Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Klinghoffer lies by Omission, part II

Not too long ago I discussed a propaganda piece by david klinghoffer in which he did his usual, he lied. "Klinghoffer lies by Omission", well since he's still posting, you should know -- he's still lying.

So what is it this time. It about his constant attempts to re-write Alfred Russel Wallace's biography and turn him into some sort of Intelligent Design advocate. This time, for some strange reason, he's got a commentary published in the Washington Post and he, again, finds himself having to lie by omission to make his point. His commentary "How evolutionary theory's other discoverer could heal the Darwin divide" starts off referencing a NY Times survey. What little davey forgets to do is present the NY Times survey in it's actual context. He picks and chooses in order to give a very different impression of the survey's results. Here is little davey's quote:

"Pro-Darwinian educators were frustrated this week to find that most public high school biology instructors in their teaching do not wholeheartedly endorse evolution. . .with only about 16 percent believing in Darwin's theory of unguided evolution."
What does this imply to you? That 84% do not support Darwin's theory of unguided evolution? That is a lie. Actually it's more that just one.

So what exactly is Darin's theory of unguided evolution? There is no such theory. Darwin's theory is called Natural Selection. He didn't offer a theory about evolution being unguided. I don't even believe Darwin really discussed this all to often. It was later that the term 'unguided' entered the lexicon of biologists as effort after effort, of people just like little davey, failed to provide any evidence for the guidance of some sort of intelligence behind evolution and biology. So that is his first lie! Darwin postulated no such theory. Little davey would like you to think so.

His second lie is his attempt to make it sound like only 16% of high school biology teachers support evolution. That's not true. He couldn't even get his numbers straight even though he linked to the NY Times article himself. Here is a better idea from the NY Times survey:
  • 13% of biology teachers explicitly advocate Creationism
  • 28% consistently follow the recommendations of the National Research Council to describe straightforwardly the evidence for evolution and explain the ways in which it is a unifying theme in all of biology
From the article, and of course NOT mentioned by davey, is this little tidbit:
"That leaves what the authors call “the cautious 60 percent,” who avoid controversy by endorsing neither evolution nor its unscientific alternatives. Invarious ways, they compromise."

What that means is about 60% of biology teachers are not doing right by their students. Why not? It's because of pressure of folks like little davey and organizations like the Discovery Institute, AiG, and ICR. It's also because of parents who swallow their propaganda wholesale and argue against their kids learning actual science and school board members like those in Kansas, Dover PA, Texas, and Ohio who try and use their position to further their own religious beliefs. Let's add in the pandering politicians like Jindal, Santorum, and Perry who should know better, but need the votes so they will sign up for just about anything. These are the people who are causing a surprisingly high percentage of teachers to shy away from doing their jobs.

Remember Lauri Lebo's article "Was a Teacher Disciplined for Refusing to Apologize for Teaching Science? " I still remember this one quote:

"It’s difficult to tell exactly what took place in the classroom and whether Hensley overstepped her boundaries in a discussion of religion. Nonetheless,this all leads me to wonder, if a student argues in class that the bible is life’s literal blueprint, facts be damned, is it wrong for a teacher, in the course of teaching science, to correct the student’s misinformed worldview? Or,in the interest of not offending the child and parents, must the teacher coddle such ignorance?Because it’s a simple fact that the realities of science contradict a literal belief in the Bible. And not just on the subject of evolution. Heliocentrism, for instance?"
I don't believe the problem is the 60% of the teachers who are hesitant about teaching evolution. In my opinion the problem is in the school boards and administrators of those schools who apparently aren't backing up their teachers for doing their jobs! I doubt college professors in non-secular schools whose biology departments have clearly stated their support for science and evolution have any troubles at all standing up to politicians and parents who are anti-science. But when a High School teacher has to fear not only negative comments from parents, but cannot depend on being covered by their own school administrators and school boards -- it's understandable why they are hesitant!

To summarize and close out this post: On little davey's main topic, his attempts to re-christen Wallace as an ID proponent I, once again offer this:

"But whether there be a God and whatever be His nature; whether we have an immortal soul or not, or whatever may be our state after death, I can have no fear of having to suffer for the study of nature and the search for truth, or believe that those will be better off in a future state who have lived in the belief of doctrines inculcated from childhood, and which are to them rather a matter of blind faith than intelligent conviction". 1861 Letter from Wallace to Thomas Sims

"I thus learnt my first great lesson in the inquiry into these obscure fields of knowledge, never to accept the disbelief of great men or their accusations of imposture or of imbecility, as of any weight when opposed to the repeated observation of facts by other men, admittedly sane and honest. The whole history of science shows us that whenever the educated and scientific men of any age have denied the facts of other investigators on a priori grounds of absurdity or impossibility, the deniers have always been wrong." Notes on the Growth of Opinion as to Obscure Psychical Phenomena During the Last Fifty Years
Does this sound like someone who would support the modern Creationism-in-hiding Intelligent Design? As usual little david has his head screwed on wrong. But then when his masters at the Discovery Institute whistle, he seems perfectly happy lying to the rest of the world. Sounds a bit pathological to me.

For more information om Alfred Russel Wallace, please visit the Alfred Russel Wallace page at Western Kentucky University. It is certainly more enlightening than anything written by klinghoffer.

No comments:

Post a Comment