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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