Thursday, November 28, 2013

#807: Donald E. Johnson

Didn't really manage to
locate a better photo.

Donald E. Johnson is a vocal creationist and author, who runs the creationist website He is a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s petition “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism”, and has legitimate credentials in Information Sciences and in chemistry (though nothing that touches on evolution), but is nevertheless not a working scientist.

His books include Probability's Nature and Nature's Probability, which also exists in a version for non-specialists for outreach purposes – after all creationism is not particularly concerned with science as much as outreach – and Programming for Life. The latter purports to study the intersection of physical science and information science with creationist conclusions, complete with persecution complex concerning the oppressive Darwinian paradigm in research institutions. Indeed, it argues that since no one can disprove the existence of God, Intelligent Design as a theory does not need evidence, and that evolution remains falsified as long as there are gaps in the fossil record. Standard creationist lack of understanding of science, in other words.

Diagnosis: In one sense Johnson is standard fare, and his influence – even within denialist communities – is probably somewhat limited. He is nevertheless worth mentioning for the way he inadvertently manages to reveal why Intelligent Design is not science through his writings, and for exposing his own agenda (outreach in the name of Jesus; it has nothing to do with science).

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