PBS Evolution A Critical Review

Discovery Institute

National Center for Science Education Falsely Charges Discovery Institute With Misquotation

SEATTLE–In a press release issued September 26, 2001, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) claimed that the Discovery Institute in Seattle had misquoted Arizona State University anthropologist Geoffrey A. Clark a week earlier. But examination of Clark’s original article shows that it is the NCSE, not Discovery Institute, that is guilty of playing fast and loose with the facts. “We encourage people to read Clark’s original article for themselves,” says Discovery Institute spokesperson Mark Edwards. “We are confident that if they do so, they will see that we accurately described what Clark said, contrary to assertions by the NSCE. It’s unfortunate that the NCSE chooses to ignore the scientific issues we raised and can only respond with personal attacks.” Read More ›

Leaked PBS Memo Reveals Improper Political Agenda behind “Evolution” Series

To: National Circuit; Science, Education Click Here for PBS Internal Memo SEATTLE–An internal PBS memo made public today reveals an improper political agenda behind WGBH/Clear Blue Sky’s ongoing series “Evolution”, according to the Seattle-based Discovery Institute. The memo describes how “Evolution” will be used to influence government officials and promote political action in order to shape how evolution is taught in public schools. Dated June 15, 2001, the memo bears the title “The Evolution Controversy, Use It or Lose It: Evolution Project/WGBH Boston.” The document outlines the overall goals of the ongoing PBS series Evolution and describes the marketing strategy for the series. The complete text of the PBS memo is posted at reviewevolution.com. According to the document, which was Read More ›

100 Scientists, National Poll Challenge Darwinism

Download A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism (as of 2001)Download Zogby’s Final ReportDownload the Zogby Crosstabs Note: since the writing of this article there have been many updates to the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism list. You can get the most updated list here: https://www.discovery.org/f/660/ SEATTLE–In an ironic greeting to the seven-part public television series “Evolution” that begins tonight, 100 scientists have declared that they “are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life.” The signers say, “Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based public policy center, compiled the list of statement signers (attached). Among other things, the long list may help to Read More ›

“Evolution” Series Rewrites History to Fit Religious Stereotype

To: National Circuit-Science, Education, & TV Writers SEATTLE–The first episode of the upcoming WGBH/Clear Blue Sky’s series “Evolution” rewrites history to fit a pre-determined religious stereotype, say scholars affiliated with the Seattle-based Discovery Institute. The episode (“Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”) portrays all of Darwin’s critics during the nineteenth century as biblical literalists whose objections to Darwin’s theory were motivated by religion rather than science. “In fact, much of the initial controversy over Darwin’s theory focused on the scientific shortcomings of the theory,” says Discovery Institute Senior Fellow John West, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Seattle Pacific University. “Since ‘Evolution’ purports to be about science, not religion, it is strange that it virtually ignores the scientific controversy sparked by Darwin Read More ›

“Evolution” Series Provides Infomercial for Dubious Field of “Evolutionary Psychology”

SEATTLE–Many scientists–including many supporters of Darwinian theory–regard “evolutionary psychology” as pseudo-science, but viewers of the WGBH / Clear BLue Sky series “Evolution” won’t get the opportunity to hear their views. Instead, during episode five of the series (“What about sex?”) viewers will be subjected to an uncritical–and unrebutted–presentation of some of evolutionary psychology’s wildest and most speculative claims. The series devotes special attention to the sweeping theories of evolutionary pscyhologist Geoffrey Miller, who explains everything from the origins of the human brain to Handel’s “Messiah” as a result of our drive for sex. Miller’s conjectures have been criticized as “a product of the storyteller’s art, not of science,” by American Museum of Natural History paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall (New York Times Read More ›

“Evolution” Series Claim on Eye Evolution More Fiction than Fact

SEATTLE–Viewers of the WGBH / Clear Blue Sky series “Evolution” will be given the false impression that a Swedish scientist has proven how evolution could produce the human eye in less than half a million years. “Zoologist Dan-Erik Nilsson has developed models to show how a primitive eye spot could evolve through indeterminate stages to become a complex human-like eye in less than half a million years,” the narrator of “Evolution” tells viewers. As the narrator continues to describe Nilsson’s research, Nilsson is shown working diligently at his computer. The implication is that he has created a computer “model” to simulate how an unguided process of natural selection could produce the eye. Nilsson is shown saying that his research shows Read More ›

Off-screen, ‘Evolution’ Spokesperson Tries to Tar Scientific Critics Who are Ignored On-screen

To: Internet Wire: General News and Education Wires SEATTLE– Eugenie Scott, a designated spokesperson for the WGBH series, ‘Evolution’ on PBS has charged that scientific critics of the series are mainly motivated by “religious beliefs” and can safely be dismissed as “creationists.” Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) and one of the key spokespeople chosen by PBS producers to defend the seven-part series that starts next Monday, said in a September 17 press release that “virtually every reputable scientist in the world argues that evolution is good science.” Her organization is an interest group that exists to promote the teaching of Darwinism and which routinely opposes criticism of Darwinian theory, including scientific criticism. The NCSE Read More ›

‘Evolution’ Series Ignores Scientific Disagreements over Human Origins

SEATTLE–Trying to piece together the evolutionary history of the human race is one the most speculative–and disputed–endeavors in evolutionary biology, but viewers would never guess that fact by watching the WGBH/Clear Blue Sky’s miniseries “Evolution.” “‘Evolution’ fails to inform viewers of the disagreements that exist among scientists trying to account for human origins,” says biologist Jonathan Wells, a Discovery Institute Senior Fellow who holds a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley. “Instead, ‘Evolution’ uncritically presents speculative ideas as if they were uncontroverted science, and does not bother to interview those with conflicting scientific viewpoints.” According to Wells, an example of “Evolution’s” one-sided approach comes in episode two (“Great Transformations”), which purports to tell Read More ›