Anyway, you may remember the dust-up a few years back involving Pete Enns and Ken Ham, in which the latter showed how nasty a person he can actually be. I told Melanie that I would prefer that my children do not attend any of Jay Wile's sessions because I am quite sure that they will get only half-truths and misinformation. He has a nine-part Youtube series on "Evolution: The Enemy of Truth and Science." I scanned the series and concluded:
- His knowledge of the fossil record is non-existent
- He relies on out-dated information to bolster his case, such as making the statement that there are no transitional fossils and focusing for long periods of time on digressions like Haeckel's embryos and Piltdown
- He completely misunderstands the cytochrome C argument
- He completely distorts what Charles Walcott found in the Burgess Shale in 1909
- He distorts how long the Cambrian explosion was, but the worst thing is that
- He accuses evolutionary biologists of covering up data and lying.
Wile was the founder and writer of many of the textbooks of the Apologia educational ministries. I ran into one of those a bit back, which was awful. He has since left the ministry but is now on the convention circuit. In 2009, Jerry Coyne received a letter from a distraught parent who's kids had also run afoul of the Apologia series. It reads, in part:
There is a serious problem in homeschooling right now in that most homeschooling families find themselves using the Apologia series for teaching science because it is so parent friendly. However, this series was written with one purpose in mind and that was to debunk evolution in favor of Intelligent Design. While our family is religious, we are not Creationists and I have serious problems with the Apologia series. I find it dangerous because so many homeschoolers are using it. The author and owner of the company, Jay Wile, is so convincing he is turning many homeschooling families away from the real science of evolutionary biology to the pseudo science of Creationism even if they started out as evolutionists. These parents are turning to Apologia in good faith because there is nothing else out there that is parent friendly. We even used it ourselves at one point, but supplemented it with evolution videos and materials, but I refuse to contribute money to the company. Sadly, I have seen people that I know are intelligent and well educated fall victim to Dr. Wile’s very convincing arguments. I almost did myself, but was saved by more extensive research and my daughter’s level head.Sadly, most parents will not go to the trouble of doing the extensive research necessary to combat the arguments so they get their heads filled with this nonsense from people like Wile.
The one good thing I can say for him is that, when Ken Ham launched his viscious attack against Pete Enns, Jay Wile stood up for Enns, and was, in turn, attacked by Ham's organization. This does not exonerate Wile from his distortions and misinformation, however. I pray that none of my friends go to these sessions. I don't want to have those conversations with them.