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Larry Krauss is Just Plain Wrong

The New York Times published an opinion piece by Dr. Lawrence M. Krauss chairman of the physics department at Case Western Reserve University, titled When Sentiment and Fear Trump Reason and Reality.

In short, Krauss complains about the "marketing" efforts to reconcile science with religion. While he has a lot of contempt for anyone who expresses a religious belief in a public arena, for Kruass the absolute worst are those who express any doubts about Darwin. Those doubters he compares with the bloody Taliban regime of Afghanistan, though he does seem to think we have more entrepreneurial skills.

“Foes of evolution and the Big Bang in this country do not operate with the direct and brutal actions of the Taliban. They have marketing skills.”
Apparently, marketing skills are worse than the crimes of an insane, religious oligarchy.

What Krauss implies is that anyone who voices dissent with St. Darwin’s theory is lying and is the same as the brutal, terrorists of the violent Taliban regime.

Excuse me if I yawn with boredom. I’ve been called the Taliban, and worse, by more creative people than Krauss, and in places like Texas, where they truly meant it.

Krauss then goes on to make a claim that is just plain, factually, wrong.

“The Discovery Institute in Seattle supports the work of several Ph.D.'s who then write books (and op-ed articles) decrying the fallacy of evolution. They don't write scientific articles, however, because the claims they make - either that cellular structures are too complex to have evolved or that evolution itself is improbable - have either failed to stand up to detailed scrutiny or involve no falsifiable predictions.”
Hmmm. No scientific articles at all. I will have to spend some time getting the exact numbers of articles by Discovery Fellows and posting them here later, but our “several” Fellows (near 40 PhD’s for this year alone) have between them published hundreds of articles in scientific journals.

But let’s just take one at random and see what we find.

Dr. Henry Schaefer received his B.S. degree in chemical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1966) and Ph.D. degree in chemical physics from Stanford University (1969). For 18 years (1969-1987) he served as a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.
Here’s the interesting part.
He is the author of more than 1000 scientific publications, the majority appearing in the Journal of Chemical Physics or the Journal of the American Chemical Society. ... A total of 300 scientists from 35 countries gathered in Gyeongju, Korea for a six-day conference in February, 2004 with the title "Theory and Applications of Computational Chemistry: A Celebration of 1000 Papers of Professor Henry F. Schaefer III."
Did I miss something? An entire conference was held to celebrate the papers of a Discovery Institute scientist who according to Krauss doesn’t ”write scientific articles.”

Just as a little side note:

Dr. Schaefer has been invited to present plenary lectures at more than 180 national or international scientific conferences. He has delivered endowed or named lectures or lecture series at more than 35 major universities, including the 1998 Kenneth S. Pitzer Memorial Lecture at Berkeley and the 2001 Israel Pollak Distinguished Lectures at the Technion -- Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa.. … During the comprehensive period of 1981--1997 Professor Schaefer was the sixth most highly cited chemist in the world; out of a total of 628,000 chemists whose research was cited. The Science Citation Index reports that by December 31, 1999, his research had been cited more than 30,000 times.
But I digress.

Krauss ends with this: “If the scientific method is out of the mainstream in our country it is time to take a stronger stand against the effort to undermine empirical reality in favor of dogma.”

Indeed. When the scientific method no longer follows the evidence where it leads, it is sadly out of the mainstream. There’s no doubt that it is time to take a stronger stand as Dr. Krauss suggests, and stand up against the Herculean, last-gasp efforts to undermine empirical reality in favor of dogmatic Darwinism.

One more side note. Here are just a few papers from scientific peer-reviewed journals that relate directly to either design theory or scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution.

  • “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories”, by Stephen C. Meyer, in Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, August 2004
  • “Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues”, by Michael J. Behe and David W. Snoke, in Protein Science, The Protein Society August 2004
  • “Self-Organization and Irreducibly Complex Systems”, By: Michael J. Behe in Philosophy of Science 67 (March 2000), University of Chicago Press

Examples of peer-reviewed books supporting design include The Design Inference (Cambridge University Press) by William Dembski and Darwin’s Black Box (The Free Press) by Michael Behe. Additionally peer-reviewed and peer-edited books addressing design theory have appeared with Michigan State University Press and Cambridge University Press respectively. There is also a peer-reviewed journal that focuses on design theory, Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design, which has an editorial advisory board of more than 50 scholars from relevant scientific disciplines, most of whom have university affiliations.