July 1, 2007

Department of fish, guns and barrels

Michael Behe represents all that is entertaining about creationist pseudo-intel-
lectuals. Even his own faculty, Lehigh University’s Department of Biological Sciences, disowns him, noting on its Web site that Behe is the “sole dissenter” from its “unequivocal” support of evolutionary theory, and adding that “While we respect Prof. Behe’s right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific.” (Odd, then, that Lehigh continues to employ him.)

Still, no harm in giving Behe another kick, which the New York Times has done by getting Richard Dawkins to review his new book. And Dawkins doesn’t disappoint: “Trapped along a false path of his own rather unintelligent design, Behe has left himself no escape. Poster boy of creationists everywhere, he has cut himself adrift from the world of real science.”

Tell us what you really think, Richard.

Posted by Stephen at 10:49 PM in Evolution | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

June 20, 2007

Euro-creationism and human rights

The Council of Europe—which oversees human rights in the European Union’s member countries—will vote next week on a proposal to defend the teaching of evolution, and keep creationism and intelligent design out of science classes in EU state schools. A report for the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly notes that the campaign against evolution has its roots “in forms of religious extremism,” and that “Today, creationists of all faiths are trying to get their ideas accepted in Europe. If we are not careful, creationism could become a threat to human rights.”

This isn’t trivial: the Council of Europe governs human rights for more than 800 million people in 47 countries, and has the European Court of Human Rights at its disposal. And although it isn’t binding, the proposed resolution—which says member states should “firmly oppose the teaching of creationism as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory of evolution by natural selection”—could effectively pull the rug from under Europe’s religious crazies.

Of course, the resolution first has to pass. Stay tuned.

Posted by Stephen at 5:51 PM in Education | Evolution | Humanity | Politics | Religion + cults | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

June 8, 2007

Devolved

According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 66% of Americans believe that creationism is “definitely or probably true,” compared with 53% who feel that way about evolution. Which means that at least one in ten Americans are both stupid and confused. Worse, more Americans are familiar with creationism than with evolution—perhaps there’s hope yet for Ken Ham.

As for Brownback, Tancredo and Huckabee, whose creationist cretinism prompted the poll: maybe it’s just as well they don’t believe in evolution, because they’re clearly not a product of it.

Posted by Stephen at 3:31 PM in Evolution | Politics | Religion + cults | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

May 11, 2007

Creation rebel

If you thought the new-Earth creationists at Answers in Genesis were nuts, meet crazed old-Earth creationist Greg Neyman from Answers in Creation.

Still, at least he doesn’t believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old. Unfortunately, what he does believe makes about as much sense:

“The creation is God’s handwriting,” he said. “It testifies to how old it is. It came from the same God who wrote the Bible.”
“So the question is, which fits the Bible the better, the old Earth or the younger? It’s a pretty easy choice, when you look at the science,” he said.

Read and weep here.

Posted by Stephen at 11:37 AM in Evolution | Religion + cults | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

May 10, 2007

The end, sort of

I’ve been messing with this blog for well over two years now, and it’s been—mostly—a lot of fun. But it also takes up a lot of time, which is something I have much less of these days. I guess I’m feeling pretty blogged out, an ailment that’s clearly afflicting others: I see that fellow Pacific Northwest blogger* Jacqueline Passey is also heading for hibernation. (Jackie, however, has been known to change her mind. So have I.)

I’m not going to shut down DP: this year has seen readership soar—for which many thanks—and I don’t want to let folks down. But for now, expect more pointers, less prose, and fewer pictures (which take forever to find). Think somewhere between Danny Yee and Atrios—although with less of The Economist and no damn thread.

And perhaps in a few weeks I'll change my mind.

In the meantime, first pointer: go read this entertaining exchange between Richard Dawkins and Ruth Gledhill, The Times of London’s religion correspondent.

[*Yeah, I know that Jackie is now shacked up in Vegas with boyfriend #452. And that my bio says I live west of Eastport, Maine. The map makes everything clear.]

Posted by Stephen at 1:31 PM in Evolution | Whatever | Permalink | TrackBack (0)