Sunday, December 10, 2017

Does Anti-Darwinism Have a Scientific Basis?


Even though adherents of this idea seem to be the main “science consultants” of the Trump Administration, but does anti-Darwinism have a scientific basis?

By; Ringo Bones 

They say climate change / global warming is a hoax and the entire Universe is only 6,000 years old – which, unfortunately forms the salient theme of every anti-Darwinian bunch of scientists now in tenure as scientific consultants in the Trump Administration. Given the evidence at hand – or lack thereof – does anti-Darwinism have enough of a scientific basis to serve as an “alternative theory” to Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution through the basis of natural selection? 

The term anti-Darwinism refers to the position or belief that Darwinism – which holds that the scientific theory of evolution by means of natural selection is the best explanation for the available evidence – is in error and is held by a number of religious groups, primarily far-right leaning White Anglo Saxon Christian Protestantism, who seek to supplant the teaching of evolution by natural selection in schools with Biblically-based doctrine of Creationism – often in one disguise or another. Darwinism has been under attack by these groups since it was first elaborated and the attacks have become especially focused since approximately the early 1980s mainly in the United States. 

Evolution by means of natural selection has mountains of peer-reviewed scientific evidence in its support and reflects the overwhelming scientific consensus on the question of species origin and hence is entirely appropriate for a science class. Creationism – especially the Biblical Abrahamic Theology based one often extolled by far-right conservatives – has little or no peer-reviewed scientific evidence in its support and is in complete disagreement with the scientific consensus and hence is completely inappropriate for a science class. 

When early attempts to introduce Creationism into American science classes by packaging it - or rebranding it – as “Creation Science” failed in the 1980s due to the clearly religious nature of the teachings and the American legal separation of church and state – i.e. Separation - which forbids the teaching of religion in public schools, the anti-Darwinists next mounted a two-sided strategy by both attacking the validity of Separation while also stripping the overt religious references out of creationist doctrine and thereby creating “Intelligent Design”. 

The George Dubya Bush era Intelligent Design attack failed spectacularly in a 2006 court decision in Dover, Pennsylvania. Since then, the anti-Darwinists have continued their attacks on Separation while also promoting efforts to “teach the controversy” in science classes. They have also been trying, often via blatant propaganda, such as the 2008 film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, to spread the idea that the scientific establishment is unfairly “expelling” and suppressing any alternative theories without a fair hearing, rather than simply finding the alternatives so far proposed – i.e. Creationism and Intelligent Design – ridiculous and nonsensical as is the case. In general, anti-Darwinists do not seem to have any qualms about making up convenient details or even blatantly lying in order to advance their cause, which seems to be the universal rule of a particular brand of Christianity whose details are slowly coming to light – possibly Dominion-ism or something like it.

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