Still very busy with classes and not much (or much time) to report. Nevertheless, in rooting around the web about the evolution controversy, I ran across this article by Bruce Alberts and Jay Labov, both from from the National Academies of Science, on teaching evolution in schools:
[...]this lesson plan uses the terms “microevolution” (defined by Intelligent Design proponents as genetic changes within existing species) and “macroevolution” (defined by proponents of Intelligent Design as genetic changes that lead to speciation) in ways that make them seem like two distinct processes. In fact, evolutionary theory makes no such distinction; the processes that lead to changes within species, when accumulated over time, also can give rise to new species.
Interesting that it is precisely the most controverted aspect of natural selection that the NAS wants to equivocate: the idea that micro- and macro-evolution are absolutely identical is exactly what needs to be proven!
Meanwhile, the Discovery Institute's 2003 document examining the treatment various textbooks give the macro/micro debate claims that
[t]he scientific controversy over whether processes observable within existing species and gene pools (microevolution) can account for large-scale changes over geological time (macroevolution) continues to this day.and gives quotations from recent papers and says that their authors are all "believers in Darwinian evolution, and that all of them think the controversy will eventually be resolved within the framework of that theory."
On the other side, I ran across this page that claims to give examples of "speciation events" (i.e., macro-evolutionary). I'm making inquiries about the truth of these examples, but I'd appreciate hearing from any experts out there in web land.
Whether these examples hold water or not, any intellectually honest person has got to wonder why the Academies feels the need to blur the macro/micro distinction without scientific inquiry.
Strictly speaking, such a pattern of obfuscation is only circumstantial evidence of untruth. It's possible these guys are being completely honest. It could be they are telling the truth, but just feel guilty about it because it justifies (in their minds) an impure intention.
My own intention is to give them the benefit of the doubt, while such doubt exists, despite their apparent determination to demonstrate guilt.
Bruce Alberts and Jay B. Labov "From the National Academies: Teaching the Science of Evolution," Cell Biology Education (Volume 3 Summer 2004).