Denying Evolution Creationism, Sciencism, and the Nature of Science By: Massimo Piggliucci, PhD. Other Sources: Scopes Trial Homepage www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ ftrials/scopes/scopes.htm National Center for Science Education http://www.ncseweb.org/default.asp
Five Important Cases in the 20th Century Creationist Tactic: The majority opinion is the correct opinion (Let’s send those evolution-thinking teachers packin’). Scopes Monkey Trial: Populalist William Jennings Bryan battled Claence Darrow in Dayton, Tenn. Local school teacher (Scopes) teaches human descent from lower animals, which was against state law.
Five Important Cases in the 20th Century Creationist Tactic: Creationism is science too. What about academic freedom? McLean vs Arkansas Board of Education (1982): Judge Overton defined what constitutes Science. http://fp.bio.utk.edu/evo-eco/resources-this_semester/McLean%20v_%20Arkansas%20Board%20of%20Education.htm Louisiana Creationism Act (1987): Argument for equal time. Supreme court didn’t buy the idea that creationism is science. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/edwards.html
Five Important Cases in the 20th Century (cont.) Webster v. New Lenox School District (1990): A school district can prohibit a school teacher from presenting creation science in the classroom. http://www.geocities.com/Athens/1618/Webster_vs._New_Lenox.html Creationist Tactic: Evolution is not science. Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School District (1993): A school district can require a teacher to teach evolution because it is a scientific theory. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/peloza.html
Five Important Cases in the 20th Century (cont.) US District Court in Louisiana (1997): Teachers are not required to read aloud a disclaimer about evolution. Also, ruled that intelligent design is the same as creation science. http://laws.lp.findlaw.com/getcase/5th/case/9830132CV0&exact=1 Case against Independent School District 656, Minnesota (2001): A teachers right to free speech does not supercede curriculum . http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=mn&vol=apppub%5c0105%5cc8001613&invol=1
Special Creation Flat earthism Geocentrism Young-earth creationism Gap Day-age Progressive Intelligent Design Theistic evolution Materialist evolution Young Earth Old Earth Evolution
What is intelligent design theory? ‘Theory’ that some things in nature are the result of intelligent design (ID). Doesn’t meet the most basic scientific criteria for being a scientific theory 2. Presumably makes no claims as to the identity of the designer, does not claim the designer is supernatural, and seeks no link between religion and science. Not true. ID is defended only by people subscribing to a particular ideological view: creationism.
Anti-Intellectualism “The more learned and witty you bee, the more fit to act for Satan you bee.” John Cotton, 1642 Anti-rationalism, anti-elitism, and unreflective instrumentation
Anti-Intellectualism (cont) Anti-rationalism: Rationality is not a positive good but something to be mistrusted. Two fears concerning rationality: Fear that rationality is emotionally sterile Fear of moral relativism
Academic Freedom and Concept of Democracy From Bertrand Russell “There are two possible views as to the proper functioning of democracy. According to one view, the opinions of the majority should prevail absolutely in all fields. According to the other view, wherever a common decision is necessary, different opinions should be represented, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their numerical frequency.” “The essence of academic freedom is that teachers should be chosen for their expertness in the subject they are to teach and that the judges of this expertness should be other experts.”
Anti-Elitism Creationist view: Any claim to superior knowledge within a democratic society amounts to elitism. Knowledge is unequally distributed among Americans, but not political and civil rights 2) Why do Americans respect expertise in areas other than education? 3) Why are Americans elitist with respect sports, entertainment, and finance?
Unreflective instrumentamentalism (If it ain’t practical, it ain’t good) Education and inquiry are not good unless it has immediate practical value. Why should the government fund research on salamanders?