Professor Pinker engages in wishful thinking -- dissent is significant among chemists and chemical engineers [Excerpts]
As recently noted on this site, in his letter to the Boston Globe, Harvard University psychology Professor Steven Pinker began: “SHAME ON you for publishing two creationist op-eds in two years from the Discovery Institute, a well-funded propaganda factory that aims to sow confusion about evolution. Virtually no scientist takes “intelligent design’’ seriously, and in the famous Dover, Pa., trial in 2005, a federal court ruled that it is religion in disguise.”
Virtually no scientist takes “intelligent design” seriously? There appear to be more than a few in the chemistry/chemical engineering community that do. Kudos to a chemist for alerting me to this. Two weeks before Professor Pinker’s letter, Chemical & Engineering News (July 6th issue, pp 5-6) published six letters in response to a March 23rd article on the American Chemical Society’s stance on evolution/intelligent design and/or the Editor’s April 6th piece about the Texas School Board science standards. Of these six letters, five clearly came down on the side of questioning major aspects of evolutionary theory and encouraging open discussion of unsupported aspects of the theory. Three of the letters referred specifically and positively to intelligent design. Of course, five people are a very small fraction of the chemistry/chemical engineering community. But this is an unusually large number of letters on a single topic, and for five scientists to speak out spontaneously in a hostile environment is indicative of many more out there.
The fact that 83% of the letters on this topic that the Editor published were opposed to his own stance suggests that he received many like these….And as far as Discovery being “well-funded”? Darwinist paranoia. The budget of Professor Pinker’s department alone (with 32 faculty) is probably significantly greater than the entire Discovery budget, much less the part that goes to support intelligent design.