Stand up for REAL science. Critically analyze ALL theories.
Teach the ACTUAL Controversies.
Critically Analyze ALL Theories.
BLOG

Attention: The URL for this blog has changed.
It can now be found here: http://www.anevolvingcreation.net/standup/
REAL Science Blog

REAL Science Home

Contact Webmaster

Link to This Website

RSS Feed


Our YouTube Channel


Read this FREE online!




Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Ignorance on Parade


Sara Kolb Hicks was one of the *ahem* "Parade of Ph.D. Biologists" who testified last week in favor of retaining Texas's policy of teaching the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution. She has a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rice University and a B.S. in Biology from Louisiana Lafayette University.

Someone with those impressive credentials surely knows quite a bit about the topic of evolutionary biology, right?

Sadly, no.

After Hicks finished her testimony, Board member Barbara Cargill asked her for examples of "true scientific weaknesses" of evolution. Here is how Hicks responded:

Hicks: Well, what I think should be done, personally, is...they should take the examples that are given in the textbooks that support evolution, and if they are controversial, I think it should be said that they are controversial. To me, that is a weakness. That you're keeping...that's it's not one hundred percent backed by scientists. If its...kind of deceptive...like the peppered moths being dead and pinned on the tree, I think that should be mentioned. Instead of...you know there's some critical pieces that are being left out of the textbooks, and those are weaknesses to me. That's what a weakness is.

Cargill: Could you give a couple more examples?

Hicks: Haeckel's embryos?

Cargill: Okay. We've heard that.

Hicks: Um...

Cargill: What are...what are more?

Hicks: Um...

Cargill: Those are ones that I'm familiar with. Are there any others that stand out?

Hicks: Not off the top of my head...

Cargill: Okay.

Hicks:...but I can get back to you with more.

Cargill: Okay...Okay...Well...those are good examples I was wondering if there...if any more came to mind. I'm not putting you on the spot, like a quiz, but...

Hicks: Right. Those are the classic examples in the textbooks, so if that's the best they have...

Cargill: Right.

Hicks:...that's kind of concerning also because there is a lot of controvery.

[Someone else tells Cargill to ask Hicks about mutations.]

Cargill: What about how mutations are handled or...um...

Hicks: That they're usually bad?

Cargill: How mutations are handled in the textbooks do you...[inaudible]

Hicks: They don't usually discuss how lethal they usually are.

Cargill: Uh-huh.

Hicks: I mean they aren't...most mutations are not beneficial and that is one of the key ways they explain...

Cargill: Well I actually reviewed the Biology books five years ago. I was one of the, um, reviewers and that's what I found. I mean things that you're saying, I was like, you know, why are some of these still in here? Why is it not shown that, you know, this is a scientific weakness? I mean we need to get the science instead of this lop-sided version.

Notice how, when put on the spot, an advocate of teaching the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution did not give a valid example of either.

Not a single valid example.

I mean, come on, seriously?

Peppered moths? Haeckel's embryos? Most mutations are harmful?

Is that really all that someone with a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology could come up with off the top of her head?

And does she really think that those old, dusty textbook staples are "the best [evolutionary biologists] have?"

I have said this before and I will say it again. The next time someone tells you that students should learn about the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution, catch them off guard and ask them to tell you about the strengths.

Then sit back, relax, and watch the parade go by.



posted by Jeremy Mohn



<< Home | New from the National Academies Press >> | Evolution is REAL Science #4 >> | "Anti-Evolution Bill Still A Fruitless Exercise" >> | Concealing Evidence of Torture >> | Um, no. We don't. >> | Audio of McLeroy's "Impassioned Plea" >> | The Evidence Does Not Care >> | Some Things Never Change >> | Common ancestry returns to Texas >> | Dr. David Hillis - A Stand Up Guy >>


Archives
December 2007  
January 2008  
February 2008  
March 2008  
April 2008  
May 2008  
June 2008  
July 2008  
August 2008  
September 2008  
October 2008  
November 2008  
December 2008  
January 2009  
February 2009  
March 2009  
April 2009  
May 2009  
June 2009  
July 2009  
August 2009  
September 2009  
October 2009  
November 2009  
December 2009  
January 2010  
February 2010  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Blog Contributors

What is REAL science?




Disclaimer:
The thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are solely our own. They do not necessarily represent the views of our employers or any other organization with which we are affiliated.

Comment Policy:
One of the goals of this website is to foster constructive dialogue concerning science and science education. Comments not in line with this goal may be deleted.

Our Visitors:

Scientific criticism originates within the scientific literature, not outside of it.
© Jeremy Mohn, 2006