Evolution in the News - December 1996

Heretics in the Laboratory

Susan Begley recently wrote an article1 in which she expressed dismay that there are so many scientists who don’t believe in evolution. She was shocked that, “Published scientists with creationist beliefs are not uncommon.” She asked, “Can a creationist be a good scientist?” Her conclusion was, “The overwhelming weight of evidence supports evolution. The presence of creationists in the lab, then, is a valuable reminder that scientists are only human: a powerful ideology, be it creationism or capitalism or anything else, can shape scientists’ conclusions as strongly as any empirical evidence.”

Of course, unlike 50 years ago, the overwhelming modern empirical evidence now refutes evolution. But magazine writers are only human, and a powerful ideology, be it secular humanism or anything else, can shape a writer’s conclusions more strongly than scientific evidence. The most important fact (perhaps the only real fact) in the article is that there is a steadily growing number of scientists who now reject evolution. Evolution is based on 19th century scientific theories that don’t stand the inspection of 20th century science. That’s why scientists are rejecting evolution and looking for another explanation that is more consistent with physical evidence and scientific principles. Scientists, not religious zealots, are fighting most strongly against evolution.

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1 "Heretics in the Laboratory", Newsweek, September 16, 1996, page 82. (Ev+)