Friday, 30 January 2009

Criticizing Darwin

The controversy over this man’s views has not abated. Image from Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

With Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday approaching, there seems to be no end in sight for the praise heaped upon him in both science and popular publications.

Darwin’s supporters have not taken kindly to any criticism of the man’s ideas.

A decade ago, Phillip E. Johnson, now retired UC Berkeley law professor known for his criticism of Darwinism, recounted the experience of Jian Yuan Chan, a Chinese paleontologist, who said, “In China we can criticize Darwin but not the government. In America you can criticize the government but not Darwin.”

America and the West have not become any less tolerant of the criticism of Darwinism. The recent attempt by the pro-Darwin people to suppress any dissent of evolution in Texas schools provides a classical example of the lack of tolerance in science education. The Texas Board of Education voted 8-7 to discontinue the use of discussing the “strengths and weaknesses” of the theory of evolution.

Eugenie Scott, CEO of the National Center for Science Education, said the removal was “a huge step forward”. Scott’s Orwellianese was no surprise. She has characterised herself as an evolution evangelist.

For the uninitiated this title does not exactly weaken the religious underpinnings of Darwinism.

But evolutionists were not very pleased with some of the amendments that the Texas Board of Education approved. Students will be expected to analyse and evaluate key aspects of Darwinism, such as the validity of proposed transitional fossils and the existence of common descent.

If Evolutionists were convinced of the merits of Darwinian explanations, they would welcome the opportunity to discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

Obviously they aren’t.


Budziszewski, J. 2000. Just the facts, please. World Magazine. Republished on True. Origin.

Coghlan, Andy. 2009. Creationism defeated in Texas. New Scientist

McKinley, James. C. 2009. Split Outcome in Texas Battle on Teaching of Evolution. New York Times A11. (24 January).