Friday, January 20, 2006


South Carolina "Experts" Named

Wednesday, South Carolina State Sen. Mike Fair refused to name the "experts" he has asked to advise the state's Education Oversight Commission on teaching alternatives to evolution, according to Bill Robinson of The State.

Thursday, the EOC let the cat out of the bag by announcing their names.

They are -- you're just going to love this -- Richard von Sternberg, a researcher at the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Washington, D.C., and Rebecca Keller, president of an educational science product company and a former chemistry research professor in Albuquerque, N.M.

In 2004, von Sternberg published a review article by the Discovery Institute's Stephen C. Meyer in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington titled "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories"

In Meyer's Hopeless Monster Wes Elsberry concluded that the paper is "a rhetorical edifice [constructed] out of omission of relevant facts, selective quoting, bad analogies, knocking down strawmen, and tendentious interpretations."

Predictably, the publication ignited a storm of controversy among members of the Biological Society, and it was withdrawn in the next issue, accompanied by this statement:
The paper by Stephen C. Meyer in the Proceedings... represents a significant departure from the nearly purely taxonomic content for which this journal has been known throughout its 124-year history. It was published without the prior knowledge of the Council, which includes officers, elected councilors, and past presidents, or the associate editors. We have met and determined that all of us would have deemed this paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings.

After completing his term as editor of the proceedings, von Sternberg claimed he was a victim of discrimination by others in the science community who objected to publication of the article.

Rebecca Keller is a signer of "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism" that states:

Public TV programs, educational policy statements, and science textbooks have asserted that Darwin’s theory of evolution fully explains the complexity of living things. The public has been assured, most recently by spokespersons for PBS’s Evolution series, that “all known scientific evidence supports [Darwinian] evolution” as does “virtually every reputable scientist in the world.”

The following scientists dispute the first claim and stand as living testimony in contradiction to the second. There is scientific dissent to Darwinism. It deserves to be heard.

Keller also defended Rio Rancho Science Policy 401, that encouraged science teachers to discuss explanations for the origin of life other than evolution. Keller in her commentary Albuquerque Journal commentary, Keller asked ,"what is really happening in Rio Rancho and across the country? Is it a sneaky effort by creationists to get a Trojan horse into the classroom? Is it a conspiracy by the fundamentalist right to take over the country?"

"No," says Keller, "What's really happening in Rio Rancho is that because the theory of evolution is being taught without the possibility of criticism or objective dialog, people recognize that it amounts to "religion" being passed off as science."

However, an editorial in the Albuquerque Tribune titled "Shame on the Rio Rancho Board of Education" concluded that "that board majority last month imposed its cloaked religious views on students in the Rio Rancho district - in possible violation of state education policy, the New Mexico Constitution and the revered First amendment of the U.S. Constitution."


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