Fight for Right to Be Ignorant on Darwin Day

10 01 2009

See Tangled Up in Blue Guy, who says it right and will help you fight:


They went to all the trouble of creating a cool website, so we know they are serious this time. It’s actually a rather cute site, so I must give them credit for clever color schemes and cartoony icons. I invite you to the wonderful world of a protest movement, so you can fight for the right to be wilfully [sic] ignorant.




7 responses

10 01 2009

A gifted progressive homeschooler’s high school essay backing up Tangled Up in Blue Guy (so you don’t have to struggle writing your own — just link this!) 😉

Evolution vs Creationism: Intelligent Design in Our Schools

11 01 2009

There’s an Academic Freedom Day, now? Just a year ago, I heard about *Religious* Freedom Day for the first time. In fact, I actually blogged a little about RFD, as it seems to have been designed as a cover for state-sanctioned evangelism in schools. AFD is probably the same… Uh, oh. I feel a rant coming on…

11 01 2009
Nance Confer


When on board H.M.S. Beagle, as naturalist, I was much struck with certain
facts in the distribution of the organic beings inhabiting South America,
and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of
that continent. These facts, as will be seen in the latter chapters of
this volume, seemed to throw some light on the origin of species–that
mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest
philosophers. On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that
something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently
accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have
any bearing on it. After five years’ work I allowed myself to speculate on
the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a
sketch of the conclusions, which then seemed to me probable: from that
period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. I hope
that I may be excused for entering on these personal details, as I give
them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision.

My work is now (1859) nearly finished; but as it will take me many more
years to complete it, and as my health is far from strong, I have been
urged to publish this abstract. I have more especially been induced to do
this, as Mr. Wallace, who is now studying the natural history of the Malay
Archipelago, has arrived at almost exactly the same general conclusions
that I have on the origin of species. In 1858 he sent me a memoir on this
subject, with a request that I would forward it to Sir Charles Lyell, who
sent it to the Linnean Society, and it is published in the third volume of
the Journal of that Society. Sir C. Lyell and Dr. Hooker, who both knew of
my work–the latter having read my sketch of 1844–honoured me by thinking
it advisable to publish, with Mr. Wallace’s excellent memoir, some brief
extracts from my manuscripts.

This abstract, which I now publish, must necessarily be imperfect. I
cannot here give references and authorities for my several statements; and
I must trust to the reader reposing some confidence in my accuracy. No
doubt errors may have crept in, though I hope I have always been cautious
in trusting to good authorities alone. I can here give only the general
conclusions at which I have arrived, with a few facts in illustration, but
which, I hope, in most cases will suffice. No one can feel more sensible
than I do of the necessity of hereafter publishing in detail all the facts,
with references, on which my conclusions have been grounded; and I hope in
a future work to do this. For I am well aware that scarcely a single point
is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often
apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I
have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and
balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question; and this
is here impossible.

. . .


That’s where these yahoos got the quote from. From the gentlemanly introduction to the Origin of Species in which Darwin explains that this is only an abstract and he hopes to detail all the facts supporting his conclusions in future publications.

To expand this to suggest that Darwin was suggesting anything else is an insult to the intelligence of anyone who reads past the Introduction to Origin of Species.

Which may, actually, explain a lot . . .


11 01 2009
Nance Confer

From the bottom of the same page:

“. . .

Although much remains obscure,
and will long remain obscure, I can entertain no doubt, after the most
deliberate study and dispassionate judgment of which I am capable, that the
view which most naturalists until recently entertained, and which I
formerly entertained–namely, that each species has been independently
created–is erroneous. I am fully convinced that species are not
immutable; but that those belonging to what are called the same genera are
lineal descendants of some other and generally extinct species, in the same
manner as the acknowledged varieties of any one species are the descendants
of that species. Furthermore, I am convinced that natural selection has
been the most important, but not the exclusive, means of modification.”


11 01 2009

Nance, thank you. Glad you put your academic freedom to good use. 🙂

12 01 2009

Kids’ Bibliography on Evolution at Charlie’s Playhouse, recommended by Dale at Meming of Life. 🙂

12 01 2009

Sigh. I have two different comments about this. 😉 Last year, my then 10 year old, got down and dirty studying evolution. He had already decided he didn’t believe in God, but this cenemnted his thoughts. I don’t really have a problem with this, but, I don’t want him to rule out all his options at 11 years old. Above all, I want my children to have open minds.

Now, my second comment: My rabbi has a different take on the creation story. He says that the creation story is there to accomplish three things (none of them the exact timeline for the creation of the earth). The first thing is that there is a God. The second is that God has always been. The third is that God created the earth. It is not about how he created it. There are lots of creation stories, in all religions, and throughout history. The stories were not put out there for science. They were put out there to answer questions people have about God.

It was very shocking to me the first time I heard a young-earth-creationist say that man walked with dinosaurs. I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped. And, I don’t think they teach evolution correctly in schools. I do think it should be made clear that evolution is a theory, but I don’t think creationism should be taught in school. It’s a religious thing, not a scientific thing.

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