Joined: Nov. 2005
|by John G. West|
Posted Nov 14, 2006
The debate over Darwinian evolution is typically framed by the news media as a clash between “right” and “left.” Conservatives are presumed to be critical of Darwin’s theory, while liberals are presumed to be supportive of it.
As in most cases, reality is more complicated.
There always have been liberal critics of Darwin. In the early 20th Century, progressive reformer William Jennings Bryan fought for women’s suffrage, world peace—and against Darwinism. More recently, left-wing novelist Kurt Vonnegut, a self-described “secular humanist,” has called our human bodies “miracles of design” and faulted scientists for “pretending they have the answer as how we got this way when natural selection couldn’t possibly have produced such machines.”
Evolution to the Rescue?
Just as there have been critics of Darwin on the left, there continue to be champions of Darwinism on the right. In the last few years, pundits such as George Will, Charles Krauthammer and John Derbyshire, along with social scientist James Q. Wilson and political theorist Larry Arnhart, have stoutly defended Darwin’s theory and denounced Darwin’s critics.
And he doesn't like PZ none too much either. . .
|These efforts to purge the scientific community of any critics of Darwin are fueled by increasingly vehement rhetoric on the part of some evolutionists. In many states, it has become routine to apply the label of “Taliban” to anyone who supports teaching students about scientific criticisms of Darwinian theory.|
Biology professor P. Z. Myers at the University of Minnesota, Morris, has demanded “the public firing and humiliation of some teachers” who express their doubts about Darwin. He further says, “It’s time for scientists to break out the steel-toed boots and brass knuckles, and get out there and hammer on the lunatics and idiots.”
Whatever one’s personal view of Darwinism, the current atmosphere of intolerance is unhealthy for science, and it’s unhealthy for a free society.
Read it here.