Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Battle of Titans: Charles Darwin versus Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter's latest book--Godless: The Church of Liberalism--became a best-selling book as soon as it was published this week. Although liberals might not think of themselves as religious, Coulter declares that liberalism is actually an anti-Christian religion that has become the state-sanctioned religion of the United States. Liberalism's "creation myth" is Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, which supports the atheistic materialism of liberalism. Far from being science, evolutionary biology is "just a crazy religious cult" (199, 217).

The popularity of this book might come from the deep wisdom and incisive wit of Coulter's writing. Or it might come from the sexy photograph of Coulter that fills up the cover of the book jacket. She stares at us with a sweet smile, blue eyes, long blond hair, a slender body in a low-cut black dress showing cleavage, and a necklace with a cross dangling over the cleavage. At her website, Coulter has a photo gallery. My favorites are the pictures of her in a black leather dress. This Christian conservative sexpot is going to seduce us away from Darwinian liberalism!

Ok, I won't challenge her in a beauty contest. But I might try to convince her conservative readers that her arguments against Darwinism as a liberal religion are shallow. She has never actually read any of Darwin's writings. But she has picked up all of her arguments against Darwinism from three proponents of "intelligent design theory" at the Discovery Institute--Michael Behe, David Berlinski, and William Dembski (303).

For example, she argues that Behe has "disproved evolution" by showing that Darwin's theory cannot explain the evolution of "irreducibly complex" mechanisms like the bacterial flagellum. But she ignores the criticisms of Behe's reasoning. It has been shown that some bacteria have a type III secretory system (TTSS) that allows them to inject protein toxins into the cells of host organisms. The similarity in the protein structures of the TTSS and those in the bacterial flagellum suggest that the flagellum could have evolved by incorporating the structures of TTSS, so that mechanisms originally serving one function could be taken up into new mechanisms serving new functions. In fact, Behe himself admits that such explanations could be possible (see his Darwin's Black Box, 40, 66, 111-13, 177).

Now actually showing the step-by-step evolutionary pathway that led to the bacterial flagellum or other complex biomolecular mechanisms is extremely difficult. But, of course, it's also extremely difficult to show the step-by-step pathway by which the Intelligent Designer created the bacterial flagellum! Comparing these alternative explanations, we can not conclusively prove one over the other, but we can at least weigh the evidence and arguments. Coulter doesn't do this.

Coulter also makes the famous argument about the "Cambrian explosion" refuting Darwin. About 540 million years ago, at the beginning of the Cambrian Period of geologic time, many forms of shelled invertebrate animals appeared over a period of 5 to 10 million years. Darwin assumed that there had to have been many animal species long before the Cambrian Period. But in his time, there was no fossil record to show this. He admitted in The Origin of Species that this was "the most obvious and gravest objection" to his theory. He offered a "hypothesis" that conditions prior to the Cambrian did not permit the formation of a fossil record. Coulter cites the "Cambrian explosion" as showing how "absurd" the "evolution fable" is.

But over the past 30 years, paleontologists have found an extensive fossil record of animal life prior to the Cambrian. Coulter dismisses this by saying: "instead of a glut of evolutionary ancestors, all we have at the outset of the Cambrian explosion are some sad little worms and sponges" (222). Here's the typical rhetorical strategy for Darwin's critics. First, they say that to prove Darwin's theory, there should be a fossil record of animal life prior to the Cambrian epoch. Then, when this fossil record is discovered, the critics say this not enough--"some sad little worms and sponges." What would satisfy them? "A glut of evolutionary ancestors"! And how many transitional fossils do we need to make a "glut"?

Here's how this works: as the evidence for evolution accumulates, just raise the standard higher and higher so that it can never be satisfied. And in a historical science like evolutionary biology, where demonstrative proof is unattainable, and where a preponderance of the evidence is the best we can hope for, setting an unrealistic standard of proof is an effective rhetorical move for denigrating the evidence.

And yet what really drives people like Coulter is not the scientific arguments over Darwinism, but the religious, moral, and political arguments. To prove her religious argument that Darwinism is necessarily atheistic, she quotes from Darwinian scientists like Richard Dawkins who are proud of their atheism. But one could just as easily prove that Christianity is necessarily anti-Semitic by quoting Martin Luther's brutally anti-Semitic writings.

Coulter admits the fallacy in her rhetoric when she says, "Of course it's possible to believe in God and in evolution," because "if evolution is true, then God created evolution" (265, 277). The point here is that evolutionary theory is about the natural causes of life, but whether those natural causes depend on some ultimate supernatural causes is beyond evolutionary theory as a natural science.

Coulter worries about atheism, because she believes that morality is impossible without belief in God's commands as the source of morality. "If God is dead, everything is permitted" (277). This completely ignores Darwin's account of the "moral sense" as rooted in the evolved nature of the human animal, which would suport a morality of natural law. Apparently, Coulter would reject this natural morality because it is not based on divine command. By contrast, she declares, "religious people have certain rules based on a book about faith with lots of witnesses to that faith" (281). She doesn't explain how religious people resolve disputes over the authority, clarity, or reliability of those "rules based on a book."

And yet, even as I find Coulter's scientific, religious, and moral arguments weak, I am more persuaded by her political argument. I agree with her that it is unreasonable and perhaps even undemocratic to prohibit high school biology students from studying the debates over Darwinian biology. There is no absolutely conclusive proof for Darwin's theory. Darwin himself admitted that there were many reasonable objections to his theory. The best we can do is to weigh the evidence and arguments for competing positions. So why shouldn't we allow high school students to study the debates? If they were to read some of Darwin's writings, some writings from recent evolutionary research, and some of the critical writing from the proponents of intelligent design such as Behe and Dembski, they could study the reasoning in this debate and decide for themselves which side seems more plausible. Wow! Students thinking through scientific arguments for themselves! What a novel idea.

Not long ago, at an academic conference, I made this proposal for an open discussion of evolutionary reasoning in public high school biology classes. Chris Mooney--the author of The Republican War on Science--was present, and he protested that high school students were not smart enough to read Darwin or to study the controversy over evolution. Instead, he insisted, they should only be presented with standard textbooks that summarize what the "experts" in biology believe. High school students should never be permitted to question these "experts."

I can't agree with this. Mindless memorization of what the scientific "experts" believe does not cultivate a serious intellectual ability to assess scientific evidence and arguments. This is especially important when it comes to something like Darwinian science, which has moral, religious, and political implications that citizens need to understand and debate. Here Coulter and the intelligent design folks have a good point: some of the proponents of Darwinian biology assume a stance of arrogant superiority and dogmatism that suggests fear of real debate and free inquiry.

Darwinian conservatism does not require a dogmatic commitment to Darwinism. It requires only a serious inquiry into the ways that Darwinian science might support the moral and political principles of conservative thought as rooted in human nature.

28 comments:

Wakim said...

The problem with allowing students to examine IDist literature in a science class is that ID is not science. On a college level professors often ask "Why would (insert piece of information here) not be a good arguement for design?" The problem with this question at a high school level is you have students in the class who really don't want to be in a Biology class and have been told science is wrong so much by their parents they will say "But it is" without ever thinking. Asking high school students who have already been brainwashed into ID or Creationism to think objectively about science is like asking a rock to talk. The truth is there is no contreversy in science about whether or not evolution took place, and in a science class a social, political, or religious argument shouldn't be drawn in. Of course students should be allowed to question what is written in textbooks, and be asked to think critically over such information, but what is in textbooks is not just what the experts believe, it is a peer reviewed collection of what experts have arrived at through their research. Citizens should understand the argument, but arguement is not one of science, but one of politics and religion neither of which are science and neither belongs in science. Also imagine a class where students are asked to examine ID and Evolution, can you picture how much of a fit the IDist students and their parents would throw when the teacher directly said "nope this is all bunk" to the students after the IDist students said "yes we like this stuff...because our parents and preacher told us we will go to hell if we accept real science...and it is easier to say goddidit than all this scienc stuff."

Larry Arnhart said...

Imagine that you are a high school biology teacher. One of your students says, "I have been reading Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES. He says: 'If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' I have heard that Michael Behe--a biochemist at Lehigh University-- believes that the bacterial flagellum is an example of a 'complex organ' that could not have been formed gradually by natural selection, and so Darwin's theory breaks down. But I have also heard that Kenneth Miller--a biologist at Brown University--disagrees with Behe. Which one is right--Behe or Miller?"

How would you respond to this question? Would you prohibit your students from discussing it?

Martin Clarke said...

"To prove her religious argument that Darwinism is necessarily atheistic, she quotes from Darwinian scientists like Richard Dawkins who are proud of their atheism. But one could just as easily prove that Christianity is necessarily anti-Semitic by quoting Martin Luther's brutally anti-Semitic writings."

I don't think this is a good analogy since Luther wasn't anti-semetic for all his life and his unfortuate writings in this respect aren't essential to his theology.

I can't claim to have read much in the creation/evolution debate, but I sense that belief in evolution is essential to the irreligous outlook of much of the secular world.

wmr said...

Mr. Arnhart:

I am not and have never been a teacher, but in your classroom example my first impulse was to respond along these lines, "Both of those guys have far more knowledge about this field than I do, (and certainly more than any of you or you'd be teaching this class instead of me) so I don't presume to judge their conclusions. I'll leave that to other researchers at their level.

"Something you might want to think about, though, is how would somebody go about proving that it was in fact impossible for some particular organ to ever develop by Darwin's method? And remember that lack of imagination is not evidence; just because he can't think of any way it could happen, that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

"Now let's get back to the material that will be on the next test."

Anonymous said...

So, you would promote the method whereby teachers don't actually understand their subjects and simply teach their students a list of items to help them pass exams. It's been a while since I was in high school, but unless I'm badly mistaken, we've been trying that method for quite some time, and it's partially responsible for making the United States one of the most poorly educated countries in the developed world.

Of course, it's not necessarily a bad thing if students have intelligent questions that their teachers can't answer. High school teachers can't reasonably be expected to be experts. I see no reason, however, why they can not be called upon to understand enough both about a subject as basic as evolution and about basic issues in the philosophy of science that they can have some form of insightful discussion in response to a question of the sort that Prof. Arnhart has posed.

As for the question about whether Darwinism is necessarily atheistic, it should be plain to anyone that appealing to Darwinists who are atheists is not enough to settle the question, nor would it be enough to point to Darwinists who are not atheists. One thing seems clear: Darwinian explanations for the development of life makes atheism more plausible than it would otherwise be, because they purport to explain the complexity and adaptedness that look like signs of intelligence in nature. Accepting such explanations does not compel us to believe that everything in the universe can be explained in that way, or even that such accounts are in themselves sufficient to explain the phenomena of biology. Darwinism makes atheism more plausible, but it does not make it necessary.

Are conservatives generally aware that there are a great number of liberal Christians who believe in evolution and in the Apostle's creed? One would think not. I suspect that the dissatisfaction with the very idea of evolution is strictly a conservative's problem.

Anonymous said...

Coulter's entire arguement is that Darwinism is the best case against creationism and thus is ferociously defended past the realm of scientific analysis and into the realm of the bizarre:
"But anyone who questions evolution is ipso facto a 'fundamentalist Christian.'".
What if you are NOT a Christian or particularily religiously at all for that matter, but you ARE open-minded enough to dispassionately look at the evidence and consider alternatives to evolution?
Is not the establishment of anti-religion just as offensive to the Constitution as any establishment of religion? Is it Constitutional hersey to suggest that a theory that seeks to disprove creation might have a few scientific holes in it?
I thought the Left was supposed to seek truth, not crush it for the sake of avoiding defending their beliefs.

wmr said...

To the first anonymous responder to my comment (who apparently has not figured out that he or she can choose an identity that does not require an internet address) I suggest you return to the question as Mr. Arnhart posed it, which ends with "Which one is right--Behe or Miller?"


Also, why do you assume that any high-school biology teacher who doesn't understand microbiology as well as Behe and Miller, must necessarily be one of those teachers don't actually understand their subjects and simply teach their students a list of items to help them pass exams? There are grades of understanding between those two levels.

Mark Frank said...

Is anyone is proposing that US schools should not discuss or debate the evidence for Darwinism? Evidence for any scientific theory should be open to debate.

As I understand it the issue is why should one, religiously inspired, objection to one particular scientific theory be specified in law. It would, for example, be very strange to specify that the Hindu view of the creation of the universe be covered as an alternative to the Big Bang - but I am sure good teachers discuss the evidence for the Big Bang and that would imply handling any alternative views that might come up in class. No leglislation seems to be required.

But then I am not an American - so I guess it is not my business.

GH said...

I'll answer. Miller is correct.

He showed the pathway backed by evidence that would enable a flagella to develop.

Behe's entire argument is ssimply 'look this is to complex to develop without help of a designer', which is simply a form of the 'God of the gaps' idea. He has no evidence for his claim. I mean nothing. And the fact his book gets as much attention as it does says more about the nature of our nations ignorance of the scientific method than anything else.

The theory of evolution has no more to do with ones religious leanings than gravity or heliocentrism. The fact that so many 'religious' people can't stomach the truth science has revealed again speaks to their own identity problems and not the science.

And to present both in class is simply silly. Why not present holocaust deniers 'history'? ID has no theory. It is nothing by their own admission. How can you teach such a thing? Why would a teacher be so irresponsible to teach something for which no experiments, hypothesis, or fieldwork has been done?

Let the IDer's do some actual science and then the doors will open. The problem is it is pseudoscience and more on par with bigfoot than evolution.

And one last thing:
'religious people have certain rules based on a book about faith with lots of witnesses to that faith"'

Who are these witnesses? Which 'holy book'? It is well known that the bible is mostly written by anonymous authors but this is likely to much for this Coulter person to understand.

Anonymous said...

Mooney's point, which has been made elsewhere, is that the debates over evolution which ID advocates introduce are simply at a level much higher than is reasonable to discuss in almost any level of high school biology. He doesn't claim that high school students aren't "smart enough" to understand the debates, and this characterization is egregiously disingenuous. Instead, the real point is that they simply aren't *informed* enough at the point that evolution is introduced... or even by the end of the course, much of the time. This situation is made even worse by the fact that so many teachers have trouble presenting evolution in a detailed, comprehensive manner on account of the pressure applied by Christians.

Perhaps some school do well enough that these issues could be introduced in a second or third year of biology, which not every student takes - or in AP/honors courses, which even fewer end up taking. Otherwise, it probably won't be until college-level courses that people know enough of the basics in order to understand the objections. It's simply wrong to introduce objections (especially such bad ones) before a person has enough information to understand what's being objected to and why all the experts dismiss those objections.

Sometimes it's difficult for people who already "get" all the basics (and more) to understand this, but it's something which educators at these levels understand very well. Presenting information in the wrong order or at the wrong times can end up leading to more confusion rather than more comprehension. It's fine if students learn early on that some people dispute evolution, and if they care enough they may go to try to find out more, but teachers need to first build a foundation of what scientists know and why they know it (teaching the scientific method should always play a big role here, constantly being reinforced). Once there is a good foundation, students will be able to understand what the objections are all about, what they target, and what they really mean.

*Then* they can make an *informed* evaluation of those objections.

GH said...

Excellent points by the anonymous poster.

If there where legitimate scientific objections rather than 'I don't see how this could have happened' or a legitimate, testable, competeing theory perhaps there could be a case. As it stands now it simply isn't possible to do that and be intellectually responsible.

Once people really understand science and evolution these ID arguments look like so much smoke.

Anonymous said...

"So why shouldn't we allow high school students to study the debates? If they were to read some of Darwin's writings, some writings from recent evolutionary research, and some of the critical writing from the proponents of intelligent design such as Behe and Dembski, they could study the reasoning in this debate and decide for themselves which side seems more plausible. Wow! Students thinking through scientific arguments for themselves! What a novel idea."

While we're at it, let's read some holocaust deniers in history class, and AIDS deniers in health class! Teach the controversy!

Zaktem

John Pieret said...

I have heard that Michael Behe--a biochemist at Lehigh University-- believes that the bacterial flagellum is an example of a 'complex organ' that could not have been formed gradually by natural selection, and so Darwin's theory breaks down. But I have also heard that Kenneth Miller--a biologist at Brown University--disagrees with Behe. Which one is right--Behe or Miller?"

How would you respond to this question? Would you prohibit your students from discussing it?


First of all, I'd point out that Darwin was speaking solely about natural selection in that snippet (which even he did not think was the sole cause of evolutionary change) and warn the students about arguments by quote mining.

Next I'd point out, even if you accept Behe's claim, that only means that there is something we don't know about how evolution works; it does not go to the question of whether or not it occurred.

Then I'd discuss the philosophy of science and why it looks for and admits only naturalistic explanations.

Then, being several classes behind the curriculum by that point, I would start considering what excuses to give to the parents and administration as to why the little darlings will flunk the standardized tests that don't bother to measure their ability to think for themselves but only what they can repeat, by rote if need be.

Lastly, I'd take a vote about whether or not they should believe in the germ theory of disease.

There is, of course, no reason that any and all of these subjects should not be treated in philosophy of science classes and comparative religion courses. But they should be clearly labeled as such, with proper time allocated to deal with them reasonably and taught by teachers knowledgeable in those fields, not biology teachers ambushed by kids who may have gone through instruction on how to embarrass them.

Robert O'Brien said...

I enjoyed your post, Mr. Arnhart.

Robert O'Brien said...


While we're at it, let's read some holocaust deniers in history class, and AIDS deniers in health class! Teach the controversy!


Poor analogies.

Larry Arnhart said...

Although I have never taught a high school biology class, I have taught undergraduate classes at my university with readings from Darwin and from the debate over intelligent design. Some of my students are freshmen just out of high school.

I find that they are excited by the chance to debate these issues for themselves.

Reading the articles by Michael Behe and Kenneth Miller on the bacterial flagellum help them to see the character of evolutionary reasoning. They might notice that Behe admits: "Even if a system is irreducibly complex (and thus cannot have been produced directly), however, one can not definitively rule out the possibility of an indirect, circuitous route." So when Miller suggests that the flagellum could have evolved by incorporating the structures of the TTSS, so that mechanisms originally serving one function could be taken up into new mechanisms serving new functions, he is looking for the kind of "indirect, circuitous route" that Behe acknowledges. This mix and match strategy is generally common in evolution. So now the students have learned something important about evolutionary mechanisms.

The students also learn something about the nature of rhetoric in scientific debates. So when Miller claims that he has "refuted" Behe, they can see that he has unfairly ignored Behe's concession about the possibility of an "indirect, circuitous route" to the evolution of "irreducibly complex" mechanisms.

The students begin to see how rare it is that evolutionary science permits conclusive "proof," although it is still possible to weigh the evidence and arguments for opposing positions.

Now the students are learning a lot about scientific reasoning in evolutionary biology. Isn't that what they should be doing in every science class?

Steve Reuland said...

I wrote about how unwise it would be to have this "debate" in public school classes here. To briefly summarize, most of the ID arguments are either false or grossly misleading, and it would be a grave disservice to students to present these alongside of genuine science as if they were of equal validity. Secondly, the amount of class time spent on evolution is almost zero as it stands, and how one finds the time for a lengthy debate is quite unclear. Third, there is a political dynamic at work here in which creationists have a long and sordid history of intimidating teachers (which is why evolution gets so little attention) so trying to open things up to a debate would only facilitate those who teach creationism and down-play evolution.

I simply cannot see any good coming of it. By way of analogy, try to imagine what would happen if we had students debating some other well-accepted scientific theory, or some non-controversial bit of history like the Holocaust. The only intellectual value I see in this is to show students how dishonest people can twist the truth and make bad arguments. And that's assuming the teacher isn't one of those people.

Steve Reuland said...

Larry Arnhart wrote:

"Imagine that you are a high school biology teacher. One of your students says, ... Which one is right--Behe or Miller?"

I would tell the student that Miller was right and then I'd move on. I'd also suggest some further reading for after class.

Please note that the science of evolution and the evolution-creation debate are different things that have a surprisingly small amount of overlap. Creationist focus on a handful of issues and ignore the vast majority of the science. There are simply too many valuable things to learn about evolution to make dragging the creationists along a worthwhile use of time. It would invariably come at the expense of teaching students what they need to know when they take college biology courses. Courses which, by the way, don't waste time on evolution/creation debates either.

Anonymous said...

If there were as many people out there denying the Holocaust or AIDS at the level of sophistication of the major ID writers, then it would be appropriate for those issues to be treated in high school courses. It would also be thoroughly appropriate for those issues to be presented in a way that demonstrates the truth, and therein lies the problem: it is possible to demonstrate the historical truth of the Holocaust and the reality of AIDS to anyone who is not determined to deny them at any cost. The same is not exactly true of evolutionary theory. What is true, however, is that it can be shown why ID is unacceptable as science even if it can not be demonstrated that the metaphysical truth of reality must be in accord with scientific theories. I agree that ID should not be taught as science, or as an alternative 'scientific theory,' because it is not -- but that does not mean that the questions that it raises should not be given time in a science classroom, where one of the central questions ought to be: what is science? Given that 18 year olds can discuss these issues in introductory college courses, I see no reason why upper-level high school students who have already studied basic biology should not spend some time studying the philosophy of science. Students should be studying the philosophy of science for plenty of reasons beyond questions about evolutionary theory; knowing how science works and spending some time thinking about its possible relationship to reality is every bit as important -- maybe even more important -- than knowing the details of the latest theories in science.

Anonymous said...

Larry was doing a great job in this article until he got to the "teach the controversy" part. The reason NOT to discuss ID in high school biology is that it is not an accepted scientific theory. All of the arguments mentioned against Darwinian evolution go double aginst ID which has no evidence. ID makes no predictions and is not testable.

Steve Reuland said...

"If there were as many people out there denying the Holocaust or AIDS at the level of sophistication of the major ID writers, then it would be appropriate for those issues to be treated in high school courses."

There are. The AIDS denialists, at least, have far better credentials as a group than the evolution denialists.

Anonymous said...

I'm a liberal, atheist, evolutionist neuroscientist. I have mixed feelings in this area. One the one hand, I think that anonymous' comment is right on target:

While we're at it, let's read some holocaust deniers in history class, and AIDS deniers in health class! Teach the controversy!

I also think it's valuable to discuss the strength of the evolutionary theory and what alternatives might be. Basically, ID is not science. It's what's left if evolution doesn't work. There is no real ID science.

But, accepting evolution does impact our world view deeply. And asking students to accept evolution because specialists say it's true is leaving the student out of the loop about a fundamental philosophical issue. Its similar to asserting that astrology is true and your world view must include an explanation for how the configuration of the stars at the time of birth influences things. Because evolution is a big deal, and because acceptance of evolution can have a profound impact on religious and moral views, it should be discussed both inside and outside of the domain of science.

Although I am not, at this moment, a religious person I was very taken with an op ed article written last November by the dali lama. I'm paraphrasing here, but he said, in his brand of budism, if science discovers that a particular budist tenet is incorrect, then budism will change. Although I doubt that many other religions would state this as boldly, I think they should. Both science and religion are the search for truth. They should work in concert and jointly declare what the know and where they are ignorant.

Betting back to the original question, I feel that Coulter and the ID people really are the enemy. Rather than trying to make honest inquiry, they are trying to undermine science and foment culture wars.

wmr said...

I see that this thread is still going on, so I'll jump in here to criticize Mr Arnhart's comment above.

With all due respect, Professor, I think you missed the point of your own question. No one has said that the students wouldn't be eager to discuss this issue. If I am remembering my own high school days correctly, we were always happy to derail the teacher's lesson plan and get into discussions that didn't require taking notes and worrying about whether this was going to be on the final.

Also, you mention reading articles. Presumably, you have prepared them as part of a reading list. In your question, though, the teacher was simply presented with a request for an up-or-down reply to a student's question. Unless this enterprising scholar distributed copies to his classmates, what are they supposed to read on this topic?

However, the greatest difference is that you are not teaching a biology class, but a philosophy class.

I suggest that your comment is a counsel of perfection and that most, if not all, high school biology teachers in the real world will find your comment laughable.

Anonymous said...

The reasons ID does not belong in high school biology curriculum were eloquently laid out by Judge Jones (who is a republican, by the way) in his decision on the Kitzmiller v. Dover case last December:
http://www2.ncseweb.org/kvd/all_legal/2005-12-20_Kitzmiller_decision.pdf
See also the following web site for background info on the case:
http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp/?page_id=5

At virtually every university in the world, you will find plenty of biologists and other scientists who are devoutly religious yet accept evolution as the explanation for the diversity of life on earth.

Anonymous said...

It's always cute when people say "Oh, we should be open minded and consider the alternative." I can just see their big dewy eyes and hear their incredibly earnest, yet ignorant words. There is zero evidence for the "alternative." There is around one hundred and forty years of work that has been put into researching evolution, and all of that work is refining the theory.

We don't teach "alternatives" to anatomy or chemistry. We teach the science.

d the scientist

Anonymous said...

But, Does Coulter really want a debate to occur? Seems the debate, unlike with Dr. Arnhart, is concluded. Coulter, as Lawler might agree, is a right wing political correctness enforcer. If it seems, smacks of, or leans towards liberalism or the Democrats it is wrong i.e., politically incorrect. The logic then must be: All Evolutionist are immoral (Godless), Larry Arnhart is a Evolutionist, Larry Arnhart is immoral.

I was suprised by Dr.. Arnhart's agreement with Coulter in light of his criticism of the IDers. Is Coulter not just simply an IDer in a sexually attractive package giving lip service to deliberative democracy?

Schott

Anesha said...

Hi Nice Blog . I don't really know a lot about Human Anatomy study or art, but that's just my 2 cents. Really great job though, Krudman! Keep up the good work!

roger said...

The ID movement is a political movement not a scientific one. There is no freedom of speech issue or academic freedom issue for the simple reason that ID has no absolutely no merit to claim that as an argument, it has published no findings and contributed no scientific advances to earn its place in a science class. You might as well argue for the academic freedom to debate the existence of leprechauns in a science class.