Why do the IDiots need such advice? It's because Intelligent Design Creationism is under attack from dogmatic professors who can't think critically and who don't have open minds. The opening section lists examples, such as ...
A professor of biochemistry and leading biochemistry textbook author at the University of Toronto stated that a major public research university “should never have admitted” students who support ID, and should “just flunk the lot of them and make room for smart students.”That sounds familiar. The reference is to an article on Evolution News & Views back in 2006: Leading Biochemistry Textbook Author: Pro-ID undergraduates "should never have [been] admitted". That article refers to a post I made on Sandwalk: Flunk the IDiots. Here's the entire post ...
Casey Luskin over at the Discovery Institute reported that University of California, San Diego Forces All Freshmen To Attend Anti-ID Lecture. Apparently, the university has become alarmed at the stupidity of its freshman class and has offered remedial instruction for those who believe in Intelligent Design Creationism.It's hard to tell whether the IDiots are simply irony-deficient or whether they are deliberately transforming a humorous post into something much mroe serious. In any case, it's time to revisit my statements to see whether there's any truth in them.
Salvador Cordova has picked up on this at Dembski's blog, Uncommon Descent in an article titled "Darwinian indoctrination required at UCSD? Or will the other side be heard someday?". He notes that 40% of the freshman class reject Darwinism.
I agree with the Dembski sycophants that UCSD should not have required their uneducated students to attend remedial classes. Instead, they should never have admitted them in the first place. Having made that mistake, it's hopeless to expect that a single lecture—even one by a distinguished scholar like Robert Pennock—will have any effect. The University should just flunk the lot of them and make room for smart students who have a chance of benefiting from a high quality education.
In a followup to my original post [They Just Don't Get It], I quoted the following press release: Designed to create controversy
At UCSD, which is known for its strength in science and engineering, faculty members are realizing they need to pay more attention to the controversy. Two years ago, a UCSD survey found that 40 percent of incoming freshmen to the university's Sixth College – geared toward educating students for a high-tech 21st century – do not believe in evolution, said the college's provost, Gabriele Wienhausen.I then asked ...
The university now requires students who major in biology to complete a course in biological evolution, Kohn said. The policy became effective with freshmen who enrolled last fall. Professors had discussed the change for years, he said, but the Sixth College poll made it more urgent.
If UCSD is accepting such a large number of students who don't understand one of the basic tenets of science then maybe it's time to re-examine their admissions policy? I wonder how many of the students are from Kansas?This is a serious question. Let's say you have an entrance exam for students who want to enrol in a biology program at a leading university. Imagine that the exam contains a series of question designed to find out whether the student understands and accepts evolution as the best scientific explanation for the history of life on Earth.
Do you admit students who deny that fundamental part of biology? No, you should not admit students into a university biology program if they reject science. That seems pretty obvious to me.
What about students who find their way into biology classes by hook or by crook? If the course is about evolution, and if by the end of the course there are still students who reject evolution, should they pass the course? I don't think so.
Let's take some specific examples from Casey Luskin's top three flaws in evolution. Should a student pass an evolution course if they think ...
- "... that the fossil record often lacks transitional forms and that there are "explosions" of new life forms, a pattern of radiations that challenges Darwinian evolutionary theory"?
- ... that the fact that "... many scientists have challenged the ability of random mutation and natural selection to produce complex biological features" is a serious threat to evolution?
- ... that the because "vertebrate embryos start out developing very differently, in contrast with the drawings of embryos often found in textbooks which mostly appear similar" the evidence for "Darwinian evolution and common descent is weak"?
- ... that because "DNA evidence paints conflicting pictures of the 'tree of life'. There is no such single 'tree'," the evidence for "Darwinian evolution and common descent is weak"?
- ... that the obvious truth of the following statement: "Evidence of small-scale changes, such as the modest changes in the size of finch-beaks or slight changes in the color frequencies in the wings of "peppered moths", shows microevolution, NOT macroevolution" is in any way significant?