Saturday, August 05, 2006

 

Canadian controversy in review

Brian Alters is on the cover of the Summer 2006 issue of Humanist Perspectives, which devotes a full eleven pages to discussing the controversy that arose in the wake of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada's deciding not to fund Alters's research project to study the effects of the popularization of 'intelligent design' on Canadian students, teachers, parents, administrators, and policymakers.

Alters's proposal was rejected, according to a letter from SSHRC, in part because it failed to provide 'adequate justification for the assumption ... that the theory of evolution, and not intelligent-design theory, was correct.'

Philip Sadler, director of science education at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, quipped to Nature (August 4, 2006), 'If he was trying to answer the question as to whether all this popularization had had an impact, he just saved the government $40,000 ... He found the evidence without doing the study.'

Hundreds of scientists in Canada and abroad protested what seemed to be SSHRC's crediting 'intelligent design' with scientific legitimacy on a par with evolution's.

See No intelligent design, no $

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