Darwin’s Nightmare

March 3, 2010

This trend has obviously been brewing for a while, but it’s interesting to see skeptics about evolution also now including climate change in their list of things about which to be skeptical.

In Kentucky, a bill recently introduced in the Legislature would encourage teachers to discuss “the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories,” including “evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning.”

The bill, which has yet to be voted on, is patterned on even more aggressive efforts in other states to fuse such issues. In Louisiana, a law passed in 2008 says the state board of education may assist teachers in promoting “critical thinking” on all of those subjects.

Hey, awesome. I’m a fan of critical thinking too. What they should maybe require is that philosophers of science teach those courses. It’d be a win-win, since the classes could only benefit from having well-trained philosophers introduce the complex epistemological concepts associated with critical thinking about science, and many well-trained philosophers are currently failing to find employment.


  1. In my opinion, the science of evolution is on much more solid ground than the science of man-made global warming.

    The evolution skeptics agree – and therefore are linking their more tenuous issue to the more demonstrable overreaching of climate scientists.

    Is man having an effect on the climate – yes.

    As much of an effect as some climate scientists say – probably not.

    If the average temperature goes up 1 degree Celsius by 2100, will we really “face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.”

    I think that is overstating the science – and is one reason why there is such push-back.

    There is nothing wrong with trying to change our power generation over to something which emits less carbon dioxide – as long as we do it in a cost-effective manner and understand what we are getting for our money.

    Personally, I don’t want to spend trillions and cause damage to billions of people – and then see absolutely no effect to the global temperature trend.

    Even if we do switch everything over to Nuclear – which emits no carbon dioxide and provides baseline power 24/7, unlike solar and wind – my guess is that in 1000 years or so – we will be reading scientific papers indicating that global cooling (caused by the decrease in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere) was caused by the mass hysteria of the 21st century.

  2. I will agree with you on this one Ben. Most teachers are generalists in terms of their training and I believe discussing something like global warming (or climate change as it’s now called) is a bit beyond their training. I think a philosopher of science would probably provide a less biased presentation overall.

  3. The point is to give them the tools that they need to reach the students

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