Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Since when is Richard Sternberg known as an 'Evolutionary Biologist'?

You might criticize me for not listening to the audio, but I really triggered on the title: "Listen: Evolutionary Biologist Richard Sternberg on the Problem of Whale Origins".  Since when is Richard Sternberg known as an 'Evolutionary Biologist'?

Biologists at places like Answers in Genesis (AiG) and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) refer to themselves as 'Creation Biologists', and while those two terms really don't work well together, that's their title.  Shouldn't Richard be calling himself a 'Intelligent Design Biologist'?  After all he works at the Discovery Institute's pet lab (Biologic) and is working on a 'research' project funded by the DI. 

Calling yourself an Evolutionary Biologist usually has meaning that involves an acceptance of the Theory of Evolution, not every nook and cranny, but the overarching theory.  The signatories of Project Steve put it well with this part of their statement (I added the underlining):

"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 doesn't seem to me that a signatory of the DI's dissent petition would agree with the Project Steve statement.  If I recall, Sternberg was also one of the many signatories . . . well you can read it here:
"Also, in early editions of the list [the dissent petition], Richard Sternberg was described as "Richard Sternberg, Invertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution" though Sternberg was never a Smithsonian staff member, but an unpaid research associate. At the time of signing the list Sternberg was the outgoing editor of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, a minor biology journal, where he played a central role in the Sternberg peer review controversy. Later versions of the list dropped mention of Sternberg's affiliation with the Smithsonian in favor of Sternberg's alma maters, Florida International University and Binghamton University. "
I don't know, but it all seems very misleading to me, but then I often feel misled when reading things from the Discovery Institute.  Maybe Richard just hasn't run out of business cards from one of his previous jobs, you know the ones before the peer review controversy?

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