June 22, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Battlefront Dispatches

Activities in the Darwin-vs-Design controversy continue generating national news:

  • War of the museums:  The Sternberg Museum in Kansas is trying to reinforce arguments for evolution, according to Voice of America news.  Proud of his T. rex display, curator Greg Liggett claims that “if the school curriculum changes to include theories such as Intelligent Design, critical scientific inquiry in Kansas classrooms might go the way of the dinosaurs.”  The Creation Museum in Kentucky, a project of Answers in Genesis, continues to take shape.
  • Reverse gear:  Larry Caldwell got Eugenie Scott of the NCSE to apologize for making libelous statements about him, according to Discovery Institute.  He threatened a lawsuit because she had written untrue and defamatory things about his attempt to allow criticisms of Darwinism in Roseville, California schools.  In addition, according to Denyse O’Leary, the California Academy of Sciences agreed to remove links to Scott’s article from their website, and publish a letter by Caldwell and a retraction by Scott in an upcoming issue of California Wild magazine where her allegations were originally made.  EvolutionNews has links to the history of the Caldwell case.
  • Web Warfare:  The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has joined the NAS (see 06/13/2005 entry) in fighting intelligent design with internet resources.  It posted a website called “Evolution on the Front Line” to reinforce efforts to combat “efforts in Kansas and elsewhere to weaken or compromise the teaching of evolution in public school science classrooms.”
  • Townes Hall:  Nobelist Charles Townes, inventor of the maser and laser, was interviewed by UC Berkeley News.  A nominal Protestant Christian, he was tolerant of ID but not too keen on Biblical creationism.  He treats the six days of Genesis 1 as an analogy, and allows for some evolution, saying, “People who are anti-evolution are working very hard for some excuse to be against it.  I think that whole argument is a stupid one.”
  • South Carolina front:  State senator Mike Fair is advocating giving students an opportunity to hear alternatives to Darwinism in South Carolina schools, according to the The State newspaper.  The article quotes a Baptist pastor in Greenville claiming that “striving to live the Christian way of life has absolutely nothing to do with one’s view of evolution.”  Rev. Baxter Wynn continues, “It is not necessary to choose between Christianity and evolution – they are not mutually exclusive.”  Those sentiments are surely not shared by the nearby staunchly fundamentalist college that teaches young earth creationism, Bob Jones University.
  • Pennsylvania front:  A house bill in Pennsylvania may put intelligent design in the schools, according to Fox News.  The pro-ID Discovery Institute, encourages teaching the controversy, but recommends against mandating the teaching of intelligent design.
  • Philly Frenzy:  A parent wrote a letter to the Great Valley School District complaining that the textbook taught evolution, and wanted her ninth-grade daughter to opt out of the lesson.  She lost; the board voted unanimously to retain the textbook, according to the Daily Local newspaper.  This was the first complaint over evolution by this school board, but “it mirrors the controversy in Pennsylvania, and across the nation, over whether evolution should be taught alongside other, more religious-based discussions of the origins of life on Earth.”
  • Volcano erupts:  Yahoo News poured hot lava over creationists with its article, “US radicals blow their tops over volcano movie as Darwinism debate rages” (emphasis added).  It talked about how many customers are not buying the evolutionary line in several IMAX films (see 03/23/2005 entry), like “Volcanoes of the Deep Sea” that suggests life may have originated deep in the ocean.

Yahoo’s piece was not a volcano, but a mud pot; better, a fumarole.  Darwinists are the ones erupting when people object to having philosophical naturalism in the form of chemical-evolution mythology crammed down their throats.  So what are the Darwin Party imagineers going to do in a free market economy?  Force the customers to watch their cartoons?  Many IMAX films are wonderful explorations into the natural world when they stick to observable facts.  Adding Tinker Bell is only distracting.
    Pastors and scientists who don’t understand the issues should keep their mouths shut.  The “Reverend” Baxter Wynn, if he was quoted accurately, appeared to be utterly ignorant of the controversy and what his Bible says about it.  His statement simultaneously commits the either-or fallacy and shouts peace, peace, when there is no peace.  Charles Townes, bless his holy heart, is a smart engineer but a weak philosopher.  His comments play right into the hands of those who would banish his Christian beliefs from public discussion.  What we need are more men like Larry Caldwell able to stand up to the lies of the dogmatic Darwinists and get them to back down.  Somebody ought to turn Liggett’s big lie back on him.

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