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Monday, February 27, 2006

Good fortune

Posted by: Hammer / 10:01 AM

We're lucky to have PZ Myers. He has almost endless patience for debunking creationism as science. He explains biology in an interesting, accessible way.

Mostly, though, he makes my job enormously easier. I read this Agape story:

More than 500 scientists have signed a statement expressing their doubts about the credibility of Darwinian evolution. As signatories of "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism," these scientists are expressing skepticism about claims of evidence for the theory of evolution.

Rob Crowther with the Seattle-based Discovery Institute says Darwin's theory is being increasingly challenged by emerging scientific evidence.

Normally, I'd have to do some digging to put this petition into context. Thankfully, Myers covered this petition last week:

The Discovery Institute has been circulating a petition since 2001, trying to get people to sign on to a statement of dissent from Darwin. They've now got over 500 signatures on it, but as the article shows, the majority are not biologists, and in interviews with some of the signers, many seem to have signed because of religious sensibilities. When asked, they did dig up two signers who were not religious, and one is David Berlinski, who is not a scientist but is instead a professional pompous ass and semi-supporter of astrology. The list includes Phil Skell, a major crackpot.

...Look at the cowardly statement they ask people to sign:

We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.


Update from Jambo:

This is one of those cases where ridicule may be an even better response than logical argument. Rounding up 500 scientists to sign such a meaningless statement is not only pointless but also insignificant. May favorite retort to the list is an alternative list of 500 scientists supporting evolution, with the twist being that evolution is so universally accepted that they were able to make the list using only scientists named Steve. Last time I looked the list had grown to over 800. The name Steve was chosen partially in homage to Stephen Jay Gould.


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