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SSHRC and the theory of evolution

This is quite a surprise, McGill University’s Brian Alters had his proposal to study the effects of intelligent design on Canadian education rejected by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. A stated reason for the rejection was that Alters did not provide “adequate justification for the assumption in the proposal that the theory of evolution, and not intelligent design theory, was correct.”

Granted, funding proposals can be rejected for a variety of reasons and the opinions of the reviewers do not necessarily reflect those of the funding body. However, the international media (Nature, The Guardian) are reporting on this and the suggestion is that the Canadian Government — or, at least, our funding agency for social science research — rejects evolution.

If SSHRC intends to pass judgement on scientific theories, they should review the evidence first. Biological evolution is a fact. Furthermore, the theory of evolution through natural selection has accumulated 150 years of empirical evidence and ranks as one of science’s greatest insights.

I hope that SSHRC clarifies their position on evolution soon.

(Via The Panda’s Thumb.)