Dunford, Darwinism, and the Paranoid Style

The voices in Mike Dunford’s head have been awfully worried lately. Dunford, a zoology graduate student from Hawaii who ‘”studies evolution,” put up a bizarre post on Panda’s Thumb recently. Dunford is convinced that there are conspiracies going on. He began his post with lucidity, sensibly acknowledging the truth of Denyse O’Leary’s observation that intelligent design theory is not creationism. Intelligent design is the theory that some aspects of living things are more reasonably explained as the product of intelligent design rather than as the product of random variation. It’s a scientific inference, open to evidence, and it might be right or wrong. Creationism is the belief in the literal truth of the Bible, particularly in the Book of Genesis. Read More ›

P.Z. Myers’ Neurons Give Talk to Minnesota Atheists on Non-Existence of the Soul

Materialist neuroscientist and blogger P.Z. Myers gave a talk Sunday to the Minnesota Atheists entitled: “There Are No Ghosts in Your Brain: Materialist Explanations for the Mind and Religious Belief”. I wish I could have been there! Hopefully P.Z. will post a transcript, or put up the Powerpoint file. The program looks like it was a treat. Quoting Myers:

An Uncivic Biology

The Scopes trial is often depicted as an apocalyptic struggle between the forces of light (scientific Darwinists) and the forces of darkness (benighted citizens of Tennessee who didn’t want Darwinism taught to their children). Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee’s 1950s play “Inherit the Wind,” a fictionalized account of the Scopes trail, portrays the trial as a struggle between scientific enlightenment and ignorant fundamentalism and has become a staple of high school English classes. Yet the Scopes trial wasn’t, as a matter of law, just about teaching Darwinism in an abstract sense. Scopes violated the Tennessee law by teaching from a textbook–George William Hunter’s A Civic Biology: Presented in Problems (1914). In a recent essay in the weekly standard, A Read More ›

Is Darwin’s Theory Essential to . . . Mathematical Statistics?

My Darwinist interlocutor Orac, the surgical oncologist who blogs anonymously to hide his professional identity, but who takes umbrage at my observation that his posts are sometimes unprofessional, repeated his claim recently that Darwin’s theory is essential to medicine. That’s an odd assertion, even at first glance, given that Darwin’s theory isn’t taught in medical school and there are no specific requirements that pre-medical students have any grounding in the theory. There are lots of things that medical school admissions and curriculum committees recognize as indispensable to medical practice and research–calculus, physics, chemistry, organic chemistry, physiology, anatomy, pharmacology and pathophysiology, to name a few–but Darwin’s fundamental assertion–that all natural functional biological complexity arose by non-teleological variation and natural selection–isn’t a Read More ›

Pat Sullivan and Marketing Darwin

On June 18th, blogger Pat Sullivan posted his thoughts on the difficulties that Darwinists are having with the public acceptance of their theory. Pat is an entrepreneur and a marketing expert who is the creator of ACT! and SalesLogix, software programs that help businesses with marketing and customer relations. When it comes to marketing, he knows what he’s talking about. He observes: What interests me as a marketing observer is this; after tens of thousands of exposures to the Darwin marketing “message” only some 34% of people buy the message. And with almost NO exposures to the contrary message except in Sunday school and mom and dad, 66% of people believe we were created by a designer. Personally, I believe Read More ›