Determining scientific knowledge by petition

Some readers may be familiar with the “Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” petition organised by the Discovery Institute. It’s a classic example of trying to decide science by petition. The petition still gets trundled out by creationists attempting to “prove’ that the acceptance of evolutionary science is weak in the scientific community – or that many “brilliant” scientists oppose Darwin’s ideas.

Six years ago I did my own brief analysis of signatories to the petition specifically to check their scientific credentials (see Who are the “dissenters from Darwinism”?). I really only looked at a sample (those with the first name Steve, and the three from New Zealand).

The other day in my surfing I came across another analysis of these signatories at Rational Wiki (see A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism). This appears to have attempted to check the credentials of everyone on the list. It is worth having a browse to get an idea of what motivates these people..

By the way, I came across a new term I have not heard before – Wingnut welfare.

It is worth doing this sort of analysis when you come across similar petitions – the are common with those wanting to deny the current scientific consensus on an issue. Petitions like this have been produced by climate change deniers and opponents of fluoridation.

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2 responses to “Determining scientific knowledge by petition

  1. Heywood Jabuzzoff

    Should actually be termed “doofuses and dumb-asses determined to dis Darwin and shun science, thereby compromising their cerebral cortexes and attempting to inure us to ignorance. Actually, I don’t have a problem with ignorance – education can sure that; but, to quote someone – I don’t actually no who – “there ain’t no sure for stupid.”


  2. Heywood Jabuzzoff

    I.E., to say – above – “education can cure [not “sure” that. And my fifth line down: “I don’t actually no who” should have read “I don’t actually know whom…” Where is spell check when you need it? Muphry’s Law, I guess…


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