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Friday, October 21, 2005

Not to worry: Museum curators will scramble to save Darwinism!

Lisa Anderson, national correspondent for the Chicago Tribune KNOWS what to think about the efforts of museum curators to convince the public that Darwinism is true:
Natural history museums around the country are mounting new exhibits they hope will succeed where high school biology classes have faltered: convincing Americans that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a rigorously tested cornerstone of modern science.
The article is a classic because writer Anderson seems never to have allowed herself to consider that the curators could be out of touch. If there is one thing that Darwinism isn't, that's rigorously tested. In reality, anyone who offers objections, without committing themselves to philosophical materialism (which really amounts to agreeing to whatever substitute materialist system is proffered, should Darwinism fail) becomes the target of any mediocre academic with a taste for witch hunting.

But it's not all a triumph of dullness. Some students have withstood the pressure, and at least one has entered on a promising dialogue with one of the profs who opposed him. (Note: You will find that dialogue in the comments box. Scroll down to Comments because I can't link to it directly).

While we're at it, one Commenter wanted to know why I object to the curators' apes 'r' us displays despite the fact that I accept common ancestry. Well, quite simply, because apes AIN'T us. We sustain not only civilizations but - on a lesser note - museums whose curators attempt to pretend that apes 'r' us, even though the very existence of a museum demonstrates that apes 'r' not us.

Meanwhile, apes just sit there, eat bananas, throw coconuts, and - if pestered sufficiently by humans - display minimal skills in manipulating symbols. Look, I got nothing against apes, but they 'r' not us.* And they can't help us understand ourselves either. The precise points on which we need information are the ones that separate us from them. A long time ago, for whatever reason, we started on a different path. Get used to it. End the fantasy. Quit trying to pretend that things are different.

* I support projects to protect wild apes from habitat destruction and laboratory apes from abuse, but do not see any future in pretending that they are "nearly human." They're not. And they are probably not headed in our direction either. Why should they be?

Did you come here looking for the following stories?

"Academic Freedom Watch : Here's the real, ugly story behind the claim that 'intelligent design isn't science'?".

Roseville, California, lawyer Larry Caldwell is suing over the use of tax money by Darwin lobby groups to promote religious views that accept Darwinian evolution (as opposed to ones that don’t). I’m pegging this one as the next big story. It will be interesting to see the line that the “separation of church and state” people take.
How to freak out your bio prof? What happened when a student bypassed the usual route of getting frogs drunk and dropping them down the chancellor’s robes, and tried questioning Darwinism instead.

Joseph, Cardinal Schonborn is not backing down from his contention that Darwinism is incompatible with Catholic faith, and Pope Benedict XVI probably thinks that’s just fine. Major US media have been trying to reach rewrite for months, with no success.

Museum tour guides to be trained to "respond" to those who question Darwinism. Read this item for an example of what at least one museum hopes to have them say.

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