April 1, 2005


Academic Extinction: More and More, Evolutionary Theory is Becoming Nothing More than Darwinian Mantra (David Berlinski, April 1, 2005, Daily Californian)

>After alluding to Intelligent Design at a faculty cocktail party—Je m'imagine cela—the dean of undergraduate education at the University of Calfornia at Berkeley was amazed and remarked “that colleagues indicated a great deal of sympathy for this alternative to ‘Darwinism.’”

His amazement notwithstanding, the dean's defense was a model of evasive circumspection.

“Although I told them that few, if any, reputable biologists in the country subscribe to intelligent design, I could tell that they were not persuaded. Somewhat dismayed, I turned to other, more congenial issues.”

Now these are remarkable words, if only because they reveal that a prominent academic regards it as quite natural to be dismayed on those occasions when his views are disputed. They are remarkable as well because they indicate that the dean is persuaded that dissent might in the case of Darwin's theory be ended by an appeal to what “reputable biologists believe.”

My dear dean. Allow me to set you straight. It is precisely the reputable biologists who are under attack. For the first time, they are being asked to defend the thesis that biological design is more apparent rather than real. The effort has left them breathless. They are, of course, not about to surrender their ideological allegiances. Their rhetoric fills the op-ed columns of every liberal newspaper and is conveyed additionally by academic allies whose welfare is contingent on theirs —analytic philosophers, pop psychologists, and even newspaper columnists eager beyond measure to do anything but attentively study the evidence.

But what is at issue, of course, is not what reputable biologists believe, but whether it is true.

At least it used to be only wahoos telling them they were wrong--now it's their peers.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 1, 2005 7:40 PM

The dateline of the article has been well noted. Enjoy.

Posted by: creeper at April 2, 2005 6:11 AM