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Thursday, February 21, 2019
WND Pushes Another Bogus Science-Related Petition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted how WorldNetDaily has promoted a petition spearheaded by WND buddy Art Robinson that purports to have more than 31,000 scientists signing to a statement that "there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate" -- though few signees have a background in climatology and there's no apparent mechanism to verify signees' scientific qualifications.

Now, WND is at it again in a Feb. 9 article:

More than 1,000 highly influential scientists from around the world have gone on record with their doubts about Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

They hail from institutions such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Tulane, Rice and Baylor, the National Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, the British Museum and MIT’s Lincoln Library.

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life,” they say in a statement. “Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

The scientists include the best in molecular biology, biochemistry, biology, entomology, computational quantum chemistry, microbiology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, astrophysics, marine biology, cellular biology, physics and astronomy, math, physics, geology and anthropology, according to Evolution News, an online publication of the Discovery Institute in Seattle, which promotes the theory of intelligent design.

The Discovery Institute first published its “Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” list in The New York Review of Books in 2001 to challenge “false” claims from PBS’ series “Evolution.”

The fact that this petition has been kicking around since 2001 is highly suggestive of the petition's dubious nature (Robinson's petition has been around since 1998).

But as an article by the National Center for Science Education details, the petition echoes the Robinson petition in other ways. Numerous signatories do not have backgrounds in evolutionary biology, and even Discovery Institute officials who signed it have Ph.Ds in philosophy, not science.

Further, the petition's wording has apparently changed over the years, de-emphasizing the link to the 2001 PBS program that inspired it, which according to the NCSE article falsely equated evolution with Darwinian evolution. Further, NCSE contacted some of the signatories and found that they "represent a diverse range of opinions about the role of natural selection in evolution." NCSE concludes: "Ironically, if one were to conduct a survey of scientists who accepted evolution, the size of that list would swamp by tens of thousands this list assembled by the Discovery Institute!"

Needless to say, WND has no interest in reporting that aspect.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:42 PM EST

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