Friday, 27 April 2007

Learning the Lessons part 1

Truth In Science have a section of their web page reserved for lesson plans which are described as follows;

Activities are designed for GCSE Biology and are grouped according to subject.

Lets have a look and see how this compares with some non creationist/ID material on the same subject. We will simply list errors and confusions within the material offered.

The first lesson is on Irreducible Complexity itself.

* This topic is not covered in the curriculum and our children will not be tested on it. So I can't compare this with teaching materials on this specific subject because no-body else covers it. Sigh - oerhaps because it is not in the curriculum.
* A false dichotomy is created with the question "How did life get here - by design or by chance?" scientists don't think life happened totally randomly.
* The origin of life is not covered by the theory of evolution at all.
* The use of an interview from a newspaper means that the following concept is not explained properly; What a "theory" is in science, as opposed to everyday conversation. This is handy for TiS because ID is not a scientific theory but evolution is.
* All the problems associated with IC are covered in this earlier post of mine.
* A confusing and incomplete introduction of the bacterial flagellum which is no more than a flimsy attempt to put doubt in the students mind about how evolution explains this.

Now you could even ignore everything listed above apart from the first point. If this subject never has and never will be tested, why send out material on it to confuse our kids? Seems irrational to me.

Can anyone out there send me even one example of an exam question where the ID argument was even just a part of the answer? This is a genuine question. I don't think there has been such an exam question. Please tell me if I am wrong.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Toying with the Truth in Science - part 8

At last we are on to the final learning outcome in the teachers manual which accompanied the DVDs sent to every UK High School and College by the Creationist group Truth In Science in September 2006.

This part is called "The Design Inference".

I will resist the temptation to analyse the very real religious and philosophical debates which cover this topic and instead stick to the main point here i.e. are the TiS claims true?, does the material fit with the curriculum?, and will this material help our kids to pass their exams?

The first learning point is;

Know that all scientists agree that there is an appearance of design in the world, but many attribute this to evolution.

There are two problems with this rather bald statement;

First of all it is a master of understatement to use the word "many" in this context. I have previously covered this subject in my post regarding the homepage of TiS where they make the claim that Intelligent Design is a genuine scientific controversy and not just some fringe claim which is unsupported by evidence. You can re-read these details here.

Secondly we see the phrase "attribute this to evolution". This gives no indication of how the Theory of Evolution can and does explain the appearance of design in the world. This is part of an overall pattern to deliberately leave students ignorant of the details of evolution so that TiS can argue against it. This is a logical fallacy/debating tactic called "strawman" which I covered in more detail in my last post. The last thing this tactic can ever achieve, of course, is to assist students in passing their exams. Then again we have seen that this is not high on the TiS agenda.

Evolution through natrual selection explains a process of UNintelligent design, which operates with no forethought, planning or even general direction of "progress". The process of evolution is supported by many lines of evidence which have been and still are being independently verified around the world. It is a fairly simple process with many hidden subtleties which is counterintuitive and requires carfeul thought and reflection to understand fully.

The head of science of my own son's High School, who kindly supplied me with my copy of the TiS materials, said;

"It is difficult enough to teach evolution to the children, without this nonsense material, which appears to be designed to confuse them."

The next learning outcomes are as follows;

Consider how we all regularly make inferences to intelligent design in detecting man-made objects.

Understand that we recognise design in objects if they are complex and fit a recognisable (specified) pattern.

None of this stuff is in the syllabus and our kids will not be tested on it.

Besides that major point lets list the logical fallacies and errors here;

Non-sequitur - The fact that people do something doesn't make it true.
Argument from popularity - we all do this often - still doesn't make it true.

What about many other examples of spontaneous or emergent complexity?
Snowflakes, ice crystals on a window, the Giants Causeway, the patterns of light on Oil on water, rainbows, the Rings of Saturn, fractals etc.

Know that Dr William Dembski provided a mathematical framework for detecting design,

Wikipedia's biography of Dembski is interesting. We can see that he is a mathematician after all but that he hasn't published very many papers on his subject. The subject mentioned above was not one of his papers. In fact he put it out in a book. There has been some controversy regarding the book at a recent ID trial in the USA when claims where made that the book was "peer reviewed" a process of error checking and proof reading involved in scientific papers of all kinds and designed to make sure work is accurate, original and significant before it is published. The trial judge ruled that,

"the intelligent design movement has yet to have an article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal"

If you want to see more about this trial you can see the full ruling and selected extracts on another blog of mine here.

Dembski himself has said,

"I'm not and never have been in the business of offering a strict mathematical proof for the inability of material mechanisms to generate specified complexity."

The next learning outcome is;

Understand that information is both complex and specified.

No I don't understand this either - I have been back and watched the film again and it is still goobledegook. This material is aimed at kids remember - clear as mud - but sounds impressive doesn't it?

Know that DNA stores more information and transmits it more efficiently than anything else in the known universe.

Again we are being led by the nose into the argument from personal incredulity. Wow - it must be god then.

Understand that there is no known process to explain the origin of information.

Yet more pseudoscientific claptrap. They never actually say how you can measure information do they, or precisely what they mean by information? They have been challenged on this quite a bit since this claim was first made but we still don't know what it is they are claiming here.

Oh, and by the way - none of this stuff about information theory would earn you a single mark in a GCSE biology exam - because it is not in the syllabus and is not tested.

OK are you ready for the big finish - this is what TiS have been leading up to all this time. Brace yourself;

Recognise that the inference of design makes sense of the word as a rational and comprehensible product of an intelligent mind.

Whisper from stage left;

Don't mention the G*D word!

We have come a long way and seen an awful lot of vacuous statements from TiS to get this far.

Just think to yourself and tell me what the scientific theory of Intelligent Design says actually happened.

As far as I can make out it is this;

"Sometime, somewhere, somebody, designed something intelligently in someway for some reason." A perfectly valid philosophy for life i.e. a religion.

But not something which will help any students to pass their biology exams.

Truth In Science want every school and college in the UK to teach Intelligent Design in science classes, now.

They want this now despite the fact that ID is not included in the syllabus and exams.

If ID were to be taught in science classes this would of course mean that our kids would get fewer marks, lower grades and maybe even fail in their exams as a direct result of learning material and answers which don't match those set by the exam boards.

Why on earth wouldn't TiS lobby for the inclusion of it in the syllabus and exam papers before teaching it? That way the kids don't suffer.

Why send the material out now and run the risk that kids grades will suffer? At the very least this shows a completely irresponsible attitude to the children themselves.

TiS claim that 50 odd schools and colleges are using this material already.

I will next move on to looking some of he material TiS have on their web site and recommended for use in classes.

Corrections and comment welcomed.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Toying with the Truth in Science - part 7

We have made good progress and are now up to learning outcomes part 5 of 6 in the Teachers Manual and DVDs sent to every UK High School and College by the creationist group Truth In Science in September 2006.

We are now seeing more and more logical fallacies in these "learning outcomes", if you are interested in the subject of logical reasoning and trying to think clearly in general then I have a couple of pages on the web which may interest you;

The Guide to Thinking Straight gives you an introduction to basic logical arguments and also covers the most common fallacies you are likely to encounter.
Think Critical gives you general rules for how to evaluate evidence critically.

If you don't want to dig into critical thinking skills then don't worry because I will lay everything out for you anyway.

This section of the learning outcomes is entitled "The Language of Life"

Truth In Science start with;

Know that when mainstream scientists rejected the idea that chance alone caused the formation of the first protein, it was suggested that the properties of amino acids might make the process inevitable.

This particular logical fallacy is known as "strawman". To do this you give a simplified, incomplete or false description of whatever you are arguing against. This enables you to make a perfectly consistent and logical sounding case that it is wrong by arguing against the strawman and not arguing against the genuine article.

In this case TiS tell a straight lie - that scientists thought that life started by complete random chance. They then follow it up by describing vague hand waving by scientists claiming to explain things with the phrase "its inevitable", which of course explains nothing. The clever(ish) bit here is that they have made the strawman so very weak indeed, that they don't even need to give the counter argument. They simply leave students thinking that the phrase "it's inevitable" doesn't really explain anything. More seeds of doubt and confusion sown!

Also, let me just point out yet again, that the subject of the origin of life from lifeless materials (abiogenesis) is not in the curriculum anyway - so this is wasting the students time on a subject which they will not get tested on.

Know that Dr Dean Kenyon is a scientist who suggested this in a book "Biochemical Predestination".

Know that after 5 years he began to doubt the theory.

Understand that Kenyon could not explain how proteins could replicate without DNA, not the origins of DNA.

Here we have a rich mix of logical fallacies including the following;

Argument from Authority - if Kenyon says this then it must be true - isn't evidence more important - who is Kenyon anyway?
Argument from Ignorance - if science can't explain something then it can never be explained by science, ever. Why on earth not?
Non-sequitur - "it doesn't follow" - Remember that the Theory of Evolution does not cover the origin of life. So taking one argument about the origin of life (which is riddled with fallacies anyway) can't lead you to a conclusion about a different subject - it just doesn't follow. Also the fact that one scientist (Kenyon) can't explain something doesn't mean that no one else ever will this doesn't follow either.

Abiogenesis isn't on the curriculum and has nothing to do with evolution but if you are interested in learning a little more about it there is a basic summary here.

Understand the basic structure of the DNA molecule.

Understand how proteins are produced from DNA by a process of transcription, translation and folding.

Wow - we are back in the GCSE Biology curriculum at last. But not for long I fear.

Understand how over the course of many years Kenyon realised that the only way to explain the origin of life and the cell is by involving design from an intelligent source.

All together now . . .

Argument from Authority - what evidence backs this claim up?
Argument from Ignorance - the fact that we don't know something doesn't prove anything
Non-sequitur - it has nothing to do with evolution anyway.

Finally Kenyon himself is committing the argument from personal incredulity fallacy. This is when you state that because you can't explain something it must therefore be unexplainable. I could show you a card trick you can't explain but that doesn't mean I have supernatural powers does it.

He follows this up with the conclusion it must be god (sorry - an intelligent designer - snigger).

Once again our kids are no nearer passing their exams, probably even further away from a pass than when they started thanks to the seeds of doubt and confusion we have seen sown and finally perhaps slightly closer to the clutches of a religious group who want them to believe that every single word in the Bible is literally true.

Feedback and corrections appreciated.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Toying with the Truth in Science - part 6

I recently spotted a group called "Science Just Science" (SjS) - now listed in the links on the left of the page.

SjS have done an analysis of much of the Truth In Science materials. I recommend you pop over and have a look at their site.

I will be continuing to work through the TiS materials myself but I will be drawing on the SjS material for inspiration and will provide direct links to the relevant articles there for you as well. They have kindly agreed to allow me to do this and even allowed the use some of their work if appropriate - thank you Science Just Science.

The SjS analysis of the teachers manual can be found here.

SjS have an approach which gives you many more links to background materials and suggestions for further reading, whereas I try to keep things fairly self contained in each posting although I do of course link to other materials as well. So whichever style you prefer you do at least now have a choice.

Anyway back to the Teachers manual sent with DVDs to all UK Schools and Colleges in Sept 2006 by the creationist group Truth In Science (TiS). I have covered the letter which accompanied this material in a previous post. The letter claims that the materials is not just OK for use in schools but will help children pass their exams. This claim gets even harder to accept when we see the title for section 4 of the "learning outcomes" which is entitled "How did life begin?" and we realise that this whole topic is not part of the curriculum.

Looking through my son's GCSE revision guide I did manage to find an "exam style" question and answer as follows;

1) How long ago do we believe that life began on Earth? (1 mark)
2) What are two different theories about how life first began on earth? (4 marks)

Let's look at the actual textbook answers and then compare them to the TiS material and you can judge for yourself how many marks your kids would get if your school was using the TiS DVDs.

AQA Science GCSE Biology give the following answers;

1) 3500 million years ago.
2) It arrived from another planet, possibly by meteorites, or there was a particular mix of chemicals on Earth; lightning provided the energy to create life from this mix.

Whereas TiS say the following;

Understand that Darwin concentrated on how new forms and structures arise in living organisms, and only briefly described how life might have originated in the first place.

Recognise Oparin's theory of chemical evolution.

Understand that proteins are a major component of all cells and carry out many essential processes.

Understand that proteins are made up of precise sequences of amino acids , and this determines a complex 3D structure which is essential to their function.

Recognise that a protein sequence is analogous to a sentence.

Understand that the chance of a simple protein of 100 amino acids forming in a chemical soup is vanishingly small.

Know that the simplest cells contain 600 different proteins of over 100 amino acids in length.

Recognise that mainstream scientists no longer believe that chance alone could have caused the formation of the first functional protein.

There is a very rich vein of rubbish in this but nothing which actually gives you any answers which might help you to pass the exam. Passing the exam is supposed to be the point.

Lets dive into their list of points and see how many mistakes, irrelevancies and misconceptions it contains - hold your nose.

The first point about Darwin is very true, the origin of life is a whole field in itself called abiogenesis and is not part of evolutionary theory at all. However, he way in which TiS present this fact appears to use it to attempt to cast doubt on Darwin's work. The fact that Darwin did not propose a detailed theory on the origin of life has no bearing on the accuracy of his theory.

The second point is rather odd - I can't find any reference to this at all in the revision guide for GCSE Biology - so whilst he did exist and did some ground breaking work in abiogenesis, I can't see how knowledge and understanding of Oparin would help anyone pass their exam - see here for more details.

The next two comments would seem to be harmless. This is unusual - perhaps they are merely prepare the ground for something more tasty?

The odds of a 100 amino acid protein forming from random combinations of amino acids is vanishingly small.

Ah! Now we see it. "Wow, how can the silly scientists pretend this isn't true?"

Well, scientists do not claim that this is how the first proteins were formed. This is a good example of the dishonest creationist tactic of producing very large numbers to impress people, when these numbers have no real bearing on the arguments. In addition to this always remember that this entire topic is not even in the curriculum.

. . . contains 600 different proteins . . .

"And you need how many? - Well - No chance at all then - Silly scientists!"

First of all you need to understand that scientists do not claim that the first living beings resembled even the simplest of modern cells. They use the idea of a protocell as an example of a system that preceeded modern cells. As remember that abiogenesis is a different subject from evolution and is not even in the curriculum.

And this next learning point rivals the classic "Have you stopped beating your wife?" question;

Scientists no longer believe that the first proteins were formed by chance.

In addition to the fact that no one has ever said that it was chance alone, this comment also harps back to the incomplete and vague descriptions of evolution theory we have already seen from TiS talking about "blind chance" and "random processes" etc. High school kids who have been taught the basic facts about evolution can explain that random variation plus natural selection is the key here. Missing out a major part of the theory and then making statements to prove it couldn't work is a favourite tactic of TiS.

As always, suggestions and corrections always gratefully accepted.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Toying with the Truth in Science - part 5

This post continues my look at the teachers manual sent with DVDs to every UK school and college by the Creationist group Truth In Science.

Part 3 of the Learning outcomes is called; "Molecules and Mousetraps"

Understand the concept of "irreducible complexity" - that some machines are made up of many parts, all of which are necessary for function

Recognise the bacterial flagellum as an example of an irreducibly complex system

Understand that irreducibly complex structure cannot evolve by slight, successive, advantageous variations, because at certain points in their evolution they will lose function altogether

At the risk of repeating my earlier posts a little lets just pause for a moment to recognise that the entire set of "learning points" I will cover in this post share one thing in common. What they share is that neither your kids nor my kids will get asked any questions on them at all in their GCSE exams. Which does rather beg the question of why they are here at all. But we already know the answer to that don't we, so lets stick to showing you why this is a pile of bunk.

Well the first learning does itself give the full description of the concept of Irreducible Complexity itself. Irreducible complexity is an attempt to come up with an argument to prove that certain things could not possibly have evolved. Irreducible Complexity is not an accepted scientific term or concept which TiS just happen to be using in this particular case to argue a particular point. Irreducible Complexity (IC) is in fact a concoction of the Intelligent Deisgn/Creationism movement in the US.

Unfortunately IC can be a little tricky to get your head around. I have had IC used by creationists against me in discussions in a way that the developers of IC themselves did not intend. This is a fairly simple error to make for anyone unfamiliar with the ToE. In fact I have had to point this error out to several creationists. The error is illustrated by example as follows; Can an eye operate without the lens? Obviously not, er hang on there a moment, there are plenty of examples of eyes out there in the natural word which don't have lenses.

OK but alright we do kind of know what they mean don't we? Why am I being so picky with this. Let's carry on and see where we get to.

Can I operate without my heart? - No. What about my heart without one of the valves? - No. Ah now we have got the hang of it. Take an organism and slice a bit off and see it still works/lives - easy peasy - we can prove Darwin wrong in our sleep;-)

So its starting to sound a bit odd now isn't it. The reason for this and the reason why this is an error is because this is not how evolution suggests things actually do evolve - i.e. one whole part at a time - that would be a bit daft wouldn't it. There goes a creature with no eyes and wow looks it's kids have got eyes! No, that's not what evolution is at all.

The people who came up with IC in the first place did at least understand this and they did in fact intend IC to be used in just a few specific cases and not with this broad brush approach. Unfortunately most creationists know very little about evolution (many equate it with evil and so want nothing to do with it) and so readily fall into the error I have described and start asking where the first eye came from or how did a monkey give birth to a human etc. In fact I have had to point out this basic error to otherwise highly educated creationists with degree level qualifications.

So now that we have clarified the actual nature of the argument itself lets have a look at the logic and evidence and see how it stacks up.

The ToE states that nature always works with whatever is at hand but not always in the way described in the learning point i.e. with very gradual changes. Evolution can also work though the following evolutionary mechanisms; deletion of parts, addition of multiple parts; for example, duplication of much or all of a system, change of function, and the addition of a second function to a part.

(BTW if you are interested, there are some very interesting examples of organisms which appear to have evolved in this way - this is possible because certain genes appear to act to control whole suites of other genes and this means that a single mutation in a gene in a centipede which controlled all the other genes which in turn controlled the development of a body segment and pair of legs, could make an extra segment and pair of legs in one fell swoop of variation - anyway back to the point)

Given enough time this can be shown to lead to some pretty amazing changes in both the form and structure of part of an organism and the use or function of the form or structure. For one such example consider the swim bladder in fish, and lungs in animals. (BTW its interesting to note that we now think that this happened the opposite way around to that suggested by Darwin himself - there are after all, no sacred cows in science) There are many more amazing such examples.

Next we see that TiS pick out just one of these aspects of evolution. They mentioned it but do not explain it very well;

Understand that Darwinian scientists dispute this, and that the theory of co-option (Borrowing parts from other machines) is a possible solution to the problem of irreducible complexity.

So, they even grant that this could explain away their own proof, but hang on - doesn't that mean it isnt a proof after all? I mean if that is a way to explain it away then what exactly does their proof prove?

Well once again I think that TiS are being subtle and clever here. The onus is placed upon the reader/student to think for themselves whether or not co-option does explain IC away. Of course the don't give the poor thinker anywhere near a clear picture of either concepts so it is very likely that the vast majority will be left doubting very much if co-option (whatever it is exactly) can explain away IC - after all IC seemed so sensible and easy to grasp didn't it? Well before I asked you to think about it a little bit anyway.

Next they try to finish the student off with more confirmation that Co-option (whatever it is) can't explain IC;

Recognise that the needle-nose cellular pump has some similarities to the bacterial flagellum, but that it only contains 10 of the 40 protein components of the flagellum.

Wow - only 10 out of 40 - no chance.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the evolution of the flagellum is now mapped out pretty thoroughly and yes it seems to work just fine without any miracles as far we can tell.

The full details are here.

The Creationists are presumably now looking around for the next thing to claim as Irreducibly Complex, they have after all been doing this quite a while and there are a long list of similar claims of IC subsequently shown to be false.

This page shows a bit more on this subject if you are interested.

Lets also remember the more general point that you can't use ignorance to prove something. i.e. if we can't currently explain the evolution of a particular structure this does not prove that we never will or that it was therefore designed. This simple bit of common sense actually leaves the whole IC issue dead in the water before they come up with the next IC claim anyway, if you stop to think about it for a moment.

The final learning outcomes for our kids from this section according to TiS is;

Recognise that the process by which cells assemble the flagellum is precise and complex, and has not been explained in Darwinian terms.

Well we just did didn't we.

Once again, none of this is in the syllabus and so it won't help the students pass their exams. But then we have seen by now that getting the kids through the exams is not what TiS are aiming for.

Further input on this topic from Tony Jackson in a comment on the Learning Lessons 1 entry;

Why should ‘irreducible complexity’ be taught at GCSE? Surely a science syllabus – especially at this elementary level – should reflect established (ie well-supported by the evidence) scientific theories and basic facts. Irreducible complexity fails in both of these criteria.

1)Many of the specific examples of ‘irreducible complexity’ that Michael Behe uses in his book are just plain wrong.

2)Even if there are examples in biology where some structure fits Behe’s definition, there are several well-known evolutionary mechanisms that can in principle account for their origin.

Behe wrote his book over ten years ago. That’s a very long time ago in today’s fast-paced science. It’s instructive to check up and see how the scientific community has reacted to the concept of ‘irreducible complexity’. To do this, there are a number of publicly accessible databases of the published scientific literature. Such literature searches are essential and routine tools that active scientists use all the time to follow what’s hot and to keep up with the latest discoveries. PubMed is one I use a lot. If you go there and type “irreducible complexity” you will get a grand total of papers that mention the phrase. But it’s worse than that because on closer inspection three of these papers are clearly irrelevant to Behe’s meaning and the remaining four papers are all critical of Behe.

Think about that. Even after more than ten years, it seems that there are simply no papers in the primary scientific literature that use the concept of ‘irreducible complexity’ to make predictions, to discover new insights into nature and to test hypotheses.

Contrast this state of affairs with a phenomenon called “RNA interference” (or RNAi), which was discovered at about the same time Behe wrote his book. Now on PubMed, I got 9371 hits for “RNA interference” and 8666 hits for “RNAi”.

That’s the difference between a genuine scientific discovery and an utterly bogus claim.

The next section in the TiS teachers manual is "How did life begin?" which has nothing to do with the theory of Evolution at all.

Any questions or corrections please let me know.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Toying with the Truth in Science - part 4

Continuing from my last post here is part two of the teachers manual section entitled learning outcomes;

"What Darwin Didn't Know" is a bit of an odd title, don't you think? I can find no reference to any such thing in my sons Revision Guide or the National Curriculum.

Of course we have already spotted the Truth In Science agenda here, they set things up in part 1 to give a watered down and incomplete version of Darwin's Theory and now it looks like they are going to put more doubts in our kids minds about that.

The first learning outcome is;

Understand that in Darwin's lifetime scientists did not appreciate the complexity of living cells.

Well this is of course true, but also completely irrelevant to the KS4 science curriculum, or passing the exams.

Know that since the 1950s our knowledge of cells has exploded, and that they contain a huge variety of miniature machine.

Perhaps they think this is a "history of science" exam? Again this is off topic, interesting but irrelevant, and at best it could possibly distract kids from passing their exam.

Recognise that the bacterial flagellum is driven by a highly efficient miniature motor, with a complex structure.

We seem to be wandering further and further away from any kind of question which may possibly appear in a GCSE science exam. "Flagellum" is not even mentioned in my son's revision guide. Why introduce such an esoteric topic?

Understand that Darwin's theory relies on accumulating complexity by slight, successive, advantageous variations.

At last a summary of part of evolution. This should be the main topic of study. We finally get a quick mention. Not exactly laid out bit by bit with examples to help the students though. No explanation of how this happens step by step. "accumulating complexity" is not language which is really aimed at kids of 15 I think, almost as if they were trying to make it sound more complicated than it really is.

Know that Dr Michael Behe is an example of a scientist who questions whether Darwin's theory can account for the complexity of the cell.

Understand the process which Behe went through as a scientist in changing his ideas.

So this is the reason for the careful build up and the introduction of a topic which does not even appear in the state curriculum or the exams the kids will take.

Dr Behe published a book on "irreducible complexity" in 1996 called "Darwin's Black Box".

A very good resource regarding Behe can be found here.

Alternatively here is the introduction of his page on Wikipedia;

Michael Behe
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Michael J. Behe (born January 18, 1952, in Altoona, Pennsylvania) is an American biochemist and intelligent design advocate. Behe is professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. He is married and has nine children. He advocates the idea that some structures are too complex at the biochemical level to be adequately explained as a result of evolutionary mechanisms. He has termed this concept "irreducible complexity".
Behe's claims about the irreducible complexity of key cellular structures are strongly contested by the scientific community, including his own department, the Department of Biological Sciences, at Lehigh University. Likewise, his claims about intelligent design have been characterized as pseudoscience.
Behe's testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District is extensively cited by the judge in his ruling that intelligent design is not science but essentially religious in nature.

The argument he presents is actually a rehash of William Paley's argument from design which Darwin himself showed to be fallacious over 100 years ago.

An explanation of irreducible complexity and the arguments for and against it will be summarised in my next post which will cover part 3 of the learning outcomes which is called; "Molecules and Mousetraps".

Unfortunately this will contain precisely nothing which would help a chid pass their GCSE exam, but then TiS don't appear to be motivated by this anyway.

- - -

This small blog has been moving steadily up the Google pages in recent weeks. My objective is to be listed as the second entry behind TiS themselves when you Google "truth in science". The idea is to give people the other side of the argument bearing in mind the amount of money they have behind them and the very slick web site TiS are able to fund.

If you feel you could take a page from their web site or one of their download-able resources and analyse it, pointing out the faults and errors please let me know.

I am just one chap trying to do his bit and any assistance would be greatly appreciated.