One of the biggest arguements proponents of Intelligent Design use to try to get their “theories” into schools and bypassing the rigourous testing and scrutiny of the scientific community, is to bring up the “teach the controversy.” They would have you believe that there is a huge controversy going on in biology about evolution and ID, and that students should be told about this controversy.
To prove this controversy exists, the ironically named Discovery Institute (the religious organization that has very blatantly created a “wedge” technique to force ID into schools as a way to muscle evolution out,) put out some time ago a petition of scientists who agree in the idea of ID, thus giving credibility to the validity of ID.
Their petition is up to about 400 scientists. Sounds like a lot! Even when you take out those who had gotten their degrees through degree mills and lied about their credentials. Even 300 is a lot! There MUST be a controversy, no?
There’s another petition out there that started as a parody, but a serious one (if that makes sense). A petition for working biologists and scientists who adhere to the facts of evolution. This petition is up to around 700.
But here’s the catch: This petition is only for scientists named “Steve”. 700 scientists names Steve. Considering the name “Steve” represents about 1% of the first names in America, you can assume that for every Steve there are 99 other scientists who would put their name on the petition.
One of the differences also between this petition and the Discovery Institute’s is that Project Steve includes the signer’s degrees, qualifications, and where they work.
Just because there are people with letters after their name disagree with something, doesn’t mean there’s a controversy. There are a few people out there with doctorates who deny that the Earth goes around the sun. Should we teach in schools that there is a controversy about heliocentrism? Because some very highly credentialed persons believe in alien abduction and evidence of life on Mars, should we teach in schools that there is a controversy?
There are holes in the MECHANISMS of evolution, but there is a great, massive concensus in science on the existance of evolution, and that’s how science works. There’s holes in the mechanisms of how gravity and tektonic plate movement work, but no one (well, MOST people) don’t doubt the existance of gravity or tektonic plate movement. Because there’s a hole in HOW something works does not mean the theory of it working is fundamentally flawed.