Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Darwinian Conspiracy

It is a fact that the vast majority of scientists accept evolution, and in particular virtually all biologists - the people most familiar with the evidence - do. As Project Steve shows, the number of biologists who accept evolution out-numbers those who do not by a factor of well over a hundred (see here and here).

The way creationists typically rationalise this is with a conspiracy - though not necessarily in so many words. A global cabal of scientists actively seeking to undermine Christianity.

Cornelius Hunter
...the strength of the evolutionary argument is not in its driving up the probability of evolution, but in its driving down the probability of creation or design.
Jonathan Wells
Science follows the evidence wherever it leads, but Darwinism does not. So the present controversy over evolution is not a war between science and religion. It is primarily a war between Darwinism and evidence--and the evidence will win.


A major stumbling block in this is that a large proportion of those scientists are Christians. Why are they actively trying to undermine their own faith?

The "National Science Foundation" gives some figures for the number of scientists working in the US, here. They give a figure of 3.5 million people in science and engineering occupations in 1999, of which about 340,000 are "Life and related scientists". I think that based on this, it is reasonable to assume that there are a few million biologists across the world.

If what these people says is true (and I kind of suspect it is not), then that is quite a conspiracy, involving all these millions of people. I wonder how it works...

Imagine you are a keen biology student at school, taught all about evolution. It is exciting, it is interesting, so you go to college to do biology, get a degree and a Ph.D., and then do a post-doc, and finally become a lecturer. Somewhere along that career path, you have to have joined the conspiracy. Another lecturer or someone must have taken you aside to a dark corner (to put it melodramatically), and whispered about how the whole evolution thing is made up - there is no real evidence for it at all. Now, please join our conspiracy, and you too can pretend evolutuion is real science for the next generation of gullable idiots. Or maybe they have a lecture where the conspiracy is revealed to all the new biologists at college that year, and students are only allowed out once they have signed away their souls.

Does that sound reasonable?

Remember, for this conspiracy to work, this has to be going on at every college around the globe. For more than a century.

Out of all those millions of biologist, they all say; Sure, no problem. Even the Christian biologists have no problem pretending evolution is good science, lying to their fellow Christians for the sake of an atheist plot. I can see that some of them might go along with it for the sake of their careers, but all of them? Is that not just a tiny bit unlikely?

Is it not likely that some will make a stand? Just one person in the last 100 years? Surely there are some biologists who quit to become something else; why have none of them blow the whistle on this huge conspiracy? Why do none of them tell their stories to the newspapers when they retire? How about when they have been sacked?

What about Denton and Behe? They are both biologists (or biochemists) who have gone some considerable distance through the academic system. Behe is a professor of biochemistry, but a stauch ID proponent. Why has he not spoken out against this conspiracy? Mike Gene is the pseudonym of a biologist and IDist, who has a blog, Telic Thought, where he posts anonymously (or used to, he seems to have stopped now); surely it would be safe for him to let the cat out of the bag there.

No one every has, that I could find. Is it possible that there is no conspiracy?

Not for these people. The conspiracy is a crutch, a crutch that they need to support their religious beliefs. If the crutch is takewn away from them, they will have to accept that the reaspon so many scientists accepts evolution is because of the evidence.

And they can never do that.