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Shocker: ID is PR with Little Science

I was working on writing this up earlier, but go distracted, so now I have the excellent post by PvM on the Panda’s Thumb to reference, thus saving me time and words.

Joe Wolf, president of Florida Citizens for Science was quoted in the saying:

Joe Wolf, president of Florida Citizens for Science, called the draft standards a “wonderful” blueprint for science education. Wolf, of Winter Haven, said the evolution debate holds little interest to most scientists, who accept it as fact. That’s why the issue did not become controversial during the standards-writing meetings, he said.

“It’s a PR issue,” he said. “And it’s a religious issue. In the scientific community, it’s not an issue.”

For most of us, this is a pretty obvious statement. The Panda’s Thumb write-up notes how Crowther carefully dodges the actual statement and responds to something else. He is thus enabled to express a great deal of outrage without proving anything.

His post is titled Florida Citizens for Science Excommunicate Prominent Scientists from “Scientific Community” For Doubting Darwin, a very pretentious title which misses the point entirely. I’m not certain what he means by “excommunicate” but it doesn’t seem to relate to anything we do in Florida Citizens for Science.

On the other hand, our officers are quite free to notice the obvious. OK, ID supporters, where is the actual scientific controversy? Where are the scientific papers supporting ID? I see a huge amount of PR, a huge amount of popular literature, a very large number of claims, but the actual scientific controversy doesn’t seem to exist. All we need here is to point out actual scientists engaged in a scientific controversy. Scientists arguing philosophy won’t do. Press releases won’t do it either. What we need is scientists engaging in a scientific dispute.

What we get, however, is interesting. It shows actual scientists operating within a scientific framework developing and improving the theory of evolution just like they ought to do. Obviously a great deal has been learned since Darwin. If that was not the case, evolution truly would be a theory in crisis. Instead, the very debate that shows a healthy, theory operating under the stresses of scientific discovery, developing and growing as it went along. It shows that rather than some kind of Darwinian conspiracy, as the ID folks suggest, there is healthy, active science, capable of correcting errors and making new discoveries.

Thanks, Mr. Crowther, for providing evidence for the health of evolutionary theory!

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