“The ‘Anti-Darwin movement’ is currently spreading in European countries and in Russia,” reported plant physiologist and evolutionary biologist Ulrich Kutschera on February 15, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among other examples, he was bemoaning that some Intelligent Design materials have gone through as many as six printings in Germany. Concerning the same presentation, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported the following:
In September a creationist group called Truth in Science mailed teaching packets that promote intelligent design as an alternative to evolution to every secondary school in Britain. In October, Maciej Giertych, a member of the European Parliament from Poland who has a Ph.D. in tree physiology, organized a workshop for other members of parliament called Teaching Evolution Theory in Europe: Is Your Child Being Indoctrinated in the Classroom?”
Kutschera suggested that the solution to this “problem” is to deemphasize Darwin and Darwinism. He apparently believes that Darwin has become an albatross around the neck of evolution, pointing out that the theory is far beyond the target at which he believes “Creationists” are aiming. Even Eugene Scott agrees, offering the idea that perhaps teaching religion simultaneously could help. At one point she clarifies the problem as follows:
And at least in the United States – and I strongly suspect in Europe as well, but I don’t know – one of the major arguments is that it’s fair to teach both: ‘We’ll give the students all the choices, this is good pedagogy, it’s critical thinking. Give the students evolution and creationism, or evolution and evidence against evolution, and let them work this out and they’ll become good critical thinkers.’ Americans really resonate to that argument. But it’s a false argument..
I carefully studied the rest of the article, and she never explains why this is a “false argument.” Speaking as a sociologist, not a biologist or theologian, I observe that in both the articles linked above, there is never any consideration that the theory of evolution may be in any way objectionable, much less flawed. And of course there is no indication that they may be carrying a bias on the subject. Elsewhere Scott sites research that 40% of Europeans poled in a survey believe that evolution alone is sufficient to explain biological origins. She divides the remaining responses, so it is not obvious that 60% don’t. CosmicLog references a survey that indicates that “Europeans were far ahead of Americans in their acceptance of evolutionary theory,” implying, no, SAYING, that to believe in evolution puts them “ahead.” Kutschera claims Creationists are aiming at an outdated view of evolution, while he seems to caricature all objection to evolution as a 1925 version of Creationism.
They see the growing openness of many to consider alternatives to evolution, but they fail to see why. They see the changing of the tide, but fail to acknowledge possible existence of a moon causing the tides. It is a little like the noted chemist Joseph Priestley, who in 1800 published his Doctrine of Phlogiston Established. Speaking of this theory in a letter that same year he wrote, “I feel perfectly confident of the ground I stand upon.” The irony is that he wrote 25 years after the death knell had been struck to this 150-year-old theory by Antoine Lavoisier. Many today are reading and understanding Behe’s and Demski’s arguments for Intelligent Design, yet many defenders of evolution do not hear for whom the bell tolls.