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El Pais: Lo que Darwin no sabía "What Darwin Didn't Know"

By Pim van Meurs

Posted March 13, 2008

We learn at the Discovery Institute Blog about a recent lecture tour in Spain by ID creationists

Over an eight day period last January, Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity (aka DoctorsDoubtingDarwin.com, a rapidly growing, 277-member, physician group from 17 countries) sponsored a lecture tour in Barcelona, Malaga, Madrid, Leon and Vigo. It was titled "Lo Que Darwin No Sabía," or "What Darwin Didn't Know." Tom Woodward, Ph.D. (author of Doubts About Darwin and Darwin Strikes Back) and myself (author of What Darwin Didn't Know and Billions of Missing Links) lectured on eight occasions to exceptionally large audiences. Santiago Escuain was our translator extraordinaire. Rich Akin, the CEO of PSSI, put in enormous hours into making this trip a huge success.

El Pais reports on the 'successful' Spain Tour of 'Lo que Darwin no sabía'. Of course, the DI does admit later on that the success was limited.

I apologize for the translation which has been performed with the assistance of online translation services.

Lo que Darwin no sabía by Rebeca Díaz - Santiago de Compostela - 12/01/2008

Sin embargo, existen grupos con motivaciones religiosas, como el PSSI, que intentan crear confusión en gente poco informada.

However, there are religiously motivated groups, such as the PSSI, who are trying to create confusion in ill-informed people .

Wow, from the start, El Pais seems to get it right.

El que una universidad pública se convierta en un escaparate para el fanatismo religioso disfrazado de ciencia es inadmisible

The fact that a public university has become a showcase for religious fanaticism disguised as science is unacceptable.

Not bad either.

In Barcelona we hear how El desembarco en Barcelona de la doctrina 'anti-Darwin' fracasa Or "The landing of an 'anti-Darwin' doctrine fails in Barcelona".

JCA - Barcelona - 18/01/2008 JCA - Barcelona - 18/01/2008

El inicio de la gira española del movimiento contra las teorías evolucionistas de Darwin nacido en Estados Unidos atrajo a más periodistas que a público.

The start of the Spanish tour of the movement against Darwin's evolutionary theories born in the United States attracted more journalists than public.

Poco más de 25 personas entregadas a la causa, pastores evangelistas, profesores y algún curioso, como se autodefinió.

Just over 25 persons surrendered to the cause, evangelical pastors, teachers and some curious as myself.

The ever present link to creationism is quickly discovered

"Nosotros no somos creacionistas, simplemente consideramos que, a la luz de los avances científicos actuales, resulta una tomadura de pelo que se siga sustentado que la teoría de la evolución es la que da respuesta al origen y desarrollo de la vida en nuestro planeta", asegura Antonio Martínez, oftalmólogo, el principal representante de PSSI en España.

"We are not creationists, we simply believe that in light of current scientific, it is a mockary that further underpinned that the theory of evolution is the answer to the origin and development of life on our planet", says Antonio Martinez, ophthalmologist, and the main representative of PSSI in Spain.

No se atreve a ofrecer una alternativa a la teoría sintética de la evolución y niega cualquier vinculación con movimientos religiosos.

It does not dare to offer an alternative to the synthetic theory of evolution and denies any link with religious movements.

Sin embargo, si se le pregunta por otras asociaciones u organismos que respaldan este mensaje en España, remite a la página web de Servicio Evangélico de Documentación e Información (Sedin), en cuya portada aparece un enlace directo a la Coordinadora Creacionista.

However, if you inquire about other associations or agencies that support this message in Spain, one is refered to the website of Evangelical Service Documentation and Information (Sedin), in whose home appears a direct link to the Coordinator Creacionista.

Yes, funny how ID invariable traces back to creationism, even though they deny the obvious.

Ante las críticas que han recibido las universidades por dar cabida a un acto que muchos científicos consideran contrario a toda norma académica, el decano de la Facultad de Biología de la Universidad de León, José Carlos Pena álvarez, emitió un comunicado a primera hora de la mañana.

Faced with the criticism they have received by the universities to accommodate an act that many scientists believe contrary to the whole academic standard, the dean of the Faculty of Biology at the University of Leon, Jose Carlos Pena Alvarez, issued a statement early in the morning.

"El que me conoce sabe de mis convicciones evolucionistas", explica Pena álvarez, "pero también de mis ideas liberales, que me llevan a permitir y afrontar cualquier debate sobre cualquier materia y más sobre algo que es fundamental en la concepción de la biología".

"Anyone who knows me knows my beliefs evolutionists," explains Pena Alvarez, "but also my liberal ideas, which lead me to allow and address any debate on any subject and more about something that is central to the conception of biology".

Por la tarde, y tras recibir otro comunicado de firme condena y oposición de la Sociedad Española de Biología Evolutiva (SESBE), firmado por su presidente Manuel Soler, el mismo decano aseguró que iba a realizar consultas con la Junta de Facultad: "Según se pronuncie reconsideraré, a pesar de todo, la oportunidad de que se celebre la conferencia".

In the afternoon, and after receiving another announcement of strong condemnation and opposition from the Spanish Society for Evolutionary Biology (SESBE), signed by its chairman Manuel Soler, the same Dean said he was going to consult with the Faculty Council: "As reconsideraré rule, however, the opportunity to hold the conference. "

In ¿Desciende el hombre del mono? "Does man descend from monkeys?" we hear more details from Manuel Soler, a professor of Animal Biology at the University of Grenada and president of the Spanish Society for Evolutionary Biology.

During the month of January was organized in Spain a cycle of conferences under the title What Darwin did not know, has become the first major offensive launched by the ultra-religious groups seeking Americans, by the criticism of Evolutionary Theory, extend the idea that Creationism (in recent times called Intelligent Design, DI) can be considered a scientific theory.

Las "conferencias" no son tales, y mucho menos científicas; son actos propagandísticos perfectamente diseñados para persuadir a un público desprevenido y de profundas convicciones religiosas que suele ser el perfil de la mayor parte de los asistentes.

The "conference" are not such, and even less science; they are propaganda acts perfectly designed to persuade an audience unawares and deep religious convictions often fitting the profile of most attendees.

Una de las estrategias seguidas habitualmente por los fundamentalistas bíblicos en la organización de estos actos propagandísticos es intentar que sean impartidos en universidades u otras instituciones de carácter científico para, de esta forma, poder reivindicar el carácter de "científico".

One of the strategies followed usually by biblical fundamentalists in the organization of propaganda is to attempt to have these acts taught at universities or other institutions of scientific nature, in this way, be able to claim the status of "scientific".

En España lo habían conseguido en dos de las ciudades: León y Vigo.

In Spain thet had achieved it in two cities: Leon and Vigo.

Sin embargo, desde la Sociedad Española de Biología Evolutiva (http://www.sesbe.org) escribimos a las autoridades académicas correspondientes haciéndoles ver que se trataba de un fraude (lo que intentan es hacer pasar una idea de fuerte contenido religioso por una teoría propia del campo de la ciencia experimental) y las conferencias fueron canceladas.

However, since the Spanish Society for Evolutionary Biology (http://www.sesbe.org) wrote to the academic authorities for making them see that it was a fraud (which is trying to pass an idea of strong religious content for a theory in the field of experimental science) and the conferences were cancelled.

Read more at the Spanish version of Skeptic

I have access to some full length video of the events and will report back to you in more details as to the nature of the 'scientific' arguments proposed by Woodward and friends.

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