Growing up you believe the world is meant to be the way it is. The older I get the more I realise that this is not the case. The world is full of injustices and atrocities that governments and the voice of faith expect us to accept, though with each passing year they grow fewer and fewer, at least one would hope. I have created this blog as a space for me to rant about all things science, politics, philosophy and religion, before it’s too late and the vessel of new atheism propelled by a growing surge in secularism solves all of the world’s problems for good.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

The Steve Project: a piss take on Dissent from Darwinism petitioners

This is quite funny. Though I'd heard of it a few times in the past I'd never looked into it until today after I listened to a Point of Inquiry podcast that interviewed Eugenie Scott about her book Evolution vs Creationism: An Introduction. She was talking about the most recent faux-scientific manifestation of creationism in the form of intelligent design or ID and how the religious were campaigning so hard in the US to "teach the controversy" and place ID next to evolution in the science classroom. 


Anyway, there was a petition being sent around the scientific community called A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, a piss poor effort at justifying the so called "controversy" between evolution and ID by getting the signatures of scientists who believed that darwinism couldn't explain everything when it came to the evolution of life on earth. The few pillars of evidence for ID, that were smashed faster than they were put together, being complex organs such as the vertebrate eye or bacterial flagellum. They believed these organs were too complex to have been created by evolution and thus ID was a legitimate theory as to their existence. Again I reiterate the fact that this is complete garbage and darwinian evolution can and does explain the existence of both of these organs (eye & flagellum).


Long story short, the Dissent from Darwinism petition barely managed to get 100 scientists (out of the 1000s upon 1000s of American scientists out there) to sign it. As a bit of a piss take Eugenie Scott and colleagues started another petition called The Steve Project, which was a document affirming that darwinian evolution could explain the evolution and existence of all life forms on earth (in short), but could only be signed by scientists with the first name Steve. As 1% of people in the US population have the name Steve, the number of signatures on this petition could be extrapolated out x100 to equate the number of scientists that also believed what was written on the petition. Within 10 days 100 Steve scientists had signed the petition, including two nobel prize winners, Steven Weignberg and Steven Chu. The number of Steves on the list today (since 2003 when it was started) has grown far beyond 1000, effectively representing the views of 100 000 scientists in the US alone. A massive number in comparison to the still meager list of scientists who've put their name to the ID petition.


Here's the statement to which the signatories of The Steve Project agree to:
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.
For more information have a look at The Steve Project wiki page.

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