The Director of the National Science and Teachers Associations, Dr. David Evans, Believes that the Inclusion of Creation Science in Biology Textbooks is “Simply Wrong”.
Recently I noticed an article in LiveScience written by Dr. David Evans, who is currently the Executive Director of the National Science and Teacher’s Association. Dr. Evans, an oceanographer and former global warming consultant, is a scientist who obviously feels quite strongly about the “Theory” of Evolution. In his op-ed Dr. Evans laments the Texas Board of Education for placing “Creationists and Anti-Evolutionists” on the textbook review team. (Those crazy Texans!). One of these cowboy text book reviewers went as far as to suggest that creation science should be included in biology textbooks. Because of the large population of Texas, the decisions rendered by its textbook review board have an impact on textbooks available to schools nationwide.
It may surprise many people to know that there is not a single, generally accepted, definition of evolution. When Dr. Evans discusses “Evolution”, I believe he means to imply Darwinian Evolution whereby all life on Earth “evolved” from a, (and perhaps the same), single celled organism through a process known as natural selection over eons of time without the necessity of intelligent design. (If I am wrong about that Dr. Evans, please let me know.) Without getting into exactly where this first single celled organism came from, it is important to understand that this theory necessarily requires that, in the process of “evolution”, animals have to change in kind, (for example, from a fish to a canine.) It may be news to Dr. Evans, (or he may well know), that most Creationist, even the ham-fisted Texan kind, believe in natural selection. Heck, it was a creationist who first proposed natural selection. Creationists even believe that organisms evolve, that is to say adapt. For example the feline kind adapted into the variety of cats, wild and domesticated, that we see on Earth today. What Creationists do not believe is that evolution, or natural selection, can cause an animal or other life form to change in kind.
There is no observable evidence in the scientific record of an organism changing in kind. This issue of change in kind, and the belief that life came from intelligent design, not from random chance, is what separates the Creationists from the Evolutionists. Dr. Evans writes that we should not teach non-science along side of real science, or as he calls it “settled science”. However, Dr. Evans contradicts himself. Dr. Evans writes:
“Decisions about what counts as science should not be a popularity contest.”
In his very next statement he writes:
“No matter how many people object, public schools must teach what the vast majority of scientists affirm as settled science.”
So which is it Dr. Evans? Is science based on consensus, or not? I would suggest that even if a vast majority of the world’s scientists were to agree that the world were flat (and I think they did), it would not make it so. Just as we have recently observed that a “vast majority of scientists” endorsing the theory of global warming has not made it hotter. In fact, we never hear scientists say “The vast majority of scientist believe that the speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second.” That’s because the current speed of light is settled science and is observable, evolution simply is not. *(See Note) Consensus is the language of politics and not of science. When Dr. Evans resorts to supporting the theory of evolution by citing the opinion of a “vast majority of scientist”, he is reaching outside of science and into the world of politics.
Many people who advocate Evolution over Creationism often attempt to blur the distinction between observational (operational) science (science that can actually be proven by the scientific method) with historical science, (which is not subject to being proven by the scientific method). This is often done to falsely equate evolution with legitimate operational sciences. In this article Dr. Evans attempts to equate evolution with the scientific understanding of a sunset. However, we can observe and replicate the refraction of light, so our understanding of a sunset is backed up by scientific evidence and observation; evolution is not, the analogy fails. Dr. Evans implies that, without embracing the theory of evolution, our children will be deprived of a science education. The truth is that operational science does not rely upon goo-to-you evolution.
It is possible to believe that God created the Universe and everything in it and still have a perfect understanding of physics and chemistry. I would venture to guess that the Space Shuttle scientists at N.A.S.A. didn’t have to agree on evolution before designing the propulsion system. Dr. Evans goes on to write:
“We also need to provide teachers with the quality resources they need to teach science, including textbooks that include evolution as a unifying concept.”
What we should ask Dr. Evans is 1. Why do we need evolution as a unifying concept? And: 2. How is it “settled science” if there is no scientific proof?: And, 3. Why should a handful of scientist decide on what is “real” science and what is not? It is time to start teaching the theory of evolution as what it actually is, a flawed and unsupported hypothesis (it doesn’t rises to the level of a theory), not as infallible scientific fact. Further, evolution presented as a tautology (a logic statement that is true by necessity) actually teaches our children nothing, and certainly fails to teach critical analysis. Children should be given all of the information and be allowed to draw their own conclusions: something I wish more scientist would do.
As far as the Texas Board of Education in concerned, all I can say is God Bless Texas!
*Note: This is the logical fallacy of Appeal to False Authority. First, unless Dr. Evans has personal knowledge of the opinions of the “vast majority of scientists”, he cannot rightly assert that this statement is accurate. Second, even if it were an accurate statement it is irrelevant. The opinion of the “vast majority of scientist” has no bearing on whether or not the theory of evolution is true.