The emperor has no clothes watch: kudos to Jerry Coyne and Duncan Porter!

On the principle that no good deed goes unpunished, University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne states the obvious and receives a blizzard of freak-out mail, a lot of it ugly. Here, according to AP, is what Coyne said about anti-evolution home schooling biology textbooks:

“I feel fairly strongly about this. These books are promulgating lies to kids,” said Jerry Coyne, an ecology and evolution professor at the University of Chicago.

Coyne’s expert opinion was seconded in the AP article by another professor as well:

Coyne and Virginia Tech biology professor Duncan Porter reviewed excerpts from the Apologia and Bob Jones biology textbooks, which are equivalent to ninth- and 10th-grade biology lessons. Porter said he would give the books an F.

Speak truth to power.

And what’s the power being spoken to? The hermetic fundamentalist textbook industry. Can you imagine the money—at, say, 50 bucks a pop—that these textbook producers rake in every year? There are literally millions of home school students in the United States, and the companies that make money off of them mostly fly under the public radar. Coyne and Porter, by simply telling it like it is—the books, as science texts, are misleading crap—are casting light in a dark corner. Young Americans are being fed the intellectual nutritional equivelent of Frosted Flakes. The truth hurts, and Coyne and Porter have told it.


About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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