List of Scientists Rejecting Evolution- Do they really?

| 39 Comments

Another video by DonExodus2 below the fold discussing the infamous list of ‘scientists’ rejecting evolution.

PS: DonExodus mentions that You DeWitt received his undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University it was his PhD degree. Minor detail.

From the Biography page at AIG: Dr David A. DeWitt received a B.S. in biochemistry from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Case Western Reserve University. Also the lastest List of ‘doubters’ includes the correct affiliation for DeWitt as Liberty University. The list analyzed by DonExodus is the original list of ‘doubters’

Clearly not very intelligently designed…

39 Comments

Has anyone else ever been amused to see Stephan Meyer’s name associated with Cambridge on that list? If the organization you run isn’t credible enough to associate yourself with, what makes you think a list of scientists associating themselves with your organization will be credible?

A very interesting video. One little detail, however - I was under the impression that the DI claimed over 700 scientists reject evolution (which would make the figure about 0.01% of US scientists). PvM, do you have any further info on this?

It appeared to me that the video was referencing the original Disco ‘Tute list, not the current list.

The latest version of the List says This was last publicly updated October 2007. Scientists listed by doctoral degree or current position.

It also lists this person from New Mexico:Rebecca Keller Research Professor, Department of Chemistry University of New Mexico

There are just two slight problems here.

One is that Dr. Keller has never been a “Research Professor at the Department of Chemistry of the University of New Mexico.” Back in October 2001, six years before the list was updated last fall, I questioned UNM and Keller about this description, and was told by both a UNM chemistry department professor and by Ms. Keller that she was a “Research Assistant Professor,” a position Keller described as referring to “an unpaid, untenured position, which affords me lab space and the right to submit grants in my name.”

I suggested to Dr. Keller that she get the Discovery Institute to change her description in the list:

It appears the Discovery Institute’s page at http://www.reviewevolution.com/pres[…]ientists.php isn’t exactly right when they refer to you as a “research professor” rather than a “research assistant professor,” but I suspect that that mistake might be theirs rather than yours. … I will leave it to you to inform the DI folks of their minor error.”

Either she never informed the DI of their error, or she did, but they refused to correct it.

The other mistake is that Keller is no longer at UNM in any capacity, as a search of the Faculty Directory at www.unm.edu will show.

I wonder how many other such stories are contained in the latest update…

Hmm, yes. Good points, all.

I note also that, if you carefully parse the statement, you will probably find very few biologists who would disagree with it.

I doubt the ability of random mutation and natural selection alone to account for all of the “complexity” we observe in nature, because I know that other mechanisms exist that contribute to it. However, I consider NS coupled to heritable variation to be the single most important mechanism of biological change.

I also doubt “Darwinism”, because the term is an anachronism. While it is true that NS can rightly be described as a “Darwinian mechanism”, the modern field of evolutionary biology comprises so much more than Darwin could possibly have imagined.

I also support critical evaluation of data and of conclusions. However, the data and conclusions that represent the most important aspects of modern evolutionary theory (MET) have been critically evaluated many times over in the last century and a half. What is the benefit of critically evaluating something that has already been critically evaluated more than twenty times already?

Of course, the statement was carefully worded to appear unobjectionable (and, to most scientists, bleeding obvious). It is the use to which the DI puts it that is deceptive.

One thing I did notice in particular about the video was that the term “common descent” is not in the statement, but this was the criterion used to determine if the people on the list genuinely dissent from evolutionary theory. The DI, of course, conveniently omit these details when crowing about how many “scientists” they have on their list who dissent from “Darwinism”. At the end of the day, accepting common descent is probably a clearer measure of who does or does not accept the bulk of MET.

While one can argue over the details of evolutionary processes, or over the relative significance of this mechanism versus that mechanism of speciation, common descent has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, those who doubt common descent (by which I mean not just that humans share ancestors with the great apes, but that all extant life on Earth is descended from a common ancestor population) are almost sure to be creationists (whether YEC, IDC or whatever seems to matter little in this context).

Nigel D Wrote:

One thing I did notice in particular about the video was that the term “common descent” is not in the statement, but this was the criterion used to determine if the people on the list genuinely dissent from evolutionary theory. The DI, of course, conveniently omit these details when crowing about how many “scientists” they have on their list who dissent from “Darwinism”. At the end of the day, accepting common descent is probably a clearer measure of who does or does not accept the bulk of MET.

Careful. The wordsmiths at the DI have concocted a caricature that they like to call universal common descent, which I think they envision as a single ancestral cell, with no room for quasi-living systems that might have given rise to archaea and eubacteria separately, and with no horizontal transfer. So they also advertise Carl Woese as being among the doubters. And AIUI most or all evolutionary biologists would doubt that caricature.

To see what they really think, the signatories need to answer the questions the way you and I would ask them, namely if they truly think that humans and the most similar other eukaryotes (e.g. chimps, gorillas) originated from separate origin-of life events, and if so, when and now many events. That’s where I’m sure that most of the biologists on the list will either evade the question, or agree with Behe that humans, chimps and gorillas share common ancestors and diverged millions of years ago. What they would likely doubt, if not evade that question too, is that “RM + NS” was solely responsible for the speciation.

Correct “now many events” to “how many events.”

Frank J Wrote:

Careful. The wordsmiths at the DI have concocted a caricature that they like to call universal common descent, which I think they envision as a single ancestral cell, with no room for quasi-living systems that might have given rise to archaea and eubacteria separately, and with no horizontal transfer. So they also advertise Carl Woese as being among the doubters. And AIUI most or all evolutionary biologists would doubt that caricature.

More food for thought - thanks, Frank.

I see that I shall have to watch my words carefully. When I state that universal common descent is as good as proven, I mean, of course, a scenario in which one or two populations that exchanged genetic code by horizontal transfer provide a universal ancestral gene pool that is common to all life (as we know it).

Here is the list:

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/vi[…]d&id=660

Note that they say (emphasis theirs): “Scientists listed by doctoral degree or current position.”

That’s how they can get away with saying they have people from Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, and Yale on the list; they’re not going by current positions, but where they got their degree. Clever ploy, but it’s clear that scientists with actual faculty positions at these schools are not part of the “Darwin Dissenters” crowd.

For a refreshing response, try Project Steve:

http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/ar[…]_16_2003.asp

James,

I haven’t seen the list in a while, and I see more names than ever from the “who’s who” of anti-evolution activism - at least 10% of the signatories. I don’t know if one could necessarily call it a conflict of interest, but one would think that the activists could get much more credibility if they restrict the list to those without a prior commitment to anti-evolution activism.

Then again, they have no interest in earning credibility from anyone but their most devoted cheerleaders anyway.

BTW, I wonder if they are using “natural selection” to update the signatories’ information when they attain more prestigious positions, and leave the old information when their new position is not so impressive (e.g. they go from research to management or policy).

Not Michigan State. Ughhh, why does a douchebag like that have to sully the reputation of one of the better universities when it comes to biological sciences. Yuck.

How about if we start a list of antievolution activists who agree with common descent. That might open some eyes. Of course the questions would have to be very carefully worded in order to forestall prevarication. Still, it would be great to actually get Behe and Dembski on tape admitting that common descent was true. Maybe they could even be filmed under false pretenses, after all, the DI could hardly complain. Just claim that you changed the title later. Sure, everyone will fall for that.

What, you don’t want to stoop to their level? Why not? They really would have no place to complain after all. We could even make a “documentary” blaming Hitler on Jesus. Yea, that would go over great. Now what comedian could we get to host the show? I know, Jerry Seinfeld, perfect. Much more famous than Stein and probably more Jewish as well.

But seriously, these people need to be shown up for the lying hypocrites that they are. After all, doesn’t the pretty good book say “By their deeds ye shall know them”?

David,

Behe is actually on tape conceding common descent (or at least that evolution is real) and the scientifically-determined age of the earth in A Flock of Dodos. Check it out.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Dembski is a full-on creationist, but I don’t have any citations handy. Anyone?

David Stanton Wrote:

Still, it would be great to actually get Behe and Dembski on tape admitting that common descent was true.

Before anyone jumps in with the misleading “Dembski denies common descent” the fact is that Dembski only admitting to being unconvinced that humans and other apes evolved from common ancestors, and never ruled out saltation or front-loading (Behe’s apparent position). His official position is to simply not take one. But let’s not forget that he is the originator of “Woese explicitly denies common descent” diversion. Nor has he ever challenged Behe directly, or defended any of those unnamed ID “scientists” that Behe claimed were “more familiar with the relevant science” than he was.

Again, to all: Pay very close attention to the DI’s word games, and like Dembski himself, “don’t take the bait.” I know that a lot of you seem to wish that it was as simple as “us vs. a bunch of YEC Biblical literalists,” but it just ain’t. It’s a little more work, but it’s better in the long run to show how the activists are covering up hopeless contradictions among several long-falsified accounts, and not converging on anything that has the slightest promise as an alternate theory.

James F,

Dembski is also on record accepting mainstream science chronology, yet at least once expressed more political sympathy to YECs than OECs. Which is understandable because YECs constitute the largest segment of the rank-and-file.

Among other things, statements like “ID can accommodate all the results of Darwinism” lead me to suspect that Dembski privately accepts all of evolution. But of course, he’d never admit it.

While I doubt there’s any way to document this, I suspect that nearly all signatories of the DI’s statement knew exactly what they were doing, and how their signature would be used. If you were somehow able to remove every signatory who signed because they feel uncomfortable with evolution for religious reasons alone, I doubt there’d be anyone left.

In other words, what we have is a list of people with some nominal background in an area that might be considered at least vaguely scientific, whose religious faith is strong enough for them to decide the extremely weak anti-evolution wording of the statement is sufficiently harmless.

statements like “ID can accommodate all the results of Darwinism” lead me to suspect that Dembski privately accepts all of evolution

To me, this rather suggests the logical recognition that magic “can accommodate” everything, including flat contradictions.

Abracadabra?

Real scientists are looking for the truth; everyone else is looking for a paycheck and has no problem with telling lies to get one.

That video is well done and could be used to teach kids to be skeptical of all arguments from authority. When I taught consumer economics, we used to call this “endorsement propaganda.”

While I doubt there’s any way to document this, I suspect that nearly all signatories of the DI’s statement knew exactly what they were doing, and how their signature would be used. If you were somehow able to remove every signatory who signed because they feel uncomfortable with evolution for religious reasons alone, I doubt there’d be anyone left.

400(minus 1)

Don’s videos are really good PvM, as are cdkoo7’s:

http://www.youtube.com/user/cdk007

Thunderfoot’s:

http://www.youtube.com/profile_vide[…]f00t&p=r

and potholer 54’s (check out his “made easy” series):

http://www.youtube.com/user/potholer54

But while i agree with Don, all this video does is show that YEC’s are fraudulent in their claims. For scientists that reject evolution just come to Norn Iron. Here’s our very own YEC organisation:

http://creationoutreachministries.com/

with a committee of some very highly qualified people:

http://www.creationoutreachministri[…]ommittee.htm

Apart from the joiner/cabinet maker (they need someone to make life size models of the ark) and the ambulance driver(they’ll also need a driver for the creation bus) the rest are very highly qualified with at least one medical doctor, and an engineer. There’s also a professor on the council of reference. Everyone’s a YEC.

But for the ultimate in scientists who reject evolution (and millions of years) then our very own Prof. Nevin really must be listened to:

http://www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.u[…]ings2001.htm

Professor Norman Nevin: Norman C. Nevin is Professor of Medical Genetics, Queen’s University of Belfast and Head of the Northern Regional Genetics Service. He has held the positions of secretary, vice-president and president of the UK Clinical Genetics Society as well as serving on various national and international committees notably the Human Genetics Advisory Commission. He is a member of the European Concerted Action for congenital abnormalities. Professor Nevin was a founder member of the UK Gene Therapy Advisory Committee (GTAC) and is currently its’ chairman. His research interests have resulted in over 300 peer reviewed publications on various aspects of genetics, especially single gene disorders and congenital abnormalities.

Don’s videos are really good PvM, as are cdkoo7’s:

http://www.youtube.com/user/cdk007

Thunderfoot’s:

http://www.youtube.com/profile_vide[…]f00t&p=r

and potholer 54’s (check out his “made easy” series):

http://www.youtube.com/user/potholer54

But while i agree with Don, all this video does is show that YEC’s are fraudulent in their claims. For scientists that reject evolution just come to Norn Iron. Here’s our very own YEC organisation:

http://creationoutreachministries.com/

with a committee of some very highly qualified people:

http://www.creationoutreachministri[…]ommittee.htm

Apart from the joiner/cabinet maker (they need someone to make life size models of the ark) and the ambulance driver(they’ll also need a driver for the creation bus) the rest are very highly qualified with at least one medical doctor, and an engineer. There’s also a professor on the council of reference. Everyone’s a YEC.

But for the ultimate in scientists who reject evolution (and millions of years) then our very own Prof. Nevin really must be listened to:

http://www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.u[…]ings2001.htm

Professor Norman Nevin: Norman C. Nevin is Professor of Medical Genetics, Queen’s University of Belfast and Head of the Northern Regional Genetics Service. He has held the positions of secretary, vice-president and president of the UK Clinical Genetics Society as well as serving on various national and international committees notably the Human Genetics Advisory Commission. He is a member of the European Concerted Action for congenital abnormalities. Professor Nevin was a founder member of the UK Gene Therapy Advisory Committee (GTAC) and is currently its’ chairman. His research interests have resulted in over 300 peer reviewed publications on various aspects of genetics, especially single gene disorders and congenital abnormalities.

Nigel D:

I see that I shall have to watch my words carefully.

Not too much, OK Nigel? I like the way you talk! :-)

Stacy S.:

Nigel D: I see that I shall have to watch my words carefully.

Not too much, OK Nigel? I like the way you talk! :-)

Thanks, Stacy. Is it the British accent?

Peter Henderson, I don’t quite see what point you are trying to make. I can’t follow all your links from work, as we have a very aggressive firewall.

Perhaps you’d care to summarise the high points, so that I can see your train of thought?

Also, I could not see any evidence that Prof Nevin is a YEC. What makes you so sure that he is?

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 8, column 80, byte 701 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

Interesting. I tried to use HTML in my previous post and it didn;t work.

Anyway, in answer to Nigel D, a poster called Amenhotep, on William Crawleys weblog says:

——— “Incidentally, I need to correct myself - I listened again, and William finally forced Norman Nevin to admit that he is in fact a young earth creationist, which essentially confirms that Intelligent Design is just creationism with its lippy on (and smudged over its teeth).” ——— From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2008/[…]er_lo_1.html

I am not sure if you can listen to the radio program again. THe thread there is looking to be infested with smug, ignorant anti-science people. Time to dive back in.

Guthrie, thanks for the info.

Peter Henderson, I don’t quite see what point you are trying to make. I can’t follow all your links from work, as we have a very aggressive firewall.

Perhaps you’d care to summarise the high points, so that I can see your train of thought?

Also, I could not see any evidence that Prof. Nevin is a YEC. What makes you so sure that he is?

Nigel:Don’s videos are excellent and I agree wholeheartedly with what he is doing and, as a Christian who accepts mainstream science my thoughts and his are exactly the same.

However, others on Youtube are doing similar things and the links I’ve provided have some excellent material which should, in my opinion, be used in science classes. For example, thunderfoot’s “why do people laugh at creationists”, cdk007’s “why YEC’s must deny gravity” and potholer 54’s “made easy” series. All answer a number of creationist claims.

It’s just that I wasn’t sure what Don’s point was, other than to show that the list was fraudulent and that some of the so called scientists who were YEC’s weren’t YEC’s at all. My point was that there are lots of people who call themselves scientists who are in fact YEC’s and that they have admitted this. Creation outreach ministries’ committee contains a medical doctor, a lecturer from Queens University in Belfast, another highly qualified individual who calls himself an agricultural scientist, and a chief microbiologist who is employed by Northern Ireland water (who’s also studying for a PhD in Parasitology ). Surely some of those people have to apply evolutionary biology in there field of work ?

As for professor Nevin (someone I do hold in very high regard by the way, both as a scientist and a lay preacher) I can definitely assure you Nigel that he’s a young Earth creationist. He admitted this to William Crawley on Sunday sequence a couple of weeks ago (31st March).

Now if there’s one area of science where evolutionary biology would have to be applied I would have thought it would have been genetics. Apparently not. Prof Nevin has managed to reach the top in the field of genetics and yet deny evolutionary biology. Either that or he’s practicing it during the week and denying it on a Sunday. Perhaps those biologists on the forum could address this point ? Is it possible to be a leading Geneticist and yet reject evolutionary biology ?

“Incidentally, I need to correct myself - I listened again, and William finally forced Norman Nevin to admit that he is in fact a young earth creationist, which essentially confirms that Intelligent Design is just creationism with its lippy on (and smudged over its teeth).”

Nevin did so somewhat reluctantly Guthrie. It was similar situation to Prof. Andy McIntosh. William Crawley had to ask McIntosh four times how old he (McIntosh) thought the Earth was) Eventually McIntosh admitted it was only 6-10,000 years old, in his opinion.

This of course is why I get rather annoyed at them. The Creationists dissemble like their lives depend on it. If they just said “Hey, I’m a YEC, and think you should all be taught it in school”, I’d be quite happy, because they would A) be being honest with us and themselves, and B) it would make it easier to crush their attempts.

As for being a top scientist and not having a clue about the science, you just have to turn to McIntosh- I remember reading through a list of his publications, and to be honest, many of the papers looked extremely specialised. McIntosh may indeed know all about the thermodynamics of flames, but he has not genuinely applied that knowledge to Evolution, even although he keeps saying that 2LoT proves evolution is not possible. Nevin may be the same- extremely specialised knowledge that enables one to see only the tree, a small pine tree in a large deciduous forest. By describing the tree, its parasites and fungi etc from top to bottom you can get a good publication record, but you don’t have to look at the forest itself, which in this case is evolutionary biology.

I personally think both of them have crossed the line into stupidity.

I’m surprised Prof. Nevin isn’t on their list Guthrie.

He’s a member of the Crescent, a Brethren church in Belfast. The Brethren movement is renowned for it’s belief in young Earth creationism. The Crescent is a fairly liberal Brethren church though:

http://www.crescentchurch.org/

Here’s another similar type video from our very own (well almost, as he’s from Ulster but not “Norn Iron”) “themadhair” on cosmological distances:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qzy[…]#r4yGAOM9WKI

I find these videos on Youtube very entertaining and something of a relief from all the YEC propaganda. Surely scientists (such as those in the NCSE) could get together with these guys (Don Exodus etc.) and make a series for distribution around schools ????? Schoolkids would enjoy this type of thing in science class and it would go some way in countering the slick AiG videos.

Peter H, thanks for the response. I now understand what you were trying to say.

On the subject of Nevin, I would not have thought it were possible to be a specialist in genetics and still deny evolution, but, as guthrie points out, it may be that his work is so specialised that he ignores the context of it without this having any impact on his day-to-day labwork. What first helped me to get a grip on evolutionary biology was a first-year undergrad course on population genetics.

Off-topic, I know, but this course included one particular practical that sticks in my mind, because of both its simplicity and its ingenuity: The class was divided into groups of four, and each group of four was divided into two pairs. Outside (terrain was shortish grass [no more than 3” high] with a light scattering of dead leaves), each pair was allocated a square of ground. One pair had a 2m x 2m square, and the other had a 4m x 4m square. Each pair had to distribute 20 short pieces of wool (10 green and 10 brown) within their square. The pairs then swapped over, and this time the task was to find as many pieces of wool in the other pair’s square as you could. The interesting (and slightly surprising) result was that, in one square the green wool was easier to find, while in the other the brown wool was easier to find (but, alas, I cannot recall which was which). This illustrates the challenge to predators and the way different crypsis strategies have different levels of success depending on the density of the organisms - there was no “best” strategy in terms of cryptic colouring. What was the best strategy for the prey depended on the density of the prey species within the allocated area.

They should have used something more palatable than wool to be the “prey” in the experiment. ;)

Henry

Henry, at least with wool, they could use the same apparatus year after year. If they prey had been something that gave us a bit more incentive to find them, they may have ended up with false counts at the end (“oh, no, we didn’t find any, no, none at all … honest!”). Plus, of course, we did not find all of the prey animals in the larger square (even after the ones who had distributed them helped out after the alloted time), and at least wool is biodegradable.

What a bunch of fools, worried about what scientist accepts evolution and which one denounces it. Evoution has never happened. No one has ever seen a dog come from a none dog. Evolution is a faith and is a religious belief. Your god is man and you put faith in men to give you a truth when men lie to themself.

So, tell us, Nune, do you believe in the existence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or the development of new varieties of agricultural crops, or do you think that these are lies, too?

Nune said:

What a bunch of fools, worried about what scientist accepts evolution and which one denounces it. Evoution has never happened. No one has ever seen a dog come from a none dog. Evolution is a faith and is a religious belief. Your god is man and you put faith in men to give you a truth when men lie to themself.

Countless Christians disagree with you, troll…

Nune said:

What a bunch of fools, worried about what scientist accepts evolution and which one denounces it. Evoution has never happened. No one has ever seen a dog come from a none dog. Evolution is a faith and is a religious belief. Your god is man and you put faith in men to give you a truth when men lie to themself.

So, tell us, Nune, do you believe in the existence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or the development of new varieties of agricultural crops, or do you think that these are lies, too?

Nune said:

What a bunch of fools, worried about what scientist accepts evolution and which one denounces it. Evoution has never happened. No one has ever seen a dog come from a none dog. Evolution is a faith and is a religious belief. Your god is man and you put faith in men to give you a truth when men lie to themself.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on April 14, 2008 10:16 PM.

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