there are a tiny percentage of people who have degrees on one of the sciences who reject the fact of evolution so if all a person has to do to be a scientist is have a degree in one of the sciences then i suppose so. but when you consider that a real scientist embraces skepticism, empiricism, and methodological naturalism- no scientist can deny the mountains of evidence from across multiple scientific disciplines that confirms the fact of evolution.
No self respecting credible scientist can deny it.
But there are still a few out there who can learn the science without actually understanding the process. And then of course there are a lot of people who will concede that evolution was the way that we all got here, but think that god was still the guiding force in some way.
It depends on what you class as a scientist. If it is simply someone with a degree in any science, then there a stacks of non evolutionist scientists. Out of scientists of a higher degree, the percentage is perhaps not as high, but there are certainly very very clever scientists with multiple degrees and PhD's who will testify to not believe in evolution.
i'm really interested to hear about these "stacks of non evolutionist scientists" Caleb. where are they all? a 1991 Gallup poll found that only 5% of scientists and engineers believed in creationism. but that includes computer scientists and mechanical engineers, scientists that, though they have science degrees, are not in, and have little knowledge of, the relevant scientific fields. when those scientists are pulled out of the total number we're left with only 480,000 scientists working in the earth and life sciences. only 700 of those were found to believe in creationism or consider it a valid alternative theory.
that's less than .15%. and that's in the US, a country not know for it's acceptance of the scientific fact of evolution. indeed, a study from 2005 found that out of 34 countries the US only topped Turkey for fewest number of respondents accepting the fact. so we can safely say that if we were to take relevant scientists from the western world at large the number of creationist scientists working in the earth or life sciences would be less than a tenth of one percent. "stacks" sure aren't what they used to be huh Caleb?
Definitions, clarity and specificity are paramount here.
In the broadest possible sense, "evolution" just means "organismic change through time" and such change can be demonstrated to such a degree that it would be perverse to say otherwise (Sagan) -- BUT it is *how* this change occurs that allows degrees of nuance and doubt. Evolutionary theory isn't a monolithic seamless concept; it contains "parts" that are differentially supported. There are no eternal immutable truths in science, only tentatively-held "truths," so a reasonable degree of questioning / doubt in current models is always warranted.
This is particularly the case (as touched on above) in regards to the "mechanisms" of change. With things like evo-devo, constraints on "random" mutation, the decline of selectionism as a primary "engine" of change, and a slew of (relatively) newly-discovered sources of variation , certainly what we see today is not the evolutionary theory of Darwin's day. So, on one hand -- depending on how one views the "problem" -- of course it's possible to be a scientist and "disbelieve" in past or current formulations of "evolution."
However, in the broadest possible sense, I'd say that a complete rejection of change through time and all possible mechanisms of such would be unscientific at best, since it would require the rejection of (1) multiple branches of even more robust science, (2) testable, verifiable, replicable data, (3) logic, and (4) pretty much the foundations of consensual reality.
Human beings seem to have a tendency to seek out simplistic single-answer "solutions" to multivariate, complex problems -- and this is itself a problem.
I have a Ph.D. in physics and work as an engineer in a high-tech industry. One of my co-workers is a guy I went to grad school with - same advisor, same degree, and he's a fundamentalist/creationist. And among the rest of my coworkers, most of which have engineering degrees, there are many religious types. My boss is a brilliant engineer and extremely knowledgeable about the devices we build, and on his cube wall hangs a sign that says "All Things To The Glory Of God" (What exactly does that mean?)
My experience in grad school tells me that fields like physics and EE draw in plenty of religious types because there is little in the content of these fields that they find objectionable, at least at face value. Getting a Ph.D. in physics is mostly a matter of learning how to solve very difficult technical problems, and then finally spending a few years getting to know one tiny little subfield really well and making a contribution. Going through the process of learning the details of the relevant literature, building an experimental test system, going to some conferences, publishing a paper or two and writing a dissertation can be done with very little regard to how the scientific principle might undercut a few mythologies you hold dear. Unfortunate this is, but it is true.
I'm sure the situation is a bit different in geology and biology.
It sounds somewhat similar to the position that a friend of mine seems to hold. He loves science, jsut so long as it does not contradict any of his religious beliefs. When it does, then that's the Conspiracy of Evil Scientists (TINCES) misrepresenting the facts because they hate God.
is your co-worker a young earth creationist?
interesting how Physics takes as axiomatic that the speed of light is a constant yet for your co-worker to be a young earth creationist he'd have to explain why the light from distant galaxies takes billions of years to reach our instruments.
i know that they come up with "explanations" like god put created everything and simply made it appear as if the light was from billions of years distant but really god just started the light on it's way to us 6000-10000 years ago. or that the speed of light is not constant but rather has varied in the past. weird. without the speed of light as a constant my understanding is that much of physics simply wouldn't work the way it does.
More of an old earth. He doesn't accept evolution, well, not 'macro' evolution. He feels that there can be small changes, but there is some kind of barrier preventing species change. I think he accepts the age of the universe, but I'm not quite sure, as he's complained about how carbon dating is unreliable before.
The 'light speed is not constant' argument is easy to refute. Since energy can be neither created nor destroyed, any decrease in the speed of light would require that a vast amount of energy be released as it slowed down. The amount of energy release needed for a 6000 year old cosmos would pretty much sterilize the universe.