33 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Presentation
..., it is an excellent, balanced presentation of evolution and how it should be taught in public schools. It presents clearly what most people, ..., fail to understand. That is the nature of scientific inquiry and what makes an idea qualify as a scientific theory... either imply or overtly state that there is much contradictory evidence left out in this book that would...
Published on April 25, 2002
3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Minus 5 stars - this book is pure propaganda
This is one of the sorriest excuses for academic writing that I have ever read. I could cite a myriad of examples, but I'll state one: The book says, "The best available evidence suggests that life on earth began more than three and a half billion years ago." I was hoping to read about some of that so called evidence in this book. In fact, I've been searching for it...
Published on June 14, 2011 by Veritas
Most Helpful First | Newest First
33 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Presentation,
By A Customer
This review is from: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (Paperback)..., it is an excellent, balanced presentation of evolution and how it should be taught in public schools. It presents clearly what most people, ..., fail to understand. That is the nature of scientific inquiry and what makes an idea qualify as a scientific theory... either imply or overtly state that there is much contradictory evidence left out in this book that would refute evolutionary theory and support what they call "creation science" No biologist would deny that there are problems with evolution and that there are many things that cannot be explained yet. This is the nature of science!!!!! As more evidence is collected, ideas and theories change. The overwhelming evidence supports evolution and that's why it's one of the fundamental ideas in science. Anyway, this is a great book for teachers, and every teacher who cares about scientific truth should read it.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for teaching!,
This review is from: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (Paperback)This book is an excellent book aimed at helping K-12 school teaching understand and teach evolution. It includes exercises on the scientific method, natural selection, and more. It also includes information for teachers that have never taught the subject and may have questions about teaching evolution.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful reference for biology and science teachers,
This review is from: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (Paperback)This little book is easy to understand, but covers a sufficient breadth about science and the scientific method.
This addresses some issues raised by pseudo science advocates.
A good book on biological evolution and the scientific method.
22 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very excellently-done piece of one-sided pedagogy.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (Paperback)This booklet is perhaps the finest packaging of the viewpoints and mindset of hard-line evolution educators. It is disappointing, however, in failing to deliver on its promise to become the "voice of reason" in the midst of discordant emotionalism and controversy.
The writing is good. The flow, format, sequencing, etc... are all very well done. It makes easy, clear reading. The illustrations, charts, graphs, and photos are all highly professional. What is disturbing is how dogmatic this "voice of reason" can be. In what seems a presumed effort to "make peace with" religious believers and their misgivings about evolution theory, the authors make veiled references to representative position statements from various faiths, which give assent to the most popularly accepted views of evolutionary biology. In an effort to present evolution as a rational and believable idea, the authors stretch painfully the definitions of "! ;fact" and "theory" (the likes of which I have never seen in nearly 20 years of science teaching) in order to make a purely semantic argument in favor of belief in evolution. They also present well-known established scientific concepts to the readers, as though these concepts are evidence or even proof in favor of evolution, when these concepts (e.g., symbiosis, natural selection, variation within a species population, antibiotic resistant bacteria) are in fact completely neutral to the issue of whether evolution is true or not. In this way, the authors literally comandeer much science that is agreed upon by all in the scientific community, as though it were only possible to interpret it as being in support of belief in evolution.
The presentation seems intended to convince classroom science teachers that the only honest and ethical approach to teaching science is to teach evolution as though it were a most important fact of science and to outright di! scourage students from any critical-thinking treatment of t! he subject. This is not good teaching of any subject.
A secondary purpose of the booklet seems to be to assuage any fears that religious believers may have about accepting evolutionary theory as fact. Teachers are encouraged to think that there are not only no scientific reasons to question the "just so" teaching of evolution, but also that there is no reason to feel that doing so should offend the religious beliefs of any of the students in their classes. On page 8 we read, "That's the point: religious people can still accept evolution."
These two themes--that evolution is the only scientifically and rational explanation worthy of consideration, and that religious people should have no compunctions about accepting it, too--seem to be woven into every paragraph, illustration, and sentence in the publication.
If a reader wants to understand completely the most insistent viewpoint that teaching evolution as fact is the only acceptable ap! proach to the teaching of science and that any other approach should be strictly forbidden, then this booklet is an unparalleled source of information. If a reader really wants to hear a "voice of reason" on the matter, then they will be either sadly disappointed or will be patronizingly encouraged to feel ashamed for ever having doubted the "obvious" answers that the booklet provides.
Webster's defines "propaganda" as "ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause." I'm afraid that this publication fits this definition without flaw, and should only be read as such.
3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Minus 5 stars - this book is pure propaganda,
This review is from: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (Paperback)This is one of the sorriest excuses for academic writing that I have ever read. I could cite a myriad of examples, but I'll state one: The book says, "The best available evidence suggests that life on earth began more than three and a half billion years ago." I was hoping to read about some of that so called evidence in this book. In fact, I've been searching for it for years from a wide variety of books and scientific papers. The mystery is solved: There is no evidence! The fact is that no real evidence exists to substantiate their claim and they know it. They even admit to their agenda within the book: to suppress any affinity for supernatural causes. This book is important, because it is what many school systems are furnishing their teachers and many teachers were raised on this garbage. However, the book isn't worth the ink that was used to print it based on the bad information within its pages. Read Jonathan Sarfati's 'Refuting Evolution' for a subject by subject dissection of this book. Read 'Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth' for technical proof that the earth is not that old. Read 'The Young Earth' for an easy to read summation of why the earth can't be billions of years old. There are so many good books out there that prove beyond all doubt that the earth can't be billions of years old. Or you can stick your head in the sand like the academy did...
13 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written indoctrination manual,
This review is from: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (Paperback)Teaching About Evolution is well written and easy to read. I would give it 5 stars for the quality of presentation. It is the content that needs help.
First, the NAS remove any doubt about their purpose. A statistic given in the introduction to explain the reason for the book is the fact that most Americans still believe in a Creator. The conclusion of the NAS is that, if this is the case, students must not be getting enough evolution teaching and something must be done about it. The book is part of their response to this 'problem.'
There are many issues with the content that I could address, but I will only mention one. Being an engineer and a certified math and physics teacher, I was particularly intrigued when the authors redefined fact and theory in such a way as to place those who don't believe in evolution in the same category as those who don't believe in gravity. The approach is far more subtle than the open ridicule presented by Gould or Dawkins, and probably more effective. They fail to mention that by the 'theory' of gravity they are actually referring to Einstein's complex Theory of General Relativity which attempts to explain the nature of gravity, not the typical reader's understanding of the existence of gravitational force. Apparantly, this is an important distinction only for authors who are not interested in misleading the readers.
I highly recommend reading this book along with its critique by Jonathan Sarfati, Refuting Evolution. Together they provide a balanced view that will allow an intelligent reader to draw his or her own conclusions.
11 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lack of significant evidence from the "experts",
This review is from: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (Paperback)I bought this book from the so-called "experts" expecting to learn a lot of scientific evidence and support for evolution and natural selection, having a scientific education myself. Instead the text was quite vague, generalized, and full of unproven rhetoric which the authors claimed was fully scientific. Ironically, despite the authors' claim of knowledge of the scientific method, their work provided me with very little genuine scientific evidence of evolution.
30 of 115 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Atheistic indoctrination of our young disguised as �science�,
This review is from: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (Paperback)This book is specifically aimed at showing schoolteachers how to indoctrinate their students in particles-to-people evolution.
The authors pretend that they are not hostile to `religion', realising that overt atheism would repulse most readers. But there are still subtle digs at Bible-believing Christians. Even more significant is the list of overtly atheistic books in the `recommended reading' section. For example, Dawkins' `The Blind Watchmaker', which explicitly states that Darwin made it possible to be `an intellectually fulfilled atheist' as he says he is; Dennett's `Darwin's Dangerous Idea', which praises the `universal acid' of Darwinism, eating away `just about every traditional concept', and says that religions should be caged like dangerous wild animals; many books by the humanist publisher Prometheus Books.
As astute commentators like Phillip Johnson have noted, the common strategy of the leading evolutionary propagandists is to dull people into compromise positions like `God might have used evolution', but then make sure people, once sucked in, find out what evolution really means. They must have a good laugh at the gullibility of compromising men of the cloth, just like Lenin with his `useful idiots' in the West.
A recent survey published in the leading science journal Nature conclusively showed that the National Academy of Science, the producers of `Teaching about Evolution ...', is heavily biased against God, rather than religiously unbiased. [E.J. Larson and L. Witham, The sole criterion for being classified as a `leading' or `greater' scientist was membership of the NAS.] A survey of all 517 NAS members in biological and physical sciences resulted in just over half responding. 72.2 % were overtly atheistic, 20.8 % agnostic, and only 7.0 % believed in a personal God. Belief in God and immortality was lowest among biologists. It is likely that those who didn't respond were unbelievers as well, so the study probably underestimates the level of anti-God belief in the NAS. The percentage of unbelief is far higher than the percentage among U.S. scientists in general, or in the whole U.S. population.
Commenting on the professed religious neutrality of `Teaching about Evolution ...', the many outstanding members of this academy who are very religious people, people who believe in evolution, many of them biologists." Our research suggests otherwise.'
The atheistic bias of NAS is reflected in the many scientifically inaccurate and even misleading comments in this book. It's not surprising, since Alberts himself has prominently cited Haeckel's forged work on embryonic drawings in his `Molecular Biology of the Cell', Garland, NY, 1994, pp. 32-33, although to be fair to him, this century-old fraud wasn't fully exposed till after that book was written.
Less excusable is the diagram of the alleged transitional forms between land mammals and whales. This displays all the animals at the same size, and neglects to inform its readers that the last animal is ten times longer than the first! There are also deceptive straw-man caricatures about what creationists really believe.
My own book, `Refuting Evolution', was written to counteract the misinformation in this book, in a number of areas, as well as giving a concise statement of the creationist view, which the atheistic élites want to censor. I discuss facts and bias, pointing out that facts never speak for themselves, but are always interpreted via a framework, and that atheists are just as biased as creationists. The examples of variation within a kind presented by Teaching about Evolution ... have *nothing to do* with particles-to-people evolution. `Teaching about Evolution ...' persistently misrepresents creationists of believing in fixity of species. But creationists don't deny change per se, merely changes which increase the genetic information content, as particles-to-people evolutionary dogma requires but real, empirical, information theory denies.
There are also chapters on birds and whales, going far deeper than the simplistic treatment in `Teaching about Evolution ...', showing that they are exquisitely designed. For example, evolutionists still have no explanation for how the unique bird's lung, with air sacs, parabronchi and a counter-current exchange system, could have evolved from the bellows-type reptilian lung.
The astronomy and age of the earth chapters tackle the erroneous big bang and billions-of-years arguments, pointing out key problems that the NAS doesn't want schoolchildren to know about.
A chapter on the fossil record documents that the links are still missing. `Teaching about Evolution' contains a gleeful article by the evolutionist (and atheist) E.O. Wilson, `Discovery of a Missing Link'. He claimed to have studied `nearly exact intermediates between solitary wasps and the highly social modern ants'. But another atheistic evolutionist, W.B. Provine, says that Wilson's `assertions are explicitly denied by the text.... Wilson's comments are misleading at best.'
The last chapter defends the design explanation as legitimate, in contrast to Teaching about Evolution ...' which rules it out a priori (i.e. as a dogma, before even examining the evidence).
22 of 99 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rationalism Masquerading as Science,
This review is from: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (Paperback)This book follows the usual "evolution is absolute fact" mantra, and denigrates those who disagree. But, like it or not, there are thousands of qualified scientists the world over who question or reject molecules-to-man evolution. Dogmatic evolutionists, such as the authors of this book, would do well to finally face this (unpleasant to them) reality. To teach unsuspecting children that all scientists accept evolution, and that evolution is fact, is nothing short of intellectual dishonesty.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science by National Academy of Sciences (Paperback - April 9, 1998)