Denunciations of Intelligent Design by professional societies are now common coin: the American Association for the Advancement of Science (see here), the American Institute of Physics (see here and here), and the Society for Neuroscience (see here) are cases in point. But what happens when a professional society gears up to denounce ID and its members don’t go along for the ride?
Today I received an email from a colleague, fellow ID proponent, and member of the National Academy of Sciences. Here is what he wrote (bear with the abbreviations):
Conversation with a member of an agricultural society revealed the results of an anonymous poll of members, all biologists, re. teaching evolution. Of 600 respondents, 35% favored teaching Evo only, 15% the alternative theories only (ID?), and the rest teaching both. The head honcho (an evolutionist) removed the results from the internet, claiming it was a flawed poll. –[snip]
I asked this colleague to provide some more detailed information. He contacted this member of the agricultural society, who got back with the following:
To be fair, I think you should give a little detail about how this survey was done. The date of the results was 4/7/2005 and by the 7th a few hundred votes (500-600) had been cast, I believe.
The Tri-Societies are the Crop Science Society of America (whose president, Dr. James G. Coors proposed it develop a statement in the support of teaching of evolution in K-12 education), the Soil Science Society of America, and the American Society of Agronomy (home page is www.agronomy.org ).
In the April edition of CSA News Dr. Coors, CSSA President, stated that “evolutionary mechanisms directly underpin all activities of CSSA”, and that “should not CSSA first cry out in support of the teaching of evolution?” This has led the ASA/CSSA/SSSA societies to pose a “Quick Question” on the tri-societies’ homepage asking whether K-12 students should be taught evolution, alternate teachings (creationism, etc.), or both. As of today, 36% of respondents voted for only evolution, 14% for alternate teachings only, and 45% for both (the rest was undecided or other).
Have the results indeed been removed or are they officially available from the society? Is this now a case where a professional scientific society not just refuses to denounce ID but also refuses to endorse the exclusive teaching of evolution?