Despite my fully affirming evolutionary biology, I would have no problems signing the “Dissent from Darwinism” document—if not for (1) the way I would be misrepresented and misunderstood if I did so, and (2) the fact that the title of the infamous document has little to do with what its content actually states.
If pressed, why could I say that I affirm the document’s content? Let’s review what it says:
“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutations and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
(1) Everyone should be “skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutations and natural selection to account for the complexity of life” because scientists have known for a very long time now that there are many more evolutionary processes at work than just mutations and natural selection. Indeed, that has been the reality for many decades now!
(2) How could anyone who understands the nature of science not agree with “Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged” because good science demands that every scientific theory be continually scrutinized and all evidence examined! Is that not obvious?
Neither of those provisions found in this bizarre “document” represents any sort of “dissent from Darwinism”. I don’t know who drafted the “dissent” but I’m aghast that anyone at all informed on these topics could write something so amateurish and misguided.
Of course, I could also critique the choice to use the word “Darwinism” with all of its attendant ambiguities and connotation baggage but that is old territory for this forum that most readers will recognize and understand.
I will count on Dr. Swamidas to modify my remarks if I have transgressed one of our new forum boundaries for good etiquette. Truly, I’m not trying to insult any particular individual on a personal basis because I have no idea how the “dissent” got drafted and who was involved. But the wording sounds to me like something a non-scientist with a poor understanding of the topic and who is a professional anti-evolution ministry activist would write to encourage his or her donor base.
If I am missing something, please tell me more.