So last night your friendly local scientician popped off to the Royal Society in London for a lecture by Prof. Steve Jones of University College London (UCL) titled "Why creationism is wrong, and evolution is right"(availible here as download, as are a number of other interesting lectures).
Combative title, I'm sure you'll agree. Off I went, anticipating a juicy pompous lecture (pompous in a good way you understand) with creationist baiting much like you get in forums such as talk.origins, and a bitter debate at the end with placard waving members of the Evangelical Alliance egging Prof. Jones as he was ushered into a blacked out BMW to escape the lynch mob. But no, with the exception of a couple of cheap but frankly funny shots at G-Dub (to give the president of the USA his proper hip-hop name), the lecture was a concise primer of the facts of dawinian natural selection with the evidence speaking for itself. And very nice it was too. I'm not going to write about this evidence, it seems to me half the internet is full of this argument already. If you have even the slightest capacity for independent thought you'll be able to see that natural selection as described by the original Chuck-D (to give Darwin his proper hip-hop name) is just the way it is, and that creationism is just mythology and “intelligent” design and the rest are just plain balls.
So I left the lecture with a slight disappointment by the lack of blood spilt and the punches pulled, until I read the statement by the Royal Society issued at the lecture (as reported in the Guardian). The whole point of the lecture was for the RS to issue this statement. Christ, I thought, we are at the thin edge of the wedge with ID and creationism if such statement even need to be made. Prof. Jones in part cited the rise of fundamental Islam and Christianity as reasons for the apparent increase in creationism, but was most dispairing of the special place the PM has for faith schools in the education system. It all seems like madness.
But then I thought about the nice beardy man in purple and my faith in humanity was a little restored. But only a bit. Come on Rowan, have a word with our Tony will you? Or at least make sure Gordon is sensible (and the boy Milliband, just in case). Please.
edit: And Dave too. I suppose.