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Monday, November 21, 2011

Do scientists question the Theory of Evolution?

  1. Of the scientists and engineers in the United States, only about 5% are creationists, according to a 1991 Gallup poll (Robinson 1995, Witham 1997). However, this number includes those working in fields not related to life origins (such as computer scientists, mechanical engineers, etc.). Taking into account only those working in the relevant fields of earth and life sciences, there are about 480,000 scientists, but only about 700 believe in "creation-science" or consider it a valid theory (Robinson 1995). This means that less than 0.15 percent of relevant scientists believe in creationism. And that is just in the United States, which has more creationists than any other industrialized country. In other countries, the number of relevant scientists who accept creationism drops to less than one tenth of 1 percent.

    Additionally, many scientific organizations believe the evidence so strongly that they have issued public statements to that effect (NCSE n.d.). The National Academy of Sciences, one of the most prestigious science organizations, devotes a Web site to the topic (NAS 1999). A panel of seventy-two Nobel Laureates, seventeen state academies of science, and seven other scientific organizations created an amicus curiae brief which they submitted to the Supreme Court (Edwards v. Aguillard 1986). This report clarified what makes science different from religion and why creationism is not science.
  2. One needs to examine not how many scientists and professors believe something, but what their conviction is based upon. Most of those who reject evolution do so because of personal religious conviction, not because of evidence. The evidence supports evolution. And the evidence, not personal authority, is what objective conclusions should be based on.
  3. Often, claims that scientists reject evolution or support creationism are exaggerated or fraudulent. Many scientists doubt some aspects of evolution, especially recent hypotheses about it. All good scientists are skeptical about evolution (and everything else) and open to the possibility, however remote, that serious challenges to it may appear. Creationists frequently seize such expressions of healthy skepticism to imply that evolution is highly questionable. They fail to understand that the fact that evolution has withstood many years of such questioning really means it is about as certain as facts can get.

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