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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2005
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Claim CA111.1:

More than 300 scientists (over 400 as of 7/18/2005) from all disciplines have signed a statement expressing skepticism of the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life.


Discovery Institute, 2004. Doubts over evolution mount with over 300 scientists expressing skepticism with central tenet of Darwin's theory.
Discovery Institute, 2005. Eighty years after Scopes trial new scientific evidence convinces over 400 scientists that Darwinian evolution is deficient.


  1. The criticisms of the general claim that many scientists reject evolution apply also to this list of scientists.
  2. The statement which the signatories agreed to is not anti-evolution. It says,
    We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged. (Discovery Institute 2004)
    Since scientists are trained to examine evidence and to be skeptical of everything, even ardent evolutionists could sign such a statement. Indeed, it is well known that random mutation and natural selection are not the only mechanisms contributing to the complexity of life; other mechanisms such as genetic drift and symbiosis are important, too. The statement signed by the scientists of "Project Steve" is more more specific:
    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. (NCSE 2003)
    Although many of the people on the Discovery Institute's list are anti-evolutionists, it is likely that most of them would disagree with fixity of "kinds" and a young earth (Evans 2001). In another list, the Discovery Institute put out a bibliography of publications that "represent dissenting viewpoints that challenge one or another aspect of neo-Darwinism . . ., discuss problems that evolutionary theory faces, or suggest important new lines of evidence that biology must consider when explaining origins." When the authors of the publications were contacted, none said that their works support "intelligent design" or challenge evolution (Branch 2002). Bob Davidson, one of the signators of the DI's list of 400, says, "the scientific evidence for evolution is overwhelming" and now thinks the Discovery Institute is an affront to both science and religion (Westneat 2005).

  3. Most of the signators to the DI's list (about 80%) are not biologists; some are not even scientists. Generally speaking, mathematicians, electrical engineers, philosophers, and so forth are only marginally more qualified to comment on the validity of evolution than the average person on the street.


Evans, Skip. 2001. Doubting Darwinism through creative license.

NCSE. 2003. Project Steve,

Schafersman, Steven. 2003. Texas Citizens for Science responds to latest Discovery Institute challenge.


  1. Branch, Glenn. 2002. Analysis of the Discovery Institute's "Bibliography of Supplementary Resources for Ohio Science Instruction." Reports of the National Center for Science Education 22(4): 12-18,23-24.
  2. Evans, Skip. 2001. Doubting Darwinism through creative license.
  3. NCSE. 2003. Project Steve,
  4. Westneat, Danny. 2005. Evolving opinion of one man. Seattle Times, Aug. 24, 2005.

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created 2005-7-26, modified 2005-8-24