Intelligent Design

Four Biology Professors at Emory University Wrote This Letter Full of Misrepresentations (And More Than a Hundred Other Faculty Signed On)

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In an astonishing example of anti intellectualism four biology professors at Emory University, joined by hundreds of faculty, researcher and student signatories, wrote an incredible letterto the editor full of blatant scientific misrepresentations. Here are the more blatant misrepresentations.  Read more

6 Replies to “Four Biology Professors at Emory University Wrote This Letter Full of Misrepresentations (And More Than a Hundred Other Faculty Signed On)

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:


    Re: “The theory of evolution is as strongly supported as the theory of gravity and the theory that infectious diseases are caused by micro-organisms.” [Emory U letter against eminent JHU neurosurgeon and Christian, Ben Carson, in the context where he raised questions on the ethics of evolution.]

    1: Which theory of gravitation? Newton’s? That was seen as universal c 1680 – 1916, but is now in effect a classical limiting case. In short, it was precisely a case of an inductive generalisation subject to correction and limitation — just as Newton himself implied in Principia.

    2: Which theory of evolution, at what level? The theory of minor changes by breaking working DNA code? Trivial. The grand metaphysics-laden narrative of the origin of body plans per Darwin et al? That is an inference to explanation of a remote, unobserved deep past, on observations and signs in the present. But if such an approach were to be consistently applied, it would lead us to infer that design is the pivotal cause of the functionally specific, complex organisation and associated (often, digitally coded and algorithmic) information used to construct body plans.

    3: Of course, some diseases — per direct observational support, are caused by micro-organisms, but many others are not.

    4: As to the question of the ethical challenges of evolutionary materialism — note the restricted descriptive term, serious concerns on that score go back to Plato in The Laws, Bk X, where he warned against pretentiousness, radical relativism, a concept that “the highest right is might,” and the consequent rise of ruthless, manipulative domineering factions.

    In short, we see here an empty ideological talking point being used to try to improperly ostracise and lock out a distinguished Christian voice — one who defied the odds of his environment as a child — from the university as market place of ideas.


  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Quite a lively exchange ensued at CH’s blog. In reply to a challenge from Dr Liddle that questioned Carson’s remarks on how “Ultimately, if you accept the evolutionary theory, you dismiss ethics, you don’t have to abide by a set of moral codes, you determine your own conscience based on your own desires,” I noted:


    {{ I think we should read Carson as speaking about the dominant Lewontin-style evolutionary materialism that rules the roost in institutional science and the academy, on which what he says is a serious and valid concern. A concern raised ever since Plato in The Laws, Bk X and which we can see echoed in some horrific features of recent history.

    Let me cite Provine from the well known Tennessee Darwin Day address of 1998:

    >>Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . .>>

    Q: Did we hear sharp protests and denunciations from his fellow scientists when Provine said essentially the same thing?

    A: Of course not.

    I think the undeniable fact that we find ourselves under moral government [the very attacks against Carson make that implicit appeal!] points to a need for a worldview foundational IS that can objectively ground OUGHT.

    Though of course you disagree, neither you nor others of like ilk have ever been able to answer to this issue, ever since Plato raised it. }}


    I would say as further fair comment, that the only serious candidate for grounding OUGHT objectively is the inherently good, loving Creator God. The radical moral subjectivism and/or relativism and/or amorality of evolutionary materialism, even if dressed up in the holy lab coat, is notorious.


  3. 3

    “What is most deeply concerning about Dr. Carson’s dismissal of evolution is that he equates the acceptance of evolution with a lack of ethics and morality.”

    No. I equate materialistic versions of evolution with having no basis for meaningful, objective ethics and morality.

    I don’t know of any intellectually consistent materialists, so don’t worry about it. The vast majority of you are latent theists.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:


    Unfortunately, the effect of the undermining of objective morality is to destabilise the particular point the factions want to push on just now. This leads to a gradual erosion of the bonds of restraint that keep cultures from disintegration from within. Heine’s warning to Germany in the 1830’s is a classic.


  5. 5
    Barb says:

    Accepting that your entire existence is based on a purposeless, blind process with no end goal in sight does not allow for the development of social mores or ethics. Strict materialists know this to be true.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    Further following up at CH’s blog:

    Thorton challenges:

    Cornelius Hunter: “evolution harms science. It’s dogma has gone viral and doesn’t allow the scientific facts to get out.”

    [Th:] The person who made that statement has refused to back it up with any examples. It appears to be a pretty blatant falsehood told for propaganda purposes.

    Science is not “I get to say anything I feel like, no matter how misrepresentative of the science”, right CH?

    Blatant misrepresentations like that one are not OK, don’t you agree?

    This being highly loaded and misleading, I decided to respond for record:

    I; Re US NSTA:

    Kindly observe the a priori biassing imposed by this Board position statement, from the US National Science Teachers Association, NSTA in 2000, in the name of sound science education, which — in part through explicit intervention of the said NSTA — has been used to intimidate school boards and parents by holding students hostage under an outright willful misrepresentation of the truth that those taught a traditional definition of science, its methods and limitations will be ill-equipped for higher studies and the world of work:

    >> The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts . . . .

    [[S]cience, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific methods, explanations, generalizations [–> the issue of the defn of sci, the warrant for sci methods and their limitations is a PHILOSOPHICAL issue, so this locks in indoctrination] and products . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence [–> censors science and science education based on a priori naturalism, thence evolutionary materialism] that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations [–> ideological imposition of a limit] and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements [–> the authors of this knew or should have known — this is refusal to do a patent duty of care — that insofar as ID is implicated, ever since Plato in The Laws Bk X, the issue has been natural vs ARTificial causes, and empirically reliable signs thereof] in the production of scientific knowledge. [[NSTA, Board of Directors, July 2000. Emphases added.] >>

    I think it is fair comment to hold that this constitutes precisely an example of exactly what CH said, suppressing the evidence and the facts in the interests of Lewontinian a priori materialism as an agenda.

    The US NAS statement in the same vein and their joint intervention with NSTA in KS, shows that this problem is not just in schools, but in institutional science and the academy.

    Re US NAS:

    The US NAS statement in its officially issued pamphlet for educators and interested people:

    >> In science, explanations must be based on naturally occurring phenomena. [–> Subtler statement, same meaning as NSTA] Natural causes are, in principle, reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others. If explanations are based on purported forces that are outside of nature, scientists have no way of either confirming or disproving those explanations. [–> A very reasonable definition of natural causes is those tracing to chance and necessity, vs ART-ificial ones, and there are many many ways to reliably distinguish the two on signs, so this snidely insinuates a falsehood relating to Design Theory] Any scientific explanation has to be testable — there must be possible observational consequences that could support the idea but also ones that could refute it. Unless a proposed explanation is framed in a way that some observational evidence could potentially count against it, that explanation cannot be subjected to scientific testing. [–> censors out the whole project of inferring to artificial cause on signs, with implications that have ended up in court, including patent cases of unjust career busting] [[Science, Evolution and Creationism, 2008, p. 10 Emphases added.] >>

    I trust this puts the matters in a more balanced light.

    GEM of TKI

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