Scientists, National Poll Challenge Darwinism
Monday, September 24, 2001
Contact: Mark Edwards 206.292.0401 x107 / email@example.com
A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism (PDF ~88k)
Zogby's Final Report (PDF ~53k)
Download the Zogby Crosstabs
an ironic greeting to the seven-part public television series
"Evolution" that begins tonight, 100 scientists have declared
that they "are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation
and natural selection to account for the complexity of
life." The signers say, "Careful examination of the evidence for
Darwinian theory should be encouraged."
Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based public policy center, compiled
the list of statement signers (attached). Among other things,
the long list may help to answer the contention of designated
spokespeople for the series "Evolution" that "virtually all reputable
scientists in the world" support Darwin's theory. Institute officials
charge that officials of WGBH/Clear Blue Sky Productions have
used that contention to keep any scientific criticism of Darwinism
from being acknowledged or examined in the eight-hour series.
"They want people to think that the only criticism of Darwin's
theory today is from religious fundamentalists," said Discovery
president Bruce Chapman. "They routinely try to stigmatize scientists
who question Darwin as 'creationists'."
Chemist and five time Nobel nominee, Henry "Fritz" Schaefer of
the University of Georgia, commented on the need to encourage
debate on Darwin's theory of evolution. "Some defenders of Darwinism,"
says Schaefer, "embrace standards of evidence for evolution that
as scientists they would never accept in other circumstances."
Schaefer was on the roster of signers of the statement, termed
"A Scientific Dissent on Darwinism."
Meanwhile, a Zogby Poll released today shows overwhelming public
support--81 percent--for the position that "When public broadcasting
networks discuss Darwin's theory of evolution, they should present
the scientific evidence for it, but also the scientific evidence
against it." Only 10 percent support presenting "only the scientific
evidence that supports" Darwin's theory. (Less than 10 percent
said "Neither" or "Not sure.")
"Public television producers are clearly at odds with overwhelming
public sentiment in favor of hearing all scientific sides of the
debate," said Chapman, a former Director of the US Census Bureau.
"The huge majorities in the poll cross every demographic, regional
and political line in America." The national sample of 1,202 adults
was conducted by Zogby International from August 25-29. The margin
of error is +/-3.0%.
Discovery Institute commissioned the Zogby poll, though the survey
itself was designed by the Zogby organization. It also included
questions on education and "intelligent design," a theory that
some scientific critics of Darwin support. (That theory makes
no religious claims, but says that the best natural evidence for
life's origins points to design rather than a process of random
mutation and natural selection.) Discovery Institute last week
also opened a special website (www.reviewevolution.org)
to critique the WGBH/Clear Blue Sky series in a scholarly "Viewer's
Guide." Discovery officials say that the website analyzes all
program segments in the series and has uncovered numerous scientific
and historical errors, exaggerations and omissions. Full results
of the Zogby poll also are available on the website.
"The numbers of scientists who question Darwinism is a minority,
but it is growing fast," said Stephen Meyer, a Cambridge-educated
philosopher of science who directs the Center for the Renewal
of Science and Culture at Discovery Institute. "This is happening
in the face of fierce attempts to intimidate and suppress legitimate
dissent. Young scientists are threatened with deprivation of tenure.
Others have seen a consistent pattern of answering scientific
arguments with ad hominem attacks. In particular, the series'
attempt to stigmatize all critics--including scientists--as religious
'creationists' is an excellent example of viewpoint discrimination."
Signers of the statement questioning Darwinism came from throughout
the US and from several other countries, representing biology,
physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, anthropology and other
scientific fields. Professors and researchers at such universities
as Princeton, MIT, U Penn, and Yale, as well as smaller colleges
and the National Laboratories at Livermore, CA and Los Alamos,
N.M., are included. A number of the signers have authored or contributed
to books on issues related to evolution, or have books underway.
Despite repeated requests, the series' producers refused to cover
scientific objections to Darwinism. Instead, the producers offered
only to let scientific dissenters go on camera to tell their "personal
faith stories" in the last program of the series, "What About
God?" According to Discovery's Chapman, "This was almost an insult
to serious scientists. Some of these dissenting scientists are
not even religious. When you watch that last program, you realize
they were wise to refuse to take part in it."
Jed Macosko, a young research molecular biologist at the University
of California, Berkeley, and a statement signer, said, "It is
time for defenders of Darwin to engage in serious dialogue and
debate with their scientific critics. Science can't grow where
institutional gatekeepers try to prevent new challengers from
A Scientific Dissent on Darwinism
"I am 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."
Henry F.Schaefer: Director, Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry:
U. of Georgia Fred Sigworth: Prof. of Cellular & Molecular
Physiology- Grad. School: Yale U. Philip S. Skell: Emeritus
Prof. Of Chemistry: NAS member Frank Tipler: Prof. of Mathematical
Physics: Tulane U. Robert Kaita: Plasma Physics Lab: Princeton
U. Michael Behe: Prof. of Biological Science: Lehigh U.
Walter Hearn: PhD Biochemistry-U of Illinois Tony Mega: Assoc.
Prof. of Chemistry: Whitworth College Dean Kenyon: Prof.
Emeritus of Biology: San Francisco State U. Marko Horb: Researcher,
Dept. of Biology & Biochemistry: U. of Bath, UK Daniel Kubler:
Asst. Prof. of Biology: Franciscan U. of Steubenville David
Keller: Assoc. Prof. of Chemistry: U. of New Mexico James
Keesling: Prof. of Mathematics: U. of Florida Roland F. Hirsch:
PhD Analytical Chemistry-U. of Michigan Robert Newman: PhD
Astrophysics-Cornell U. Carl Koval: Prof., Chemistry & Biochemistry:
U. of Colorado, Boulder Tony Jelsma: Prof. of Biology: Dordt
College William A.Dembski: PhD Mathematics-U. of Chicago:
George Lebo: Assoc. Prof. of Astronomy: U. of Florida
Timothy G. Standish: PhD Environmental Biology-George Mason U.
James Keener: Prof. of Mathematics & Adjunct of Bioengineering:
U. of Utah Robert J. Marks: Prof. of Signal & Image Processing:
U. of Washington Carl Poppe: Senior Fellow: Lawrence Livermore
Laboratories Siegfried Scherer: Prof. of Microbial Ecology:
Technische Universitaet Muenchen Gregory Shearer: Internal
Medicine, Research: U. of California, Davis Joseph Atkinson:
PhD Organic Chemistry-M.I.T.: American Chemical Society, member
Lawrence H. Johnston: Emeritus Prof. of Physics: U. of Idaho
Scott Minnich: Prof., Dept of Microbiology, Molecular Biology
& Biochem: U. of Idaho David A. DeWitt: PhD Neuroscience-Case
Western U. Theodor Liss: PhD Chemistry-M.I.T. Braxton
Alfred: Emeritus Prof. of Anthropology: U. of British Columbia
Walter Bradley: Prof. Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering: Texas
A & M Paul D. Brown: Asst. Prof. of Environmental Studies:
Trinity Western U. (Canada) Marvin Fritzler: Prof. of Biochemistry
& Molecular Biology: U. of Calgary, Medical School Theodore
Saito: Project Manager: Lawrence Livermore Laboratories Muzaffar
Iqbal: PhD Chemistry-U. of Saskatchewan: Center for Theology the
Natural Sciences William S. Pelletier: Emeritus Distinguished
Prof. of Chemistry: U. of Georgia, Athens Keith Delaplane:
Prof. of Entomology: U. of Georgia Ken Smith: Prof. of Mathematics:
Central Michigan U. Clarence Fouche: Prof. of Biology: Virginia
Intermont College Thomas Milner: Asst. Prof. of Biomedical
Engineering: U. of Texas, Austin Brian J.Miller: PhD Physics-Duke
U. Paul Nesselroade: Assoc. Prof. of Psychology: Simpson
College Donald F.Calbreath: Prof. of Chemistry: Whitworth
College William P. Purcell: PhD Physical Chemistry-Princeton
U. Wesley Allen: Prof. of Computational Quantum Chemistry:
U. of Georgia Jeanne Drisko: Asst. Prof., Kansas Medical
Center: U. of Kansas, School of Medicine Chris Grace: Assoc.
Prof. of Psychology: Biola U. Wolfgang Smith: Prof. Emeritus-Mathematics:
Oregon State U. Rosalind Picard: Assoc. Prof. Computer Science:
M.I.T. Garrick Little: Senior Scientist, Li-Cor: Li-Cor
John L. Omdahl: Prof. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology: U. of
New Mexico Martin Poenie: Assoc. Prof. of Molecular Cell
& Developmental Bio: U. of Texas, Austin Russell W.Carlson:
Prof. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology: U. of Georgia
Hugh Nutley: Prof. Emeritus of Physics & Engineering: Seattle Pacific
U. David Berlinski: PhD Philosophy-Princeton: Mathematician,
Author Neil Broom: Assoc. Prof., Chemical & Materials Engineeering:
U. of Auckland John Bloom: Assoc. Prof., Physics: Biola U.
James Graham: Professional Geologist, Sr. Program Manager:
National Environmental Consulting Firm John Baumgardner:
Technical Staff, Theoretical Division: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Fred Skiff: Prof. of Physics: U. of Iowa Paul Kuld:
Assoc. Prof., Biological Science: Biola U. Yongsoon Park:
Senior Research Scientist: St. Luke's Hospital, Kansas City
Moorad Alexanian: Prof. of Physics: U. of North Carolina, Wilmington
Donald Ewert: Director of Research Administration: Wistar
Institute Joseph W. Francis: Assoc. Prof. of Biology: Cedarville
U. Thomas Saleska: Prof. of Biology: Concordia U.
Ralph W. Seelke: Prof. & Chair of Dept. of Biology & Earth Sciences:
U. of Wisconsin, Superior James G. Harman: Assoc. Chair,
Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry: Texas Tech U. Lennart
Moller: Prof. of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute: U.
of Stockholm Raymond G. Bohlin: PhD Molecular & Cell Biology-U.
of Texas: Fazale R. Rana: PhD Chemistry-Ohio U. Michael
Atchison: Prof. of Biochemistry: U. of Pennsylvania, Vet School
William S. Harris: Prof. of Basic Medical Sciences: U. of
Missouri, Kansas City Rebecca W. Keller: Research Prof.,
Dept. of Chemistry: U. of New Mexico Terry Morrison: PhD
Chemistry-Syracuse U. Robert F. DeHaan: PhD Human Development-U.
of Chicago Matti Lesola: Prof., Laboratory of Bioprocess
Engineering: Helsinki U. of Technology Bruce Evans: Assoc.
Prof. of Biology: Huntington College Jim Gibson: PhD Biology-Loma
Linda U. David Ness: PhD Anthropology-Temple U. Bijan
Nemati: Senior Engineer: Jet Propulsion Lab (NASA) Edward
T. Peltzer: Senior Research Specialist: Monterey Bay Research Institute
Stan E. Lennard: Clinical Assoc. Prof. of Surgery: U. of
Washington Rafe Payne: Prof. & Chair, Biola Dept. of Biological
Sciences: Biola U. Phillip Savage: Prof. of Chemical Engineering:
U. of Michigan Pattle Pun: Prof. of Biology: Wheaton College
Jed Macosko: Postdoctoral Researcher-Molecular Biology: U.
of California, Berkeley Daniel Dix: Assoc. Prof. of Mathematics:
U. of South Carolina Ed Karlow: Chair, Dept. of Physics:
LaSierra U. James Harbrecht: Clinical Assoc. Prof.: U. of
Kansas Medical Center Robert W. Smith: Prof. of Chemistry:
U. of Nebraska, Omaha Robert DiSilvestro: PhD Biochemistry-Texas
A & M U., Professor, Human Nutrition, Ohio State University
David Prentice: Prof., Dept. of Life Sciences: Indiana State U.
Walt Stangl: Assoc. Prof. of Mathematics: Biola U.
Jonathan Wells: PhD Molecular & Cell Biology-U. of California, Berkeley:
James Tour: Chao Prof. of Chemistry: Rice U. Todd
Watson: Asst. Prof. of Urban & Community Forestry: Texas A & M U.
Robert Waltzer: Assoc. Prof. of Biology: Belhaven College
Vincente Villa: Prof. of Biology: Southwestern U.
Richard Sternberg: Pstdoctoral Fellow, Invertebrate Biology: Smithsonian
Institute James Tumlin: Assoc. Prof. of Medicine: Emory U.
Charles Thaxton: PhD Physical Chemistry-Iowa State U.