What happens when Defend Science! reaches the broad public
In the 3rd week of May, The New Republic magazine carried
the Defend Science statement as a paid ad (p.6 issue dated May
The May 19th issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote an editorial -
"Wise words in defense of
seeking wisdom : When reason is under siege, reasonable people
In the next few days, there was a large outpouring of support as
hundreds from Minnesota and elsewhere signed the Defend Science
statement. Many also added comments expressing their distress
about science coming under attack and their determination to build a
movement to defend science. Word spread further to other
countries around the world - and real concern about what is going on in
this country was expressed as well as support for the defense of
science and scientific thinking. Take the time and read these
comments - it's well worth it!
If anyone imagines that Defend Science! is just "scientists talking to
scientists"... look at this - and think again.
All this because of one editorial ... in Minnesota.
Imagine what will happen when word of Defend Science reaches
nation-wide via the pages of major news media -- and the ripple effect
other media. Much more of this is needed ... and urgently.
But this won't happen without more effort. We all need to further
tap this potential. Spread the word to colleagues, friends.
Help us raise the $100,000 needed to reach the broadest public
We welcome more comments. Email
us your comments.
Thank you for doing this! We have generations of willful
undo, both religiously motivated and otherwise, so we have our work cut
out for us!
--David Gragert, Lover of
Learning, Editorial Assistant, Society of Petroleum Engineers
I just want to add my name to the list of people who
are opposed to
allowing religious fundamentalists to inflict their unfounded, unproven
beliefs on the rest of us, in our schools or in our government.
--Jane Johnson, retired
Although I'm not a scientist, the attack on
scientific progress is
appalling. I used to think that the Scopes trail era was a quaint
throwback to days when those poor, misinformed zealots didn't know any
better. That people like William Jennings Byron and those of his
simply lacked the knowledge we have today, decades later, about
evolution. I am stunned that today, in 2007, we are still fighting that
--Jill Schwimmer, Finance
Manager, University of Minnesota, Concerned citizen
It is becoming evident that enlightened, open minded reflection about
the world we live in is not a freedom that, as Americans living
free society, we should assume will always be a given. We should
expect that open and honest intellectual pursuit of the nature of our
existence should not be an activity which would be a threat to personal
liberties but history has shown otherwise.
--William L. Pedersen,
Hospital Administrator (ret), Minnesota
Keep up the good work. This movement is long
overdue. We are in a second dark ages with this nut bunch in the White
--Alan Heckathorn, worked
career in electronics field, Minnesota
I read about your organization in the Star Tribune
(Minneapolis). I am
so relieved that an organization such as yours has formed. I will
alert everyone I know who will also appreciate the work you do.
--Jeri Nelsen, Non-Profit
This organization is very much needed! Let's get to work and counteract
all the misinformation by the Right Wing.
--David W. Johnson,
Director, Employee Assistance Program University of Minnesota
We defend science from government intrusion.
As children and adults we must continue to learn about evolution and
other insights from science to help us apply civilizing values to our
--Rev. William Weir,
Unitarian Universalist Clergy, Minnesota
In the tug of war between Faith and Reason, count me
on the side of Reason. We must defend Science. It is our only hope.
--Richard Maus, Author, Retired Mathematics and Physics
teacher, Northfield, MN
I have grave concerns about the cavalier attitude
with which this
administration approaches primary sources of knowledge. I am
frightened by the prospect of a country run by preferred ideals rather
than logic and fact. I fear that the doctored "science" that is
produced on a national level will have very devastating consequences
when we finally do choose to use the scientific method instead of
whims. What happens when we, in ten years, decide to use the
data that has been generated (by what means we don't know)by our
national government? We will find that since the data has been
manipulated, we cannot use any of it and we will have lost ten years of
valuable, maybe crucial data. I don't even know how to approach
who want to consider "intelligent design" as a valid theory. I
them to tell me what an "intelligent design" curriculum might look like
in my classroom. What daily activities, lectures, readings and writings
would facilitate learning about "intelligent design"? The
always comes back to scripture. This is an insult and a danger to
society. Keep up your work and keep the movement of truth through
science growing it is imperative to our future. None of us will
down without a fight.
--Stephen Bloden Public
School Teacher, Minneapolis Public Schools
I am pleased to join this standing up for the
natural world through
science. I know it must be done--though it is a shame that anyone
to do it.
--David Dorn, Composition
and Humanities Instructor (Retired), Rochester (MN) Community and
Having just read Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion twice (serious
science, unlike childish fairy tales, requires serious thought), I long
for the day when America will see an intellectual athiest run for high
office with the guts to quit slopping out religious pap and fairy tales
and speak firmly and truthfully to the electorate.
--John Parkman, investor,
Book Reader, Minnesota
essential work that must be done- defending open inquiry, objective
science is a key to political and intellectual freedom in a democracy
--Walter Enloe, active
citizenship teacher, Graduate School Education Hamline University
Until now we have not seen much of these attacks on
science in Sweden. But things are about to change... Religious groups
are now beginning to speak more openly about their disbelief in certain
types of science. What I find very alarming is that this seems to
coincide with a rapidly declining interest for scientific education
among the young. Well-educated people will not fall for simple
arguments as easily, while lack of knowledge will make the attack on
science easier. The best way to defend science is probably to stimulate
the interest in science among school children!
Uppsala University, Dept. of Astronomy & Space Physics
I am a field research paleontologist, and I'm here to defend science
and scientific research. I believe that fundamentalist christians are
trying to destroy education and scientific truth. Therefore, we
scientists should act on this issue. We should help students who want
to do science on professional level, by giving them admission to
Colleges and University. To all the faculty around the country help
students who want to do science, real science so that way we will have
more scientists in the country doing real science. Creationism is a
caricature of science and wants to destroy our established and still
growing civilization. We all must unite on this very important issue
and confront the pseudo-science such as ID and creationism with our
research and discoveries in all fields of science.
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, University of Massachusetts,Amherst
Dpt. of Geosciences
Albert Einstein said it best: "One thing I have learned in a long
life: that all our science, measured against reality, is
primitive and childlike - and yet it is the most precious thing that we
--Claiborne Glover III,
The University of Georgia, Department of Biochemistry and Molcular
I have long dreamed of contributing to the global fight against
preventable communicable diseases through the development and
implementation of effective public health measures. It saddens me to
find the current political situation in the United States of America at
odds with the very science that is utterly essential to the success of
such endeavors. I will continue to pursue my education in hopes that
the future may bring significant and drastic changes to the public
perception and acceptance of science in this country. The world is
watching. Let us not continue our current course. Science in the United
States of America must not become the laughing stock of the global
Recent biology graduate, University of Southern Indiana
Good to see such an organization exists to promote atheism and
Humanist thoughts. Good luck and keep up the good work.
--Jeff Horsman, Natural
This is a vitally important effort. Living in Georgia, I can
attest to the problems such anti-science attitudes are having.
Associate Professor of Biology, Clayton State University
It is a sad commentary on the backward state of knowledge in the U.S.
when a Defense of Science petition is needed in the face of attacks by
our elected Federal officials. We need another one in defense of Truth
versus Falsehoods as well.
--John W. Moore,
researcher, Managing Director, Optimer, Inc.
I see the lack of scientific rationale and the general misunderstanding
of science and the scientific method in general disturbing. Equating
Science to ideological or even at times spiritual 'beliefs' does its
true purpose a great disservice: The understanding of the physical
world around us.
--C. Maxwell Hair,
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochem., Kennesaw
It is very sad that high officials of a modern developed country are
trying to decompose science, the basis for present-day society.
Astronomer, Uppsala University, Sweden
I am concerned about recent letters to the editor of my local newspaper
that demonstrate a lack of knowledge about things like global warming
and evolution. Being a scientist, I want to help educate people
as to the science behind these issues and get people thinking in a more
scientific manner. Please let me know what else I can do to help!
Assistant Professor of Biological Science, University of Wisconsin-Fox
Science is a way of looking and understanding our natural world.
Instead of confusing our children with gobbly gook (earth is 10,000
years old) we need to provide them with the critical thinking skills
that will enable them to not only understand the ramifications of
global warming and other pressing issues of our time, but to also
empower them. Ignorance of our natural world and how it works will doom
us to a very bleak future.
--Maria M. Rubio,
long-time science educator, researcher
As a foreigner coming to the USA, I was stunned by the degree to which
religion impacts on news presentations, esp on TV. It is all subtly
oppressing naturalistic explanations.
--Rod White, Head of
Temperature Standards, Industrial Research Ltd, New Zealand
Defending science is vital, science possessing the world's only
self-correcting system of beliefs and understandings about reality.
--Peter Gardner, Emeritus
Prof. of Anthropology, Univ. of Missouri
As a science educator I seek not to tell people that they may not hold
the theological views they wish, but rather to dispel the myth that
theological views are a substitute for real science.
EcoTarium (Museum) educator
The very idea that the intellectual freedom to discuss theories and
seek truth through honest scientific investigation in the 21st century
[is under attack] is absurd. As scientists and educators we must
not let politics and religion corrupt scientific endeavor. Those
who would do so are seeking personal power in their societies at the
expense of the one thing they proclaim to hold so dear--truth.
--Mary U. Manner, M.S.,
Director of Education/Exhibits Manager, Great Lakes Children's Museum
I think that this is a valuable and necessary action, to raise
awareness by scientists and the general public of the chicanery that
the Religious Right and the Bush Administration to distort and suppress
scientific facts, research, and discoveries to fit with their
agenda. We as scientists need to be vigilant and aggressive in
our defense and exposition of the beauty of the scientific method and
of the scientific world-view, and cannot allow the religious right to
undo the hard-won victories science has had in changing our
understanding of the world around us and our place in it.
Cognitive Neuroscientist, INSERM, France
I enthusiastically endorse to views of my more illustrious compatriots,
Darwin and Dawkins, and wish you every success in your battle for
--John Mason, Retired
research metallurgist, formerly with Corus, Rotherham, UK
That scientists need to defend science and scientific reasoning, shows
how urgent this society needs to reform its system of education at all
--Wolf Krebs, emeritus
Professor of Anatomy, the City University of New York
Faith may lead one to seek answers, but answers manufactured by faith
are nothing more than a dangerous attempt to impose a personal agenda.
--Don Smith, Member, Sr
Technical Staff, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Retired
With my more naturalistic world view I'm generally coming from a
philosophical angle when I debate theological issues, but lately I've
found myself in need of getting deeper in to biological and other
scientific arguments as well - and that fact alone is to me quite
worrying. 'Religious science' to me is an oxymoron, in principle as
well as practice. I have faith in science as an open and honest field
of study, and religious influence of any kind can only work against
that intellectual honesty.
Attacking evolution by natural selection from the point of ID is like
saying gravity is 'just a theory' falsified by aeroplanes. All because
one would like it to be so...
I'll end here, so not to overwhelm anyone with a debate that should not
be necessary at all.
Philosopher, Västerås, Sweden
It is essential that the voice of scientists be heard loud and
insistent before we can't be heard at all.
--John Boyle, Aerospace
Engineering, Chief System Engineer
To deny scientific proof is to deny the Lord's work. Our
physical, mental and over-all well being has been brought to
astronomical levels through the research of dedicated scientists.
We all benefit from this research, no matter what walks of life.
We have prevented and cured disease. Science has improved the
life quality of man kind, and will continue to improve it. If we
trust the Lord, then we will trust that he has a working hand in the
fight to cure deadly diseases that affect the life quality of our
friends and family. These discoveries are nothing short of a
miracle. The Lord has created the human body more complex than
any man made machine. With science, we have been able to
understand his divine work, and find ways to keep our bodies running
efficiently. If this was not the Lords will, this discovery would
not have continued as long as it has. Could any red blooded human
look into the eyes of a dying child, and tell them that scientific
research is not in the will of the Lord, but suffering is? There
is not one person living who has not benefited from scientific
research, be it immunization, herbs and plants, or something as simple
as an aspirin.
We have come so far, that to stop would be insanity. There will always
be debates over wrong and right; good and evil. But to have the
ability the cure man of fatal diseases and sickness, I just can't see
the wrong in it. People of faith believe in miracles. And
science has been a miracle.
I am a woman of faith myself, and I fully support scientific research
to better the life of man kind.
--Jessica L. Moore,
residential habilitation specialist, mother of 1, psychology
department, Buffalo State College
Every adult American needs at least a rudimentary understanding
of and appreciation for science in order to be a responsible citizen
and informed voter. It is simply not possible for society to deal with
issues such as human overpopulation, global warming,
environmental disintegration, public health, mass
propaganda, religious extremism, etc. without the support of
science and rational thought. Science is the only proven, time tested,
consistent method of solving complex problems. If we lose science,
we're sunk. Defendscience.org provides a great service.
--John Robert True,
nurse, emt, B.S. Microbiology, Texas A&M Univ.
As a retired but still active prof., I have been much involved with
science at a lay level, and concur absolutely with the attached
statement. But I have also done a good deal of critical biblical
scholarship, and know that Christian fundamentalists are motivated by
biblical literalism, which is an absolutely erroneous and misguided
conception of the Bible. Consequently I believe that any
intellectually respectable attempt to defend science must do so on TWO
fronts: the biblical and the scientific. -- My proposal is nothing
new. It was carried out with great flair and style 60 years ago
by the late Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker.
Retired Prof., independent scholar, teacher for Beacon Hill Seminars
Preservation of scientific principles in gleaning new knowledge is
essential for our ever expanding search for information about the world
around us and the universe. True scientific endeavor is an
evidence-based process where the only "faith" involved in in the skill
of the researcher. Faith based investigation such as Intelligent
Design will not stand the scrutiny of true scientific investigation,
and therefore, must be relegated to the realm of theology.
MT(ASCP), MHS. Clinical Microbiologist(31 yrs, Ret.)
Scientific truth is essential to the quality of life and welfare of the
earth, mankind and all the flora and creatures who life within
it. Science must be free and unhindered to discover, develop and
make known everything which will help us preserve this earth and save
--Georgia Bates Creel,
Attorney, Treatment on Demand Planning Council, University of
It is almost an embarrassment to have to defend the scientific
enterprise; but defend it we must against encroachments by those who
would dismantle the impetus, the methods, the thinking,and achievements
of generations. I speak here as a humanist, not a professional
scientist though a father of an astrophysicist.
--Stuart Markoff, retired
teacher, Baltimore, MD
Science is not just some esoteric pursuit. Without an understanding of
science, rational policy decisions are simply not possible.
--Bill Potts, Author,
Bushopedia, and President, Humanist Association of the Greater
This statement is of great importance, given what polls show about the
scientific ignorance of the average American.
--Edd Doerr, Author,
former science teacher, President Americans for Religious Liberty
We want our grandchildren to learn true science, - not fairy tale
ideas, with no evidence to back them up.
--James and Nancy
Felknor, Thoughtful Grandparents, Minnesota
Bush administration science policy has been a disaster, in my opinion.
I applaud this effort.
Physician--MD, Florida State University College of Medicine
Shortsightedness in science and science education will pay no dividends
in the future, when they will be needed more than at any time in this
--S. J. Burns, Minnesota
Very few things are as important as teaching our children science. It
is disheartening that it has become necessary for scientists to defend
themselves against those who would replace that which we can test and
KNOW to be true with theories that are nothing more then thinly
disguised religious agendas.
It is science that has saved my life and that of my children. It is
science that can show us the true beauty, wonder and richness of all
that exists. It is science that provides the hope for our future.
--Kathleen Nelson, Mother
We are doing children a grave disservice by questioning the basic
tenets of science that have stood the test of time.
I applaud the group of individuals who took the initiative to get this
done. The Bush Administration's anti-science policies have been
--Cole Hannon, Sr.
Clinical Research Manager, Minnesota
The Inquisition is over! Science must reign - fact over fiction.
Intelligent debate based on study is imperative to support an evolving
revolution toward truth.
--Katie Greene, Owner,
Key North Inc.
I believe that the primary guiding force in the world has to be
science. Other courses have been shown to lead us down dangerous
paths and to rely on dangerously inaccurate information. To
see the truth in this, we need only to look at how inaccurate,
unscientific information has worsened the effects of diseases, most
recently AIDS. Further, our misplaced priorities (e.g.,
lotteries) show the general ignorance of the fundamental concepts of
probablity and risk analysis.
--Fred Green, Software
You are on a good track. Please stay on it. Science means something,
superstitions do not.
Business professional, Financial services, Minnesota
I am very concerned about the efforts of government officials to deny
scientific inquiry into any matter. This will, if not stopped, affect
our democratic freedoms and the future of our children and
--C. Robert Jones, very
concerned citizen, Minnesota
In light of the assault on science by fundamentalist Christians it is
imperative that the rational of the scientific process be
--Marc Kallsen, UW-Stout,
Department of Art & Design
The lot of humanity has been improved only to the extent that we have
managed to study and understand the nature of reality. Supernaturalism
denies reality and therefore can offer no useful knowledge. Throughout
history, the resulting ignorance has mired humanity in misery,
pain and deprivation while encouraging severe abuses, too numerous to
list, of our fellow human beings - all in deference to that imagined
Communications Director, Atheists For Human Rights, Minneapolis MN
My utmost admiration for Prof. Carl
Sagan's Publications, especially his 1996 publication The Demon-haunted
Science as a candle in the Dark.
Professor Emeritus-Univ.of WI, River Falls, Sociology, Seeker of truth
via the scientific method
I am not a scientist, but I strongly believe in the value of the
scientific method and deplore the attempts by our current government to
subvert the proofs of science to an imagined view of reality.
--Margaret Meyer, Ramsey
County Public Library
Misguided efforts to establish a "Christian nation" must be countered
with an educational outreach program by the scientific community that
is able to communicate with ordinary citizens. Scientists must
learn how to talk to people.
--David Klett, concerned
All scientists, at all levels, must take a proactive stance to defend
reason and science against the anti-intellectual irrational attacks of
the religious right. The growth, development and survival of Western
Civilization depend on this initiative.
--Rodney Sheffer, Retired
High School Biology Teacher, Bloomington Minnesota Public High Schools
Defending scientific truth about the nature of life against forces of
ignorance, willing or otherwise is paramount.
--Eugene Sorensen, Prof.
Philosophy, Literature, Adv. Comp: Rochester (MN) CC & U. Of St.
Francis, Joiliet, IL
Ignorance and hubris is weakening our country.
Retired from Univ. of Minnesota
It's a good thing you're doing, but then you know that already. Science
is not a thing that should even require defense, it requires only
pursuit. Therein lies its wonder.
--Gregory J. Maeder,
veterinary technician, Minnesota
America is being attacked by fundamentalist
believers who've found a friend in george
w. Together they are going after stem
cell research environmental degradation - too numerous to
--John Bottoms, retired
I read about your site in an editorial in the Minneapolis Star
Tribune. I strongly support your efforts to retake the high
ground in defending the need for an apolitical country which supports
the advancement of science.
--Gregg McPherson, 3M
Corporate Scientist (Retired)
I look askance on leaders who declaim that they do what they feel is
right. We should subject that which we FEEL to the full light of
scientific inquiry. Anything less is arrogance.
--Richard Tice, Mdiv,
Ret, The United Methodist Church
We cannot afford in this fast-paced world to accept fiction for fact
based on ill-informed (biased) individuals/ organizations.
--Marcia Sundquist, MS.
Agrl. Economics, Michigan State University, Retired teacher, researcher
It is vital that all educators who support curricula based on reason
and sound pedagogical principles support this initiative.
Creationism functions as an anti-intellectual disease that leads our
students to become simplistic and lazy in their thinking.
Resisting creationism and the ironically named "intelligent design" is
important for all teachers - not only for scientists and teachers of
Associate Professor of Music, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
I've been angry at the Bush Administration and Christian Right lying
about their religions ever since Bush took office. Bush lives in
an alternative world, and the Christian Right are Nazis in the
making. (German Christians in the late 1890s are credited with
starting the Nazi party, one reason being they could not accept Jesus
being a semitic with dark colored skin.)
--Kathleen Wagar, private
citizen, retired, Minnesota
Those who worship God are fascinated at science's continuously
unfolding understanding of the universe without feeling the need to
force others to share their beliefs. Those who believe faith
opposes science (on both sides) make an idol out of their own ideas
and/or their own "holy" books and thereby impoverish humanity by
damaging both religion and open scientific inquiry. Religion
needs solid science in order not to become merely irrelevant
--Rev. Gregory Kapphahn,
Pastor of Glenwood United Parish (UCC/UMC), Minnesota
Discussions of "Intelligent Design" (ID) belong in the Liberal Arts,
not the hard sciences. Even as an English major, I understand
enough science to know that a scientific theory is developed from
empirical evidence, and therefore ID, by definition, cannot be
considered a scientific theory. While ID may be discussed in a
social science classroom, and certainly in a religion classroom, it is
imperative to the intellectual development of all Americans that it be
kept out of the science (biology, natural history, etc.) classroom!
graduate student and future professor, Winona State University, English
In the past, the U.S. thrived because of its emphasis on science. From
better stains of wheat and rice to the finest health institutions in
the world, we trained, attracted and funded the best scientists. These
religion-based attacks on science have resulted in our devaluing and
defunding scientific research and education. We will all suffer because
--Paul Nelson, retired
trucking business owner
I object strongly to injecting religion into science and our
government. Separation of church and state, an active scientific
community, and a shared language are largely what have produced our
quality of life and kept us a single nation. The religious right would
undo that for their own purposes. One of the basic premises of this
country is freedom of religion and that includes freedom from religion.
It is critical to progress in many fields, including medicine, history,
biology, genetics, anthropology, archeology, geology (to name a
few)that scientists be allowed to work freely and that funding not be
controlled by partisanship and a religious agenda.
CHMM, Senior Environmental Consultant, LC Consulting, Ltd.
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