What controversy?

Creationists have been chanting, “Teach the controversy” at us for some time, to which most biologists simply look puzzled and ask “What controversy?” There is no ongoing debate about the ideas peddled by the Discovery Institute within the scientific community, because, well, there have been no data presented to suggest that it would be a worthwhile and productive discussion.

That’s what I say, but I’m just one peon in the academic complex. But now Bob Camp has done a comprehensive survey to assess whether there actually is a controversy. He wrote to the department heads of a number of biology departments, and asked this simple yes/no question:

Q: Regarding the issue of “Intelligent Design theory” vs. current biological consensus on the mechanisms of evolution – is there a difference of professional opinion within your department that you feel could be accurately described as a scientific controversy?

97% said no. Only one said yes, and that was from a theological medical university.

That’s a handy piece of information. When we’re told to “teach the controversy” in the future, one good answer is to reply that there is no controversy to teach.