Thursday, August 25, 2005


And then it was 399 on Discovery Institute "Scientists Who Doubt Darwin" List

Yes, the list is only 399, not the 400 so recently touted by the brotherhood of bible college biologists at the Discovery Institute.

That's because Bob Davidson, an M.D., scientist, and professor for 28 years at the University of Washington medical school -- an ardent Christian whose name appears on the list -- says he believes "the scientific evidence for evolution is overwhelming."

"When I joined [the Discovery Institute] I didn't think they were about bashing evolution, says Davidson. "It's pseudo-science, at best ... What they're doing is instigating a conflict between science and religion."

"I'm kind of embarrassed that I ever got involved with this," Davidson now says.

To fully understand the depths of Davidson's disillusionment, to get a glimpse at the utter cynicism and the dishonest manipulation of at least some of those whose names appear on Discovery Institute's much touted list of Darwin doubters you really must read the report by Seattle Times staff columnist Danny Westneat.

We were sorely tempted to post the entire article -- or at least more of the choice quotes from Davidson that Westneat supplies -- but we didn't want to cheat our readers of the pleasure of reading it all in the original context.

By the way, the Clergy Letter Project currently lists 7,016 signers of a statement that reads in part, "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."

The National Center for Science Education's Steve-O-Meter currently sits at 589. Project Steve is a tongue-in-cheek parody of creationist and intelligent design lists such as Discovery's Darwin Doubters list. NCSE's list of scientists -- all with the first name of Steve or Stephanie, in honor of Stephen Jay Gould, have signed a statement that reads in part, "Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. " NCSE estimates that roughly one percent of the population -- and, therefore, one percent of working scientists -- have a first name of Steve or Stephanie.


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