Steve-olution

There is currently a rather active movement in the US that seeks to find fault with evolution and to promote creationism or the newest version of it, Intelligent design. One of the arguments often used, is that more and more scientists are coming to doubt evolution. This is probably not true, and the National Center for Science Education came up with a wonderful, wacky response. Eugenie Scott of the NCSE put it like this in an interview:

Well, you know, we were bombarded by irritated and irate scientists who said we could get 100,000 scientists in two weeks to sign a statement on evolution, let’s counter this nonsense. And we kept saying no, that’s not the way science is done; we don’t want to further mislead the public; you don’t do science by plebiscite, this is really silly. But on the other hand, we then got to thinking about the great American journalist H L Menkin who once said that, a good horse laugh is worth 1000 syllogisms, and we’re pretty big on the syllogisms. You go to our web page we’ve got straight science, we’re a serious organisation – but damn it, we’re tired of this.

They went for the horse laugh, hence Project Steve. You can get on the Project Steve list only if you’re a scientist, your name is Steve (or a variation thereof) and you agree with the following:

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to “intelligent design,” to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation’s public schools.

So far they’re way past 500 Steves. The name Steve represents about 1% of all scientists and was chosen in honour of the late Stephen Jay Gould.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.