Nick Matzke provides us with this link over at The Panda's Thumb.

If the shirt's sentiments mystify you, by all means, read on. What the shirt lampoons is the existence of a 'transitional form' betraying the religious origins of the intelligent-design-friendly textbook Of Pandas and People, shown below:

Drafts of this text prior to the 1987 Edwards vs. Aguillard case identified advocates of such as creationists, whereas the published version makes no mention of creationism and instead refer to advocates of the book's viewpoint as 'design proponents.'
Hmmm. The former would be a definite no-no today, and both a legal and PR blunder: legal, because the above case established that it was unconstitutional to insert 'creation science' or 'creationism' into a public-school science classroom; PR, because one of the recurring tropes of the Discovery Institute (the main body pushing 'intelligent design' in the political arena) is that 'ID is not creationism.' Prior to the Dover case, DI spokespeople did everything they could to push that as the party line.

Unfortunately for such ID-evotees, during the Dover trial analysis of drafts after 1987 but prior to publication revealed that the authors of Pandas had pretty much cut out every reference to creationism and simply relabeled it 'intelligent design.' The smoking gun, identified by philosopher Barbara Forrest, was the identification of 'cdesign proponentsists' in one of the intermediary drafts, where the phrase 'design proponents" had been inexpertly inserted into the original 'creationists.' Some more of her investigative prowess is featured in the book at right.

Truly, a transitional form to celebrate! Lest we forget, however, that both the 1st (1989) and 2nd (1993) edition of Pandas claimed that there was an absence of transitional forms, citing as their example the transition from land mammals to modern whales predicted by Darwin back in 1859. How delicious, then, that a well-described sequence of fossils demonstrating the transition became well-known during the mid-1990's, as discussed in detail here and celebrated here.

How ironic that this particular claim from Pandas, in itself a legitimate scientific hypothesis, has been falsified against the Panda author's expectations, while the sub-text of Panda's 'creation' has been proven in court to be religious in origin, and thus not science in any way!


Kseniya said...

Hi Scott... just saying hi. It's nice to see you posting over on Pharyngula now and then. The join just isnt' the same without you!

Kseniya said...

(oops... meant to type "the JOINT just isn't the same without you!")