400 Scientists Sign "Dissent From Darwinism"

Discussion in 'Science' started by KenH, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. KenH

    KenH
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    32,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Darwin's theory of evolution is the great white elephant of contemporary thought."

    Story LINK
     
  2. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    what they signed is that they are skeptical that the mechanism of mutation and natural selections alone are sufficient to explain the variety of life.

    I wonder how many of them support the idea that the earth is only 10,000 years old or less? I wonder how many of them support the idea that all life is of common descent? I wonder how many of them support the idea that evolution works but with God's help?

    Alas, we'll never know, because the creationists who put this together accidently forgot to put those questions in the survey, or if they did, they accidently forgot to reveal those results.
     
  3. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Paul, you are making a common and ignorant mistake. The list has nothing to do with creation. It has to do with dissent against Darwinism. In addition, creationists had nothing to do with 'putting together' that list. Discovery Institute is an Intelligent Design group and creationists are a very small minority there. Please read the following from the linked article:

    "The ideology and philosophy of neo-Darwinism, which is sold by its adepts as a scientific theoretical foundation of biology, seriously hampers the development of science and hides from students the field's real problems," said Professor Voeikov.

    "Lately in the media there's been a lot of talk about science versus religion," said West. "But such talk is misleading. This list is a witness to the growing group of scientists who challenge Darwinian theory on scientific grounds."

    The list includes scientists from Princeton, Cornell, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Ohio State University, Purdue and University of Washington among others.

    Simultaneous with the public presentation of the list of scientific luminaries, Italian geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti has published his book entitled "Why is a Fly Not a Horse?" which maps what he depicts as a growing scientific case against neo-Darwinism.

    Sermonti challenges the myth that all critics of Darwinism are American religious fundamentalists and argues that since genetics does not explain even the present forms of life, genetic mutations cannot alone explain their origin.

    Dr. Leendert Van Der Hammen, a member with Sermonti of the Osaka Group for the Study of Dynamic Structures, defended Sermonti's book. He said that by tying together insights from disciplines often studied in isolation -- genetics, molecular biology, morphogenetics, physics, chemistry and mathematics -- Sermonti was able to uncover new weaknesses in the modern theory of evolution.


    Pay attention especially to that last bit. You will find there the reason so many otherwise reasonable and educated men and women believe evolution is true: the life sciences are now so diversified and specialized that when someone runs into an 'evolution problem' in their own specialized field, they just figure that evolution is well-established in the OTHER fields and this little 'glitch' they have uncovered really doesn't matter at all. Add this to the desire to maintain funding, publishing rights, peer acceptance, etc., and you will find why evolution is predominant in the education circles especially.
     
  4. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Since estimates show about 3% of all scientists have religious objections to some aspects of various scientific theories, including evolution, I'm surprised that of the hundreds of thousands of scientists in the world, they could only find 400 to sign the declaration.

    Perhaps the 3% estimate is too high. Here's a good way to guage how the opinion of informed scientists is running...

    Project Steve:
    "NCSE's "Project Steve" is a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of "scientists who doubt evolution" or "scientists who dissent from Darwinism." (For examples of such lists, see the FAQs.)

    Creationists draw up these lists to convince the public that evolution is somehow being rejected by scientists, that it is a "theory in crisis." Most members of the public lack sufficient contact with the scientific community to know that this claim is totally unfounded. NCSE has been exhorted by its members to compile a list of thousands of scientists affirming the validity of the theory of evolution, but although we easily could have done so, we have resisted such pressure. We did not wish to mislead the public into thinking that scientific issues are decided by who has the longer list of scientists!

    Project Steve mocks this practice with a bit of humor, and because "Steves" are only about 1% of scientists, it incidentally makes the point that tens of thousands of scientists support evolution. And it honors the late Stephen Jay Gould, NCSE supporter and friend."


    The list (limited to PhDs or equivalent, who are biologists, or have a specialty that relates to evolution, such as philosophy of science, and have "Steve" or a variant as a first name) exceeds 540 at this time.

    Steves turn out to be about 1% of scientists in the US, check out Helen's list, and see how many Steves there are.
     
  5. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    And how many of these guys are named Stve? See The Galatians post for an explanation?

    Of these 400, how many are actually involved in work where citing their name is not a fallcious appeal to authority? Looking down the list you see such qualifications as "Chemist," "Mathematics," "Biochemistry," "Astronomy," "Physics," "Medicine," "Meteorology," "Physiology," "Philosophy," "Electrical Engineering," "Nuclear Chemistry," and so on. These guys may be smart and they may be experts in their field, but they have no standing to be cited as experts on whether evolution is true or not.

    So how many names do we end up being left with that are actually in a relevent field? How do these numbers compare with the numbers of professials in those fields who accept evolution? They are insignificant to say the least.
     
  6. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    And the number of disciples of Jesus was insignificant when compared to the world population and believers in other religions at the time. Did that make them wrong.

    Since when does the majority decide the truth?

    The FACT is that more and more scientists are finding that Darwinism is full of holes and they are doing that via science, not religion.

    Stick to the topic, guys. Or are you so used to pulling red herrings across the path that you don't know HOW to stick to the subject???
     
  7. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    The story is that a NUMBER OF SCIENTISTS are "questioning" Darwin. Therefore THE NUMBERS involved are relevant to this story. And it is certainly relevant to point out that many ID proponents believe in common descent and and ancient universe, things not accepted by many readers who nevertheless point to these NUMBERS OF SCIENTISTS a evidence their own point of view is correct. Which, of course,it is not, that is, not evidence. And while many will ASSERT that "darwinism is full of holes", actually establishing that is another matter.
     
  8. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    The story is that it is also a growing number and that it is for scientific and not religious reasons.

    The other part of that story is the determined effort of the establishment to silence them. That is a reaction of fear, not of true science.
     
  9. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, ID and creationism are dying. Even IDers like Michael Denton are now accepting that evolution is a fact.

    The decline of interest in ID came about because it was unable to do anything of use to science. If it can't do anything, what good is it? If it did something useful to science, scientists would use it, no matter who disapproved.

    But it can only offer religious faith against science. But that's understandable. The Discovery Institute, which invented ID, admits the governing goal of the movement is to advance religion.

    It is not an orthodox Christian religion, however, and its adherents include professed Christians, followers of the Rev. Myung Son Moon (who apparently thinks he's an improvement on Jesus), and other sects.

    It is a syncretic faith, with elements of
    several religions.

    In science, truth is only provisional, and depends on the consensus of scientists. As you see, scientists who doubt evolution are a tiny minority. They comprise an even smaller minority of biologists.

    It is perhaps telling that those who understand biology best are those most likely to accept evolution.

    It's not just the vast majority. It's the even greater majority among people who understand the question.
     
  10. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    1. Interest in ID is growing. I personally can attest to that as part of the movement.

    2. It is not religious in nature although it attracts people of many different religious backgrounds and beliefs.

    3. Creationism also is not dying. If you think that, you are either reading only evolution propaganda or you have your head firmly buried in the sand.

    4. ITM, the article and my posts stand.
     
  11. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's declining in science. I think a lot of creationists are moving to it, since it permits common descent and evolution. Sort of a half-way house for them. But Denton's switch to science from ID is only the most prominent case. After some initial interest, scientists ceased to pay much attention to it.

    We already know it's religious. The Discovery Institute says that the "governing goals" of ID are:

    "To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.

    To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God."


    No ambiguity there. It's a religion.

    In the Gallup Poll on evolution, in 2005, for the first time since they've been asking the question, an absolute majority of Americans think that humans evolved from different organisms, most of them thinking that God was responsible for it. Evolution before that was a plurality, but never an absolute majority.
    http://www.pollingreport.com/science.htm

    As you can see, the assumptions they are based on, are wrong.
     
  12. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Whatever, Galatian. Since I have worked and spoken in both movements I do have a little tiny idea of what I am talking about. But never mind, you are obviously the authority on everything.

    I can tell you this, however. Every time -- EVERY time -- Barry and I have spoken there are almost literally mobs who approach us afterward saying thank you for helping them know that true science is not opposed to the Bible. So many have felt threatened by the propaganda they get in schools and via the media regarding evolution.

    People who talk to Barry who are not religious at all are fascinated and want to know more. "I've never heard about that," is one of the commonest phrases we hear. And yet the data we are working from has been known to the scientific community for many, many years.

    From everything I personally have seen both in scientific and lay circles, both ID and creation science are growing by leaps and bounds. People seem intensely grateful for a chance to look at all the evidence and think for themselves. This is not something evolution dares to do for them. We do it. Both in Intelligent Design and Creation Science, we do exactly that. Then, if they disagree with us, they know what they are disagreeing about at the very least!
     
  13. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    You just had to remind me that school will be starting soon, didn't you?

    Me too. I was just talking this last month with a moderator on another board who has recently concluded that evolution is indeed consistent with Christian faith.

    Well, evolutionists already know that. There are still some people who haven't got the word, but we're making progress.

    Maybe guys like Denton are bucking the trend, but I don't think so. Michael Behe has come firmly down for common descent, too.

    All they have to do is read the literature. There was, a few years ago, considerable interest in ID among scientists. I don't think it was just the leaking of the Wedge Document (which admitted the leadership was only interested in advancing their religious views). It was the fact that ID could do nothing at all for science.

    But that hasn't stopped a vigorous re-examination of Darwinism. As you know, various people, including Simpson, Gould, Margulis, and others have challenged NeoDarwinian theory, and some of their ideas have succeeded in overturning some of Darwin's ideas.

    But they had one important thing going for them; evidence. And their theories were useful in advancing knowledge. ID has neither, something honest IDers have acknowledged.

    ID, however, seems to remain a religious doctrine, off-limits to investigation or challenge. As Discovery Institute board member Jonathan Wells acknowledged the Rev. Myung Son Moon gave him a mission to "destroy evolution."

    Wells isn't doing research, he's conducting a Jihad.
     
  14. Paul Brand

    Paul Brand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm curious as to what the current views are of Michael Denton. Any sources?

    Regarding Behe, I don't think his belief in common descent is a change. I could be wrong, but for as long as I've heard of him, he has believed in common descent.

    Regarding whether ID is growing or otherwise. I think among the general public it is growing. Among scientists, I think it would be a stretch that there are fewer scientists. I don't think percentage-wise there were that many to begin with. Hostility against ID has increased, probably due to political breakthroughs within the camp.

    In my opinion, I am somewhat sympathetic to ID, but I remain undecided in its work regarding evolution, and as many of the ID theorists acknowledge, ID isn't a fully developed theory yet. I am supportive of its work in astronomy and cosmology. The recent film, "The Privileged Planet" was very good in my opinion. Despite what some people claim, it is not about evolution, and from what I've heard from others, some of the interviewees on the film are Darwinian evolutionists, but are supportive of ID in the realm of astronomy.
     
  15. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Welcome to Baptist Board Science, Paul. I think you are probably right about everything you have stated, although I know there is a growing animosity towards evolution itself in portions of the ID camp. But it is a VERY divers group of men and women and to label it as a front for creationism is a desperate move by Eugenie Scott et al which encourages either a determined ignorance of the truth or deliberate lying.

    Thank you for your post.
     
  16. Gup20

    Gup20
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,184
    Likes Received:
    1
    It is Galatian's blatent disregard for reality that is the most damaging to his credibility.
     
  17. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's a fact. Denton has clearly said as much in his most recent book. He now accepts that creationism is not a realistic possibility, even for those who accept the idea of an intelligence behind it all.

    ID began die when it became apparent that it did nothing of use to science. So scientists turned away from it en masse. A few, for religious reasons, still stay with it.

    But that's to be expected. The Wedge Document admits that the real purpose of ID is to spread the unorthodox religious ideas of Phillip Johnson, Jonathan Wells, etc.

    Ken, you would not like the ideas of the few IDers among biologists.

    They differ from theistic evolutionists only in that they call God a "designer" instead of "the Creator."
     
  18. Paul Brand

    Paul Brand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your welcome Helen. It does appear to me that IDists are very diverse. In some ways this is good, but in some ways, it is difficult to say something without stepping on someone else's foot.

    Regarding IDism being a front for creationism. I really haven't appreciated these comments from people such as the one you mentioned. As a person who is in the process of evaluation, rhetorical comments such as these doesn't help me evaluate the validity of ID in biology. It gets tiring hearing the same thing spouted off over and over again, with any objections to the mantra ignored.

    It would be nice if politics and religion could be ignored in the evaluation of ID. That would help me considerably.
     
  19. Paul Brand

    Paul Brand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    I need a source to confirm this. If the book you are referring to is "Nature's Destiny", he does make certain concessions, but from what I've read, he does argue against non-directed biolgical evolution, and hence there would be an intelligence behind it. He does concede that evolution occurred (aka. common descent), and that evidence for it is building due to new discoveries in DNA sequence space (what this means exactly, I don't know, and I'm not expert). So if this is the case, then he would be in the same camp as Michael Behe, who is still part of the ID camp. He would be able to distinguish his beliefs from those of Philip Johnson (who doesn't believe in any evolution from what I understand).

    Anyway, I could be wrong, perhaps you have information that I don't have. It really wouldn't bother me if if you were right or not.

    This presupposes that ID was massively popular at some point in time. I think you are wrong on that.

    Huh? I don't think Behe/Dembski etc. are supportive of Wells' religious ideas. I don't know off hand what Johnson believes.
     
  20. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Barbarian observes:
    It's a fact. Denton has clearly said as much in his most recent book. He now accepts that creationism is not a realistic possibility, even for those who accept the idea of an intelligence behind it all.

    He goes quite a bit farther...

    t is important to emphasize at the outset that the argument presented here is entirely consistent with the basic naturalistic assumption of modern science--that the cosmos is a seamless unity which can be comprehended in its entirety by human reason and in which all phenomena, including life and evolution and the origin of man, are ultimately explicable in terms of natural processes. This is an assumption which is entirely opposed to that of the so-called "special creationist school." According to special creationism, living organisms are not natural forms, whose origin and design were built into the laws of nature from the beginning, but rather contingent forms analogous in essence to human artifacts, the result of a series of supernatural acts, involving God's direct intervention in the course of nature, each of which involved the suspension of natural law. Contrary to the creationist position, the whole argument presented here is critically dependent on the presumption of the unbroken continuity of the organic world--that is, on the reality of organic evolution and on the presumption that all living organisms on earth are natural forms in the profoundest sense of the word, no less natural than salt crystals, atoms, waterfalls, or galaxies.

    In large measure, therefore, the teleological argument presented here and the special creationist worldview are mutually exclusive accounts of the world. In the last analysis, evidence for one is evidence against the other. Put simply, the more convincing is the evidence for believing that the world is prefabricated to the end of life, that the design is built into the laws of nature, the less credible becomes the special creationist worldview.

    http://home.wxs.nl/~gkorthof/kortho29.htm

    Notice my emphasis, in which he directly contradicts Behe, who thinks God has to step in and tinker with the system at certain points to make it work.

    Have you read "Darwin on Trial?" In it, Johnson says that Archaeopteryx is evidence for evolution.

    I almost fell out of my chair when I read that, and again, when he suggested that the peacock's tail, which attracts mates but makes it easy prey for leopards, was just "God being whimsical."

    In the long view, it probably doesn't matter.

    Barbarian observes:
    ID began die when it became apparent that it did nothing of use to science. So scientists turned away from it en masse. A few, for religious reasons, still stay with it.

    There was quite a bit of interest at one point. I was interested in what they had to say. Most scientists who were theists were at least willing to listen. But then...

    Barbarian observes:
    But that's to be expected. The Wedge Document admits that the real purpose of ID is to spread the unorthodox religious ideas of Phillip Johnson, Jonathan Wells, etc.

    They find the common doctrines more compelling than the ones by which they differ. That's why they have affiliated.

    After reading his book, I still don't. But I know what he doesn't want to believe. And it appears that motivates him more strongly than his beliefs.
     

Share This Page

Loading...