March 20, 1988 |
Tonight's Inherit the Wind (at 9 on Channel 3) is a classic example of the way network ratings-greed combines with star power to create well-meaning blandness. This re-creation of the 1960 movie features Jason Robards and Kirk Douglas in the roles originally played by Spencer Tracy and Fredric March. Like its film predecessor, this new Inherit the Wind is based on the 1955 Jerome Lawrence-Robert E. Lee play that dramatized the real-life "Scopes monkey trial" of 1925. In that celebrated case, a Tennessee schoolteacher was arrested for violating a state law that prohibited the teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution.
October 25, 1996 |
Pope John Paul II told a group of scientists meeting in Rome this week that he has no problem with the theory of evolution, noting that it's compatible with Christian belief. In a written message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope said "fresh knowledge" has made evolution "more than just a hypothesis. " But he noted that he regards the human soul as an immediate divine creation not subject to the process of physical adaptation. He also said that Christians must believe that creation is God's work and that there's a dimension beyond the physical.
September 19, 1993 |
Only three stone pillars remain from a plot that was home to "the castle," a 17-room Victorian mansion on East Wayne Avenue. Like ancient soldiers on perpetual sentry duty, these austere sentinels watch over land that has evolved from a grand estate, bordered by a lush apple orchard, to a tree-lined suburban block of about 14 more modest single-family homes - a metaphor for the borough's evolution from rural haven for the affluent to middle-class, suburban...
April 18, 1999 |
The time is probably ripe for another exhibition about Haverford College's history because there hasn't been such an event on campus since the 1940s. In "Viewing the Evolution: 166 Years of Haverford History," now at Haverford's art gallery, Diana Franzusoff Peterson, the college's archivist, has supplied scholarly material and many of the images required to update and support such a theme. The show's format comes from cultural institutions' research-oriented displays, which typically mark milestone anniversaries.
August 17, 2008 |
When the dog days of summer come to an end, one thing we can be sure of is that the school year that follows will see more fights over the teaching of evolution and whether intelligent design, or even Biblical accounts of creation, have a place in America's science classrooms. In these arguments, evolution is treated as an abstract subject that deals with the age of the earth or how fish first flopped onto land. It's discussed as though it were an optional, quaint and largely irrelevant part of biology.
October 3, 1986 |
The argument over whether (or how) the scientific theory of evolution should be taught in our public schools, as against the religious doctrine of "creationism," generates high passions. The debate has become a dogmatic crusade on both sides, with educators, school administrators and textbook publishers trapped in the middle. It should not be this way. It is largely a pointless conflict, because its terms have been erroneously formulated. There is no single theory of evolution, as taught in our elementary or high school biology textbooks.
May 2, 2011 |
Darwinism is more often associated with the liberal left than the conservative right, but it's moved a long way across the political spectrum from Darwin's day, when it was embraced by advocates of free-market economics, colonialism, and similar ideas today associated with the right. Apparently, Darwinism is still sometimes invoked in arguments for economic conservatism. It's reflected in a recent e-mail I received from a reader: "Maybe you should write about the current reversing of evolution by humans, using technology.
November 26, 1996 |
Evolution may be old stuff in science texts, but it still gets religious people riled on talk radio - even if the talkmeister defending Charles Darwin's theory is the archbishop of Philadelphia. When Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua declared on his weekly show on WZZD-AM (990) last night that the Bible is not always literally true and that the evolution of species is compatible with Catholic teaching, the phones lit up like, well, a Christmas tree. "The Resurrection is also not to be believed, perhaps?"
December 17, 2009 |
Questioning the scientific consensus in pursuit of the truth is an important part of how science has advanced through the centuries. But what happens when the scientific consensus becomes an ideology that trumps the pursuit of truth? Answer: Those making legitimate inquiries are ostracized, the careers of dissenters are destroyed, and debate is stifled. Unfortunately, I am referring not only to the current proponents of the theory of man-made global warming. In 2001, I offered a legislative amendment about teaching the subject of evolution.
June 15, 2011
As promised, I'm posting a rebuttal to a recent letter. To begin with, there are a couple of factual errors in this paragraph: "When I was young and going to school, I was taught that fossilization was a natural occurrence. That proved to be false. They told me that mankind was destroying the ozone with fluorocarbon. That proved to be false. Just because someone is a scientist doesn't mean they get it all right. Just because someone believes in evolution doesn't mean it is true. After all, people used to believe that the world was flat, right?"