Sunday, December 8, 2013

#824: Dean Kenyon

Dean H. Kenyon is professor emeritus of Biology at San Francisco State University, and one of the grand old men of the modern form of creationism known as Intelligent Design. Kenyon is, for instance, the author of the infamous Of Pandas and People (with Percival Davis), the textbook that laid the foundation for the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial (after being quickly turned from a creationist book into an Intelligent Design book, which was possible since the views are the same). And yes, there is a pattern here – Kenyon, as most proponents of ID, are concerned with getting creationism into schools, writing textbooks, popular books (especially for children), and participating in debates. The ID movement isn’t, and has never been, about doing science. It should be mentioned that Kenyon still subscribes to young earth creationism.

Kenyon first started promoting creationism (the young earth variant) in the 1980s, calling it “scientific creationism” and trying to teach it in his classes at San Francisco State. That didn’t go down particularly well with his more scientifically minded colleagues. The fact that they determined that creationism couldn’t be taught as science didn’t exactly change Kenyon’s mind, so he continued teaching it in other courses, leading to some major controversies at the university (where Kenyon claimed that “objections to his teaching rested on a positivist view of what constitutes legitimate science,” which is just a weasel phrase for “I should be allowed to teach my intuitions and convictions as being scientific regardless of whether they are backed up by evidence”). In the 1980s he became infamous for his involvement in the standard-setting McLean v. Arkansas and Edwards v. Aguillard courtcases. In fact, Kenyon pulled out right before he was expected to testify in the first case. In the latter, Kenyon supplied an affidavit which ended up constituting the main part of the defense.

In the 1990s Kenyon became affiliated with the Discovery Institute. He is currently board member for the Kolbe Center, a Catholic YEC group.

Diagnosis: A grand old man of the wingnut fight against reality when reality don’t align with their wishful thinking. Has made major impacts and must still be considered dangerous.

1 comment:

  1. You failed miserably to consider his past dedication to the cause of the "hypothesis" of evolution which in and of itself is the home of ignorant fanatics claiming to be intelligent all the while espousing an unproven theory as if it were fact. Your bigotry betrays your real intent on this site. All I see from you is vitriol against those who believe different than you. What a pity that you are so arrogant about things you have scant knowledge of. You should be ashamed to even have this site available considering all the lies presented on it.