When confronted with considerable evidence that his uninformed claims
were false Gene Newman has resorted to even sillier justifications
and dissembling. A few examples include claiming non-experts in
evolutionary biology are really experts since they have degrees
in other (even unrelated) fields, talking about stock prices, and
of course, that overwhelming (and perhaps gluteusly inspired) claim
that anyone volunteering to have their tail-bone removed would be
showing a real statement of confidence in evolutionary theory.
Indeed the intellectual vacuousness of his ignorant arguments becomes
only more apparent with time. He has thus far been unable to defend
even a single one of his claims in any kind of rational manner.
In "MORE QUOTES FROM PROFESSIONALS" we find the following drivel :
"III. In volume one of THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES REVISITED W.R. Bird
treats the scientific complexities of evolution with admirable
scholarship. His dispassionate spirit of inquiry is precisely what
is needed at a time when evolution has become so politicized and
positions so polarized.
... I caution the reader not to dismiss this sober two-volume work
simply because its author, though thoroughly informed on the issues,
is not a biologist. I believe that Bird, in fact, has two distinct
advantages in being an "outsider." First, he brings an objectivity to
the topic that is rarely found among those trained from their under-
graduate days in a narrow speciality and who are often burdened
with unexamined presuppositions."
Note the above claims of "admirable scholarship", "dispassionate spirit
of inquiry", "thoroughly informed on the issues", and "he brings an
objectivity to the topic". Robert Schadewald has pointed out that
Wendell Bird used to be an ancient-earth creationist; at least until
Jerry Fallwell convinced him that young-earth creationism was the
only view acceptable to real (TM) Christians. It is also interesting
that Bird is a complete scientific illiterate and has been a member
of the ICR (Institute for Creation Research [SIC]) for more than a
decade. The ICR unconditionally requires all of its faculty to sign
pledges certifying their literal belief in the factual inerrancy of
the Bible including all of the creation myths. Although Bird has been
peddling "creation science" (an oxymoron) via the legal system for
over 15 years, he has lost every single case. This includes McLean vs
Arkansas (January 5, 1982), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth
Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court (June, 1987). In fact, Arkansas
Federal Judge William R. Overton dismissed Bird's argument as having
NO legal merit. Robert M. Augros' claim that conventional scientists
are "burdened with unexamined presuppositions" is quite an excellent
example of backwards thinking.
Note that the author of the following tripe (section IV) is an
Associate Professor of Chemistry at Wofford College in South
Carolina (W. Scott Morrow).
"IV. To be true to its promises, science must be based on honorable
activities, and eschew injustice, intolerance, and the arrogance that
all too often accompanies political power."
Note the backwards thinking here; creationists refuse to let
conventional (i.e. real) scientists into their organizations and
schools. When I pointed this out to a local creationist (Dennis
Feucht) he replied that the biblical inerrancy pledge is really
no different than the requirements that scientific journals place
on the papers that they publish (this sure convinced me; how can
you possibly argue with such careful stainless-steel-like precision
"... Even in the scientific enterprise, we find execrable individuals
who would impose their hubristic ideology on the rest of us through
the power of the state."
Note the backwards thinking here; creationist are trying to use the
legal system to "impose their hubristic ideology on the rest of us
through the power of the state" (the scientific community has never
"... I say that from my personal perspective as a evolutionist.
... What in the world are my fellow evolutionists afraid of? ..."
The claims that some creationists make about either currently being
or having once been evolutionists are largely regarded as specious
since these people relentlessly misrepresent evolution. They are
also frequently unable to give any kind of coherent definition of
"... Beware, watch out fro [sic] the "army of the night," or we will
find ourselves looking at Torquemada all over again. Well, as W.R.
Bird definitively shows, the spawn of the Grand Inquisitor are indeed
with us, polluting the scientific and educational landscape, denying
employment, tenure, and academic degrees, censoring what is published
and taught, etc."
Note the backwards thinking here; Torquemada was a creationist (the
Grand Inquisitor for the Spanish Inquisition) and the "army of the
night" is also a creationist invention. Ironically, Morrow is
partially correct here (but not for the reasons that he pretends).
Creationists have been persecuting each other (and of course, others)
for centuries. Also note that creationists refuse to let conventional
scientists into their organizations and schools (detailed later).
During the 1982 "Balanced Treatment of Creation-Science [sic] and
Evolution-Science Act" trial in Little Rock Arkansas, Morrow claimed
to have once been an evolutionist and rambled for more than an hour
about how closed minded evolutionary scientists were. When Judge
Overton asked him for even a single example of a scientifically valid
creationist paper's having been rejected, Morrow was unable to respond,
but went on to imply that the entire international scientific community
was engaged in a conspiracy (in fact, creationists were unable to
show a single paper that had even been submitted to a scientific
journal). Morrow also said "I know a closed mind when I see one"
while referring to scientific colleagues. After leaving the stand,
he told reporters that the judge wasn't paying attention and was
Eugenie Scott and Henry Cole used SCI-SEARCH to do a 3-year scan of
over 1000 scientific and technical journals looking for articles
written by creationists. Only 6 papers from creationists were
published. None of the papers were about creationism. They then
checked submissions to journals and discovered that out of 135,000
submitted manuscripts only 18 covered creationism. All were rejected
for several faults including "ramblings", "no coherent arguments",
"high-school theme quality", "tendentious essay not suitable for
publication anywhere", "more like a long letter than a referenced
article", "no systematic treatment", "does not define terms", and
"flawed arguments". Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Scott and Cole ended up concluding "from the reviewers' comments, it
appears that laymen rather than professional scientists are submitting
the few articles that have surfaced the last 3 years." "... when
only 18 articles are submitted to 68 journals in three years, and
those articles are submitted apparently by persons not skilled in
established scientific methodology and theory, it is inappropriate
to invoke censorship."
An interesting side-note : During the 1982 trial Harper's reporter
Gene Lyons referred to Morrow as a "pompous faculty lounge-lizard
type". He also noted that British reporters covering the trial were
very quickly able to distinguish creationists from legitimate
scientists solely by appearance. "Creationist go in for synthetic
fabric, styled hair, or toupees, while evolutionists sport khaki,
wool, and facial hair." In creationism, appearance is everything.
"However, our teachers have seldom underlined Malone's arguments
that all sides of an issue should, indeed, must be taught."
Although flat-earthism is an alternative viewpoint, it does not
deserve equal time in the science classroom (yes, there still are
flat-earth creationist to be found - that movement isn't yet extinct).
Likewise, geocentrism, disease is caused by demons (or is an illusion),
bad weather is caused by Witches, and the nearly endless list of other
non-scientific views do not deserve equal time in the science
classroom because they have already failed as science.
And why, if creationists are so eager for equal time, do they so
carefully exclude modern science from their own organizations and
schools? The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), the Institute
for Creation Research (ICR), and the Creation Science Research
Center (CSRC) all require some kind of biblical inerrancy pledges
while not even one scientific organization requires such a prejudicial
view from its members. Note that it is not safe to conclude that
creationist organizations are in agreement because they all require
some kind of inerrancy pledge. Infighting in the ASA (which
originally formed in 1941 to "scientifically" combat evolution)
resulted in a splinter group forming and subsequent infighting
ultimately resulted in the three groups named above. A couple of
examples of creationist schools that refuse to allow any conventional
scientists on their faculty as well as prohibiting the teaching of
evolutionary science in their classrooms include both Liberty Baptist
University and Bob Jones University (this is also true of numerous
smaller creationist schools located throughout the entire US).
"... Further, we have failed to learn over the 63 years since that
famous (or infamous) media event the truly important lessons which
we could have learned from it." ... Russel L. French
Russel is absolutely correct here; he hasn't learned the truly important
"Dr. French is one of America's leading nonevolutionist [sic]
educators, and teaches curriculum and instruction at University
of Tennessee. He was the executive director of the Tennessee
Certification Commission from its establishment in 1983 to 1987;
it was the "master teacher program" supported as a national
prototype by President Reagan."
Although your attempt was clearly to imply that French is fully
qualified to speak about education issues you have, in fact, actually
provided evidence for the opposition. Reagan's department of
education was literally bursting at the seems with creationists.
Reagan also cut the science education budget to ZERO (claiming that
the government had no right telling people how to educate their
children, among other things).
"There will be many comments I'm sure about Dr. French's opinion on
matters scientific. His opinion here is as an educator in general
and the importance of teaching all available theories and letting
the student make a decision on their [sic] own."
How valid is the student's conclusion likely to be when the teacher
expends a negative effort to distinguish science from superstitious
nonsense? How likely is the student to understand what science knows,
and even more importantly, how it knows it, when all possible views
must be presented on an equal basis? Will every presentation in
science classrooms become a 24 hour day, year long event? It would
take at least this long to present just all known origin "theories",
let alone all known disease "theories" and all known weather "theories".
Could the real goal be to destroy all public science education? Could
the real goal be to indoctrinate children in a primitive superstitious
view discredited over 150 years ago? And please note that 12 of the
23 plaintiffs (i.e. testifying AGAINST the Arkansas equal time act)
were members of the clergy. So, even some members of the clergy
recognize the fallacy of equal time for a non-scientific view in the
Since Gene Newman apparently regards Stephen Jay Gould as an authority
and has even gone to the trouble to quote him at least two times in
an effort to support a clearly anti-science view, I am offering the
following two relevant quotes from Gould (suitable for framing - pun
[Remember to cut OUTSIDE the lines Gene.]
* "Creation science" has not entered the curriculum for a reason *
* so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it: *
* because it is false, and because good teachers understand exactly *
* why it is false. What could be more destructive of that most *
* fragile yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectual *
* heritage -- good teaching -- than a bill forcing honorable *
* teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment *
* to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to *
* undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise? *
* * Stephen Jay Gould * *
* The argument that the literal story of Genesis can qualify as *
* science collapses on three major grounds: the creationists' need *
* to invoke miracles in order to compress the events of the earth's *
* history into the biblical span of a few thousand years; their *
* unwillingness to abandon claims clearly disproved, including the *
* assertion that all fossils are products of 'Noah's flood;' and *
* their reliance upon distortion, misquote, half-quote, and citation*
* out of context to characterize the ideas of their opponents. *
* * Stephen Jay Gould * "The Verdict on Creationism" *
An Amusing PS
When I checked the spelling of this document with WordPerfect
(Ver. 5.1) it reported that "inerrancy" was misspelled and suggested
that "ignorance" was the preferred spelling (no, I didn't make this
up - try it out for yourself).
Creationism in Schools
The Decision in McLean verses the Arkansas Board of Education.
Science, February 19, 1982, volume 215, pp. 934-943.
Crusade of the Credulous
California Academy of Sciences Press, 1986.
Evidence for Scientific Creationism
Science, May 17, 1985, Vol. 228, page 837.
Repealing the Enlightenment, about the 1982 Arkansas equal-time trial.
Harpers, April 1982, pp. 38-78.
Science as a Way of Knowing - Evolutionary Biology
American Zoologist, volume 24, number 2, 1984.
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