Friday, January 25, 2008

Problems in South Carolina

The Brown Daily Herald writes of a textbook controversy in South Carolina over a book written by Brown Professor Kenneth Miller.

One professor's critique of the presentation of evolution in a textbook written by Professor of Biology Ken Miller '70 and Joseph Levine almost prevented the book from appearing in South Carolina classrooms.

The textbook "Biology" was up for approval by the South Carolina Board of Education when retired Clemson professor Horace D. Skipper wrote a four-page review of the book, critiquing its treatment of evolution.

"In the view of this retired professor, what was wrong with our book was that we presented evolution to be true," Miller told The Herald.

The most astounding thing is what the retired professor actually said:

"The textbook under review fails to provide the necessary evidence (for the Darwinian theory of evolution). It seems reasonable to offer additional theories including creation and intelligent design, since all theories on origin are outside the scientific method."

Outside the scientific method? Dr. Skipper, it turns out, is a retired microbiologist, specializing in weed grass and turf. The fact that he views evolution as a "threory of origins" indicates that he is talking through his hat. For a textbook to get derailed by the criticisms of someone outside the discipline is ridiculous.

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