Alastair Noble, proponent of Intelligent Design

Alastair Noble recently wrote a risible (at least in my view, and that of many who left comments)  comment article in The Guardian (Intelligent design should not be excluded from the study of origins), on which I and other have commented in the blogosphere (and indeed as I write, it seems to have attained 1669 comments, mostly rather critical).  In the article, Noble presented his qualifications as

a former science teacher and schools inspector

However, as I pointed out earlier, his brief Guardian bio says this:

Dr Alastair Noble is an educational consultant and lay preacher, and a former teacher and research chemist

Aside from this, I wondered what else he does, what his PhD is in and so forth.  A quick Google search revealed another brief biography at the Misson Scotland website (actually the Google result lists this as Mission Scotland : Dr Alastair Noble – The Wise One!)  Here we find the biography:

Alastair has been a high school chemistry teacher, adviser, schools
inspector and educational administrator.  He has also worked on
educational programmes within the BBC, the CBI and the Health Service.
He currently works as the Field Officer of The Headteachers’
Association of Scotland and an Educational Consultant with CARE in
Scotland – a Christian charity which works across a range of public
policy issues.  He is married to [xxxx], has two grown up children, is a
lay preacher, an elder at Cartsbridge Evangelical Church, Busby, and
lives in Eaglesham.

So our former science teacher and schools inspector is an elder at an Evangelical Church.  He also has his finger in a number of pies.  The same Google search turned up a 5-star review of Stephen Meyer’s book on Intelligent Design, which earned a robust comment.  (Interestingly, this comment revealed that Noble is a signatory to the Discovery Institute‘s PR statement A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism (that’s a link to a realistically critical Wikipedia page – you can see the list of signatories here – pdf). In turn, this states Alastair Noble as holding a PhD in Chemistry from Glasgow University.  None of the top Google hits related to chemistry.)  The Discovery Institute view Intelligent Design as a Wedge Strategy – a strategy to get religiously motivated anti-evolutionary teaching into American schools.

I can well believe that Dr Noble is a compassionate man with a real social conscience, who works in many capacities to help communities…but (and I think it’s a big but) I don’t think a man with his background should be intervening in the content of science classes, at least where evolutionary biology is concerned.

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  1. heather’s avatar

    You've certainly done some interesting research into the apparently self-effacing Mr Noble ("self-effacing" in the way he keeps his preacher roles and Discovery Institute support quiet, choosing to come across as a disinterested scientist. and teacher)

  2. GrumpyBob’s avatar

    My interest is in the value of his ideas, and on the basis of over a century of research on evolutionary biology, the concept of Intelligent Design is nothing more than total bosh. Science is not just another belief system, being founded on evidence.

  3. Mark Coote.’s avatar

    There are two ways in which we have evoloved – 1 -Body – 2 – Mind. Dr Noble has managed – 1 but 2 not all. Darwin sadly for him had Alice, The World doesn't need any Dr Nobles. We have evolved perceptually beyond his closed mind. I know via unequivocal proof, because I have visually recorded my body of work upward of 70 yrs, the 'Evolution of the Mind'. Mark Coote.

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