A list of scientists who are skeptical about the claims of Darwinism has grown to more than 1,000 signatures.
The list from the Discovery Institute was first issued in 2001 as a way to show that credible scientists do doubt the popular theory behind the development of life.
The statement reads: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” It is known as “A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.”
Among the scientists who signed it were evolutionary biologist and author Stanley Salthe; quantum chemist Henry Schaefer from the University of Georgia; Russian Academy of Natural Sciences embryologist Lev Beloussov; and American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow Lyle Jensen (now deceased).
Roughly 100 scientists were on the original list in 2001, but it has since passed 1,000 signatures. Supporters say the statement has no political motivation.
“It is a professional statement by scientists about their assessment of the scientific evidence relating to Neo-Darwinism and an affirmation of the need for careful examination of the evidence for modern Darwinian theory,” the website that houses the statement reads.
The statement is receiving attention as supporters of Darwinian evolution celebrate Darwin Day, which takes place every Feb. 12 on Charles Darwin’s birthday. He was born 210 years ago, in 1809.
To sign the list, a person must “hold a Ph.D. in a scientific field such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or one of the other natural sciences” or “they must hold an M.D. and serve as a professor of medicine,” according to the FAQ section at DissentFromDarwin.org.
The statement is needed, supporters say, because some supporters of Darwinism have tried to silence opponents of the theory.
“In recent years there has been a concerted effort on the part of some supporters of modern Darwinian theory to deny the existence of scientific critics of Neo-Darwinism and to discourage open discussion of the scientific evidence for and against Neo-Darwinism,” the DissentFromDarwin.org website reads. “The Scientific Dissent From Darwinism statement exists to correct the public record by showing that there are scientists who support an open examination of the evidence relating to modern Darwinian theory and who question whether Neo-Darwinism can satisfactorily explain the complexity and diversity of the natural world.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
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