If nothing else, the Discovery Institute’s petition A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism nicely illustrates the bankruptcy of the DiscoTute anti-evolution campaigns (and their Intelligent Design movement, which really is just an anti-evolution movement). Of course, the value of appealing to petitions in discussing scientific questions is one thing; another is that the signatories they actually got constitute a motley crew at best, many of whom are non-scientists and few of whom are actually experts in any relevant areas; and even if they were experts, which they aren't, they would in any case only comprise a negligible fraction of working scientists in the fields. To illustrate that, the National Center for Science Education initiated their own tongue-in-cheek response, Project Steve, a list of living scientists named “Steve” (or variants of the name) who support evolution. As of 2012 the list contained 1187 signatures – as many as the total number of signatories to the Discovery Institute list – of which two-thirds are qualified biologists; and, as random searches quickly reveal, the Project Steve signatories are overall far more consistently active scientists and researchers with real credentials than the Discovery Institute list. To underscore that point, the Discovery Institute’s list had 12 or 13 signatories whose names would have qualified them for the Steve list as of 2012 (possibly a few more if you count middle names, which are usually not given on the Discovery list), of whom at least two are non-scientists (Stephen Meyer and Stephen Cheesman), one a certified crackpot (Stephan Gift), and a single one of whom is a biologist, C. Steven Murphree, who has later regretted his involvement with the Discovery list and signed Project Steve instead. One almost feel sorry for them.
Steven Gollmer is another “Steve” on the Discovery Institute list, and a fairly typical entry. Gollmer does have a PhD in Atmospheric Science from Purdue (which has little to do with evolution) and is currently affiliated with Cedarville University, a small Bob-Jones-University-like institution in Ohio that teaches young-earth-creationism and requires all students to have a minor in Bible studies. Like most institutions of that kind, Cedarville faculty is notoriously inbred (i.e. many of their “scientific” faculty have their degrees from … Cedarville), but Gollmer is apparently an exception. What about his scientific credentials? In line with the school’s position Gollmer has declared that “[o]ur approach to science and origins is based on the presupposition that our highest and ultimate authority is the unchanging Word of God,” which effectively means that he rejects the science part of it all. He has also been active in creationist attempts to impose lesson plans on the Ohio State Board of Education, and is a signatory to the CMI list of scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation.
Diagnosis: He might have a degree, but Steven Gollmer is not a scientist, and he hates science to the core of his being. Like so many of the signatories to that Discovery Institute list.