Atlanta public school teacher pushes creationism in biology class

July 7, 2014 • 6:56 am

Several readers sent me this story, with links to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Raw Story, and The Southerner, the school newspaper of Henry W. Grady High School.  Grady is a public school located in midtown Atlanta, Georgia, and its student -run newspaper, published since 1947, has won several awards. In fact, The Southerner did a terrific job of reporting this story—much more thorough than the other venues. The paper is obviously free from interference by the administration. All the quotes below, save at the end, come from The Southerner.

What happened is that a biology teacher at Grady, Anquinette Jones, taught creationism in her class, and in an obstreperous way. First of all, she showed this old chestnut in a Powerpoint presentation. According to The Raw Story, the slide was originally created by the notorious young-earth creationist Ken Ham around thirty years ago. If you’ve followed the creationism/evolution debates, you’ve seen this:

gradycartoon Notice that the flags on the “Evolution {Satan)” castle include “abortion,” “homosexuality,” “euthanasaia” (???), “pornography,” and “racism.” The Evolution side seems to be winning, too, with the priest-warriors in the “Creation (Christ)” castle showing some pretty lousy aim. Let those who say there is no war between science and religion explain away this slide!

At any rate, the slide came from a file-sharing system called “Sharepoint,” which came to my attention a while ago as it’s a resource base for schools, and yet creationists sneak material like this into it. The slide above was part of a 50-slide antievolution presentation which somehow was inserted into the database, a database that must not be vetted very well. The presentation was downloaded by the Atlanta Public Schools (APS), and found its way into Jones’s class.

But this isn’t the first time Jones pushed creationism and religion in class (it never is, is it? Remember Kevin Lowery at Lebanon High School and his long history of public prayer?).  As the student paper reports:

Freshman Lily Soto, who switched from Jones’ biology class after the first semester, said Jones had refused to teach evolution when the class approached the portion of the cirriculum.

“She always had random comments about [creationism],” Soto said. “If someone would ask if we were going to learn evolution, she was like, ‘No, I don’t teach that.’”

. . . Sophomore Isabel Olson, who took biology from Jones last year, said that this cartoon was not the first instance of creationism being discussed in class. She said that one time, a classmate asked how cells were created.

“Ms. Jones’ answer was [something like], ‘It’s divine, God created us.’” Olson said.

Olson also said Jones had the students debate creationism versus evolution.

“One day we had to go home and prepare a short debate to do for the next class about creationism versus evolution,” Olson said, “We had to prepare the pros and cons of creationism and evolution and present the ideas.”

Olson said she went to talk to administrators about the religious aspect of Jones’ teaching, but they didn’t take any action.

The administrators are thick-headed, because Jones was clearly violating the law. Well, they’ve done something now, but only after the Journal-Constitution, a big-name newspaper, contacted them (see below).

The good thing about this is that the students and their parents immediately complained about the incursion of religion into the biology class—in other words, they had guts. Of course Atlanta is neither as small nor as conservative as Lebanon, Missouri, but I was surprised at how many students complained publicly, including Isabel Olson above.  One thing that strikes me about all these complaints, including those about the principal Lowery’s prayer at Lebanon High School, is that the vast majority of complaining students are women. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m sure my own sample deviates significantly from a 50/50 sex ratio.

Some complaints about Jones:

Several students and parents were offended by the implications of the cartoon, including freshman Seraphina Cooley, who is in Jones’ class.

“[I] have gay parents, and [the cartoon] said that evolution caused homosexuality and it implied that to be negative, so I was pretty offended by it,” Cooley said.

Cooley said that another student emailed the administration complaining about the PowerPoint.

. . . Robin Rosen, parent of a freshman, took her child out of Jones’ class after the first semester. She said she wouldn’t have talked to The Southerner if her child were still in Jones’ class, for fear of retaliation.

“I was offended, but more shocked and disturbed that a teacher in [APS] could get away with putting that in a classroom,” Rosen said. “Offended is probably the wrong word at this point; it is very troubling to me that a teacher who is in a position of influence over children in a public school can put something up [like the cartoon].”

What was Jones’s reaction when she heard about the complaints? She had a fit:

Freshman Griffin Ricker, who is also in Jones’ class, said Jones got angry with the class when she found out students had notified the administration.

“She had a 10-minute rant,” Ricker said. “She yelled and said, ‘This is on the APS website, and it was certified.’”

This is inexcusable. It’s one thing for Jones to teach creationism, and the proper remedy for that is for her to be admonished and told not to do it again. It’s another thing for her to verbally harass her students for turning her in. For that she should be disciplined.

What also surprised me is that another teacher in the school went on record opposing Jones’s actions:

Fellow science teacher Nikolai Curtis said the PowerPoint was, in his opinion, inappropriate to show while teaching evolution.

“[It] dealt specifically with the religious controversy associated with it, and one of the major rules of teaching evolution is that it is science, and it is based in fact, based in evidence,” Curtis said.

Curtis said that the system, however, has not told biology teachers how to deal with the controversy.

“I look at it professionally,” he said. “Science is based in fact; that’s the secret of science.”

Curtis also said that neither creationism nor any form of intelligent design are mentioned in APS standards, an omission he deems appropriate.

“If you start adopting religious doctrine as a form of teaching, you start advocating for a religion,” Curtis said. “There is no national religion. When you teach religion in a public school setting, you are reinforcing a national religion, and that’s not acceptable.”

Curtis is right, of course. Although he didn’t note that what Jones did was against the law, he clearly said it was “religious doctrine.” That’s a gutsy thing to do, even in Atlanta, and it’s also striking that he spoke out so strongly against a fellow teacher. Given the public complaints from the students, the superb reporting of the student paper, and the criticisms of Jones by a fellow teacher, I like Grady High!

The one fly in the ointment was that the school didn’t do anything when students first reported the violation (twice). But they finally did when a a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Maureen Downey, contacted Atlanta Public Schools. Downey reports:

I reached out to APS Wednesday, recognizing, that while this occurred before the watch of brand new APS superintendent Meria Carstarphen, parents and students were still hoping for a response.

And APS responded:

“It appears that this science lesson plan was not properly vetted prior to being uploaded to the district’s SharePoint website last summer. When the district learned of the PowerPoint presentation and worksheet that is in question, the lesson and supporting documents were reviewed, and they were immediately removed,” said APS spokeswoman Jill Strickland Luse in an email Wednesday. “The district is currently reviewing the vetting process for all lesson plans prior to uploading them for instruction.  In addition, the curriculum coordinators will review lesson plans with teachers as part of their pre-planning session later this month.”

The State Department of Education also responded to Downey:

Georgia Department of Education director of communications Matt Cardoza confirmed that creationism is not included in the state curriculum standards for biology. In fact, he said Supreme Court case Edwards v. Aguillard established that a state cannot require the teaching of creationism.

Nor can it permit the teaching of creationism in science class, as several court cases have noted, the most recent being Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District et al. (2005).

Below is the creationist teacher, Ms. Jones. Her transgressions, because they were ongoing, merit more than just a verbal request to teach evolution and lay off creationism.

Jones is clearly a creationist, and doesn’t accept what she teaches. That can’t help but be reflected in what and how she teaches her students.  There should be some way of monitoring her teaching so she doesn’t do it again, and by that I mean somebody should sit in on her class during the evolution section. (Proselytizers are often relentless and try to find ways to sneak God into class.) And, for yelling at the students when she discovered she’d been reported, Jones should be given a written reprimand.  In fact, I’m not sure she’s even qualified to teach biology. Do parents really want their kids taught by someone who dismisses one of the great unifying theories of the field—a theory supported by mountains of evidence? That’s like having your kid taught about health and medicine by a Christian Scientist.

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87 thoughts on “Atlanta public school teacher pushes creationism in biology class

  1. That slide is the oddest piece of Creationist propaganda I’ve ever seen. The Evolution side is calmly and systematically destroying the foundations of Creationism with their big science cannon, while the Creationists are shooting balloons (which are being easily replaced) or firing their cannon in the wrong direction, and cheering as if they are victorious while their castle crumbles.

    1. I love it. Sends the right metaphorical message, albeit unintentionally: study science if you want to learn things like how to properly aim your cannons.

      1. I can’t entirely agree, since the slide also implies that evolution is responsible for a host of social ills…ills, at least, as perceived by fundamentalist Christians. It’s the old argument that embracing evolution leads to moral, spiritual, and cultural decay. We’ve been hearing that one for a long time now.

        OTOH, the cartoon also implies that the key to destroying Christianity is to destroy belief in special creation. On that score, they might have a point, at least as far as literalist, fundamentalist Christianity is concerned. The rest of Christendom will, I’m sure, find a way to soldier on.

        1. Oh yes, there’s that. But I think the two positives outweigh the negatives: it shows science as useful where religion is not (already mentioned), and it shows creationism as clear and blatant religious sectarianism. The way the court system is going these days, you can never have too many examples of how creationism is, in fact, religion.

    2. Having read a bit (too much?) of Ken Ham’s gibberings, I think the subtext of the cartoon is that wishy-washy liberal Christianity is powerless to resist the onslaught of Satanic science while its clergy are hopelessly compromised by their “accomodationist” acceptance of Evilution. If they would only build their faith on the solid rock of a literal interpretation of Genesis, all those scientific cannonballs would bounce off harmlessly.

      I think I’ve definitely been reading too much Ken Ham.

    3. I had been following this story over on The Panda’s Thumb. I learned that the cartoon is an old one from Ken Ham, and that he is basically using it to illustrate how his fellow creationists are not properly focused in the battle against materialism. Ham spends plenty of time railing against his own kind since they are not dogmatic enough for him.

      1. I would say this cartoon, err, backfires a bit, as it can easily be interpreted as mocking the creationists. I first took the balloons to be a kind of strawmen, on which the creos are wasting their ammunition.

          1. Me too. Its not an effective political cartoon as it can so easily be construed to mean the exact opposite of what Ham intended, but that’s not a surprise when one considers the source.

      2. Yeah, I definitely see that slide as scare mongering the religious to fight evolutionists and all those evil things like homosexuality because teh gay is Satan. Ugh. Humanity. Sometimes I want to nuke it from orbit (I’m joking, I’m joking).

    4. That image appears on page 92 of my copy of Ken Ham’s book The Lie: Evolution, 1987, Creation-Life Publishers, Master Books Division, ISBN 0-89051-158-6.
      Illustrations by Steve Cardno.

    5. It is odd. When I first saw it I thought it was showing how evolution was winning, they were destroying the foundation of Christianity, as a good thing. It was strange to then say evolution was from Satan but I figured that was just to explain a Christian point of view.

  2. What a bizarre story. Why on earth would someone choose to teach biology if they didn’t believe in it? And why would anyone employ them to do so?

    1. Why on earth would someone choose to teach biology if they didn’t believe in it?

      Because she thinks she has a sacred duty to save these children from sin and Satan.

      b&

    2. Having been subjected to a creationist “science” teacher jackass in high school many years ago, they think [sic] that it is their religious duty to proselytize their One True [tm] religion to captive audiences.

      One should not assume that some one with a degree in any branch of science is automatically interested in that actual subject. For some, a degree is necessary
      to achieve their end goals.

      The jackass that was “teaching” us physics was not at all interested in teaching physics. I had asked him to cover more advanced topics than the boneheaded grade school level stuff that he continually went over and over, and his sneering reply was that it would be a waste of time since all of you students were going to be nothing but dirt farmers anyway.

      He often engaged in duplicity and tried to sneak in religion at ever chance. Did I mention that he claimed to have a PhD in physics, yet he was clearly only interested in peddling his religion. Note the number of actual science degreed creationists that exist. Their degrees were only the means to their end goal – intellectual honesty is an alien concept to religious fanatics.

    1. Also: if homosexuality is caused by evolution, and we clearly have homosexual people amongst us, doesn’t that in itself irrefutably ‘prove’ evolution?

      As Jerry already mentioned: If you position yourself behind such blatant nonsense, maybe you SHOULDN’T be allowed to teach evolution.
      (Since you clearly don’t know even the first thing about it)

      1. You’re missing the point. Evolution doesn’t cause homosexuality; evolution is a myth…it is not true. *Believing* in evolution, and *teaching* evolution, cause homosexuality. The exact mechanism is unclear, but it apparently has something to do with Jesus hating people.

        1. It seems that they think that believing in Evolution and homosexuality, and all the rest of the balloons, are all things that being depraved godless heathens leads to, rather than believing in evolution causes homosexuality.

          But, you may be right. It is never wise to underestimate the idiocy of fervant supernaturalists.

          1. Yes depraved godless folk who worship Satan (because the religious think godless just means vs. god).

        2. I think the idea is that Evolution says anything goes, coupled with sexual orientation being a choice. Everyone would have sex with the same sex if they didn’t think it was wicked (I don’t know where that leaves Ted Haggard), but evolution demagnetises our moral compass.

  3. “The district is currently reviewing the vetting process for all lesson plans prior to uploading them for instruction. In addition, the curriculum coordinators will review lesson plans with teachers as part of their pre-planning session later this month.”

    So, on top of everything else, Atlanta teachers as a group are likely to have more bureaucratic hurdles put in place to use a sharepoint resource – all because one teacher decided that rather than exercising judgement when it came to material on the sharepoint site, she was instead going to defend her actions by saying ‘if its on there, it must be okay.’ Congratulations Ms. Jones, you just turned a nice method of community information sharing into a top-down, costly, ‘official’ publication output.

    1. I agree. So many good teachers stifled by rules and bureaucracy, yet this demonstrates the need for some of that oversight.

    1. This is interesting. I think it is great that you get into this material. If I did this, I would probably get plenty of volatile push-back from students in my class, and so I pretty much steer clear of it. Do you get dissenting opinions?

    2. Why does the moral education bubble look like someone is attacking a clam with a pair of pliers? That is one seriously messed up cartoon you got there my friend.

  4. Something I noticed which may or may not be interesting to anyone else:

    Jerry notes surprise at how many people were willing to speak up without fear of retribution. The one person who did mention that if her child was still in the class she would have fear of retaliation for speaking up has a (to borrow a euphemism I’ve heard commonly out West) “New York” sounding last name.

    It may be a big city, but it is still the South, and some people have more to fear than others.

      1. I’m not sure if you got my point…or if I get yours. (This is not meant to be snarky or anything – I’m not sure how your comment relates to mine, but it may just be going over my head.)

  5. I admire how the APS teachers, admin. (and especially the students!)are reacting to this development. This looks to be a model for how this situation should be handled.

    1. I would except the APS administration. First they hired an unqualified teacher, then they failed to notice her avoidance of evolution in favor of creationism, failed to observe and evaluate her, failed to respond to student complaints, and failed to examine what they uploaded to Sharepoint. They only responded after critical articles appeared.
      I hardly regard this as model behavior that others should follow.

      That one teacher was willing to speak up after the fact is also not entirely praiseworthy. Where was he last year and where are the other teachers at this school?

      The students who brought this to everyone’s attention are the ones who deserve our praise and our thanks.

      1. Mistakes were made, as you say, and we cannot rule out that the situation was known but ignored by others. But it is also pretty easy for this sort of thing to not be discovered until someone complains. It is simply not possible for higher-ups or other teachers to hover and scrutinize all the time.

        1. For me, the more damning component to the administration is that they evidently had several students come in and complain, yet did nothing about it until a student newspaper report was picked up by an outside news agency.

          Sure, I buy that the Principal and other teachers might not have known about the creationist teaching until a student complains. That’s fair enough. But it seems pretty clear that at least two students and a parent did complain, but the administration didn’t do anything about it until the issue was made public.

  6. “If someone would ask if we were going to learn evolution, she was like, ‘No, I don’t teach that.’”
    __

    If a Physics teacher replied to students asking if they were going to learn the geocentric model of the solar system with a “No, I don’t teach that”, not only would she be removed as a teacher, but perhaps even be subjected to a psychological evaluation.

    Such perverse actions like Jones’ are alarmingly permitted as often as they are because Christians are so emotionally flammable they may just spontaneously combust right in front of us, and then they will be the sun around which we orbit. Oh, we already do that. Talking of walking on eggshells! Jones’ disgraceful and disgusting rant is demonstration of that.

    As for the illustration, its main punch is its fear-inducing emotionality which stops critical thinking in its tracks.

    1. I think you meant heliocentric. 🙂

      I doubt the administration wants or has the power to require a psychological examination. But what they should do is say: “Biology has a state-mandated curriculum. You will teach to it. If you can’t do that, we will transfer you to a teaching assignment where you can – say, monitoring home room or self-study classes – (at best) or fire you (at worst).”

      1. Yeah, honestly what were they thinking when they interviewed this teacher? Evolution is the GUT of biology. If you don’t accept it, you can’t teach biology.

        It makes you wonder about the administration and the level of their science knowledge.

        1. The administration was probably about average compared to other high school administrations around the country in their level of scientific knowledge.

    2. “Jones’ disgraceful and disgusting rant . . . fear-inducing emotionality which stops critical thinking in its tracks.”

      The old “When In Doubt, Shout” (someone down) modus operandi, re: Hitch’s encounters with D’Souza and Boteach.

  7. When I read stories like this one, I always wonder how these teachers got through their coursework, monitored student teaching, and licensing exams to be certified as a HS Biology teacher without demonstrating any knowledge of basic biology, or related sciences. It seems like this teacher should never have been hired as a HS Biology teacher. Maybe the district needs to look at other duties for this person.

    1. AIUI, evolution has traditionally been a unit in US biology classes rather than an integrative theme across the entire subject matter. That is now changing (AIUI), but it is easy to understand how many prospective teachers could get through the system without demonstrating their capabities to teach that unit.

      I agree fully with your last two sentences.

    2. I used to be a public school teacher in Florida. The standards are incredibly low. If you can get through college (not that hard to do at a state school in the south), pass one very simple subject exam that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with anything you actually studies in college and you’re bipedal . . . congratulations! This is pretty much the case in any state in the bible-belt with a republican majority in the legislative branch of state gov’t. Conservatives, particularly those in the right-wing media, don’t mind unqualified teachers and they adore this common core crap that’s being passed off as education, because a lot of them are openly rooting for public schools to fail. They want a plutocratic education system. The wealthy can afford to send their children to quality schools, middle-class families can send their kids to privately managed charter schools and everybody else sends their kids to . . . wait for it . . . A RELIGIOUS SCHOOL!

      http://mediamatters.org/research/2011/10/25/stossels-attacks-on-public-education-feature-mi/183243

      This is just one example from John Stossel.

      1. Yeah, getting a license to teach high school science took me less effort than writing this post. The standards are incredibly low so that they can attract people at all: I started in 1995 at $20,000/year, for approxmately 60 hours/week of work, 35+ kids/class, no summers off, and constant parental idiocy to deal with. In contrast, a “real” job for someone with decent credentials is half as much work for 2-3 times the salary, which is why I got out of teaching public school and got an industry job within a few years.

  8. SharePoint is a Microsoft product that facilitates collaboration within groups, it’s not just one site called “SharePoint”. The site in question is someone’s particular SharePoint site, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says it belongs to the district.

    1. Yup. It seems that the school district are using it for their Intranet & internal file sharing.

      Vanilla it’s a pretty expensive way to share files…

      1. Looks like one really needs to hire SharePoint developers in order to make the software live up to its potential. A place where I worked was having a hard time finding a qualified candidate.

        I expect a lot of software is sold on the basis of what it can theoretically do, rather than on what it will do in practice.

    2. I wondered if it was the Microsoft portal product. 🙂 I used to have to admin that stuff. Ugh.

  9. I am surprised that attacks on homosexuals went unnoticed in this. That’s a form of discriminatory behavior that violates basic statutes of fairness. Imagine if the same slide had said “Miscegenation of the races” or “Women working out of the home” stemming from humanism and evolution. Singling out a protected group in instruction should be grounds for serious disciplinary treatment, whether this is about creationism in the classroom or not.

  10. I went to a private high school that was theoretically secular, but still had compulsory chapel twice a week and a mandatory bible class as freshmen.

    Even so, a teacher who was too forthcoming about her religious beliefs was quietly encouraged to leave. I’m guessing that’s because our student body had a high percentage of Jewish students who would have been more inclined to complain than the nominally Christian remainder.

    I don’t recall creationism being taught, although in 7th grade science class, it was mentioned as a possibility. My teacher made some comment that he found the Genesis account and the Big Bang theory compatible with the “proper” interpretation of Genesis. That position eased my cognitive dissonance for a good decade or so.

  11. Kudos to Lily and Isabel, and every other student there who stuck up for their right to an education in evidence-based science free of one person’s religious vendettas. They give Atlanta a good name!

  12. Did anyone else notice that we have Humanism vs Christianity here again? I am no apologist for irrational belief, but some of the greatest humanists have, for historical reasons, been Christians – eg Erasmus and Sir Thomas Moore – and if you accept that The New Testament quotes Jesus accurately then he was a humanist as well (“The sabbath was made for man; not man for the sabbath”). The cartoon displays ignorance on so many levels, so I am not surprised to read of its source!

    1. It depends on what parts pertaining to Jesus you want to use.

      If I considered Jesus to be real, and the bible to be accurate, my interpretation would be that Jesus was a sick fuck and that any humanist behavior of his was either not genuine but intentional deception, or merely symptomatic of a seriously twisted mind.

      1. Amen.

        You can have all the pretty-sounding words you like, but one single Luke 19:27 invalidates the lot of them. And it’s far more than just that one passage where Jesus “bring not peace but a sword” Christ shows his true colors.

        Hitler kissed babies, so that means that he’s an admirable moral figure, right?

        b&

        1. “I’m a politician. That means when I’m not kissing babies I’m stealing their candy.”

          Of course Hitler, and the christian god, are several orders of magnitude beyond your typical sleazy politician.

      2. I obviously didn’t make myself clear. If Jesus was an historical figure then he almost certainly did NOT say that or anything like it, as he appears elsewhere to have been a fire-breathing zealot. However, someone DID say it (possibly an Essene teacher), but literalists like Ham believe that all the sayings ascribed to their Jesus in the New Testament must necessarily have emanated from his lips, however contradictory they might be. The originator of that particular saying WAS a humanist, as many Jews have been down the years.

        1. I don’t know why you would rule out some itinerant preacher saying blatantly inconsistent things to different audiences at different times. Seems to me that’s pretty common today, so it was also probably pretty common 2000 years ago.

    2. and if you accept that The New Testament quotes Jesus accurately then he was a humanist as well

      Christianity doesn’t have much to do with the quotes of Jesus.

      1. True – but people like Ken Ham claim to accept it ALL, word for word (even though we know that they cherry pick!).

    3. I’m sure they view Humanism as bad because they think it puts humans on a pedestal instead of god. In their minds humanists are worshippers of humans.

  13. Y’all who are horrified by Atlanta really need to spend some more time down here in the Deep South. ATL is Big City and, as such, swings far more rational than most of the smaller places in this region. If your mind is blown by this story out of ATL, read up on what the rest of us get to experience RE Southern Science. Yipee!

    1. Erm…”preaching” isn’t the right word, but all public school biology teachers damned well better be teaching Evolution, or else the class is as incoherent as would be a physics class without gravity.

      b&

    2. Yeah, I don’t get your comment. Do you not realize that public school biology teachers actually do teach (not “preach”) evolution in class? Or were you just trying to trick me into clicking on the link to your own blog post which is totally unrelated to this topic?

    1. I love a response to who I will call Mad Margaret –

      Mr. Boogie
      July 7, 2014 at 12:46 am
      “Scientific truths”= validated proof.

      “ignorant people”= Margaret.

    2. Yes, I read them. Though taking her posts collectively, she seems to be a contrarian (i.e., disagreeing with her opponents no matter what they say, just for the sake of disagreeing with them) rather than someone who has a religious point and sticks to it. So given that, IMO she’s not worth paying attention to.

        1. Here is an example of the type of arguments Margaret Ewell posts that creationists hail has sound and irrefutable:

          In response to a discussion participant having posted:

          That species originate through evolution is a fact to the same degree that it is a fact Yersinia pestis is the cause of bubonic and pneumonic plagues. No amount of sophistry or digression changes that.

          Margaret Ewell wrote:

          You are confusing genetic variation (natural selection) with macroevolution (Darwinism). Creationists do not deny natural selection based on genetic variation. It is observable and the process is based on DNA information ALREADY PRESENT in the organism. Because the environment does change, these pre-existing variations may favor one variation over another, and the winner lives to pass the already existing information (DNA) to a new generation of offspring. The losing variation may become extinct. The so-called “pepper moth” study is another example. The important factor is that these variations exist within a species (kind) which already had the genetic information. NO NEW INFORMATION WAS CREATED. In fact, as organisms become extinct, it is actually lost.

          The following is a more detailed Creationist’s rebuttal to your assertions:

          “Dobzhansky’s Fruit Flies

          Isaak continues: “The origin of new species by evolution has also been observed, both in the laboratory and in the wild…” He then directs us to:
          the work of Theodosius Dobzhansky et al. (involving the deliberate, radiation-induced mutation of fruit flies in the laboratory), and
          the “Observed Instances of Speciation” FAQ in the talk.origins archives.
          As for Dobzhansky’s fruit fly experiments, it should be pointed out that an example of a laboratory-induced physiological change in a specimen—even though it involves genetic change—can hardly be considered proof that NATURAL evolution occurs, since the change did not take place without the deliberate, intelligence-driven activity of man.

          Furthermore, a genetic, mutational change alone, while it may qualify (in a broad sense) as evolution (“micro-evolution”), does not demonstrate evolution per se: Evolution does not require mere change, but progressive change (i.e., from simple to complex, from one organism to another organism—an increase in both quantity and quality of genetic information).

          In Dobzhansky’s work, numerous varieties resulted from radiation bombardment: fruit flies with extra wings, fruit flies with no wings, fruit flies with huge wings, fruit flies with tiny wings… In the end, however, they were all … fruit flies! Dobzhansky meddled with the genetic code of an organism and effected changes on the organism’s offspring. Nearly all of the changes were detrimental to survival, and none of them resulted in an advantage over other fruit flies.”

          Please read the rest of this paper as the author rebuts the “Five Major Misconceptions About Evolution”
          http://www.trueorigin.org/isakrbtl.asp

          It is a lot of work for a non-scientist to refute everything that is wrong with her long-winded response.

  14. It’s the old game of, “Whack a Creationist Mole”, again- like I’ve said before, these people don’t give up as they have been brainwashed into thinking that they are operating under a mandate from God and are habituated to arrogantly ignoring little things like man’s “secular” laws- give them an inch, and we’ll be pledging allegiance to Jeebus, rather than to the flag!

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