Another intelligent design course canned

Eric Hedin’s course at Ball State University was deep-sixed because Hedin gave a one-sided presentation of intelligent design—a discredited and religiously-based hypothesis about origins—in a public university science class.

Now another course has been canned, this time at Amarillo College, a public two-year college in Texas.  The course, “Evolution vs. Intelligent Design,” was offered in their continuing education program for adults.

The local secular group, “Freethought Oasis,” objected, and, after similar objections from the Texas Freedom Network and the National Center for Science Education, the course was cancelled. There’s a long, whiny complaint about this “censorship” by Casey Luskin at Evolution News and Views, as well as an analysis by Sensuous Curmudgeon, “Discoveroids suffer a crushing defeat.”

Lest you think that this is a violation of academic freedom because the title of the course implied fair presentation of both sides and because it was not a science course—or even a course for undergraduates—just look at the one textbook required for the course (the description below is from Luskin’s post):

Picture 1

You can suss out the book here, and check out the authors:

Picture 3

It’s an ID book! Three of the authors (Meyer, Minnich, and Nelson) are affiliated with the Discovery Institute (Nelson is a young-earth creationist!), Seelke is an evolution denialist, and Moneymaker (!) has written other antievolution books.

Some balance! No wonder that three groups objected to the course.


  1. Posted December 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Explore Evolution Exposed from the British Center for Science Education.

    • Matt G
      Posted December 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      They don’t pull their punches, do they!

  2. Posted December 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Good work, another ID course taken down.

    • gbjames
      Posted December 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink


  3. Posted December 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    “Explore Evolution” reviewed and placed in context:

  4. NewEnglandBob
    Posted December 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Whack-a-mole continued.

    Atheist groups around the country are making progress, replacing supernatural nonsense with critical thinking.

    • Timothy Hughbanks
      Posted December 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink


  5. Posted December 13, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Contact these people and thank then if you fell so inclined

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted December 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Are you Peter Boghossian? I am 30% through your book.

      • Posted December 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        No, I am not Peter, but I run an independent community website dedicated to support Street Epistemologists in their quest to teach people better ways to come to knowledge.
        Please contact me when you are finished reading the book and I will gladly help you with any issues that come up in your conversations.

  6. Scote
    Posted December 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I’ve talked to Paul Nelson, and he explicitly confirmed that he’s a Christian first and “scientist” second and that whenever the two conflicted Christian doctrine always comes first. He admits that he is religiously incapable of following the evidence where it leads. No surprise, but there is no point in having a science dialogue with someone who’s made their religiously inculcated cognitive dissonance their mantra.

    • D. Taylor
      Posted December 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      He’s not just a creationist, he’s a young earth creationist. This identity seems to be deeply and generatively entrenched in his history and thought. Quoting Wikipedia, “Nelson is the grandson of the creationist author and Lutheran minister Byron Christopher Nelson (1894–1972) and edited a book of his grandfather’s writings.” I’m a bit chagrined to learn that we had the same dissertation chair at U. of Chgo although we are not from the same department and could not have gone in more opposite directions.

  7. Posted December 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I have always gotten a kick out of the Sensuous Curmudgeon. Do his pals just call him ‘Sensuous’? Anyway, he closes with the nice point:
    “These are terrible times for the Discoveroids. They can’t even get one of their books used in a creationist non-credit class in a two year community college — in Texas!”
    This is a good day.

    • Posted December 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Many of us on-line pals just call him Curmy 🙂 And, it is indeed a good day.

  8. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    The Intolerant Atheists – ugh!

  9. Erik
    Posted December 14, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    While I Haven’t read the whole Explore Evolution book. there is a sample chapter on the book’s website. In it, they summarize the concept of Natural Selection. Their version is so poorly constructed that I give it to my students to critique. Given the credentials of the authors, and the fact that there are many accurate summaries that have been published (e. g., by Ernst Mayr), I can only conclude that the poor and misleading summary was deliberate.

    • Posted December 14, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Remember that Stephen Meyer, whom I take to be the main author of the text, also wrote “Signature in the Cell”, and “Darwin’s Doubt”, that he has no life science qualifications, and that his PhD is in the history and philosophy of biology, not the actual science.

      My own view is that the authors are completely sincere and, since they are themselves creationists, imagine that their account is more evenly balanced than that of real scientists.

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  1. […] canned its science course that forced intelligent design (and Christianity) on captive students. Amarillo College in Texas did the same. Creationists had no victories in 2013, and evolution is slowly but surely insinuating its nose […]

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