General discussion

ID overview.

Academic credentials and affiliations were also used opportunistically in 2001, when the Discovery Institute purchased advertisements in three national publications?the New York Review of Books, the New Republic, and the Weekly Standard?to proclaim the adherence of about a hundred scientists to a statement reading, "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." Such statements commonly note the institutional affiliations of signatories for purposes of identification. But this statement strategically listed either the institution that granted a signatory's PhD or the institutions with which the individual is presently affiliated. Thus the institutions listed for Raymond G. Bohlin, Fazale Rana, and Jonathan Wells, for example, were the University of Texas, Ohio University, and the University of California, Berkeley, where they earned their degrees, rather than their current affiliations: Probe Ministries for Bohlin, the Reasons to Believe ministry for Rana, and the CSC for Wells. During controversies over evolution education in Georgia, New Mexico, Ohio, and Texas, similar lists of local scientists were circulated.

It is easy for the public, unacquainted with academic life, to suppose that the existence of a handful of scientists who reject evolution means that there is a legitimate scientific controversy about evolution. In a tongue-in-cheek response to statements such as the Discovery Institute's, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) released a statement in February 2003, reading in part, "It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to 'intelligent design,' to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools." The cream of the jest was that only scientists named Steve?or cognates such as Steven, Stephen, Stephanie, Esteban, and so on?were allowed to sign. ("Steve" was chosen to honor the late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould.) About 1 percent of the U.S. population possess such a first name, so each signatory represents about a hundred scientists. By November 2004, the NCSE's "Steve-o-meter" read 515.

Less whimsically, during the controversy over the Ohio science education standards, researchers at the University of Cincinnati's Internet Public Opinion Laboratory conducted a poll of science professors at four-year public and private colleges in Ohio. Of the 460 respondents, 90 percent said that there was no scientific evidence at all for intelligent design; 93 percent said that they were unaware of "any scientifically valid evidence or an [alternative] scientific theory that challenges the fundamental principles of the theory of evolution"; and a nearly unanimous 97 percent said that they did not use intelligent design in their own research. Included among those surveyed were faculty at such fundamentalist schools as Cedarville University, which accepts a statement of faith according to which "by definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record." If the pollsters had excluded professors with such a dogmatic commitment to biblical inerrancy, the results would have been even closer to unanimity.


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Tell me something I don't know! :-)

Liked the "Steve" stuff.
I'm not sure why you used "ID" title; no misleading there. It's true that "such statements commonly note the institutional affiliations of signatories for purposes of identification," because. generally that carries more clout than one's college of (perhaps) many years ago.
In this case, the citations indicate that mainstream, evolutionist university departments did qualify them in their areas. That would be of more relevance to the readers of the ads.

BTW, I carry no brief for these guys, they always seem to be looking for an "excuse" to worship God, so they can keep access to the good cocktail parties. Happy I say, look in the bible. If you don't find God there, go party. ("Eat drink and be merry" in that case, said Paul.)

Did you know that evolutionists get hate mail? I mean bad. stuff. Typically a Gould or Sagan will publish something in the lay press and the 'born-agains' will pile on. SE got nothing on it, I'm told. Guess they figure Satan hasn't put enough blind hatred in the world.
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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Where do you think their blind hatred comes from?


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From Satan, of course.

Paul warned about Christians being polluted by a 'spirit of the air;' roughly equivalent to 'What's got into people these days?'
Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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