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For Some Darwinists, Dialoguing over Scientific Challenges is “Off-Message”

Casey Luskin

Samuel Chen and William Dembski are discussing a talk given by Donald Wise at the Geological Society for America conference in October, 2005, where Wise recommended that Darwinists use dysteleological arguments against ID rather than discussing science. Wise stated in his talk abstract that Darwinists contending against ID should not go “off-message with debates on origins of life” but should “pound simple themes of obvious design failures.” Basically, Wise recommended that they avoid discussing relevant scientific questions and instead raise fallacious and irrelevant theological objections to ID, which have nothing to do with ID and to which religions have had answers for millennia. But then again, Wise was not interested in addressing the scientific issues, as his talk’s abstract suggested, “[a]ll the tools of political campaigns should be used: slogans, songs, bumper stickers (‘Human skeletal errors: Incompetent Design or Evolution ?’).”

It’s further difficult to believe Wise’s later claim that “[t]he last thing we want to do is get into arguments of religion” since Wise led GSA conference attendees in mocking a traditional Christian hymn (Battle Hymn of the Republic) by singing:

My bones proclaim a story of incompetent design.

My back still hurts, my sinus clogs, my teeth just won’t align.

If I had drawn the blueprint, I would cer-tain-ly resign.

Incompetent Design!

Evo-Evo-Evo-lution! Design is but a mere illusion.

Darwin sparked our revolution. Science SHALL prevail!

What’s incredible is that Wise boasts that he lead 300 professional geologists singing the song during the GSA meeting (“I still had an audience of about 300 singing that lustily at the end of the GSA meeting”).


Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



Donald WiseGeological Society of AmericaGSA