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Divine intervention: Wealthy Norwegian shipowner funds research to counter Darwin in schools

Divine intervention: Wealthy Norwegian shipowner funds research to counter Darwin in schools
One of Norway’s richest people, shipowner Einar Johan Rasmussen, has pumped $1.6 million into a foundation that aims to challenge Darwin’s theory of evolution and to promote intelligent design in its place.

The BioCosmos Foundation calls for “more open debate on biology and the cosmos” and targets “everyone interested in science and the big questions,” especially “youth and young adults” – incorporating schoolchildren.

As with all proponents of Intelligent Design theories, the foundation extols the virtues of a pseudo-scientific theory that nature is so finely tuned and well-crafted that it could not have evolved via natural selection and must instead have been engineered. 

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Rasmussen, 81, who hails from Kristiansand in the country’s south – Norway’s answer to the Bible Belt in the US – told national broadcaster NRK that his “wish is to make much of this modern research known to the public. It breaks with Darwin in significant ways.”

The millionaire agrees with the BioCosmos Foundation, whose members include a Danish professor, a doctor, a civil engineer and a theologist, that evolution “can no longer be clarified as a result of coincidental mutations and natural choice.”

Needless to say, there were many strong reactions to a rich and powerful businessman attempting to influence the Norwegian education system. 

“It’s completely wrong for wealthy people to try to buy access to Norwegian classrooms,” MP Torstein Tvedt Solberg told NRK. “This is way too alternative, it’s not scientific. It’s quite close to rubbish.”

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“When you wonder how nature came about, you should talk with a scientist,” researcher Martin Jakobsen at the Ansgar Theological College in Kristiansand told NRK. “When you wonder how God functions, you can speak with a theologian.”

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