Another Bad Review for Explore Evolution!

As John Lynch points out Explore Evolution has received another bad review. Like the previous review the new review, by Brian Metscher, is less than positive. The review is published in Evolution and Development and does not pull any punches.


Here is a snippet from the review:

All of the topics are treated in a manner much more appropriate to discussions of theological contentions or political positions rather than to scientific discourse. The authors appeal to students to take on the role of jurors: weighing evidence and deciding which view is right. Apart from the fact that this is very much not how scientific inquiry works, this book has the same advocates arguing both sides of each case. ”In science, it is ultimately the evidence – and all of the evidence – that should tell us which theory offers the best explanation. This book will help you explore that evidence” (p. 10, italics original.) No, it won’t: they never give actual alternative ”theories” (because one of them would be unconstitutional in public schools), and the ”evidence” given in this book is almost all in the form of inappropriate examples, inept analogies, unattributed intimations, and credibility enhancing quotes from mostly nonrelevant scientific works (carefully referenced, in case you want to look up the context they’re being taken out of).

One subject that does not get mentioned in the review, is how Explore Evolution is supposed to be integrated in the classroom in the first place and as this report from Louise S Mead indicates the Discovery Institute seems to be at a loss on that score. This is rather surprising when you consider that there are two textbooks out there ready to follow up on the “Academic Freedom” bills being introduced around the country (Explore Evolution and The Design of Life) both of which were written by people affiliated with the Discovery Institute. Nick Matzke explains the strategy here.

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2 Responses

  1. Explore Evolution — The perfect Textbook to use as an example of the Wedge Strategy and how the Religious Right want to get Jesus into Science Class.
    Although I hear that the chapter about Casey Luskin’s Eyebrows evolving from catepillars is quite interesting.

  2. This is so pathetic and tiresome. When I taught evolution in anthropology, I did talk about theology a bit, but only in ONE class. I invited students to come and talk to me during my office hours if they still had problems and some actually did. I had teachers who had done the same. This is all that I think any science teacher ought to do. Wasting the rest of the class’s time actually trying to convince people is so pointless! Are we going to waste time in history class convincing people that the earth isn’t flat? Are we going to waste time in astronomy class convincing people that God didn’t actually halt the earth spinning for awhile so his chosen people could slaughter some more enemies once upon a time? These antiquated notions are enshrined in the Bible, too. So is the idea of sending a goat out into the wilderness to appease a character named Azazel. So is the proper manner in which to sell one’s daughter into slavery. So are great long lists of who begat whom in the old days. And are we going to have lessons on how a priest is going to use those little umim and thumim do-dads he wears on his chest too? I mean, if biology class is going to become Bible class, we must get into ALL these piddly details, I imagine!

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