a meeting of the Minnesota Atheists that included a one hour panel discussion of evolution, creationism, science education, and so on. The panel was moderated by Lynn Fellman, and included (in order from right to left as the audience gazed on) Randy Moore, Sehoya Cotner, Jane Phillips, Greg Laden, and PZ Myers. I thought it would be interesting to repost a description of that event for Back to School Month.
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