Wednesday, August 08, 2007
There is a press release about a "redesigned" website for the organization "Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity" ("PSSI" – what an acronym!), supposedly made up of "doctors from 15 countries [who are] skeptical of the claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the origination and complexity of life and therefore dissents from Darwinian macroevolution as a viable theory." With an impressive (though not, perhaps, as they hoped) membership of 264 M.D.s, osteopaths, dentists and veterinarians (nice touch, that), the immediate question is what their "skepticism" about the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the origination and complexity of life (which, as has been pointed out many times, is not what Darwin, much less modern theorists, proposed anyway) has to do with the viability of evolutionary theory today?
Just in case there was any doubt in your mind about the real concerns of this group, there is this from its blog:
Dawkins has provided absolute clarity as to what their agenda is, and it is not about science: “Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate.”That and a lot of talk about "true science" versus "science so-called" leaves little doubt of the religious origin of this organization. Perhaps of more interest is: why have this organization at all? According to the "About Us" page:
So the agenda appears to be to use science (so-called) to eradicate faith of some type. Faith has three components; knowledge, assent and trust and all three of these are required for someone to exercise true faith. Now the above scientists certainly have knowledge of various disciplines of science, they assent to that knowledge as being factual (however imperfect it may be), and they trust in it, so they can’t be trying to eradicate faith in science! Obviously the faith that they are trying to eradicate is a religious faith.
PSSI’s mission includes providing a means for physicians and surgeons to be publicly counted among those skeptical of nature-driven Darwinian macroevolution (molecules to man - DME), which is now taught as fact in most schools around the world despite the woeful lack of scientific evidence supporting it.But you can be "publicly counted" at the Discovery Institute's little list without having to spend $350 for an annual membership. Is this a rumbling of dissatisfaction with the DI and a desire to come up with something better? Or is this a sub rosa offshoot of the DI trying to re-brand itself?
Whatever, it is an interesting development when you can find a group of people willing to pay for the privilege of declaring their willful ignorance.
And make a tidy buck in the process.
For $10,000 you can get a lifetime membership. And an engraved glass plate for your desk! Woo hoo!