In “Darwin’s Cowards” (Evolution News & Views, May 20, 2012), David Klinghoffer shows a certain amount of impatience with Russell “Reach out to defend evolution” Garwood, (whose Nature column of that name we discussed here.) Klinghoffer notes that Darwin deserves better defenders than him and his ilk, even if he was wrong:
In Coyne and Garwood’s presentation, all criticisms of Darwinian theory are “creationism.” Any genuinely scientific alternative to Darwinism that is emphatically not creationism, such as intelligent design, they still misrepresent as “creationism.”
There is something deeply dishonest about this. Can their readers and their students really be so foolish as to fail to understand that they are being hoodwinked? Let Garwood or Coyne forthrightly acknowledge the existence of ID and confront its arguments head on, tell us why we are wrong, with all the daring they display in opposing the national biology curriculum of Pakistan. Stop beating the drum against Harun Yahya, and pick on someone capable of taking you on and replying in kind.
Tell us what you find wanting in the evidence for design on offer from Stephen Meyer, Doug Axe, Richard Sternberg, Ann Gauger, Jonathan Wells, Robert Marks, Michael Behe, and others. Stop trawling the Internet for silly stuff from Pakistan or Turkey, when you’ve got a very different and serious intellectual and scientific challenge waiting outside your front door.
There are two reasons why they don’t do that. Not only because it is a lot of work but because the work is both unnecessary and undesirable.
Unnecessary because Darwin’s current lot of lecture room bores is not asking for responsible researchers to come forward to defend his theory’s reputation against challenges in the literature. At present, it is safe for them to just go on asserting the theory monotonously and vilifying all skeptics, claiming there are no serious challenges.
Undesirable because inevitably, when a number of challenges arise – and one could mention here James Shapiro and the Altenberg 16 as well – many challenges will be difficult and they will be seen to lose. That means it is okay to bring forward evidence against Darwinism.
Really, their only defense is to pretend that all doubts about Darwin are a form of creationism.
By now everyone is on to this.
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