Mon, 31 May 1999 13:47:27 EDT

Someone asked me why I feel more critical of Darwinists than
creationists, when both are doing the same thing--"defending the faith". I
think the intolerance of the Darwinists offends me more than the rudeness of
some their more zealous advocates. Earlier in this century when creationists
were trying to prevent Darwinism from being considered--or mentioned in the
classroom--I would have felt equally indignant about their tactics..

I have no desire to dissuade anyone from believing macro evolution is the
result of "random mutation and natural selection". I have no desire to
change the beliefs of any creationist--whether it be a literal translation
of Genesis or belief that some god designed and created the laws of nature.
As long as all ideas are on the table for consideration, I have confidence
whatever eventually emerges will be an approximation of the truth.

I realize one reason for such apparent intolerance is a sincere belief that
children have to be protected from "false doctrines". Most parents wish it
were easier to indoctrinate their children--especially teenagers. In this
changing world, maybe it would be safer if children were to learn for
themselves how to judge ideas--including those ideas rejected by such
authoritative figures as parents and the esteemed institution of science.

Panspermia--design--Neo Lamarckism-- Kauffman's innate, emergent
order--Shapiro's live, creative genome-- all sound interesting to me, and
time will tell if evidence for any of them can be developed. If creationists
also want to seek scientific evidence, I see no reason to try to stop them,
to belittle them, to doubt their motives or sincerity--or to accuse them of
deliberate fraud. (I can't believe legitimate scientists would make such an

None of these questions will be decided by me; I am not a scientist.
However, I can't resist opposition to what I see as a climate where any
skepticism of the orthodox dogma, any interest in alternative explanations,
is declared to be "an attack upon science". Some people seem to regard this
a noble battle--this fight against "the enemies of Darwinism". They
appear dedicated to stamping out-- eradicating-- become victorious over--
creationism, design, or any other perceived threat to Darwinism. True, most
scientists probably aren't involved, but it is being done in the name of
science. If I were a scientist, I would protest--loudly and indignantly.