The National Center for Selling Evolution (NCSE) has a widely publicized, in their words, “tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœscientists who doubt evolution’ or Ã¢â‚¬Ëœscientists who dissent from Darwinism’.” They call it “Project Steve.” (Go here for a description of the project and here for the list; go here for the list of dissenters from Darwinism that prompted Project Steve.)
It’s a source of continual merriment at the NCSE that the list of scientists with first names “Steve” that they have been able to get to sign their list as supporting Darwinism is much longer than the list of scientists who are willing to put down their names as dissenters from Darwinism. I want to suggest that Project Steve might not warrant the triumphalism that the NCSE, for now, seems to associate with it. Take the following note from a math colleague who helped me solve a combinatorial problem needed to prove a theorem I was after (the relevant paper is on my designinference.com website here). In context, I was asking him whether he felt comfortable having me acknowledging him by name in the article:
March 4, 2005
I genuinely enjoyed the problem, and am glad it was of use.
As for the acknowledgement, it may be best the way you have it [i.e., I simply listed him by his initials — C.J.]. In an ideal world, I’d be happy to be mentioned by name, but it might be best to keep a lower profile. (Not only am I coming up for tenure, but I have a federal grant).
The fact is that the Steves who signed their names to the Project Steve list have nothing to worry about — their careers are secure. On the other hand, scientists who declare for ID place their careers in jeopardy. The point to appreciate is that many scientists realize this and are not happy about it.
Over time, expect scientists to become bolder about their sympathies for ID and their skepticism of Darwinism.