It’s been a busy week. Yesterday, when I should have been pointing you towards Danny Westneat’s excellent column in the Seattle Times on so-called “intelligent design,” I spent a few hours cramming for my confrontation with Discovery Institute president Bruce Chapman on the John Carlson Show… and then the rest of the afternoon on an inspired rant about what we progressives really need to do to confront these partisan, fake-think-tanks. (Um… fight fake-fire with fake-fire.)
Anyway, Danny writes about Bob Davidson — a scientist, a doctor, and a nephrology professor at the UW medical school — and a devout Christian. He is also a former fellow at Seattle’s Discovery Institute, the driving force behind I.D.
Davidson says he was seeking a place where people “believe in a Creator and also believe in science.
“I thought it was refreshing,” he says.
Not anymore. He’s concluded the institute is an affront to both science and religion.
“When I joined I didn’t think they were about bashing evolution. It’s pseudo-science, at best … What they’re doing is instigating a conflict between science and religion.”
No doubt I was on the defensive for much of yesterday’s show; John made a point of that… he’s an good host who knows how to control the flow when it suits his purpose. And much of the push back against my critique focused on “the science”, which is funny really, because when it comes to I.D., there really isn’t any. Discovery wants schools to “teach the controversy”, but as I pointed out on the air, none exists. Evolution has pretty much been accepted science since the 1870’s, and natural selection since at least the 1940’s… and nothing has changed in the half-decade since Discovery first put forth their infamous “Wedge Document.”
Of course, I’m not a scientist, and Chapman (um… also not a scientist) made a point of emphasizing this in trying to discredit my critique, as did a couple of the callers. (Speaking of the callers… the failure of scientists to create life in the laboratory perhaps proves that scientists are not gods, not that one exists.)
But Davidson is a scientist.
“I’m kind of embarrassed that I ever got involved with this,” Davidson says.
He was shocked, he says, when he saw the Discovery Institute was calling evolution a “theory in crisis.”
“It’s laughable: There have been millions of experiments over more than a century that support evolution,” he says. “There’s always questions being asked about parts of the theory, as there are with any theory, but there’s no real scientific controversy about it.”
Davidson began to believe the institute is an “elaborate, clever marketing program” to tear down evolution for religious reasons. He read its writings on intelligent design