The reason I profiled that misleading web site (CharlesDarwin.org) in the prior post was because of its apparent rising profile. Darwin Day is approaching on Feb. 12 (make your plans now!). The creationists are trying to co-opt the day for their own purposes (I hope to have time to write about this tomorrow).
I was exploring creatard web site Access Research Network (motto: “If we didn’t suck so hard, we could get jobs at the Discovery Institute!”). They have a page on Charles Darwin that includes links to online versions of his books. They’re trying to make themselves look respectable. Also on that page are some PDFs of Darwin bookmarks. It looks like they’re trying to get teachers, librarians, and other educators who accidentally visit that page to download the bookmarks, print them out on cardstock, and give them out to impressionable students.
Let’s see what this bookmark looks like. Here’s a scaled-down version:
I know that might be a bit hard to read, but you should still be able to recognize the quote on there as the one we saw in my recent post about CharlesDarwin.org, which is:
I am well aware that there is scarcely a single point discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts on both sides of each question, and this cannot possibly be done here.
As we previously discussed, the quote only had meaning when evolution was a new theory. No other interpretations of the data have withstood 150 years of scientific scrutiny.
Irrelevance notwithstanding, the purpose of using that quote these days is to sow the seeds of doubt and misinformation among the populace. If you look at that image of the bookmark, you’ll see that it contains the URL CharlesDarwin.org. Its appearance on these bookmarks suggests that this is all part of a campaign to ramp up the visibility of that site and use it as a weapon against science education. That’s what led me to investigate it.
Well I wasn’t too keen on the idea of these bookmarks floating around uncontested, so I made my own (the download button is below). I was originally just going to steal their bookmarks and change the text, but I discovered that whoever made them is not only a sub-competent scientist but a sub-competent graphics artist. So I just rolled my own from scratch. Mine are much better than theirs. I’m using a brighter, cleaner picture of Darwin, and the portrait’s background blends with the rest of the bookmark better. (Creationists: Incompetent at everything!)
Here is a scaled-down preview of my bookmarks:
Print them out and distribute them as you see fit.
Also, I’d like to add a few more quotes, but I want them to stay focussed on dispelling misconceptions and misinformation about how evolution works. Feel free to put your suggestions in the comments.
You may download the bookmarks (2.2 MB file) by right-clicking on this button and selecting Save As… from the popup menu:
To print, open the files in a paint program. In Page Setup, set the orientation to Landscape. Center the image on the page and print. This is intended for 8½ × 11 inch paper. If you use A4, you’re on your own.
Note to educators and Darwin Day event planners: I stuck my URL on there primarily to make my bookmarks look as close to the originals as possible, in order to annoy the guy at CharlesDarwin.org (although the advertising value is not lost on me). If you want to print up a bunch of these and distribute them in a school, library, etc., it’s probably not a good idea to have the URL of a sometimes-inflammatory blog on there. We should figure out what web site would be a good one to substitute. Maybe the Talk Origins archive? Or maybe NCSE? I’m open to suggestions.
There might also be one or two of these bookmarks that you feel might not be appropriate for your venue. You can customize them yourself, or contact me, and I’ll do it for you (time permitting, but if it benefits science education, I’ll try to find the time).