Diane Rehm Fails to Ask NAS the Hard Questions

Yesterday, The Diane Rehm Show on NPR held a discussion on the new National Academy of Sciences (NAS) booklet Science, Evolution, and Creationism. To anyone with eyes to see, the booklet is a transparent attempt to label any criticism of Darwinism as “creationism.”
This evolutionary-evangelistic tract is so dogmatic Catholic News World said, the NAS “has produced a new text warning against the terrible danger that someone, somewhere, might not entirely accept evolutionary theory.”

And Rehm carried the Darwinian rhetorical water by lumping all doubters under the banner of “creationism” and expressing concern over the supposed menace of “creationism” in the public schools (which is not a menace anywhere, so far as I know, unless you define creationism as criticism of Darwin).
There are two points which a solid reporter would have raised:
First, isn’t it a bit disingenuous for the NAS to use religious voices in the booklet to claim that religion and Darwinian evolution are compatible? After all, a 1998 survey found that nearly 95% of NAS biologists are atheists or agnostics. As this is about the inverse of the general population where ninety-some percent are theists, doesn’t evolutionary biology have something to do with their beliefs? These liberal religious leaders are being used, and they need to wake up.
Second, the NAS booklet clearly does not represent the views of all NAS members. Whereas the booklet hilariously touts Darwinian evolution’s supposed contributions to medicine, NAS Member Dr. Philip Skell (Penn State) in 2005 noted that not only did his famous work on antibiotics have nothing to do with Darwinism, but 70 prominent researchers he surveyed also claimed their work would not have been done differently if Darwinism were false.
But alas, from Rehm we got the usual hype about the threat of “creationism” and the typical callers who want to talk about saddles on dino backs rather than serious scientific criticism of Darwinian evolution.

Logan Paul Gage

Logan Paul Gage is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Dr. Gage received his B.A. in history, philosophy, and American studies from Whitworth College (2004) and his M.A. (2011) and Ph.D. (2014) in philosophy from Baylor University. His dissertation, written under the supervision of Trent Dougherty, was a defense of the phenomenal conception of evidence and conservative principles in epistemology.