Critical Science Begins to Cut Through Emotionalism and Censorship
by Michael Fishwick
The recent Hearing on Evolution organized by Polish Academician Professor Maciej Giertych, at the European Parliament, has generated quite a stir. Radio Poland (www.polskieradio.pl/polonia/article.asp?tId=43301&j=2 ) interviewed Professor Giertych who stated that:
I am a scientist, I am a geneticist, my specialty is population genetics and I reject the theory of evolution on the basis of the field of science I represent. I find that in many fields of science there are scientists who reject the theory of evolution because in their fields they also find evidence against the theory....The proponents of the theory of evolution are not prepared to sit down and look at the evidence and present their own evidence for the theory of evolution. Debates on the subject immediately develop into philosophical conflict, a lot of emotions are involved and a tendency to label the other side as ignorant, as motivated ideologically - whereas what is needed is a serious scientific debate and confrontation of results.
Professor Giertych's concerns about wild emotions were immediately confirmed by paleontology Professor Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska who responded, "I don't think scientific discussion with him is possible." Professor Giertych's challenge was backed by Poland's Deputy Education Minister, Miroslaw Orzechowski, who told the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, that:
"The theory of evolution is a lie, an error that we have legalized as a common truth. We should not teach lies, just as we should not teach bad instead of good, or ugliness instead of beauty," he said. "We are not going to withdraw it (Darwin's theory) from the school books, but we should start to discuss it."
Similar announcements critical of the systematic, carte blanche teaching of evolutionary theory were also heard in the Ukraine. (www.risu.org.ua/eng/news/article;12057/ ) Dr. Vladyslav Olkhovskyi, head of the Department of Physics and Mathematics at the Institute of Nuclear Research of the National Academy of Sciences, noted that school text books only teach evolutionary conceptions and called for alternative explanations to be taught alongside. In Russia, (http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=2185) the teaching of the theory as established fact, with no critical examination, is the subject of a court case where experts from St. Petersburg University have been asked to elucidate the scientific problems facing evolutionary theory. The Turkish Minister of Education, Hüseyin Çelik, also raised the subject in a recent television debate where he called for Intelligent Design theory to be introduced into high school science textbooks. The debate was aired on the popular TV show Tarafsiz Bölge (Neutral Zone), on 17 October 2006.
In Britain, a new association of scientists and educators, Truth In Science, (www.truthinscience.org.uk/site/) has generated a lot of publicity by sending a package of well produced materials, critical of evolutionary theory, to schools throughout the land. The materials have been very well received by science departments where a critical approach to the subject was recently suggested by new science curriculum guidelines. Of the eighty-nine schools (education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0%2C%2C1957858%2C00.html) that have, so far, returned the feedback postcard sent with the package, two thirds were positive and indicated that they are using the materials to help critically teach evolutionary theory.
Facing such a public onslaught from high level scientists and government ministers, evolutionists have found that they can no longer pretend that the conventional theory is as unassailable as they would like. A recent article, followed by a letter, published in the journal Nature, (subscribers only: www.nature.com/nature/journal/v444/n7117/full/444265c.html) indicates that they are worried that the house of cards may tumble. The letter solicited a reply ( subscribers only: www.nature.com/nature/journal/v444/n7117/full/444265d.html ) from Professor Giertych that the editors of Nature decided could not be ignored.
Sir: In your News story "Polish scientists fight creationism" (Nature 443, 890-891; 2006), you incorrectly state that I have called for the "inclusion of creationism in Polish biology curricula". As well as being a member of the European Parliament, I am a scientist - a population geneticist with a degree from Oxford University and a PhD from the University of Toronto - and I am critical of the theory of evolution as a scientist, with no religious connotation. It is the media that prefer to consider my comments as religiously inspired, rather than to report my stated position accurately.
I believe that, as a result of media bias, there seems to be total ignorance of new scientific evidence against the theory of evolution. Such evidence includes race formation (microevolution), which is not a small step in macroevolution because it is a step towards a reduction of genetic information and not towards its increase. It also includes formation of geological strata sideways rather than vertically, archaeological and palaeontological evidence that dinosaurs coexisted with humans, a major worldwide catastrophe in historical times, and so on.
We know that information exists in biology, and is transferred over generations through the DNA/RNA/protein system. We do not know its origin, but we know it exists, can be spoiled by mutations, but never improves itself spontaneously. No positive mutations have ever been demonstrated - adaptations to antibiotics or herbicides are equivalent to immunological adaptation to diseases, and not a creation of a new function.
We keep on searching for natural explanations of everything in nature. If we have no explanations we should say so, and not claim that an unproven theory is a fact.
The geological data referred to by Professor Giertych is the experimental research work on sedimentation being conducted by Guy Berthault. (geology.ref.ac/berthault/ ) At the invitation of the organizers, Guy Berthault gave a major presentation of his sedimentation studies to the recently held 4th National Lithological Conference organized by the Russian Academy of Science, in Moscow. Over four hundred papers were presented to the Conference which was attended by geologists from throughout Russia. The ongoing sedimentation experiments and the challenge that the data presents to the classical geological time-scale were very well received by all those present, including some of the Russian Federation's most renowned geologists.