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Darwin’s Poisoned Tree

Legitimate scientific theories like evolution should not be disbarred from science classrooms simply because of the religious (or anti-religious) views and activism of their proponents. Therefore, in order to preserve the teaching of evolution, it may be necessary to revise legal tests that are applied to assess the constitutionality of teaching biological origins. To put it bluntly, if evolution is to be continued to be taught in public schools, courts must abandon inquiries which look at the historical associations between a viewpoint on origins and religion (or non-religion). Read More ›

What is the Science Behind Intelligent Design?

Intelligent design (ID) is a scientific theory that employs the methods commonly used by other historical sciences to conclude that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. ID theorists argue that design can be inferred by studying the informational properties of natural objects …

A List of Fine-Tuning Parameters

“Fine-tuning” refers to various features of the universe that are necessary conditions for the existence of complex life. Such features include the initial conditions and “brute facts” of the universe as a whole, thelaws of nature or the numerical constants present in those laws (such as the gravitational force constant), and local features of habitable planets (such as a planet’s distance from its host star). The basic idea is that these features must fall within a very narrow range of possible values for chemical-based life to be possible. Read More ›

3. The Mission of School

THE MISSION OF SCHOOL MAY SEEM SIMPLE. HOWEVER, I FOUND very little agreement on what is the mission of school. In fact, I would argue that this lack of a common understanding is one of the ma- jor reasons schools and school districts fail to effectively educate such a large percentage of their students. The development and solid support of …

Are Young People Losing Their Faith Because of Science?

SUMMARY: Young people leave their faith for a variety of reasons, but for a significant number of them beliefs about science play an important role. These beliefs are often formed before young people enter college, which means that churches need to address the relationship between science and faith when young people are in middle school and high school, if not earlier. …

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Fern unfurling
Photo by Agathe Marty on Unsplash

Specious Speciation

The TalkOrigins Speciation FAQ, titled “Observed Instances of Speciation1 (herein “FAQ”), claims it “discusses several instances where speciation has been observed.” For years, this FAQ has been cited by pro-Darwin internet debaters as allegedly demonstrating that neo-Darwinian evolution is capable of producing significant biological change. However, an analysis of the technical literature regarding many of the examples discussed in the FAQ2 reveals that such claims are clearly incorrect. This assessment finds:

  • NOT ONE of the examples demonstrates the origin of large-scale biological change.
  • The vast majority of the examples do NOT even show the production of new species, where a “species” is defined according to the standard definition of a“reproductively isolated population.” Only one single example shows the production of a new species of plants via hybridization and polyploidy, but this example does not entail significant biological change.
  • Only one of the examples purports to document the production of a reproductively isolated population of animals—however this example is overturned by a later study not mentioned in the FAQ.
  • Thus, not a single bona fide example of speciation in animals—e.g., the establishment of a completely reproductively isolated population—is given in the FAQ.

I should note from the outset that my purpose is not to deny that speciation can occur in nature, especially when speciation is defined merely as a reproductively isolated population. When trying to assess the creative power of the Darwinian mechanism, that definition is trivial. Rather,my purpose is to test the FAQ’s claims. In that regard, if the FAQ is correct that “Many researchers feel that there are already ample reports [of speciation] in the literature,” then ananalysis of the literature cited in the FAQ suggests those researchers are wrong.

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“The Need for a New Economics”, Knowledge and Power (Chapter One)

Most human beings understand that their economic life is full of surprises. We cannot predict the value of our homes or prices on the stock market from day to day. We cannot anticipate illness or automobile accidents, the behavior of our children or the incomes of our parents. We cannot know the weather beyond a week or so. We cannot predict …

The Untold Story of the Kitzmiller Trial

On December 20, 2005, Judge John E. Jones, III handed down his decision in the widely publicizedKitzmiller v. Dover case.1 At the heart of his decision was a flawed narrative about the intelligent design textbook Of Pandas and People (Kenyon and Davis, 1993).2 The following report is not the place to discuss the provocation or actions of the Dover Area School Board and the Judge’s …

Expelled: Leader’s Guide

Despite the fact that most Americans believe that God created life, the only “origin of life” theory taught in the majority of American schools is Neo-Darwinism, which at its core holds that a random undirected process has led from non-life to all of the marvellous complexity we see in the living world. Recent scientific discoveries have raised serious questions about …

Truth or Dare with Dr. Ken Miller

Brown University biologist Dr. Kenneth Miller is the kind of person you naturally want to believe. He has a charismatic personality and a fast- paced, upbeat, and energetic lecture style. On top of all that, he umpires softball, rides horses, and is undoubtedly an all-around nice guy. Ifyou’re in college, Dr. Miller makes you wish you’d taken him for introductory biology rather …