Friday, May 05, 2006


Doctors in the Dark

Now that Time magazine has published its list of the world's 100 most influential people -- a list that includes Judge John Jones author of the Dover intelligent design decision -- the Discovery Institute has decided to get into the act.

Discovery is flogging a list of doctors who dissent from Darwinism -- we're calling it "Doctors in the Dark." We would have called it "The World's 100 Dumbest Doctors," but the list has only 20 names on it.

We suggest that RSR readers who are looking for a new doctor consult the list to ensure that you aren't being treated for anything more serious than the common cold by any of these yahoos.

From reading the breathless announcement of the list on Discovery's Evolution News and Views blog, "New Darwin Dissent List for the 60% of U.S. Doctors Skeptical of Darwinian Evolution" you'd think the list contains the names of the vast majority of doctors in the U.S. However, it turns out they have nothing more than polling data.

And, a quick look at the data reveals that Discovery isn't even telling the whole story about the polling data they cite. RSR followed the link to look at the data, and guess what we found? Instead of their headline "60% of U.S. Doctors Skeptical of Darwinian Evolution," you find a graph that shows these responses to the question:

Do you agree more with the evolution or more with intelligent design?

What are your views on Evolution?

The only question that seems to lend any support at all to Discovery's contention that 60 percent of U.S. Doctors are skeptical of evolution is this:

What are your views on the origin and development of human beings?

(The 60 percent Discovery is touting apparently comes from adding the first two responses, but the second response surely captures a large number of theistic evolutionists who would be utterly embarrassed by any connection with the cranks at the Discovery Institute as the other response clearly indicate.)

There's a lot more data there. We haven't had time to digest it all, but right off the top, it would seem, Discovery is simply not telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about this poll.

Incidentally, Discovery has commissioned a number of polls lately that seem to indicate the majority of people support creationism -- we don't know why this helps their position since they are super scientific intelligent design "theorists" -- but in the only polls that really matter (Kansas 2000 and Dover 2005) they are 0-2.

Could it be the polls Discovery is consulting don't quite tell the whole story. Here's the link to the polling data so you can check it out for yourself.


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