And he is serious. Even bout the predictive power. At the Guardian Michael Dixon, director of London’s Natural History Museum is upset about the downplaying the teaching of evolution which he perceives to be happening in the United State and Israel (not many details offered). Sarah Chaffee reminds us:
If you remember, this is the museum founded by structuralist Richard Owen. The leadership there demonstrated its respect for Owen, a great scientist ahead of his time, by replacing a prominently placed 2,000-pound statue of him with one of Charles Darwin.
Removing evolution from biology classes is a bad idea. But Dixon’s attitude is strangely dogmatic. He notes:
“Darwin’s theory of evolution not only underpins all biological science, it has an immense predictive power. From understanding the emergence of antibiotic-resistant organisms, to the ways in which different species might respond to global warming — emerging as new pests or sustainable sources of food — human health and prosperity will depend on decisions informed by evolutionary evidence.”
Evolution “underpins all biological science”? Nothing less than “human health and prosperity” are at stake? These are some extreme claims. But it gets weirder.
Dixon notes that evolution “is considered irrefutable scientific law.” Yes, it is considered that by some, but whether any scientific idea is properly venerated this way, as “irrefutable,” sacrosanct, to be violated only on pain of having your reputation or career demolished, is another question entirely. Sarah Chaffee, “U.K. Museum Director Calls for Venerating Evolution as “Irrefutable”” at Evolution News and Science Today:
We owe Dixon a favor. He seems intent on making clear the fact that Darwinism is, for many of its strong adherents, a religion. In their view, one cult replaced another and so one saint replaced another and one set of heretics replaced another.
Dixon should be seen as providing unwitting support for an argument for de-emphasizing evolution in education, whether not that would otherwise be a good idea.
At any rate, it’s past time for some sort of old-fashioned separation of church and state.
See also: Horror in Israel: Schools don’t teach much “evolution”
Evolution is “under attack” again— in a neuroscientist’s imagination
Israeli researchers mull epigenetics vs. Darwinism