Tomorrow is the March for Science, where people across the country will be marching to celebrate science and demanding that our politicians make decisions based on the best available evidence instead of what so many of them do now.
There’s a long list of “Partners” for the march — groups that support the event itself, though they’re not necessarily funding it — including the Secular Student Alliance, American Atheists, Secular Coalition for America, and American Humanist Association. All of them promote science education in some way even if they have a different primary goal.
There’s one particular group, though, that was rejected as a partner: The Discovery Institute. That’s the group known for it’s promotion of Intelligent Design (a.k.a. Creationism without the word “God”). It’s a group that works to dismantle science education by pushing their own evidence-free views into the public sphere.
“I thought based on the way that they publicly described the mission that there was a way to be a partner group,” said John West, vice president of the Discovery Institute, which represents scientists who believe in intelligent design.
According to West, march organizers said they declined to include the Discovery Institute because the event does not align with groups that hold a viewpoint outside of the current scientific consensus…
It makes perfect sense to shut out the Discovery Institute because they don’t accept or promote proper science. It’s irrelevant that they’re religious or that they see God’s Fingers in nature. The only issue is that they reject credible, supported, accepted science for reasons that have nothing to do with evidence. They work against science, whether or not they choose to admit it.
It’s the same reason Answers in Genesis wouldn’t be accepted as a partner no matter how many times Ken Ham claims he does science. It’s also why Jenny McCarthy isn’t a speaker. They don’t understand how science works and promote worldviews that misinform the public.
John West says this is hypocrisy because there are partners who advocate against GMOs, even though that position goes against the scientific consensus. But just being in a minority isn’t the issue here. It’s using the tools of science to advocate for your positions. It’s publishing peer-reviewed papers and engaging with all the available evidence. Creationists don’t do these things.
The March for Science isn’t political or anti-religious. Christians who accept science, even if they believe God guides the processes, are welcome to march. I’m unaware of any Christian groups that push scientific principles and were still rejected, and I’d be shocked if that were the case. Even scientists at BioLogos (which attempts to reconcile science and religion) support the March. There are also evangelical Christians like Francis Collins who fully accept evolution despite their other non-scientific beliefs. While many scientists may criticize that approach, it’s not an issue for tomorrow.
Creationists and Intelligent Designers just aren’t pro-science. We’re marching against them and the politicians who think they represent the best of what science has to offer.
If the Discovery Institute really supports the March for Science, they should attend a local march tomorrow even if they’re not partners. Maybe they’ll learn something.