Friday, July 21, 2006

National Academy of Sciences Publication

For those of you who don't know this, I work at a public library. In this position, a lot of books, especially new acquisitions, come across my desk on a regular basis. Today there is a book here titled Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences [Second Edition]. I flipped through it and can't help but post about it. In fact, it is so blatantly deceptive that I feel the need to write a more official paper analyzing it. I might do that, but first some lighter comments.

From the back of the book, there are two leaflets to distribute to people (probably educators) who might want to purchase this book. Before I go on, I should state that this book is obviously a response to the Intelligent Design movement and is designed to convince educators to keep "Creationism" out of the public classroom. Read what these leaflets say:
Science and Creationsism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, 2nd Ed.

While the mechanisms of evolution are still under investigation, scientists universally accept that the cosmos, our planet, and life evolved and continue to evolve. Yet the teaching of evolution to schoolchildren is still contentious.

In Science and Creationism, The National Academy of Sciences states unequivocally that creationism has no place in any science curriculum at any level. Briefly and clearly, this booklet explores the nature of science, reviews the evidence for the origin of the universe and Earth, and explains the current scientific understanding of biological evolution. This edition includes new insights from astronomy and molecular biology.

Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science

Today many school students are shielded from one of the most important concepts in modern science: evolution. In engaging and conversational style, Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science provides a well-strutured framework for understanding and teaching evolution. Written for teachers, parents, and community officials as well as scientists and educators, this book describes how evolution reveals both the great diversity and similarity among Earth's organisms; it explores how scientists approach the question of evolution; and it illustrates the nature of science as a way of knowing about the natural world. In addition, the book provides answers to frequently asked questions to help readers undestand many of the issues and misconceptions about evolution.
I can hardly imagine a more worthless endeavor than the book sitting before me now. In addition to this, our federal tax dollars pay for this nonsense! Right on the back of this book it states: "The National Academy Press publishes the reports issued by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council, all operating under a charter granted by the Congress of the United States." I thought we were supposed to keep dogmatic ideological worldviews from public education and public money; oh wait! that only applies to anything Christian.

You know, I really need to compose an official analysis and refutation of this nonsense. Maybe I'll make it a work in progress as I continue with my reading list. On that note, I have acquired Icons of Evolution, Darwin's Black Box, and Darwin on Trial. It has taken me a while to review Uncommon Dissent but I'll move on to new material soon.


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