Friday, August 31, 2007

Discovery Institute Fellow runs for school board as “Darwinist”?

Nina Shapiro of Seattle Weekly reports that a retired college professor by the name of John Campbell is running for a school in North Mason County. Shapiro reports that:

A retired communications professor, Campbell says he has the skills to foster a more civilized dialogue, “restore trust,” and “establish transparency.”

Although campaigning on “trust” and “transparency”, she notes that he fails to disclose that he is John Angus Campbell, a Fellow of the Center for Science and Culture (formerly Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture), the creationist arm of the right-wing “think tank”, the Discovery Institute.

[Read more at my main blog]


HonestMortgage said...

I have actually read some oh John's papers and articles and I think the Seattle Paper mis understood what John's work is about. Darwin/intelligent design is just one of the ways John wants kids to use issues to question things. I would use the word "debate", but that would be too simple. Instead of being told God created the world, the Darwin theory, or Int. Design, John wants all of the options brought out on the table and allow kids to discuss the possibilities.

At the high school there is a series of books on "debate". In one book it will take , say for instance, the Muslim faith and debate both sides of the topic. One writer will write on a topic such as "Does Islam advocate violence/terrorism" and then in that chapter two authors give both sides of the debate. There are no set correct answers, but rather both sides presented for the reader to understand what reasons the authors have so that the reader can make their own decision.

This is the basis for what John wants to do. He picks a touchy topic in creationism and wishes that students can be allowed to make certain decisions on their own.

The article is as unfair to him as when uneducated things are written about the current board......that is why I am behind carefully knowing all the facts before something is said about someone or a particular situation.

Ian said...

While I could see a person using intelligent design as a test case to teach children about academic dishonesty, that isn't what Campbell is doing or advocating.

If his only aim was to "teach debate", why would he be an fellow of the DI? Why would he defend as dishonest a campaign as "teach the controversy"? This isn't a debate where there are no set answers - the ID answers are clearly wrong, and their proponents are well aware that they are wrong.

So why would anyone advocated for giving equal time to dishonest spin in science classes? And why would anyone who has dedicated so much time and energy to an education related issue try to hide it in his campaign for a school board seat? Simple - because it's all part of the wedge strategy to undermine science education.