Tuesday, January 08, 2008

DI's Dissent from Darwinism statement analyzed

John Lynch has looked up the backgrounds of the 300 signatories to the Discovery Institute's "Dissent from Darwinism" statement who signed in 2004 (it's now up to 700, which he plans to also examine). He reports on the backgrounds of the individuals who signed, finding that "Chemists, physicists, engineers, bench jockeys, doctors and mathematicians account for over 200 of the 300 signatories" but only five organismal biologists. He also notes that there's also at least one soccer coach and a home-schooling mom in the list.

The comments are worth reading as well.

UPDATE (January 27, 2008): John Lynch has a further post on this statement, and commenter Ken, below, points to his analysis of the religious beliefs of signers at his Open Parachute blog.

UPDATE (May 14, 2008): A YouTube video documents further Discovery Institute deception with regard to this list.


olvlzl said...

It's the great tragedy of evolutionary science that politics require it to pledge allegiance to a great figure, undoubtedly, but one who has been dead for almost a hundred twenty years. And it's not as if there haven't been many developments in the mean time. Still it's Darwin said this and Darwin said that, often by people with conflicting agendas both of which can find quotes to mine to claim themselves as the only true inheritors of Darwin's mantle.

Give it up already and join the 21st Century.

The use of evolution in the propaganda for atheism has been damaging to the science but not nearly as much as the use of Darwin's writing to support economic fascism and racism. Those are real features that can be found, if not in Darwin then in Huxley and a number of his intimate colleagues. Like the anti-Semitism in the Gospel of Matthew it is something that will never be put to rest until it is rejected once and for all. Unfortunately, those are some of the more enduring and outspoken points of view found in would be Darwinians today.

Evolutionary scientists should stop cowering under the political attacks, stop being reactive for a change and face the problem in its entirety. If they would stop using the science of evolution for unscientific purposes and deal with the political implications of enthroning natural selection in its class origins, its limited usefulness to science and its clear political uses during the intervening period, they might find a lot less hostility to the science of it.

Ken said...

I've had a close look at a subset of signatories to the "dissenters" and found in almost all cases they have strong religious views (see Who are the “dissenters from Darwinism”?). This suggests to me the overwhelming majority on this list have signed it for religious motives, rather than scientific motives.