Lessons Learned in Lakeland Schools

Dr. Wesley R. Elsberry received his early education in Lakeland schools. Dr. Elsberry attended Palmore Elementary, Evangel Christan School, and Santa Fe Catholic Regional High School. He received a National Merit Scholarship and has degrees in Zoology and Computer Science in addition to his Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. He is currently a visiting researcher at Michigan State University.

He is also a nationally recognized expert in the Intelligent Design debate.

This morning he wrote an open letter to the Polk County, School Board. An excerpt:

I was born in Lakeland, Florida, and lived for eighteen years there. My parents still live there. I still care about what happens in my home town.

To those on the Polk County school board: You’ve been conned. “Intelligent design” is a legal sham, a con game, one whose sole purpose is to insert a narrow sectarian doctrine into public school classrooms. It is not a “paradigm shift”; it’s advocates are not “top scientists”; it generates no hypotheses and stays far, far away from even trying to test any of its claims. It is not science. The latest date that it even could have been considered scientific would be sometime in the 19th century, as our understanding of science developed a cognizance that reliance on untestable mechanisms (or non-mechanistic “explanations”) was unproductive. It is not a slur on you that you have fallen for this; it is the property of a well-crafted con that it should be made believable to the mark. But continuing to believe in the con after it has been explained would be a serious lapse of good judgment.

Elsberry’s Wikipedia entry states, “His stance in these matters has been one of theistic evolution, with the concern that science be taught in science classes, and non-science be taught elsewhere.”

Elsberry has been in the middle of the debate since the late 1980s. He participated in many creation, evolution, and related topic conversations saved at the TalkOrigins Archive. In 1997, he presented at a conference held by intelligent design advocates. He established the website antievolution.org in 2001, and co-created the Panda’s Thumb weblog in 2004.

Information from Elsberry’s personal website, The Austringer, his Wikipedia entry, and other web sources.

See also: Polk School Board Leans Toward Inclusion of Intelligent Design and Speakers Push for Science Changes