Stranger Fruit

Brian Metscher has reviewed the ID ?supplementary textbook? Explore Evolution for the journal Evolution & Development. Metscher describes the work as

159 glossy pages of color-illustrated creationist nostalgia All the old favorites are here ? fossils saying no, all the Icons, flightless Ubx flies, irreducible flagella, even that irritating homology-is-circular thing. There are no new arguments, no improved understanding of evolution, just a remastered scrapbook of the old ideas patched together in a high-gloss package pre-adapted to survive the post-Dover legal environment.

Metscher goes on to note that

[e]verything about this book is designed to avoid the legal obstacles that have impeded previous anti-evolution efforts. Foremost is the meticulous omission of all red-flag words and any direct statements of the nonscientific conclusions it proffers. And it is surely no coincidence that this book came out just as a number of states began passing legislation allowing supplemental materials for teaching the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolutionary science.

This is the sort of material that the DI has in mind when it is pushing for the use of supplemental textbooks in places like Louisiana and Oklahoma. As Metscher states, the book?s

effect in schools will be to teach students that the process of science consists of fatuous discussions using context-free quotes and no cogent treatment of any clear questions. Together with new state education bills allowing local groups to push this stuff into classrooms, it will help dilute and weaken the already thin preparation students receive for dealing with a world full of information they need to be able to think about.

The review ends with some good practical suggestions for what you can do to strengthen science education in your state. Please do read the piece.

<HT to the folks at the  NCSE>


  1. #1 benjdm
    January 24, 2009

    Link doesn’t work for me…anyone else have any luck?

  2. #2 Jivlain
    January 24, 2009

    If that link doesn’t work for you, try going to and searching for “Explore Evolution”. It’ll be the first hit (“Postcards from The Wedge: review and commentary on Explore Evolution: The Arguments For and Against Neo-Darwinism by Steven C. Meyer et al.”)

  3. #3 Michael Fugate
    January 26, 2009

    The book sounds awful. Is it just “Icons of Evolution” without mention of “intelligent design”?

  4. #4 John Lynch
    January 26, 2009

    Yup more or less. All the arguments from Icons are found in “Design of Life” (remember that path-breaker?) and “Explore Evolution.” They’re the gift that keeps on giving.

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