Re: Developing story: Steve Gould's friend says Gould would never have signed NCSE's "Steve" list

From: Dr. David Campbell <>
Date: Tue Oct 25 2005 - 13:18:07 EDT

> Yesterday, I blogged on the fact that a friend of the late Stephen
> Jay Gould now says that Gould would never have signed the celebrated
> Steve list - a list of scientists named Steve who oppose creationism
> (and, presumably, intelligent design theory?).

Here's the statement for the Steve list:

"Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the
biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in
favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry.
Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes
of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution
occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its
occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically
irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited
to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of
our nation's public schools."

I don't think there's anything there that Steve Gould would have
objected to, with the possible caveat that he did recognize the
difference between Intelligent Design (the movement) and intelligent
design (belief in an intelligent designer of some sort) and denied that
evolution was contrary to faith.

The diversity within the ID movement makes the equation of intelligent
design with creationist pseudoscience problematic for me. Although I'm
not convinced that any ID claims are scientifically strong, there's a
good deal of difference between, e.g., Behe and Johnson. As they don't
do a good job of highlighting the difference, it's understandable that
outsiders don't notice it.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections Building
Department of Biological Sciences
Biodiversity and Systematics
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0345  USA
Received on Tue Oct 25 13:19:50 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Oct 25 2005 - 13:19:50 EDT