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Letter Responding to Editorial Praising NAS Efforts to Suppress Scientific Criticisms of Darwinian Evolution

CSC senior fellow John West had the following letter to the editor published by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer today, responding to a short editorial they published earlier this week.


The P-I Editorial Board applauds efforts by National Academy of Science officials to suppress scientific criticisms of Darwinian evolution in classrooms across the country. Such criticisms, we are told, are a sham.

But some of the academy's own eminent scientists such as Dr. Philip Skell strongly disagree. The Evan Pugh Professor (emeritus) at Penn State University, Skell argues that "scientific journals now document many scientific problems and criticisms of evolutionary theory and students need to know about these."

Skell is not alone. More than 700 Ph.D. scientists have adopted a statement expressing skepticism of the core mechanism of modern Darwinian theory and urging a careful examination of the evidence (dissentfromdarwin.org). Those scientists include members of the national academy of sciences in several countries, as well as professors at Princeton, MIT, Tulane, UCLA, Ohio State, and the University of Michigan. They include molecular biologists, microbiologists, biochemists, ecologists, physicists, astronomers, mathematicians, engineers, and many others.

Contrary to the P-I's editorial, those of us at Discovery Institute do not support teaching "religious" criticisms of evolution in science classrooms. Instead, like the scientists above, we advocate teaching the scientific evidence critical of modern Darwinism along with the best scientific evidence that supports the theory. This approach can be found modeled in the new textbook Explore Evolution (exploreevolution.com).

John G. West, Ph. D.
Vice president for public policy and legal affairs
Center for Science and Culture
Discovery Institute