There’s an article in The New York Times about Ben Stein‘s movie Expelled. It mentions Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers and others who were duped into giving interviews to a group of Creationists who lied about their intentions for filming the interviews.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because PZ and others are glowing about this phrase by reporter Cornelia Dean:
There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the complexity and diversity of life on earth. And while individual scientists may embrace religious faith, the scientific enterprise looks to nature to answer questions about nature. As scientists at Iowa State University put it last year, supernatural explanations are “not within the scope or abilities of science.”
Awesome. Straightforward, blunt, and honest.
Though she liked it better the first time Cornelia Dean said it:
There is no credible scientific challenge to the idea that all living things evolved from common ancestors, that evolution on earth has been going on for billions of years and that evolution can be and has been tested and confirmed by the methods of science. [“Evolution takes a back seat in US classes,” Feb 2, 2005]
Not so much the second time:
”We were invited to debate one supposed theory against another,” Dr. Leshner said, when in fact there was no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution. [“Opting Out in the Debate on Evolution,” June 21, 2005.]
Or the third time:
“Darwinian evolution is the foundation of modern biology. While researchers may debate details of how the mechanism of evolution plays out, there is no credible scientific challenge to the underlying theory.” [Leading Cardinal Redefines Church’s View on Evolution,” July 9, 2005.]
Or the fourth time:
There is no credible scientific challenge to the idea that evolution explains the diversity of life on earth, but advocates for intelligent design posit that biological life is so complex that it must have been designed by an intelligent source. [“In ‘Design’ vs. Darwinism, Darwin Wins Point in Rome,” Jan 19, 2006.]
Or the fifth time:
There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the diversity and complexity of life on earth. ["Science of the Soul? ‘I Think, Therefore I Am’ Is Losing Force," June 26, 2007.]
Annie Wagner may be tiring of the phrase, but I like that Cornelia Dean is doing this. There’s something to the broken record method. The more you repeat the phrase, the more people get used to hearing those words together.
Say it together now: There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution.
(It’s the same reason I named this site “Friendly Atheist” — get used to saying those words together!)
The more people quote Dean’s phrasing, the more it spreads, the more evolution-deniers have to answer to that fact.
It’s the same technique the Intelligent Design people have utilized for so long: “Teach the controversy,” anyone?
[tags]atheist, atheism, evolution[tags]