Intelligent Design Advocates
This is a list of British-trained scientists taken from a list of "over" 700 scientists wordwide who have signed a statement written by the Discovery Institute agreeing that they are sceptical about the theory of evolution. The list is as at February 2007.
The Discovery Institute's statement which it asks scientists to agree to reads "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."
It's a creationist scam.
All science is based on scepticism therefore all scientists, by training, are sceptical about all theories. The list is a good method of fooling the general public and not very bright journalists but that is all it is. It doesn't mean that the scentists who signed disbelieve in the theory of evolution and it doesn't mean that the scientists agree with Intelligent Design or creationism. If you think otherwise you have been taken for a ride by the Discovery Institute.
|Mike Forward||Imperial||Applied Maths||(12)|
|Malcom MacArthur||N/A||Molecular Biophysics||(4)|
|Andy McIntosh *||Cranfield||Thermodynamics||(1)|
|Stephen Meyer||Cambridge||Philosopy & History||(2)|
|John Worraker *||Bristol||Applied Maths||(1)(6)|
|Philip Page||Oxford||Particle Physics||(13)|
|Mark Toleman *||Bristol||Molecular Biology||(3)|
|Luke Randall||London||Molecular Biology||(3)|
|Peter Silley||Newcastle||Microbial Biochemistry||(11)|
|Geoff Barnard *||Cambridge||Immunology?||(1)|
|Alistair Donald||University of Wales||Environmental Science||(8)|
|Colin Reeves *||Coventry||Operational Research||(10)|
|Alan Linton *||Bristol||Bacteriology||(5)|
|Eshan Dias||Cambridge||Chemical Engineering||(15)|
|Bernard D’Abrera||British Museum||Zoology||(16)|
|Joseph Atkinson||Cambridge||Chemical Engineering||(23)|
|Arthur Jones *||Birmingham||Zoology||(19)|
|Richard Buggs *||Oxford||Biology||(19)|
|Sayyed Imran Husnain||Sheffield||Genetics||(23)|
|Russell Healey *||Cambridge||Electrical Engineering||(19)|
|Stuart Burgess *||Bristol||Mechanical Engineering||(19)|
|Phillip Taylor||Bristol||Computer Science||(23)|
|John Walton||Aberdeen||Chemistry|| |
|Jason Ward||Glasgow||Biology & Biochemistry||(23)|
|Derek Linkens *||Sheffield||Biomedical Engineering||(19)|
|Leonard Loose *||Leeds||Botany||(22)|
Notes: * Indicates that they are young earth creationists (YECers) who believe the world was created only 6,000 years ago. The list has 34 names on it (up from 20 in July 2007). Basically at least 11 of them are YECers and therefore hold views about the Theory of Evolution and geological time scales that contradict the position of the Discovery Institute.
(1): Not an IDer; known to be a YECer. Endorsement of DI therefore not valid.
(2): Not a scientist therefore endorsement not valid. Also part of the DI therefore voting for himself!
(3): Probably YECers according to testimony at http://www.wasdarwinright.com/authors.htm. Randall is almost certainly a YECer. He is understood to be an immunologist. His web site is www.wasdarwinright.com. Randall is not an academic.
(4): Possibly a YECer – see comments he makes at http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2OW1LJBQJALWY/ref=cm_cr_auth/026-9406842-7118845?ie=UTF8 where he appears to be an apologist for Henry Morris. Not believed to be an academic.
(5) Emeritus professor (has retired). Appears to be a YECer – see http://www.pwmi.org/audio.htm. Is VP, Prophetic Witness Movement International which looks to be a fundamentalist organisation.
(6). Mis-spelling? of name here. This is almost beyond doubt Bill Worraker, an active YECer in the UK, whose full name is understood to be John William Worraker.
(7): Believed to no longer been in academia; works for the Veterinary Laboratories Agency?
(8) Not a working scientist but a Church of Scotland clergyman. Seems to be an IDer – see http://www.darwinreconsidered.org/media/DarwinOrDesign.pdf and http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=223722006 and http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/03/the_scotsman_intelligent_desig.html
(9): believed to be an IDer. Academic details at http://www.mrao.cam.ac.uk/people/mkrause.html; home page at http://www.mrao.cam.ac.uk/~krause/. Believed to be an active Christian.
(10): Home page at http://www.mis.coventry.ac.uk/~colinr/. Active professor at Coventry University. Believed to be an IDer. However, has had an article published by the creationist Biblical Creation Society so he may be a YECer. See http://www.biblicalcreation.org.uk/bcs_publications/bcs071.html for October 1998 and January 1992.
(11): Doesn’t work in academia but is a visiting lecturer.
(12) I can find no trace of this person. His PhD is in Chaos Theory.
(13): Believed to be operations director of Oxford Asymmetry International PLC.
(14): Alastair Noble now runs the Centre for Intelligent Design in Glasgow.
(15) Not resident in the UK and not a practising scientist.
(16): Not a graduate of a British University and not normally resident in the UK. D’Abrera appears to hold some odd views on creationism which neither appear to be YERer or IDer in origin. D'Abrera is not a scientist by training.
(17) Malcom Chisholm is believed to be resident in Canada.
(18) No other details available about this person.
(19) One of five Truth in Science members who have signed up to the list since July 2006 - presumably emails went round the Truth in Science mebership to get the numbers up on the list.
(20) believed to be resident in the USA.
(21) According to his wife (19/05/2008), "he is alive and well, living in Inverness, and putting his skills to use in the field of computer security".
(22) Dr Leonard Loose was 96 years old when he signed the Institute's statement. He was an ex-missionary and school teacher. He died a few years ago.
(23) We can find no trace, using a Google search, of this person.
As far as we can see there is only one scientists on the list we can actually confirm as an IDer. Meyer is not one of them because he isn’t a scientist despite his signature on the list. He is Anthony d’Abrera.
This is what BCSE had to say about the list in the summer of 2006 when the list had 610 names on it, of which 20 were people either in the UK or with PhDs from British universities:
The DI claims that 610 scientists have signed its statement. However, using the above information as a sample of those 610 suggests that only 61 actually accept the basic ideas of Intelligent Design and geological time scale being promoted by the Discovery Institute.
That represents 10% of the names on the list.
That alone suggests that the Discovery Institute remains as fraudulent as ever. It’s bent. Read the Wedge Document if you don’t believe us.
Turning the list on its head, we find that seven (the YECers and Meyer) are not scientists that agree with Intelligent Design. They represent 30% of the 20. Extrapolating this to the 610 suggests some 183 do not believe in Intelligent design and the geological timescale supported by the Discovery Institute. By simple maths this suggests that the maximum valid number of names on the list is 427.
It needs more work to pin the real figure down.
We originally omitted one name altogether from our list who have signed the Discovery Institute statement.
He is Bernard d’Abrera, described as a Visiting Scholar, Entomology, British Museum, National History. He is understood to be an IDer but is a graduate of the University of New South Wales, not a British university. It is believed that he is normally resident in Australia.
We have also included on my Discovery Institute list, Eshan Dias, a PhD Chemical Engineer from Kings College, Cambridge. Dias is the Founder and President of Cultura Vitae, a pro-life movement in Sri Lanka. He is resident on Sri Lanka. I have no idea whether he is a YECer or an IDer.
We emailed those people on the list whose position on ID was unclear to us (excepting two we couldn’t find email addresses for). The mini-questionnaire is given below. However, we received only one reply (from Mark Toleman - acknowledged with thanks).
Lenny Flank has pointed out that the US National Center for Science Education tried the same exercise on signatories to the list a few years ago. "Most of the first dozen or so people they contacted thought IDers were full of s**t. The DI's Ministry of Propaganda contacted all the rest and told them not to answer."
UPDATE: As at January 2010, a further 11 British trained PhDs had been added to the Discovery Institute list and (to our knowledge) one on the list Leonard Loose? had died. As far as we are aware, none of the additional 11 are young earth creationists.
Footnote: Standard email sent by the author to scientists on the Discovery Institute’s list.
I am undertaking research in association with the Science Just Science forum (http://justscience.1.forumer.com/
) on the extent of doubt amongst scientists and academics about the Theory of Evolution by natural selection, the central paradigm of the biological sciences.
I notice that your name appears on the Discovery Institute’s list of 610 scientists who, it says, are sceptical about it.
However, by the very nature of the scientific method, all scientists are sceptical. I therefore have reason to believe that the Discovery Institute is using the list to mislead the public as to the real extend of doubt about the theory.
I am therefore attempting to put together a clearer idea of the real extent of doubt by contacting names on the list and asking them directly what their position is.
It would be really appreciated if you could advise me as to your position on the following questions:
Do you accept the basic view of the Discovery Institute that an intelligent force has been involved in the design of organisms at some stage or stages of the evolutionary process including abiogenesis?
Do you accept the Discovery Institute’s position the earth and life on it originated millions of years ago?
Alternatively, do you accept the young earth creationist position that the literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis is correct and the world (and life) was formed some 6,000-10,000 years ago?
Or do you accept that the Theory of Evolution by Natural selection, as accepted by the majority of biologists, is largely valid and ID or creationism do not offer valid alternative explanations?
Thanking you in anticipation of a reply,