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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7 thoughts on “Alastair Noble, proponent of Intelligent Design

  1. 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. 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. 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.

  4. Why if Darwin’s “theory” of evolution is looked Upon as Being the “be all and end all” For scientific and human development and is the chosen route outcome for all things that exisT and is taught as Such in education are there holes Appearing in mr Darwin’s work which if it was any other piece of human production would be scrapped? Yet Alastair noble has Been commented on by a Contributer as being closed minded. Surely there are none more closed minded tHan those who refuse to fully consider other possibilities than those proposed for any field of life. (I am not a scientist so have no axe no grind in that Field but if other possibilities wereN’t looked at in my own field, progress would never be made). Also what if it turns out That intelligent design was correct after all? Will all the Darwin proponents run for cover?

    1. John,
      I think you need to be a bit more explicit about what you mean. FWIW, current evolutionary theory is rather more complex that that of Darwin’s time (when, let’s not forget, there was no real understanding of genetics, or neutral theory, or all sorts of things). Evolutionary theory has stood the test of 150 years of scientific investigation and remains the best supported explanation of the diversity of life on Earth.
      Alastair Noble stands for a particular branch of creationism: Intelligent Design creationism, for which there is not a shred of scientific evidence.

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