Sci-fi isn't science fact

September 25, 2008

While I admire Steve Fuller's integration of fact (evolution) with fiction (intelligent design creationism) in his new play ("On stage, On the Origin... author endures a dramatic trial of faith", 11 September), integration of real science into fiction is nothing new. Indeed the co-discoverer of evolution by natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace, received a mention in an episode of Star Trek some years ago.

The problem with Fuller's play is that some creationists will probably end up using it as evidence that Darwin supported intelligent design, such is the way they conduct their so-called research; by nothing more than quote mining and selective quotation to make science and scientists apparently confirm a biblical world view.

If intelligent design creationism wishes to be taken seriously then its proponents need to do serious research with peer-reviewed publishable outputs, not just popular books, plays and stories. Simply saying that it is "science" doesn't, in the words of Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise, "make it so".

James D. Williams, Lecturer in science education, University of Sussex.

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