They’re befuddled over there in the UK—I know that when I visited, I seemed to down a couple of pints of that potent stuff every day, so I’m assuming the natives must also be living in a constant state of alcohol saturation. Right? It’s the only explanation I can think of for the latest burst of creationist foolishness in the UK. They’ve got the former head of some school out there coming out in favor of the shoddy pseudoscience that this creationist group, Truth in Science, has been peddling.
However, Mr Cowan says the materials are “very scholarly” and could be extremely useful in helping children understand the importance of scientific debate
He told the BBC: “Darwin has for many people become a sacred cow.
“There’s a sense that if you criticise Darwin you must be some kind of religious nut case.
“We might has well have said Einstein shouldn’t have said what he did because it criticised Newton.”
Hmmm. You can find the ‘Truth’ in Science lesson plans online. I would not call them “scholarly” in the slightest—superficial, maybe, or misleading. If you look at the Irreducible Complexity stuff, for instance, you find a vacuous interview with Michael Behe and a PowerPoint file that shows mousetraps and flagella and parrots Behe and Minnich. There is no mention that scientists find IC to be a misinterpreted concept that supports evolution, rather than contradicts it, as the IDists claim. It’s a lesson plan that is in opposition to accepted science.
As for Darwin…he was a smart guy, who had a revolutionary insight, and backed it up with evidence. He also got a lot of things wrong (his model for inheritance, for instance, which I rip to shreds in my genetics class). Are the men in white coats coming to take me away now? Will my membership card in the Evil Atheist Conspiracy be revoked?
Cowan also tries to play the “teach the controversy” card.
“All the Truth in Science stuff does is put forward stuff that says here’s a controversy. This is exactly the kind of thing that young people should be exposed to,” Mr Cowan added.
This is incorrect. There is no controversy over Intelligent Design creationism in the scientific community—it’s a ginned-up hoax, and not a genuine subject for evidence-based, scientific debate. It’s like insisting that physics classes must discuss the possibility that the Apollo moon landing was a hoax perpetrated on a California sound stage. While that can be a useful pedagogical tool for highlighting absurdities, it’s not teaching physics…and similarly, the Truth in Science lesson plans don’t teach biology. They echo silly creationist propaganda, and the only useful lesson plan would be one that points out how wrong and stupid the ideas are, and why. There isn’t a hint of skepticism about patently false ideas in those plans.