Science Friday show on ID/creationism

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In a series of events that surprised me almost as much as the people from my hometown, long-lost friends, and distant relatives, I appeared as a guest on NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday today. The show description is here, and the archived show can be heard online here. I have been a fan of Science Friday since high school. I’ve even sent in questions, which have never been read because they get so many questions. Even in the unlikely event that I ever became a famous scientist, I thought it unlikely I would ever be on Science Friday. I mean, people like Richard Dawkins get on Science Friday (he was in the second hour this week, as it turns out). Then, one day, I’m called up and asked to be on the show. It just so happened that I work at the National Center for Science Education, and it just so happened that I have been the guy monitoring the “Intelligent Design” situation in Dover, Pennsylvania, and it just so happened that the issue has exploded in the media over the last several weeks for several reasons, and it just so happens that almost everyone from Dover that might be interviewed is consulting lawyers and so isn’t talking to the media. So, on I go. There were six guests total, so each person got to say only a few things, but I think it ended up being a pretty good show.

Listen to the archived show and say what you think. NPR may be hosting an online discussion over here although I can’t find one for today’s show yet.

Whenver one does this kind of thing, afterwords you think of dozens of things you wish you’d said. So, to get them off my mind, I’ll list them in the rest of this post. Suggest your own!

Things I wish I’d said:

  • If you’re worried about this issue, visit the NCSE website: http://www.ncseweb.org, and/or call us.
  • If you’re really worried about this issue, become an NCSE member (for only $30, six encouraging/depressing issues of Reports of the National Center for Science Education each year!). Our resources have been stretched very thin lately, what with all of this creationism everywhere, so consider buying something or donating as well. Ponder the fact that creationist organizations have annual budgets of millions of dollars, whereas NCSE operates on just a few hundred thousand dollars a year.
  • And anyone interested in this issue should visit Talkorigins.org, Talkdesign.org, of course Panda’s Thumb, and other local and national science groups.
  • Of Pandas and People really is a strange book. The ID folks claim that it’s not creationist, but:

    1. There weren’t any “design proponents” in 1989 and, nor was there an “intelligent design” movement. There were only creationists. Yet Of Pandas and People goes on and on about “intelligent design” (50+ mentions) and “design proponents” (30+ mentions). (You can see this by searching the 1993 edition at Amazon.com.) The “intelligent design” movement, theoretically based on the revolutionary work of scholars, was actually born in the form of a textbook (even if most ID proponents are not aware of this).

    2. The creationist roots of Pandas are pretty clear:

    Pandas, 1989, p. 77 Wrote:

    ‘Design proponents point to the role of intelligence in shaping clay into living form.’

    Pandas, 1989, p. 92 Wrote:

    ‘An additional issue concerns the matter of the earth’s age. While design proponents are in agreement on these [preceding] significant observations about the fossil record, they are divided on the issue of the earth’s age. Some take the view that the earth’s history can be compressed into a framework of thousands of years, while others adhere to the standard old earth chronology.’

    Pandas, 1989, p. 154 Wrote:

    A major question debated in our society today – a question for any student of nature to consider – is how to explain the repetition of these similar structures. Are they the products of natural forces acting blindly on a parental lineage going back to one or a few species at the beginning as Darwin suggested? Or is there more than just descent with modification, is ther the common engineering work of an intelligent artisan? These are the opposing explanations of natural or evolutionary descent and intelligent design.

    There is also the view, held by some, that an intellect brought forth all similar structural features by natural means over time. This view is empirically indistinguishable from natural descent, however, and will not be evaluated here, since our consideration will use a clear empirical criterion. We shall consider, then, descent by natural causes and design by intelligent causes as terms for opposing explanations in the debate over origins. We shall also use the less cumbersome and more familiar terms evolution or descent and design. (emphases original)

I’m sure I’ll think of others (and, obviously, some of these would be more-or-less impossible to actually say on the radio). At least I didn’t do what I did in a radio show this summer – claim that Young-Earth Creationists say that the Grand Canyon formed in only a few thousand years! (They actually say that it formed after the flood in 1 year, a few thousand years ago, I think…but somehow I got it mixed up.)

PS: If you liked the show, you might consider dropping Science Friday a nice note:

Science Friday 55 W. 45th Street 4th Floor New York, NY 10036 [Enable javascript to see this email address.]

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If you missed yesterday's Science Friday, you can hear it on the NPR archives. You can also read Nick Matzke's esprit d'escalier on The Panda's Thumb—Nick was also a guest on the show, did a fine job, and apparently regrets th... Read More

36 Comments

Earlier in the day, the Dover, PA school board put out a press release with the same old tripe. After I saw it, I sent a letter to the editor of the local paper. I missed the original airing of Science Friday, but listed to the streaming audio that evening–and noted how many of the points were the same ones I included in my letter to the editor! In a sense, that’s discouraging, because it means that talking with the Creationists is like talking to a pile of gravel. Host Ira Flatow commented on this, wondering, if the Creationists’ views were religiously based, how could they possibly be convinced otherwise by argument? It seems like this might be a good point to raise in court, as evidence of the non-science of Intelligent Design.

Nick, here’s another thing you should have said:

“Hey, all you people who read Panda’s Thumb, I’m going to be on Science Friday, so make sure to catch it live!”

Better late than never I guess. :)

Nick, here’s another thing you should have said:

“Hey, all you people who read Panda’s Thumb, I’m going to be on Science Friday, so make sure to catch it live!”

Better late than never I guess. :)

I announced it on my site, and tuned in to catch it. It was a good show, and I thought the creationists were well whomped, in a non-offensive and reasonable way.

Listening to the show. Thank goodness for ‘archives’. Nick I think you did a great job. Heard DeWolf refer to the ‘Darwinian Project’. Has this term been used before? Is this an attempt to ‘water down’ the importance and significance of ‘Darwinian Evolution’? Would it be easier to ‘attack’ the information in a ‘project’ vs a ‘theory’? Any thoughts?

Nic, you are hangn’ with the big dawgs. Charles Haynes came in late but really connected.

I was listening to the Georgia kid who called in, and I was viserally reminded why I left Georgia inspite of tenure. You made a good response Nic.

What we need to point out is that to present the “gaps” in creationism would be totally blocked by the US Constitution because fundamentalist religion would be totally trashed.

Man, DeWolf is evasive.

Valdosta State … not one of our top education schools.

I think the one thing that most needed to be said, that wasn’t, is that it is simply not true that there is a “lively debate” (as the Design Institute fellow said) within the scientific community about evolution (as a whole, rather than aspects of it, mechanisms of it, etc.) There is a lively political debate about it. There are specific debates about particular aspects of evolution. But there isn’t a debate within the scientific community about evolution tout court.

What there is, rather, is a manufactured debate – people trying to make it look like there is a scientific debate for various ulterior motives – motives arising out of a particular theology/religious world view. Hence the idea that we should teach this is wrong, because it is, essentially, teaching religion.

This point was danced around – a lot of the pro-science speakers talked about “good science”, for instance, and there was some stabs towards refuting the idea that there are “gaps” in evolution that mean that it isn’t true (rather than that mean that science goes on). It was also pointed at by the line that, even if you teach both the North and the South points of view about the Civil War, you should still teach the facts about who won, etc. But I don’t think it was made sufficiently clear that there isn’t a real debate about this within the scientific community. Unless that is clear (and while it may be to Panda’s Thumb readers, it sure isn’t to the public as a whole – not even to the NPR listening public; see the survey results here: http://gadflyer.com/flytrap/index.p[…]=200447#1201) then it does simply look like Ken Miller (e.g.) is trying to get his view taught and other views surpressed. It needs to be made clear that the “debate” itself is phoney, cooked up in order to get religious views, otherwise impermissible due to the no-establishment clause, taught in classrooms.

SF

I really liked the point made on the show that it is up to the science community to lead the way as opposed to having this issue driven by local school boards. How does that happen? I’m delighted by this and other blogs that carry the science message, and that’s necessary. What is happening or could happen in the science community to take the lead in seeing that

1) school boards are not faced with this issue (as said on the show they do not have the expertise)

2) religious people cease to feel so threatened by it (it is pointless to say the equivalent of “just say no” to them or take the position that it is “not our problem”)

My own opinion on 2) is that schools should have a compartive religion/philosophy course that explicity covers the various belief systems in order to provide a forum in the school, but not in science class. for this issue as well as others. I was heartened that this was brought up on the show.

Going after the establishment of a course like this in the cirriculum would, I think, be a significant way for science to take the lead. It acknowledges the religious point of view while putting it in its proper place along side many different religious and philosophical points of view – all outside of science classes. It’s a way for scientist to say “Yeah, there are many kinds of beliefs and ways of coming to different beliefs, and we don’t want to take the time in science classes to talk about that. Therefore we support space for it in the cirriculum.”

Not being an educator I don’t have the foggiest notion of where you’d take such an idea. Are there national bodies you can lobby?

School boards will never give up their power over curricula. And check out the current NYT story about Falwell’s Liberty University, or 100 other articles, and you’ll learn that lots of these people believe that nothing separate from or incompatible with christianity can be permitted.

As far as them not being threatened, that won’t happen until the liberal christian camp convinces the conservatives to not take genesis seriously. Good luck with that.

Steve, it is exactly that position which I think weakens the case for good science teaching by assuming “the opposition” is a kind of less intelligent creature or at least so inherently different that only “liberal Christians” can talk to them. The dialog too often devolves into stereotyping and name calling on both sides.

I think it is proper to hold the science community to a higher standard. We are typically better educated both in breadth and depth. Staying engaged with conservative Christians in a respectful way, acknowledging their different belief system, and working to get better tools into the hands of educators will succeed. We cannot, however, define success as the capitulation of conservative Christians; it is not a zero-sum game. Instead, we can show that it is about modes of thinking, different ways of creating belief systems.

I don’t want to dictate what is taught in Sunday school anymore than I want religion in the science classroom. Not having any discussion of religious belief in secondary school, however, means we are ignoring much of what is meaningful to a vast number of Americans and end up fighting about the science cirriculum.

Steve, it is exactly that position which I think weakens the case for good science teaching by assuming “the opposition” is a kind of less intelligent creature

I deliberately didn’t say anything about intelligence, because I don’t believe the liberal position is particularly smarter. I think it’s still wrong, but better because it’s more compatible with reality. Maybe it’s smarter. But the fact that I think they’re two different degrees of irrationality isn’t important so I didn’t say it.

so inherently different that only “liberal Christians” can talk to them.

My evangelical Kentucky relatives would never listen to me. I’m a big-city liberal atheist. Every word that comes out of my mouth was engineered by Satan to pervert god-fearing christians. Just hearing the words is intolerable. I’m not exaggerating. But they would at least listen to christians who disagreed with them, and typically in American history it’s not secularists, but liberal religionists, who’ve moderated their bretheren.

AndyS writes

Staying engaged with conservative Christians in a respectful way, acknowledging their different belief system,

This is a classic example of falling right into the conservative Christian rhetorical trap where they have framed the debate as a clash of “belief systems”. When you “acknowledge” this “different belief system,” Andy, you’ve lost the battle. You’ve just admitted, as far as they are concerned, that there are “two competing belief systems”. Game over.

The simple fact is that conservative Christians and atheists and Buddhists and Jews and radical Sunni Muslims all subscribe to the same belief system which is essentially “materialistic” in nature. That is, 99.9% of our behavior is determined based on a variation of the scientific method: you observe or experience a phenomenon, is it pleasurable or useful, if so, is it repeatable?, if so, repeat.

This is universally true. Christians and other religions don’t have a “competing belief system”. What they have is an **additional** set of faith-based (i.e., supernatural and unprovable) beliefs which, no matter how important they say those beliefs are, are only a thin layer of frosting on top of the rational-thinking cake which all human beings share.

That is why rubes like Casey Luskin (an obvious disciple of Philip Johnson) are such hypocrites. They disparage scientists for mastering the intellectual tools which EVERYONE needs to survive. To disparage rational thinking is to encourage human disease and death.

Is that what their God wants?

Just to reiterate: when discussing ID nonsense with these folks do NOT allow conservative Christians to frame the debate with this “materialistic” philosophy and/or “competing belief systems” baloney. It is a rhetorical trap which, if you capitulate to its premise, ensures a stalemate at best and at worst equates rational thinking with “just another religion” (and you can bet they will point out that as a religion, it sorta sucks).

Steve and Great White Wonder,

I’ll grant you that many conservative Christians are dogmatic and fixed in many of their beliefs – even in their own terms that’s almost a defining characteristic. I think it is important to NOT frame the issue as one of “competing belief systems.” In a broad sense it is about understanding what motivates the co-existence of the two systems, often in the same individual and what parts of the human experience they address. (There are conservative Christians that accept evolution for example and others that have no problem with their children learning good science, even though they aren’t the noisy ones we read about in the news and on the net.)

GWW Wrote:

To disparage rational thinking is to encourage human disease and death.

Exactly, very well put, and, as you say, this is one of those things that everyone needs to survive. I don’t think it is disparaging at all to point out that there are non-rational beliefs that many if not all of us cling to, often with good results depending on how you might define “good.”

I think that conservative Christians are getting a LOT of benefit (real and imagined) from their non-rational beliefs: membership in a powerful political lobby, membership in a strong social group which comes with an effective social and professional network, a “finished” and “complete” (in their terms) belief system, etc. One could argue that it would be irrational for them to set that aside in order to realize the more or less intangible benefit of greater clarity in biology.

Let’s get a rational discussion of belief systems into the schools so that science class can be about science, the belief system that motivates science, and the effectiveness of science. Then in a social studies class we can talk about various religious and philosophical belief systems and the benefits people see accruing from those; it’s an important discussion to have since it is simply NOT OCCURING in any meaningful way in our schools that I’m aware of.

It’s been a while sense I’ve been to Panda’s Thumb, and I caught part of the Science Friday show (couldn’t watch it all…I had to met some friends for lunch). I also just saw a short spot on the CBS news just now. (poll: 55% in favor of creationism, 40% in evolution, 65% favor teaching both) And last weekend I got in a evolution/creationism debate with a friend. The issue is rapidly entering the public’s view, and I’m glad the time I spent reading up on it six months ago is going to be well-rewarded.

It’s been a while sense I’ve been to Panda’s Thumb, and I caught part of the Science Friday show (couldn’t watch it all…I had to met some friends for lunch). I also just saw a short spot on the CBS news just now. (poll: 55% in favor of creationism, 40% in evolution, 65% favor teaching both) And last weekend I got in a evolution/creationism debate with a friend. The issue is rapidly entering the public’s view, and I’m glad the time I spent reading up on it six months ago is going to be well-rewarded.

Rather than waste your own time, why not just keep a few extra copies of a book like this around, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t[…]633?v=glance and when anyone you care about and want to inform, expresses creationist nonsense, give them a copy.

GWW said:

”…That is, 99.9% of our behavior is determined based on a variation of the scientific method: you observe or experience a phenomenon, is it pleasurable or useful, if so, is it repeatable?, if so, repeat…”

Profound…profound and amazing…please repeat GWW, repeat!

GWW wrote:

the religious have…an **additional** set of faith-based (i.e., supernatural and unprovable) beliefs which are only a thin layer of frosting on top .……To disparage rational thinking is to encourage human disease and death…

once again amazing and profound

in other words:

Religion = disease and death

GWW and his band = the good life

Who knew it was so simple?

Johnsmith

Excuse me, but did you just equate religion with disparaging rationalism?

Yes, I believe you did. I will remember that.

” … That is, 99.9% of our behavior is determined based on a variation of the scientific method: you observe or experience a phenomenon, is it pleasurable or useful, if so, is it repeatable?, if so, repeat … “

Feel free to present some evidence which proves this statement wrong. Or, if you are an honest person, just admit that it is true. Or, admit that you are dishonest.

All these choices would seem preferable relative to your earlier decision to make an ass out of yourself.

Nick,

Regarding the things you should have said:

Allow me to speculate on why you neglected to make a pitch for joining NCSE. Like most scientists, you were not in “sales” mode. Anti-evolutionists are always in “sales” mode. I don’t advocate stooping to the anti-evolutionists’ level, but sometimes one must fight sound bites with sound bites. Nevertheless, any plug for NCSE is more public service message than advertisement.

As for the creationist connection of ID, this is hardly a secret anymore, and too much emphasis on it, particularly the “sneaking in God” part, is perceived as an attack on religion. Besides, most audiences who buy ID’s incredulity arguments infer their own favorite creationist position as the promising alternate to the “theory in crisis.” Speaking of which, as you know, Michael Denton’s 1985 book “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” predates “Pandas,” and is an early ID effort, even though the ID movement “took off” much later. In fact I am convinced that the major ID promoters saw the mutually contradictory creationist positions - not evolution - as the “theories” in crisis by 1985 or even before, and began to concoct a new strategy to keep the public unaware that evolution is the only reasonable explanation. Their prior commitment to an anti-materialist (actually an “ultra-materialist”) philosophy, however, prevented them from admitting as much.

The real well kept secret is not the “common ancestry” of ID and creationism, or the fact that ID seeks to get around the legal failures of creationism, but the likelihood that most major IDers privately recognize that all of the creationist positions are scientific failures. If their attempts at being scientific were genuine, they would do one of two things: Either they would agree on one best origins model (what happened and when, if not how), or if their disagreements were genuine (the scarcity of IDers that directly challenge Michael Behe’s “almost evolution” model makes it a good bet that they are not), they would be more interested in debating among themselves than constantly targeting their arguments to the same old false caricature of evolution.

As I like to say, ID is not “Creationism Lite” but “Pseudoscience Xtreme.”

GWW:

Excuse me, but did you just equate religion with disparaging rationalism?

No, I readily allow others to make the moronic statements all on their own - which you do surprisingly often.

Based on your posts (high quantity, low quality) you pass easily for a fool. I don’t blame you however, I blame your education. It was obviously lacking. You may know a bit of science (and I’m being generous by conceding that), but lack a broader understanding to put it in context.

You’re prime material for an ID fundamentalist who needs an easy sucker to draw in.

You’re it girl!

It is interesting that DeWolf is encouraged by the fact that no one is challenging Cobb County School Board’s Policy on Origins. The reason why is it was never really enacted.

The School Board passed the policy to make a big public showing to voters that they don’t really support evolution. However, the when the superintendent went to “enact” the policy he (she?) directed the biology teachers to teach as they always had. Simply put, nothing changed in the classroom.

Frank J said:

if the IDers … attempts at being scientific were genuine, they would do one of two things: Either they would agree on one best origins model (what happened and when, if not how), or if their disagreements were genuine (the scarcity of IDers that directly challenge Michael Behe’s “almost evolution” model makes it a good bet that they are not), they would be more interested in debating among themselves than constantly targeting their arguments to the same old false caricature of evolution …

Frank, allow me to comment:

1) Belief in an intelligent creator doesn’t necessarily involve a rejection of evolutionary theories or of scientific principles in general

2) The vast majority of those who might be willing to accept the idea of an intelligent creator, base such acceptance on faith and not scientifically verifiable observations (such as pseudo-evolutionary theories) - thus your two paragraphs outlining a shift in “tactics” by IDers is only descriptive of a small few.

Frank, would you answer yes to both of these questions, or just the first?

1) Should scientists be strong advocates for scientific education that is based on sound science?

2) Should scientists be strong advocates for the removal of any form of religious education from the public education system?

Frank do you hold contempt for one or both of these groups?

1) fundamentalists who marshal unverifiable, unscientific evidence to debunk evolutionary theories

2) scientists who demand from those who subscribe to religious beliefs, to provide evidence for articles of faith, and with none forthcoming, label them as uneducated irrationals

Frank, are you really scared that science will disappear from the classroom, or are you motivated by the need to hold an intellectually superior position to those who have beliefs different from your own?

Frank, are you a concerned scientist, or a bigot wearing a labcoat?

I had heard that weasels turn vicious when cornered.

johnsmith, from your post:

in other words: Religion = disease and death GWW and his band = the good life Who knew it was so simple?

from GWW:

To disparage rational thinking is to encourage human disease and death. Is that what their God wants?

Apparently it was not simple enough for you; you could not even follow what he said.

Talk show remorse, I call it. Hosting a talk show, one never knows how things will turn out or what follow up question to ask. The follow-up question is the most difficult and most “unused” tool in reporting today.

I put the problem like this: To ask the question today that tomorrow you’ll have wished you had asked yesterday.”

2) Should scientists be strong advocates for the removal of any form of religious education from the public education system?

A very very misleading question. Nobody to my knowledge is opposed to teaching comparative religion, in comparative religion classes. EVERYONE should be a strong advocate for removal of religious instruction of any kind from science classes. Hopefully, everyone will also oppose religious training (as opposed to analysis of different belief systems) in public schools. Scientists per se have nothing to do with any of this.

Beyond this, Wesley is spot on.

Evolution; from when? Creation; from what?

OK, abstracted within this thread is a timeline; 6000 years for fundamental creationists, 6 billion years for evolutionists. What happened to the preceding billions of years? In Newtonian science, there exists an equal and opposite force to each actual force. Although the math gets sticky around singularities and quasars, application of quantum mechanics ultimately supports that fundamental law. Come with me now to the instant before the big bang; elementary teaching describes an infinitely dense and infinitely small point containing infinite amounts of energy, but lacks explaining it’s equal and opposite. My suggestion is that the other entity was omnipotent, unbound by time/space, and exists throughout and beyond the confines of the universe since it erupted; dare I say, the definition of God? This idea contains one of the freedoms that I cherish. When presented with a concept some can say, God did it. Good, I get to say; “since He’s responsible for the concept and gave us the ability to study and solve it, enjoy your belief and appreciate the discoveries that science reveals – I have yet to find the commandment that prohibits advancing our understanding of what is around us.” There is no equal logic to support banning the mention of creationism, though. It doesn’t need to be taught in public schools, but striking the mere acknowledgement of an alternate theory is against basic dogma of science; when exploring a hypothesis, consider all explanations (not just the ones you subscribe to). Wouldn’t that correlate to banning mention of Mendel’s element idea because alleles were discovered?

Luke writes

There is no equal logic to support banning the mention of creationism, though. It doesn’t need to be taught in public schools, but striking the mere acknowledgement of an alternate theory is against basic dogma of science; when exploring a hypothesis, consider all explanations (not just the ones you subscribe to). Wouldn’t that correlate to banning mention of Mendel’s element idea because alleles were discovered?

No. It correlates to banning mention of Rev. Billy Whitechurch’s “theory” that all mutations are deleterious because scientists have shown that “theory” is completely bogus and appears in the public sphere only because a certain group of conservative religious doorknobs keeps repeating it to their scientificaly illiterate followers.

Luke if they had an actual scientific theory then I would say put it in but that is not what they have. What they is an idea that, to date, can not be tested. It can not be proven false thus can not qualify for a “scientific theory”

G.W.W, I don’t know the Reverend you cited, but it sounds like he subscribes to the idea that each species had one perfect representative genome and the fall from grace caused insertion of mutations that harmed. Microbiological fact refutes that notion, so there’s no place for it outside of it’s failed reasoning supporting why scientific method is preferred, so I agree it doesn’t deserve status.

You and Wayne did open my eyes to something, I’m humbled to say.

I’m proud of my ability to argue against slant and propaganda, but I fell for an age old trick; since before I was too young to understand semasiology, I’ve heard “theory” attached to creationism when indeed it is not a theory, but mysticism.

If mysticism needs to be supported in scientific text, then alien seeding has to be mentioned as well, and hollow earth, paranormal incarnation, etc. Thanks for the clarification, I appreciated it.

Hi Luke, you’re on the right track but it’s worse than you think.

It is true that “The Designer (formerly known as God) could have done it that way” is not subject to any test that might refute it.

On the other hand, creationists make many ‘science is wrong’ type claims that are testable and refutable. Irreducible complexity is a new term made up by a political club, the Discovery Institute (DI), for a normal, nearly unavoidable result of evolution despite their rhetorical arguments that evolution can’t produce it. ID is the invention of, and is nationally pushed by, the DI. In school board dust ups, the DI always backs off to the extent of saying “We don’t advocate teaching ID (yet)”. They know better than to expose any of their claims in palpable lesson plan form, which would lead to quick public exposure. Instead they say “Teach the controversy” or variations on that theme. The also supply the controversy and the material that they say should be taught, just to show students the controversy of course. Their main offering is DI Fellow Wells’ Icons of Evolution. From that site you can get to Wells’ own site on Icons as well as extended dismantling of it. These “scientific arguments against science” claims have always been the stuff of creationism. But the politically savvy DI invents sundry new terms and insists they not creationists - taking advantage of the fact that most people don’t really know a lot about the subject.

If you absorb all that, it’s still worse than you’ll know. But that is enough for this week.

Hey Luke, a question you might have is: Since the Icons business is also a DI product (not that there isn’t other material of the sort, but the DI tries to be a self contained source) why is it OK to let Icons be exposed to school boards? Two answers: 1) the DI guys, or Fellows as they call themselves, know what they are doing. ID in the strict sense is their big brand name product which must be protected at all costs. Icons is not officially branded ID. 2) Icons is a complex, confusing welter of claims that the public will never master, and yet they are all versions of the same drumbeat: Science is actually a wicked fraud! This is a central delusion of creationism. Meanwhile it takes work, which few will do, to get through the rhetoric and understand the real deal.

Try this: don’t read the Icons material linked above. Buy Wells’ book and read it. Experience the intense power of the book. Only then, study the refutations. Discover how hard it is to shake off the power of what you have read. If you’re in school, wait till Christmas break.

Pete wrote

“The Designer (formerly known as God)

I really like that. Let’s not let it be forgotten. It’ll come in handy later.

RBH

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on November 19, 2004 10:33 PM.

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