[extropy-chat] [Fwd: Anthropology petition again Intelligent Design being taught as science in public schools]]

M.B. Baumeister mbb386 at main.nc.us
Sat Oct 1 17:01:15 UTC 2005

Maybe there are some scientists here who would find this petition of

The "four hour" part is long past, but IIUC they now have thousands of
signatures from concerned scientists. :)


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Anthropology petition again Intelligent Design being taught as
science in public schools
Date: 	Wed, 28 Sep 2005 20:54:31 -0500
From: 	R. Joe Brandon <IntelligentDesign at shovelbums.net>
To: 	Paleoanthro-owner at yahoogroups.com
References: 	<1127945670.27.16944.m32 at yahoogroups.com>

Hi all,

This is R. Joe Brandon and I run the archaeology employment service
called Shovelbums.org ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shovelbums/ ).  I
recently put up a petition that I think concerned paleoanthropologists
would be interested in.  It is for scientists opposing the teaching of
Intelligent Design as part of the science curriculum in public schools.
Please note this petition is NOT against ID itself.  That is a personal
decision and one I leave to theologians and philosophers.  My issue is
with the theistic based ID being presented as science fact.

My original text is below and the URL is:


In my first 24 hours I received over 500 entries from scientists (which
is the audience I am targeting).

If you are able to post this on your discussion board I would appreciate


R. Joe

The short version:

Please forward or notify relevant peers immediately.

In response to the current court case about Intelligent Design  and
the discovery institutes petition "A Scientific Dissent From
Darwinism" signed by 400 "scientists" in four years  I am putting
forth a new petition which discourages the teaching of Intelligent
Design as a factual part of the science curriculum in US public
schools.  My challenge is to initially generate 400 signatures by
scientists who actually are involved in fields which study
evolutionary theory in four hours (3:45 PM EST to 7:45 PM EST).

The petition is at:


Please pass and forward this URL to any of your peers who you think
will be interested in signing it.  And if you are at a college please
forward this immediately onto your contacts in other relevant
departments as I do not have good connections into there.  If you are
a student and you know some of your friends are off line please stop
them in the hallway or give them a ring to let them know about this

I am not looking to generate a dialouge on this as Shovel Bums is for
jobs only.  If you feel you really need to write me please use my
contact form on Shovelbums.org


The longer version:


This is in no way presented as an atheistic or anti-religious petition
which some are quick to brand it as when it questions anything
relating to religion.  This is just a petition reflecting what I
believe are important thoughts on the roll of the faith based
Intelligent Design initiative to be taught in public schools.  I
respect and support individual interpretations of faith, I however do
not feel it is the roll of our public schools to promote this.

Petition of Anthropologists & Biologists who are opposed to the
teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools.

As the Dover, Pennsylvania debate on the teaching of the faith based
theistic"Intelligent Design" moves into the courts Sept 26,2005 I feel
it is imperative for scientists who are actually trained in
evolutionary theory to weigh in.  Currently the Discovery Institute
initiated a petition in 2001 the Statement of Dissent from Darwinism
which, as of July 2005 has a tally of  400 "scientists" who have
signed it (see Statement of Dissent from Darwin at the Discovery
Institute for a list of signers).  My issue with this petition is that
it draws upon scientists from all branches of science, not just those
who are educated specifically in the nuances of evolutionary theory,
to present an image of "great discord" among scientists about
evolution.  Having these scientists from unrelated fields is
misleading to the public and is the equivalent of an anthropologist
signing a petition as a "scientist" against the Big Bang theory.
While that anthropologist is entitled to their personal and educated
view, to represent themselves as a "scientist" qualified to make an
interpretation of the data which reflects the views of the scientific
community as a whole they are not.

As an anthropologist, and I believe most open minded scientists feel
the same way, I fully support people engaging in religious expression.
And as all current and prehistoric religions I am aware of have some
sort of a creation story  to account for the existence of man the
choice of the Discovery Institute to to promote the idea of
"Intelligent Design" is not surprising.  It is a comforting way to
deal with the profound complexity of the existence of life.  It is
important to distinguish though that Intelligent Designs foundation is
faith based, not fact based and therefore it is not appropriate to be
taught at "science" in our public schools.

Are there problems with evolution?  Hello?  There are problems with
theories relating to gravity, quantum physics, psychology,
thermodynamics.  You name it, if there is a scientific field, their is
always dissent.  Heck there are more members of the flat earth society
than there are signers of the Statement Of Dissent From Darwinism
(see: http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/SciRefGuides/flatearth.html  or
)http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forums/ (3000 members of FES at
last count), but we do not teach that instead of geography.

So I have put together a petition at


to be signed initially by biologists and anthropologists who are in
favor of Intelligent Design not being taught as part of the public
school science curriculum.

To make it interesting though I have a challenge for you all - they
got 400 names in four years, I want to get 400 names in four hours.


R. Joe

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