At Huffington Post (02/10/2012) Brown University Catholic Darwinist Ken Miller opines,
You might think that since Americans are a practical, pragmatic people, this is an issue that would turn on the weight of the evidence. It’s not. In an age of molecular genomics, it is ever more apparent that the fingerprints of evolution are pressed deeply into human DNA, just as they are into the genomes of every other organism. Biologists understand this, and so do students who study the science of life. Whether conservative or liberal, fundamentalist or agnostic, the more students learn of biology, the more they accept evolution. So, why does public acceptance matter if the students who actually go into science see the evidence for evolution so clearly?
Put another way, he didn’t write Finding Barbara McClintock’s God (jumping genes) or Finding Lynn Margulis’ God (symbiosis), let alone Finding the God of horizontal gene transfer.
If Americans are a pragmatic people, as he says, they ought to follow the evidence. And the evidence that Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutations) turns a cow into a whale, all by itself, is preposterously poor.
Anyway, Miller really needs to talk to the researchers who have studied how students come to accept the Darwin curriculum. It has nothing to do with “the more we learn of biology”; gut feelings, we are told, determine their views.
He also charges,
This is the heart of our Darwin problem. Significant numbers of Americans have come to regard the scientific enterprise as a special interest group that rejects mainstream American values and is not worthy of the public trust. Governor Rick Perry of Texas spoke to this view when he claimed that “There are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data” to their own benefit. Why? Perry was clear about this. It’s personal greed. Scientists cheat “so that they will have dollars rolling in to their projects.” Perry is hardly alone in his effort to depict scientists as greedy outsiders, “scamming the American people right and left” in the words of one Fox News commentator.
Some of us would take issue with the claim that it’s all about money (if Perry actually said that). Many offenders are probably motivated far more by intellectual or social causes and a desire for prestige. But it’s still bad science.
And Ken Miller still needs to get out more.
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