27 September 2005

Project Steve

Two facts are clear:
  1. Although there are some scientists who have doubts about the theory of evolution by natural selection, and some who are even strict biblical creationists, the vast majority of scientists, especially biologists, firmly believe evolution is a fact and the theory of natural selection is one of the most powerful tools of modern science, and

  2. Some scientists have a sense of humor.
In response to the ongoing effort of evolution deniers and creationists to portray the theory of evolution by natural selection, and even evolution itself, as "in crisis" with many scientists doubting their validity, a few years ago a gentle satirical parody was devised.

Photo of Stephen Jay Gould from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Jay_GouldWhile holding that the usefulness or validity of scientific theories cannot be decided by dueling lists of adherents, the parodists sought to demonstrate that evolution deniers were but a tiny minority of practicing scientists. They launched "Project Steve". To be listed, a scientist had to subscribe to the statement below, and be named Steve (or Stephen, Steven, Stephanie, Esteban, or a similar cognate name.) (The name Steve was chosen to honor the great evolutionary biologist, paleontologist and essayist Stephen Jay Gould.)

The Statement

"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."
Check out the "Steve-o-Meter" to see how many Steves have subscribed so far. As of this writing there are about 630 Steves on the list.

To be fair, here are links to some of the lists of scientists and others who doubt, or doubted, evolution:

Additional Resources

The Project Steve page at the National Center for Science Education

Geotimes article on Project Steve
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1 comment:

Melinda said...

Natural selection itself is not disputed at all by creation scientists. It can exist as a mechanisim without us having come from pond scum. There is plenty of proof of speciation and natural selection but molecules-to-man is not supported at all by the evidence.