Far-right groups like the Free Market Foundation (the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family) are now dredging up a discredited project by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute in an attempt to “prove” that mainstream science is torn by controversy over evolution. Supporters of the seven-year-old Dissent from Darwin project claim that more than 700 scientists from around the world have signed on to a statement critical of the science behind evolution. This recycled effort comes a week after the 21st-Century Science Coalition announced that — in only a few weeks — more than 800 scientists from Texas alone had signed on to a petition opposing efforts to water down instruction on evolution in public school science classes.
The National Center for Science Education launched Project Steve as a light-hearted parody of the “Dissent from Darwin” nonsense. In fact, few of the Dissent signers are even biologists. At least one professor of dental health has signed on to “Dissent,” however — something that should please the creationist chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, a Bryan dentist who wants public school science teachers to challenge evolution. The state board is about to begin revising science curriculum standards for all Texas public schools.