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Just Shoot Me

Bala, 28, Gordon Gekko in the making, pseudo-intellectual, cynic, bibliophile, obsessive compulsive ranter...

Creationist Hit job in The Hindu

January 03, 2007

It was during my 8th standard i discovered creationists and their hatred for Darwin. I had a great math teacher - a warm, sincere man whom i liked very much. One day he spoke in the assembly session about God and the necessity to stay away from Darwinist heresy. Having read of Charles Darwin as one of the mundane scientists in the science text books, i was surprised about the vehemence with which my math teacher was abusing Darwin and his ideas. That was my first brush with Darwin-Bashing. Now this post is not my first brush, its about the latest brush.

Last Sunday's The Hindu carries an Article in its open page section titled " Are evolutionists afraid of ID movement?". The Author PA Wahid (on googling he appears to be a professor with Kerela Forest Research Institute) attempts to do a Creationist hit-job in the pages of The Hindu.. Prof Wahid does an excellent job of sowing doubts on evolution. It has all the standard ingredients of the creationist (or rather its latest avatar - Intelligent Design) spiel. I will try to explain some of them below

1)Claiming "Evolution is not a fact but a theory".

Wahid says it is analogous to the claims of "Hwang Woo Suke in stem cell research". Hwang if you recall was caught cooking his research data. This whole canard of "not a fact just a theory" has been flogged to death by scientists a hundred times in the past and just refuses to die.

Read this wikipedia article for understanding what the creationists are trying to pull here. If i were to go after the theory of gravitation like Wahid goes after evolution, i might as well claim " The basic mistake committed by the scientific community is the outrageous declaration that the theory of gravitaion is a scientifically proven fact. This is as false as the claim of Hwang Woo Suke in stem cell research. If evolutionists are telling the truth, where are the key papers that proved the theory of gravitation? If someone had proved the theory of gravitation, s/he would have certainly been `naturally selected' for the Nobel.

Weird? no it is the standard operating procedure for Creationists

2) Ask "Why are you afraid of Intelligent Design"

This is the most laughable part of the article, it kills two birds with one stone - while painting the proponents of evolution as having something to hide, it positions ID as some sort of revolutionary new branch of science. Well, as PZ Myers puts it, Intelligent Design (ID) has failed to meet even the minimal standards of evidence and scholarship we should expect of the science we teach our children. Teaching it steals time from more vital subjects in which our kids should be grounded.. If Wahid asks for serious consideration of ID, then why not ask for considering The Flying Spaghetti Monster or the The Invisible Pink Unicorn

3) Is Archaeopteryx the ancestor of all birds?

Wahid ends the article from an oft repeated misquote from the creationist book Darwin's Enigma. This is yet another example of deliberate and selective misquoting. The entire history of Patterson misqote can be found here

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This is not the first time Wahid has taken on Darwinism in the Open Page. There is an earlier article on june 4 2006 attacking Darwinism and evolution which elicited this response from Raghuram Ekambaram
posted by Bala, 4:38 PM

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