Few Biologists but Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition

By KENNETH CHANG
Published: February 21, 2006
In the recent skirmishes over evolution, advocates who have pushed to dilute its teaching have regularly pointed to a petition signed by 514 scientists and engineers.

  The petition, they say, is proof that scientific doubt over evolution persists. But random interviews with 20 people who signed the petition and a review of the public statements of more than a dozen others suggest that many are evangelical Christians, whose doubts about evolution grew out of their religious beliefs. And even the petition's sponsor, the Discovery Institute in Seattle, says that only a quarter of the signers are biologists, whose field is most directly concerned with evolution. The other signers include 76 chemists, 75 engineers, 63 physicists and 24 professors of medicine.

The petition was started in 2001 by the institute, which champions intelligent design as an alternative theory to evolution and supports a “teach the controversy” approach, like the one scuttled by the state Board of Education in Ohio last week.

“Anti-Evolution” petition.

Smacks of juvinile desperation.

“Petitions” are a misdirected fad notion. A petition like this is ultimately impotent and laughable. Basically nothing more than a list of club members.

Well, I am not surprised by this, but I don’t think we should let the chemists and physicists off the hook either. We can let the engineers slide for today, but eventually they’ll have to get caught up too. :smiley:

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