Remember those ‘disclaimer’ stickers some Creationists wanted on high-school biology textbooks? Well, they’re back! Courtesy of PZ Meyers, this is apparently what Mississippi’s elected officials want on all textbooks that mention the theory of evolution:

The word ‘theory’ has many meanings, including: systematically organized knowledge; abstract reasoning; a speculative idea or plan; or a systematic statement of principles. Scientific theories are based on both observations of the natural world and assumptions about the natural world. They are always subject to change in view of new and confirmed observations.

This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things. No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life’s origins should be considered a theory.

Evolution refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced living things. There are many topics with unanswered questions about the origin of life which are not mentioned in your textbook, including: the sudden appearance of the major groups of animals in the fossil record (known as the Cambrian Explosion); the lack of new major groups of other living things appearing in the fossil record; the lack of transitional forms of major groups of plants and animals in the fossil record; and the complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body possessed by all living things.

Study hard and keep an open mind.

I particularly like this one – if it’s approved, it will be the only disclaimer sticker I’ve come across (on any product) that sounds like exactly like  a cut-and-paste job from Answers in Genesis. Honestly, though, I’d expect any half-decent student to be able to see through bullshit like ‘No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life’s origins should be considered a theory’. If this is a shocking revelation to anyone, they’re probably not intelligent enough to understand the textbook anyway.

Oh, and as Meyers points out, the main thrust of the sticker’s ‘argument’ is basically an invitation to revise textbooks so that they contain more information about the technical details of evolution. That sounds like a fantastic idea to me!


3 Responses to “Groan”

  1. 1 Sisyphus Fragment January 9, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I don’t mean to be pedantic but it’s PZ Myers; not Meyers.

  2. 2 augustine January 9, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Isn’t Meyers his second name? Or would that be Zachary Myers? I never could figure out which.

  3. 3 Sisyphus Fragment January 9, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Paul Zachary Myers.. I think.. I know too much about that man..

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