Another intelligent design course canned

December 13, 2013 • 12:24 pm

Eric Hedin’s course at Ball State University was deep-sixed because Hedin gave a one-sided presentation of intelligent design—a discredited and religiously-based hypothesis about origins—in a public university science class.

Now another course has been canned, this time at Amarillo College, a public two-year college in Texas.  The course, “Evolution vs. Intelligent Design,” was offered in their continuing education program for adults.

The local secular group, “Freethought Oasis,” objected, and, after similar objections from the Texas Freedom Network and the National Center for Science Education, the course was cancelled. There’s a long, whiny complaint about this “censorship” by Casey Luskin at Evolution News and Views, as well as an analysis by Sensuous Curmudgeon, “Discoveroids suffer a crushing defeat.”

Lest you think that this is a violation of academic freedom because the title of the course implied fair presentation of both sides and because it was not a science course—or even a course for undergraduates—just look at the one textbook required for the course (the description below is from Luskin’s post):

Picture 1

You can suss out the book here, and check out the authors:

Picture 3

It’s an ID book! Three of the authors (Meyer, Minnich, and Nelson) are affiliated with the Discovery Institute (Nelson is a young-earth creationist!), Seelke is an evolution denialist, and Moneymaker (!) has written other antievolution books.

Some balance! No wonder that three groups objected to the course.

18 thoughts on “Another intelligent design course canned

  1. Whack-a-mole continued.

    Atheist groups around the country are making progress, replacing supernatural nonsense with critical thinking.

  2. I’ve talked to Paul Nelson, and he explicitly confirmed that he’s a Christian first and “scientist” second and that whenever the two conflicted Christian doctrine always comes first. He admits that he is religiously incapable of following the evidence where it leads. No surprise, but there is no point in having a science dialogue with someone who’s made their religiously inculcated cognitive dissonance their mantra.

    1. He’s not just a creationist, he’s a young earth creationist. This identity seems to be deeply and generatively entrenched in his history and thought. Quoting Wikipedia, “Nelson is the grandson of the creationist author and Lutheran minister Byron Christopher Nelson (1894–1972) and edited a book of his grandfather’s writings.” I’m a bit chagrined to learn that we had the same dissertation chair at U. of Chgo although we are not from the same department and could not have gone in more opposite directions.

  3. I have always gotten a kick out of the Sensuous Curmudgeon. Do his pals just call him ‘Sensuous’? Anyway, he closes with the nice point:
    “These are terrible times for the Discoveroids. They can’t even get one of their books used in a creationist non-credit class in a two year community college — in Texas!”
    This is a good day.

  4. While I Haven’t read the whole Explore Evolution book. there is a sample chapter on the book’s website. In it, they summarize the concept of Natural Selection. Their version is so poorly constructed that I give it to my students to critique. Given the credentials of the authors, and the fact that there are many accurate summaries that have been published (e. g., by Ernst Mayr), I can only conclude that the poor and misleading summary was deliberate.

    1. Remember that Stephen Meyer, whom I take to be the main author of the text, also wrote “Signature in the Cell”, and “Darwin’s Doubt”, that he has no life science qualifications, and that his PhD is in the history and philosophy of biology, not the actual science.

      My own view is that the authors are completely sincere and, since they are themselves creationists, imagine that their account is more evenly balanced than that of real scientists.

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