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Agronomists Poll Leads to Surprising Result

Update: Craig Roberts, Editor-in-Chief of Crop Science Society of America, pointed out that the poll noted below was posted for the normal, two-week period of time before giving way to the next two-week Quick Question. The ASA should be commended for leaving the poll up for the full period, and for all of its members who support free scientific inquiry into the question of origins.

The post has been updated to incorporate Roberts’ information.

As William Dembski notes here, there’s a new fad among professional societies — denouncing intelligent design. Perhaps somebody wanted the American Society of Agronomy to join the new fad; but agronomists, apparently, don’t herd very well.

The society conducted an online poll regarding the teaching of alternatives to evolution in grades K-12. They’ve moved onto a new polling question now, but thanks to Google’s cache feature, I was able to unearth the poll here.

The media strategy is a simple one. If an informal poll of a scientific organization suggests that there is a genuine scientific controversy over Neo-Darwinism, ignore it. If, however, an informal poll of a scientific organization supports the information embargo against criticisms of evolution, never mind about methodology. We saw this when a recent query of high school biology teachers found that a terrifying 30 percent of them felt pressure to teach less about evolution.

Pro-Darwin propaganda is sprinkled throughout the standard biology textbooks, and virtually all the nature documentaries kids grow up watching, but this in-house poll was carried in newspapers around the country to suggest that Neo-Darwinism is a suppressed viewpoint. In this case, the poll’s methodology was deemed irrelevant.

Design theorists want more taught about Darwinism, too, but this would mean teaching the weaknesses of the theory as well as the strengths.

Jonathan Witt

Executive Editor, Discovery Institute Press and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Jonathan Witt, PhD, is Executive Editor of Discovery Institute Press and a senior fellow and senior project manager with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. His latest book is Heretic: One Scientist’s Journey from Darwin to Design (DI Press, 2018) written with Finnish bioengineer Matti Leisola. Witt has also authored co-authored Intelligent Design Uncensored, A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, and The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot. Witt is the lead writer and associate producer for Poverty, Inc., winner of the $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award and recipient of over 50 international film festival honors.