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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

"Skeptics" Rebuke Evolutionary Dogmatism

"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 (cite)"
"The statement, signed by 514 scientists...include[s] 154 biologists, 76 chemists and 63 physicists. They hold doctorates in biological sciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, computer science and related disciplines. Many are professors or researchers at major universities and research institutions such as MIT, The Smithsonian, Cambridge University, UCLA, University of California at Berkeley, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State University, University of Georgia and University of Washington. "

"Other prominent signatories include U.S. National Academy of Sciences member Philip Skell, American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow Lyle Jensen, evolutionary biologist and textbook author Stanley Salthe; Smithsonian Institution evolutionary biologist and researcher at the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Biotechnology Information Richard von Sternberg, editor of Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum – the oldest still published biology journal in the world – Giuseppe Sermonti and Russian Academy of Natural Sciences embryologist Lev Beloussov" (cite)

These individuals are "Skeptical." Unfortunately for them, their intellectual dissent will be derided by those who prefer namecalling and hate-filled dogmatism. Their credibility as scientists will be questioned and their professional careers over. You would think that questioning assumptions and critical analysis would be praised by the scientific community. You would think that a dialogue could be held between those with honest scientific differences. Unfortunate as it is, every evolutionist I have met, read, or had occasion to dialogue, has the cordiality of a rock and the intellectual sympathy of...well, they just don't have it.

Their inability to consider other options is stifled because changing paradigms is hard work. They say, "evolution works and that all I need to know". That's nice, but even if "evolution works" as a theory, its utilitarian value does not prove its integrity. Their pragmatic or utiliarian approach has indeed worked for many scientific and medical advances, but unfortunately, it has also clouded their ability to consider other possibilities.

Where is the dialogue? Where are the evolutionists who are open-minded? Where are the authentic evolutionists who are more commited to the pursuit of truth instead affirming their personal dogmatism? Where are those who might say, "I hadn't considered that before?" For the sake of humanity, wouldn't discussion be more valuable than name-calling?

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Thoughtful Readers Speak:
Every scientist everywhere can agree with the last part of that statement. If you want some dialogue, read some of the articles scientists write about each other's papers. Sometimes they're barely civil about things like maximum liklihood and parsimony.
love the sarcasm...

i agree with jr. the scientific realm is just as susceptible to human nature as other fields. thus, pride, selfishness, and other evidence of our depravity creep in.
Get ready Franklin, you'd better be sitting for this. I agree with you. Of course science (like everything else) is susceptible to human error.
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