Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Scopes Monkey Trial: Take Two

This time in Kansas, where the Board of Education is considering authorizing schools to teach religious alternatives to Darwin's theory of evolution, especially the theory of "intelligent design".

The anti-evolution scientists have had their day in limelight, giving evidence on the problems with Darwinian ideas. (Thoughts from Kansas and Red State Rabble give detailed reports on the hearings. For the "intelligent design" take on the hearings, see Evolution News and Uncommon Descent.) The British Times reports on all of it in a tone which makes me wonder if the writer had put his feet up and had the popcorn ready while jotting notes on all those crazy Americans. Hmm.

This bit in The Times is especially interesting:

Other witnesses included Jonathan Wells, an embryologist and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, who described himself as "an old Berkeley antiwar radical". "The way Darwinian evolution is usually presented is that the evidence is overwhelming, and there is no controversy about it," he said. "That's clearly not the case."

Dr Wells, who holds PhDs in theology from Yale University and in biology from the University of California, Berkeley, confirmed under cross-examination that he was a member of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.

Pro-Darwin scientists distributed an internet posting outside the hearing in which Dr Wells declares: "Father's words, my studies and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism."

Sun Myung Moon is also the owner of the wingnut paper The Washington Times.