Why does controversy persist?
January 27, 2002
Gordon Bennett worried that GSA research into the Creationism-Evolution controversy might be "so cursory as to confuse intelligent design theory with creation science" (Letters, GSA Today, January 2002). However, as many scientists have noted, "Intelligent Design" is little more than a euphemism for "Creationism" and an attempt to bring the Creator back into the classroom without explicitly mentioning religion. When William Paley wrote about Intelligent Design 200 years ago, he was setting out to provide evidence of the particular Designer that he had in mind.
Mark Hostetter's letter on the same page dismissed Darwin's work as merely having "risen out of one man's anger toward God," and went on to deny the existence of a great many studies (of such things as intermediate forms suggesting evolution of complexity; evolutionary factors favoring sexual reproduction; and how an understanding of evolution may benefit humankind). Mr. Hostetter's views are not trivial, but, as put forth in his letter, certainly lack a full understanding of the scientific method.
So why does this controversy persist, even among geologists? I believe it derives from the angst expressed by Hostetter: that science trivializes human existence as little more than "pond scum." First science destroyed the central position of Man's world in the universe; now it tries to destroy the central position of Man himself, in a very personal way.
Mark T. Duigon