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Training Non-Skeptics One Course at a Time

Joshua Youngkin

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At Why Evolution Is True, biologist Jerry Coyne complains:

Sometimes I wonder why [Darwin skeptics] thin[k] that so many scientists — certainly at least 95% of biologists — are so deluded as to believe in Darwinism? Are we all simply victims of a 150-year hoax, a hoax involving fields as diverse as embryology, geology, morphology, genetics, biochemistry, and biogeography — all of which erroneously point to the same conclusions? Or do they think it’s a vast conspiracy in which scientists in their smoke-filled labs meet to push a theory that’s knowingly wrong –perhaps as a way to attain our real goal: universal atheism?

Or maybe none of the above. How about this instead?
To get specialized training in, say, embryology, you’ve first got to learn to argue from Darwin to Darwin, which is what high school and university biology textbooks and teachers teach students to do. By the time you’re an embryologist teaching embryology, you’ve gotten really good at arguing from within the Darwinian paradigm for Darwinian conclusions. Tying embryology back to Darwin’s tree of life is not an act of independent thinking, however. It is what you’ve been trained to do and what you train others to do.
Coyne notes that he, P.Z. Myers, and Larry Moran are all known for publicly fighting Darwin skeptics on behalf of the orthodoxy. All three are biology teachers. In class or out, they now do what comes naturally, even reflexively.
Biology teachers like Coyne, Myers and Moran train non-skeptics one course at a time, and the biology academy thus replicates itself ad infinitum.

Joshua Youngkin

An attorney, and previously, Discovery Institute Program Officer in Public Policy and Legal Affairs.