One of the weapons used by the Wedge activists is the Scientific Dissent from Darwin list. They use this to promote the idea there is a controversy about evolutionary theory within the scientific community. The idea that a significant number of scientists actually oppose the modern understanding of evolution and support “intelligent design” (ID) theory as an alternative. They then go on to demand introduction of ID into science classrooms under the slogan “teach the controversy.”
Only a small number of professionals have been prepared to support the Discovery Institute’s statement (see Dissenters from Darwinism in context). However, the understanding and motives of those who have is interesting.
- Are they genuinely concerned about modern evolutionary theory?
- Do they support ID as an alternative?
- Do they even understand modern evolutionary theory?
- What is their areas of scientific expertise?
- Is their motivation primarily religious?
- Or have they been duped – signing up to support the relatively innocuous statement only to find out later the real way the list is being used?
Posted in Behe, Bible, Christianity, creationism, Darwin, evolution, faith, god, intelligent design, New Zealand, religion
Tagged answers in genesis, Center for Science and Culture, Discovery Institute, Neil Broom, Wedge
While there is no real scientific support for intelligent design (ID) theory there is certainly a propaganda campaign to give that impression. The Wedge activists centered around the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture in Seattle, USA, are continually promoting campaigns with this purpose. One of these is the list of scientists, “dissenters from Darwinism,” who they claim support ID.
We could discuss the political tactics behind this list and the motivation of those professionals who have given their support to the statement of dissent. However, the undeniable purpose of the list has been to create the impression that there is a controversy among scientists about evolutionary theory. So let’s look at the “statement of dissent” and the number of signatures and compare this with the numbers who have signed statements supporting evolutionary theory.
Posted in Behe, belief, creationism, Darwin, evolution, intelligent design, science
Tagged Center for Science and Culture, Discovery Institute, Four-day petition, Project Steve, Scientific Dissent, Steve-o-meter, Wedge
In a previous post referring to the attack of intelligent design (ID) on society and religion (see Intelligent Design and the Threat to Christianity) I suggested that Christians “too often stand aside as if the conflict is not their problem.” This was a bit unfair. While there is a tendency to see ID as a problem for science rather than religion many Christians do fight back. A worthwhile example is the Clergy Letter Project. This is a open letter signed by American Christian clergy of different denominations rejecting creationism, with specific reference to points raised by intelligent design proponents. Begun in 2004 it currently has 11,130 signatories supporting this statement:
“We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.”
Posted in Behe, belief, Bible, Christianity, creationism, Darwin, evolution, intelligent design, interfaith, religion, supernatural, superstition, theology
Tagged Center for Science and Culture, Clergy Letter, Discovery Institute, Ken Miller