My daily morning pre-coffee read-through offered a little light reading about Dr. Kent Hovind a.k.a. Dr. Dino, one of the world's most prominent young-earth creationists (who, not coincidentally IMHO, is currently serving time for tax fraud.)
Idly curious to see what my side of the debate had to offer nowadays I followed the link to Berkeley's evolution website to have a look. I was appalled. This is the web site from one of the leading universities in the world and it is horrible. Absolutely, unforgivably horrible. If all evolution sites are this bad it's no wonder so many people believe in creationism.
So what's wrong with the site? Well, for starters, it gets the definition of evolution wrong:
Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification.
I literally wanted to scream when I read that. This definition is not only wrong, it is completely, utterly, irredeemably wrong. It is the kind of straw-man definition of evolution that a creationist would come up with. Descent with modification? What does that even mean? If a bird dives to the ground and sheds a few feathers, is it descending with modification and hence evolving?
Evolution is not "descent with modification" (whatever the hell that means). Evolution is the reproduction of information under the influence of random changes (a.k.a. mutations) and -- crucially -- selection, usually (but not necessarily) natural selection. It is this last element -- selection -- that is the key to evolution. Creationist critiques of evolution on the grounds that the complexity of life could not possibly arise "randomly" ignore the fact that selection is not random. For the web site of a premier university dedicated to evolution to miss this indispensable fact is unforgivable.
But it gets worse. Much, much worse.
It may come as news to the curators at Berkeley, but evolution is a controversial topic. Not everyone accepts the validity of evolution. So it is not unreasonable to suppose that people might come to the site with the intent of finding information that will help them make up their minds. And it is not unreasonable to further suppose that they might start their investigation by following the links marked "What is evolution and how does it work?" and then "Evolution 101". (The mere fact that you have to follow two links to find this introductory information is bad enough. But that is the least of the problems.)
In "Evolution 101" you will find an extensive (and wrong because it does not mention selection) description of evolution with lots of highfalutin' terminology like "clade" but no actual evidence. None. Nada. Zilch. It's even worse than a creationist apologia because the creationists at least present some evidence (even if it's bogus evidence) to support their cause.
There may be evidence for evolution out there, but you wouldn't know it from reading Evolution 101 on the Berkeley web site.
[UPDATE: There is a section on evidence for evolution on the site. It even has a top-level link. But I stand by my critique of the Evolution 101 section. Also, as far as I can tell, the "evidence" section leaves out one of the best examples.]