The website www.dissentfromdarwin.org includes the following statement:
“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.”
The site maintains a list of those who have officially put their names behind this statement. To sign the list, one must either hold a PhD in a technical science field, such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or one of the natural sciences, or hold an M.D. and teach at a medical school. The list contains about 800 names.
Looking at the list, the names includes a Rhodes scholar from Johns Hopkins, a scholar that works at the British Museum, a research scientist from NASA, professor of quantum chemistry, PhD’s from MIT in organic chemisty, a department chair of biochemistry, a professor of molecular biology, PhD’s in cell biology, astrophysics, nutritional biochemistry, mathematics, plant physiology, professors of medicine at Dartmouth…….the list goes on and on. The list of schools are from all over the globe, some of the largest and most prestigious in the world: Cornell, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Royal Society of Chemistry, from Russia, Hungary, Nigeria, Canada…….there’s even a professor of biology from the weird country of San Francisco.
Mind you, the website is quite careful to state that by signing the document, no one is endorsing any alternate theories. The signers merely state the simple sentence that they have doubts as to the explanatory powers of the model, and encourage careful examination of the evidence. They deny any political agenda, and sell no product that I am aware. The list is voluntary, no funds change hands.
So if this list of 800 prestigious people are willing to put their reputations behind such a statement, why is it that we are told repeatedly, and vehemently, that no one questions Darwinism, it’s as established as anything in science, only non-educated people or those with an agenda question it? We’re told that any questioning of established Darwinian dogma is as backward as any superstition can get.
The emotion surrounding the issue of evolution is so high that anyone who questions it is automatically labeled with the “C” word. (you know the “C” word…..”creationist”) All one has to do to stop debate is call someone a creationist and all intelligent debate stops. Those in the intelligent design movement are now referred to as “intelligent design creationists” and moved to the category with snake handlers and witch doctors.
Watching the evolution debate from the sidelines leads me to believe that Darwinism is as much dogma and philosophy as it is evidence. Perhaps eventually those who dissent from Darwin will be able to have a cold-blooded conversation with the Darwinists without having all debate stopped. Until then, few students will be given the opportunity to carefully examine the evidence for Darwinism without reprisal.