Jonathan Wells Fails Again
Jonathan Wells has an interesting (if misguided) article at the Disco Institute website:
Wells on why Evolution is doomed
For those who don't know, Jonathan Wells is a moonie who went to college solely to learn how to attack evolution. Wells, as is typical of the theologically based socio-political discomasters, tries to distinguish between evolution and something he refers to as Darwinism. This is a typical ploy used by creationists in order to say "Hey look, we look at the world scientifically". We even re-define terms. Evolution includes everything from small changes in populations of organisms to large changes in populations that occur over time. My point in this blog is not to discuss evolution per se, but to show some of the other absurdities in the article. It does not take long. Wells states:
A study published Aug. 11 in the pro-Darwin magazine Science attributes this primarily to biblical fundamentalism, even though polls have consistently shown that half of the Americans who reject Darwinism are not biblical fundamentalists. Could it be that the American people are skeptical of Darwinism because they're smarter than Darwinists think?
What has Wells done here? Obviously to answer that the American people are dumb is not going to win any points. Wells makes this a false dichotomy. Either evolutionists have to answer that the American people are dumb or answer that they are smarter than Darwinists (whoever THEY are) think. The truth is that the American people vary in intelligence, wealth, occupation and just about any other measure that you can think of. The reason the American people are skeptical of Darwinism (evolution) is because they don't understand what evolution is. They are constantly barraged with misinformation about evolution from religiously based groups (like the Discovery Institute, Answers in Genesis and others). Scientists, unfortunately don't barrage people with information about evolution because they are too busy being scientists. The skepticism of the American people is misguided however intelligent they are. Most Americans don't learn much biology beyond high school. College curricula allow students to take more biology, but by and large these are intro courses that touch on evolution, but not deeply. On the other hand, the anti-evolution lobby works hard and long to distribute technically sounding misinformation. People doubt evolution because they are being told to doubt evolution and not because evolution is a failed theory. Those same doubters are probably alive (or at least healthy) because of evolutionary biology and the medical advances made through evolutionary research.
Mr. Wells, the American people are not dumb, but your institute is doing everything it can to make them a little dumber by pretending that evolution is a theory in crisis.