The Dissent from Darwinism

To put my response more concisely before I leave for the afternoon to do some urgent errands: Is it possible that you accepted the claims of Ben Stein et al without sufficient scrutiny and skepticism?

By the way, what are Ben Stein’s academic credentials and relevant expertise in relation to these topics? Do you believe that his background as an economist and actor makes him better qualified to weigh these topics than the thousands of evangelical scientists with earned degrees in fields relevant to evolutionary biology?

Even the ID folks do not enthusiastically promote it, for those very reasons.

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That is not true. They did and do promote it. Case in point the exchange that provoked this thread. @Ronald_Cram does not identify as an ID proponent, but he sure is is “ditto”-ing their claims.

This is going back a long way in the conversation, but I concur with this. I would also “dissent from Darwinism” as worded, but doing so would likely be misconstrued by those that care, one way or the other. Also, as was mentioned earlier, I don’t think the document is well-known in most circles. I doubt anyone else in my department has ever heard of it.


I sometimes wonder if it was intentionally set up this way…

Ronald, you may be thinking of this incident from a couple of years ago:

The grand irony of this is that we are carefully considering an alternative model to Common Descent in another thread: Winston Ewert: The Dependency Graph of Life.

I am an ID supporter, and have steered people away from it (the Ben Stein video). They did support it at first, but fairly quickly demurred… within, I’d say, the first two to three years.

When did they demur? I see no evidence of that. What are you seeing?

Go on ENV and search for mentions. I’ve found three, two of which were from before it was released. The topic is mostly about academic freedom, and it was applauded by ID for that reason; not because of how it actually described and argued ID.

I noticed a similar stepping away from the Expelled film. I had originally assumed that popularity among churches would keep rentals and sales of the movie quite brisk for years—but the production company quickly went bankrupt precisely because it went from an alleged “hit” to a “bust” in relatively short order. The company (and the film) got sold off at a fire sale price.


Yes. Language is used by common people. Language has technical terms when more precise terms are necessary. But it is completely arbitrary, even if done by specialists, to require that religion must have a God of some type. Most of the world will not agree with you.

I’m not a Discovery Institute supporter because I don’t agree with their methods. They were established to try to change the educational system using litigation. I think that’s the wrong focus. The right focus is to do good science. Their attempts at good science have been hit and miss.

Regarding Ben Stein’s movie, I saw it an exposing violations of academic freedom, not as a science movie. I happened to meet one of the people portrayed in the movie and believe the movie represented very well the injustices done to her. I recall her name.

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I am a CSC supporter, and know for sure that they had asked the Dover school District not to enact the ruling that they did, that went to court.
They didn’t want a “Scopes Trial” that early in their history. Judges are particularly ill-suited to rule on what is good science.
They would have much preferred to serve as a source of testimony and support in academic freedom cases as they arose. The only lower education goals they’ve expressed is for freedom for teachers to “teach the controversy” that actually does exist within the reigning paradigm. As things are, without this exposure, kids are indoctinated into accepting platitudes in the name of scientific “orthodoxy.”
They are an unmanageably big tent, in my opinion, but have and continue to serve an important role in consolodating and marshalling “dissent science,” to the degree that even atheist pholosopher Thomas Nagel has gone on record thanking them for forcing science to be better in this area.
As a societal player in the “worldview wars,” I see them as continuing to have a strategic role to play.

We went over this before. This is a type of double speak. At the same time, they were endorsing the Kansas Education Board Hearings, which were equally controversial.

You can’t tell only half the story. We’ve even asked DI employees directly about this, and they have demurred: ID and Science Classes.

Not double speak at all.
I said as much here:

[quote=“Guy_Coe, post:36, topic:734”]
The only lower education goals they’ve expressed is for freedom for teachers to “teach the controversy” that actually does exist within the reigning paradigm.

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Once again: I never claimed that “religion must have a God of some type”. Indeed, I said something quite different: all religions involve a devotion to something that is transcendent—such as enlightenment.

The Discovery Institute was first established to lobby for particular types of regional transportation systems in the Puget Sound area.