Demolishing the icons of intelligent design

Alison at BioBlog has been working through Jonathan Wells’ “10 questions to ask your biology teacher.” Wells is a Senior Fellow at Center for Science & Culture (intelligent design ID and Wedge headquarters) and  author of Icons of Evolution: Why much of what we teach about evolution is wrong.

As Alison points out these 10 questions are aimed at sowing doubts in students’ minds about the science they are taught. But they do demonstrate Wells’ “woeful lack of understanding of some fairly basic ideas” and Alison provides a brief rejoinder to each “question”.

The links below are to Alison’s response to each question (Or all in one place: answers to wells’ questions – all in one place).

obfuscation galore!
the cambrian ‘explosion’
wells’ third ‘icon’ – homology
wells is peeved with haeckel’s embryos
another one of jonathan wells’ ‘icons’ of evolution
peppered moths – another ‘icon’?
wells again – this time, darwin’s finches
the 8th ‘question’ on wells’ little list
wells’ 9th question
so what’s that 10th question? »

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8 responses to “Demolishing the icons of intelligent design

  1. [well off-topic!]

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/5784/

    “Who’s afraid of xenotransplantation?”

    Prof. Winston is moving is xenotransplantation work from the UK to California, giving up trying to get it to happen in his own country, etc.

    Given Robert Winston visits NZ frequently, its a pity NZ couldn’t have made a place for him. (We may not have the infrastructure, etc., he needs? Or is this line of research blocked here, too?)

  2. is moving his, sorry. Typo.

  3. There was work done in Auckland (can’t remember the names) into transplanting pig pancreatic islet cells into people with type I diabetes that had some promise – in that it seemed to reduce reliance on insulin injections – but was then canned due to concerns about the possibility of pig retroviruses becoming active in the transplantees. Didn’t the researchers then go offshore?

  4. Maybe they’re heading to the same place?! Might explain Lord Winston’s visits here too.

  5. He’s also working quite closely with the Liggins Institute & their outreach efforts – they have a classroom where schoolkids come for a day & work with scientists & teachers. It’s become extremely successful & I gather from the resident teacher that Lord Winston has imported the concept to the UK.

  6. Nice. I was only aware of the peppered moth one.

    Alison, how about setting up your rebuttals under one heading at your site?

    That way, anybody googling Well’s “list” can quickly and easily find a pre-packaged and ready-to-use takedown.
    Just an idea.

  7. Hadn’t actually thought of that, Cedric, but it’s a good idea; thank you. To tell the truth, I did them one at a time in a rather bitty fashion because sometimes I don’t have time to do a longer post but it’s good to get something up :-) (Should have saved a few for the last couple of days, which I’ve spent madly marking essays.

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