Creationism and Darwinism
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Thursday's editorial "Debating Darwinism" was presented as a thoughtful observation of the debate over state science standards and the teaching of Darwinism in Kansas public schools. However, as a critical thinker, observer and modest theoretical as well as practicing participant in American and international science, I perceive the editorial's inherent skew toward creationism.
Frankly, your writer in his or her analysis does not understand - or chooses to ignore - the nature of scientific debate. Scientists are some of the most skeptical and self-critical practitioners in any discipline. We routinely scour our paradigms, practice and consciences for subjectivity. Thus, our system of cross-reference, peer-review and reproducible results structures the often cautious nature of inquiry. By contrast, for substantiation of the oppositional viewpoint, your author quotes a "leading Darwinian skeptic" who works for a distinctly subjective creationist organization, the Discovery Institute.
These guys and your author have committed the logical fallacy of comparing empirical study with an ideology, the latter being a social construct. There is thus no real "debate" about evolution, only one regarding the finer points of the mechanism of natural selection. To be fair, your author did address this latter point. The real debate is what will be presented in the public schools. Several logical inconsistencies are involved, thus the boycott of the current "show" by legitimate practitioners.
You do a disservice to your readership in condoning this misrepresentation of science and its protocol. Of course, it's your business if you choose to endorse tacitly or otherwise a belief system (or mythology, if you will; all cultures have origin myths) with a clear political and economic agenda. Access to economic resources and resultant anticipated reproductive fitness are, after all, the bases for much group membership in ideological systems. …