John Rennie on Universities on ID

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John Rennie, editor of Scientific American, has blogged an interesting piece on his experience at a meeting with university presidents. Rennie was disappointed at the evasive answers that the presidents gave to his questions, but I was glad to see that Rennie, and also Ira Flato, were actively sticking up for science. Rennie also puts his finger on the kind of thing that would really make university presidents pay attention to evolution education: biotech. One of the few forces that could substantially change the current dynamics of the evolution/creationism controversy would be biotech companies realizing that it is their ox that gets gored if evolution is cut out of the schools or diluted with pseudoscience. “Reading” the human genome would be almost totally impossible without the lab organisms – fruit flies, mice, zebrafish, etc. – that are related to humans to various degrees. Uneducated students will be less likely to enter the highly educated biotech workforce, and an uneducated public will be less likely to support the government research dollars that produce the basic research upon which biotech rests. Why bother with the chimp genome, if humans aren’t any more related to chimps than anything else?

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Evolution Corner from Unscrewing The Inscrutable on April 6, 2005 4:48 AM

Help Josh help Kansas . I've already sent him what I have on Wells, Thaxton, and Meyer. John Rennie, head of Sci-am, puts University Presidents on the spot concerning evolution, and they run away in cowardice. HT: Nick Matzke at... Read More

121 Comments

hmm. while it sounds logical and useful to begin to expound the value of evolutionary theory (and science in general) economically, tieing the horse to the biotech industry’s wagon makes me consider possible negative effects as well, considering the general makeup of ID supporters. However, the benefits from gaining support from “the market” would probably far outweigh any negatives creationists would associate with the biotech industry.

I would carefully consider the pros and cons of letting “Pfizer” stand in front of any academic science program. Biotech companies already have great influence on college research programs; not so sure I’d want to see that influence extended even further.

Intelligent design creationists aren’t simply wrong, they’re dangerous, and this point must be made clearer to the public.

The economic realities and benefits of the biomedical/biotech/pharmaceutical industries are certainly very important.

National defense is even more important–we’ve just seen one (crude) biological attack, and many feel that we are ill prepared for a real attack.

Denying basic facts of science like evolution in our public schools is a poor way to train our citizens to understand and counter this threat.

Wow,

It is amazing how desperate Darwinian Fundamentalists have become. When I read this post I didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh. Universities are places were ideas should be open for debate and discussion. But Unscientific Unamerican attempted to coerce University presidents to being closed minded bigots. Now they began a smear campaign listing each president and their “sorry excuses” for not signing the petition. But the best part is this. For some idiotic reason Darwinian fundamentalist continue to believe antimicrobial resistence and emergent infectious diseases will destroy this world if people don’t believe our big daddy was an ape. Neither of those public health problems will ever be fixed by any biotech company, but don’t let that stop your chicken-little fear-mongering. Your ignorace of the science of infectious disease is astonishing. But go ahead, don’t wash your hands, live in crowded enviroments with inadequate sanitation, the biotech companies will save you!

Can’t win the science/philosophical debate with the inferior masses? Sounds like it is time for a manipulative smear campaign. Has any serious proponent of ID questioned evolution as a mechanism for antimicrobial resistence? NO, but don’t you wish they did!

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Teaching known error to avoid the administrative headaches caused by the militantly ignorant is open-minded? Orwell would be proud.

Has any serious proponent of ID questioned evolution as a mechanism for antimicrobial resistence [sic]

No, the ID crowd is much smarter than that. They only make assertions that can’t be tested. So they define everything in evolution that can be observed as “microevolution”, and propose that there’s some unseen, undefined barrier between “microevolution” and “macroevolution”. Perhaps you can help us, Apeman. What, exactly, is that barrier? How does it work?

Universities are places where ideas should be open for debate and discussion.

Sure, Apeman. But a debate over the scientific utility of a “theory” which proposes that mysterious alien beings “somehow” designed and created all the life forms on earth takes about five minutes if the participants are honest.

Universities are open to discussing ID creationism, Sasquatch, telekinetics, communication with the dead and UFO abductions. Unfortunately for cranks like you, Apeman, they have better things to discuss.

And time is money.

Flint Wrote:

Teaching known error to avoid the administrative headaches caused by the militantly ignorant is open-minded? Orwell would be proud.

One cannot be a true scientist if he cannot challenge his own thinking.

Be honest now if ID is really false, then let it have its two seconds of glory and its fall, and don’t try to silence it like it is some deep dark seceret that you must keep hidden from the public or the world will end.

Be honest now if ID is really false, then let it have its two seconds of glory and its fall

You blinked, Timothy. The two seconds passed years ago and now ID creationism is the proverbial old lady lying on the floor “whose fallen and can’t get up.”

The ID peddlers can’t find the light switch so they just keep clapping in the dark.

Unfortunately, a bright spotlight is about to shine down on the peddlers and lo! they will not have enough time to pull their pants up. Parental guidance suggested.

Timothy L. Wrote:

Be honest now if ID is really false, then let it have its two seconds of glory and its fall, and don’t try to silence it like it is some deep dark seceret that you must keep hidden from the public or the world will end.

Unfortunately for your argument, it has had it’s 2 seconds (actually considerably more) and it did fail. The fact that people can’t let it go now does not mean that it deserves another 2 seconds.

Timothy L has, I suggest, spoken in code here. He doesn’t mean the idea should be examined; he surely knows it has been dragged over the coals for at least 15 years now, during which time it has been nearly universally rejected by working scientists, and has proved utterly useless in making any scientific contribution. Even rejecting it adds nothing to science.

Instead, what Timothy L is asking is that it be presented as science, forever and ever. This is the P.T.Barnum approach: I don’t care what you write about me, so long as you spell my name right. Timothy doesn’t care what you say about ID, so long as you present the idea in science class.

One cannot be a true scientist if he cannot challenge his own thinking.

Timothy L. echoes an IDC talking point whereby they claim to be enhancing “critical thinking” in science. Nothing could be further from the truth. Critical thinking does not involve the uncritical debunking of data that do not fit with a predetermined position.

There is another point: Critical thinking does not allow one to claim that a settled issue needs to be reexamined without a reason to do so, and an alternative that is supported by objective evidence. IDC lacks both a reason to re-examine the mechanism of evolution, and the evidence that it is necessary to do so.

On the other hand, if life is designed, that would mean that biotech companies should be able to patent new designs, right?

So maybe this is not such a bad thing after all… ;)

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Is that a reference to Jack Chick’s famous Big Daddy?

That is correct collin. Thanks for the link. I need to order more.

So they define everything in evolution that can be observed as “microevolution”, and propose that there’s some unseen, undefined barrier between “microevolution” and “macroevolution”. Perhaps you can help us, Apeman. What, exactly, is that barrier? How does it work?

How well do Newtonian physics work for subatomic particles? Oh you mean the rules are different at that level? Perhaps you can help us, Russell. Is light a particle or a wave? Why can’t I just extrapolate newtonian physics and ignore this quantum physics mumbo-jumbo.

Teaching known error to avoid the administrative headaches caused by the militantly ignorant is open-minded? Orwell would be proud.

Orwell would be proud. After all communism like no other system of government has been most successful in teaching evolution dogma to the masses and doing away with religion.

Sure, Apeman. But a debate over the scientific utility of a “theory” which proposes that mysterious alien beings “somehow” designed and created all the life forms on earth takes about five minutes if the participants are honest.

And GWW goes off on his excessively redundant “mysterious alien” tirade. “Somehow” the universe came into being. Can you give me a scientific explaination for how?

It’s one thing to argue that ID doesn’t have a clear message to justify it being taught in high schools. I think the Discovery institute would agree. But to try and censor and blacklist college presidents from allowing its discussion on college campuses is abhorent. But not suprising after reading my Chick tract :)

How well do Newtonian physics work for subatomic particles? Oh you mean the rules are different at that level? Perhaps you can help us, Russell. Is light a particle or a wave? Why can’t I just extrapolate newtonian physics and ignore this quantum physics mumbo-jumbo.

That’s exactly right. The rules are different at that level. And quantum theory is all about explaining that apparent discontinuity. Notice, it wasn’t just assumed that the rules would be different at that level: that’s the work of a whole lot of experimental science. Now, back to my question: what evidence is there for a discontinuity between “microevolution” and “macroevolution”?

Well Russell,

On what basis do you assume that natural processes that occur over millions of years follow the same rules of natural processes that occur over years? Just as scientists were incorrect in their a priori assumptions regarding the atomic or subatomic level of matter. I’m not willing to assume the rules are necessarily the same regarding the mechanism for biologic diversity. Time itself limits what can be determined regarding the past.

EvAp Wrote:

After all communism like no other system of government has been most successful in teaching evolution dogma to the masses and doing away with religion.

Are you referring to the Communism that declared genetics and the concepts of biological evolution dependent therefrom to be “bourgeois”, “fascist” and “a threat to the State”?

Marxism-Leninism(-Stalinism) was not antireligious; it was a competing religious system in itself.

Timothy L:

OK, I guess I’d better go through the full charade with you. Worth a try, at any rate. Always worth a try.

Of course ID should be critically examined.

It has been. In detail, at length, by many. It has been exhaustively determined to be utterly without scientific merit. Please don’t keep pretending that you aren’t aware of this. It has been rejected since before Paley.

Every theory should, and this includes Evolution.

This statement would ordinarily be regarded as dishonest, you know. ID is NOT a theory. It is not based on evidence. It makes no testable claims, has no research program, has no suggestions for how a research program might even be approached. It is religious doctrine, not based on real-world evidence. It is not a theory.

Evolution, meanwhile, is exactly like every other scientific theory: not only eminently testable, but continually being tested. It continues to pass every test anyone can think of to throw at it, and these are genuine tests. You know, hypotheses which can be refuted by evidence which can be checked for, stuff like that.

Actually I was under the impression that ID while it may have existed somewhat before in some form, was not commonly known till very recently.

False. It has existed since before Aristotle. In fact, it was the ONLY proposed explanation for anything before science was developed.

I realize that ID is still relatively young as a scientific theory,

Again, this must be regarded as either dishonest or profoundly ignorant. ID is not a scientific theory. Not in any way, shape or form. It is entirely, through-and-through, the exact antithesis of science. Why do you think that no ID proponent has suggested so much as one single real-world test? Science has no way to test for the supernatural. You test evolution by finding evidence. You test ID by prayer. If your prayers are answered, you believe in ID. That’s the only avenue yet followed.

and I would agree that it should not be taught in any schools yet, but I beleive that it should not be silenced, and students should at least be made aware of it.

But not in science class! ID is a RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE. Pretending otherwise doesn’t make it otherwise. And it’s at best disingenuous to pretend students aren’t made aware of it. They’re made aware at home, at church, in Sunday school, by politicians, and in hundreds of little ways that permeate our entire society.

ID is, plain and simple, a transparent attempt to get “goddidit” re-sloganed so as to circumvent existing court decisions intended to prevent the government from playing favorites with any particular religion. “Gee, let’s pretend it’s science. Maybe the courts won’t notice.”

I never said, that, and I certainly do not think that.

Come on now! You said it before, and you just said it again. You wrote “students should be made aware of it.” The goal of the ID folks is exactly this, BUT they wish this “awareness” to take place in science class, rather than where it belongs in a class on comparative religion. If you are saying that comparative religion classes should examine ID, then please make this clear. Otherwise, it sounds like you’re denying your own words.

“And GWW goes off on his excessively redundant “mysterious alien” tirade. “Somehow” the universe came into being. Can you give me a scientific explaination for how? “

The universe was pooped out by Ploink Ploink, an invisible undetectable gigantic space bat who existed since before time began.

Does that explanation leave you unsatisfied, Apeman?

Please be aware that it’s more of an explanation of “how” the universe came to be than any of the well-known ID peddlers has ever offered. You tell me if it’s more or less “scientific” and why.

And Ploink Ploink would be much more interesting to junior high and high school students, I think. Those students will enjoy “thinking critically” about Ploink Ploink. In the Bible Belt, especially, I recommend an exercise where the students are asked to prove – scientifically – that an undetectable space bat did not poop out the universe.

I’m not willing to assume the rules are necessarily the same regarding the mechanism for biologic diversity.

Nor am I. I’m also not willing to assume that the rules are necessarily different, in the absence of evidence to that effect. That evidence would be…?

Time itself limits what can be determined regarding the past

Yes, well I’m sure that’s true, whatever it means.

The universe was pooped out by Ploink Ploink, an invisible undetectable gigantic space bat who existed since before time began.

Either that, or it was sneezed into existence by the Great Green Arkleseizure. But Apeman will dismiss either of these proposals as beneath his notice, while embracing his even-more-poorly-supported faith as real. Why? Because he “knows” that our proposals are silly while his are Truth. And how does he know? He can’t remember, but it doesn’t matter. When you have Truth, knowledge is superfluous anyway.

Please don’t keep pretending that you aren’t aware of this. It has been rejected since before Paley.

The ID theory did not exist before Paley.

ID is NOT a theory. It is not based on evidence. It makes no testable claims, has no research program, has no suggestions for how a research program might even be approached. It is religious doctrine, not based on real-world evidence. It is not a theory.

Testable Claims: IC, Rapid infusions of Genetic information into the Biosphere, non-existence of Junk DNA…etc.

False. It has existed since before Aristotle. In fact, it was the ONLY proposed explanation for anything before science was developed.

That was not the theory of ID, that was everyone assuming that “God” or “the Gods” created everything in its present form.

Why do you think that no ID proponent has suggested so much as one single real-world test? Science has no way to test for the supernatural. You test evolution by finding evidence.

That very question was misleading, and so was the following statement. ID is not essentially supernatural. You test anything by finding evidence.

http://www.iscid.org/boards/ubb-get[…]f-6-t-000473. html as I said quite misleading.

But not in science class! ID is a RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE.

That is false. If it were a religious doctrine, then athiests could not support it, nor could certain people of other faiths, but they do. ID is religion neutral, so it CANNOT be a religious doctrine.

ID is, plain and simple, a transparent attempt to get “goddidit”

again incorrect ID makes no mention of any God, and/or gods or goddesses.

Come on now! You said it before, and you just said it again. You wrote “students should be made aware of it.” The goal of the ID folks is exactly this, BUT they wish this “awareness” to take place in science class, rather than where it belongs in a class on comparative religion. If you are saying that comparative religion classes should examine ID, then please make this clear. Otherwise, it sounds like you’re denying your own words.

I believe they SHOULD be made aware of it but that does not mean it has to be taught… I beleive it should be taught but not yet, and not in comparative religion classes, because as I said it is religion-neutral.

Apeman Wrote:

But to try and censor and blacklist college presidents from allowing its discussion on college campuses is abhorent. 

It certainly is. Luckily, it has absolutely nothing to do with what Rennie was talking about.

I think I’m going to apply for a research grant to see if there’s some law of nature that requires creationist brains to misrepresent even the simplest of situations.

The low point of the evening may have been when Larry Faulkner of the University of Texas–who I believe also boasted of being a working scientist–said that evolution was only a theory, at which point Ira Flatow of Science Friday blurted out that it was nonsense to suggest that evolution, like gravity, was a theory one could honestly represent as being unproved. The “evolution is just a theory” canard is one of the hoariest in the anti-evolutionist handbook. Maybe Faulkner misspoke and forgot that the National Academy of Sciences has affirmed that evolution is a fact.

What do you call that Steve?

Did he “mispoke and forget”? Boy he better have! After all he “boasted fo being a working scientist” and used the hoariest canard in the “anti-evolution handbook” that contributed to the “low point of the evening”.

I wouldn’t be surprised if his job was on the line now that the Darwinian Inquisition is after him.

Timothy L:

OK, here we go again,

The ID theory did not exist before Paley.

A matter of semantics, perhaps. ID refers to an intelligent designer, AKA “God”. This idea existed before Paley.

Testable Claims: IC

Not so. IC as presented holds that if we can find a life form (or structure) which is non-redundant, this “proves” design. But of course, non-redundency is pretty much the norm in life: where it happens, one copy is adapted for some new purpose. So biologists agree that irreducible complexity is both normal and entirely predictable. Not in any way even suggestive of design. And so with the rest of your claims.

That was not the theory of ID, that was everyone assuming that “God” or “the Gods” created everything in its present form.

Sigh. The “intelligent designer” is the Christian God. Nobody else. Please be honest. Please. I explained that the “scientific creation” proponents, having been repeatedly trounced in courts, decided to rename “god” to “intelligent designer” but keep their interpretation of literal Biblical reading intact. You decided to ignore this. Please be honest.

ID is not essentially supernatural.

Yes it is. Otherwise, why even bother confecting such a notion? After all, the theory of evolution explains life fully sufficiently using no magical invisible designers. ID says “No, life didn’t evolve, it was designed by God.” That’s supernatural.

You test anything by finding evidence.

But you can’t find evidence of design, which can possibly be distinguished from evidence for some natural process. You can SAY “that there was designed” and you may be right. Nobody can prove you right, nobody can prove you wrong. No possible amount of evidence will support either position. That’s because ID is not based on evidence. It is a religious doctrine.

That is false. If it were a religious doctrine, then athiests could not support it, nor could certain people of other faiths, but they do. ID is religion neutral, so it CANNOT be a religious doctrine.

ID is a religious doctrine. It is not religion neutral. I have a suggestion for you: Visit this site, follow the link at the bottom, and read the brief. If you repeat the claim that ID is not religious doctrine, you either ignored the material or you are lying. Deal?

again incorrect ID makes no mention of any God, and/or gods or goddesses.

Are you kidding, or just dumber than sand? Who do YOU think the “intelligent designer” is intended to be? WHY do you think the proponents of ID are all fundamentalists? Why is the DI funded by a Christian Reconstructionist fanatic? Why is Dembski teaching at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary? Why does Philip Johnson say ID properly depends on fear of the Lord? Are these all amazing coincidences, or do you just FEEL like ignoring them?

I believe they SHOULD be made aware of it but that does not mean it has to be taught

This kind of doublethink gets discouraging. What is presented in classrooms by teachers is being “taught”. There is no way to “present” material in class without teaching it. Saying “here is something worth thinking about” TEACHES that something is worth thinking about, within the context of the class subject. You know this, I know this, why do you pretend otherwise?

Re “So they define everything in evolution that can be observed as “microevolution”, and propose that there’s some unseen, undefined barrier between “microevolution” and “macroevolution”.”

Maybe they see the barrier that exists between already diverged species, and make the mistake of thinking this barrier somehow acts within a species so as to create itself before said species speciates? (Try saying that three times fast.)

Henry

“The universe was pooped out by Ploink Ploink, an invisible undetectable gigantic space bat who existed since before time began.”

Damnit!! who told you? it was supposed to be a secret! Ploink believers have been slowly gaining ground undetected for years…

now that the proverbial “cat” (bat?) is out of the bag, I guess we will have to kill all the non-believers.

sorry.

“The universe was pooped out by Ploink Ploink, an invisible undetectable gigantic space bat who existed since before time began.”

Damnit!! who told you? it was supposed to be a secret! Ploink believers have been slowly gaining ground undetected for years…

now that the proverbial “cat” (bat?) is out of the bag, I guess we will have to kill all the non-believers.

sorry.

Timothy L. Wrote:

ID is not essentially supernatural.

ID is necessarily and inescapably supernatural.

If there are irreducibly complex elements to life on Earth that require some Intelligent Designer, then he/she/it/they is/are necessarily, also, made up of at least one irreducibly complex element. Consequently, the Designers themselves must have been designed by something even more irreducibly complex. The Ultimate Designers then must, to escape this endless ontological chain, be embedded in some reality exterior to this one.

How does this differ from the usual traditional gods?

Oh, good grief. How could I have missed this ripe lemon?

Gee guys, thanks for giving me the weekend off!

Darwinian Fundamentalist (Strict defintion):

1. Except perhaps for the origin of the universe, everything can be explained by a naturalistic process.

2. Science is the only source of knowledge. Even when there is inadequate data, a naturalistic process should be assumed.

3. Thus, accepts as fact instead of as theory: abiogenesis, common origin, big bang and other unreproducible and unobservable phenomena.

4. If intellectually honest, will admit that ALL human behavior can be explained in terms of the evolutionary process.

5. If intellectually honest, will admit to being a nihilist.

6. Have the nasty habit of persecuting infidils who question the above (particularily #2-3).

Perhaps you can explain to me what natural selection pressures have driven some of us Homo Sapiens to question macro-evolution?

A true Scotsman sort of claim in reverse, I suppose. This fellow paints a stereotype - worse, a stereotype to use as a straw man.

Here’s where you go awry, Apeman:

1. No one I’ve ever known in science really gives two hoots about “naturalistic” philosophy when doing science. The reality is that one uses the methods that are proven, by experiment and experience, to get the answers to the questions posed. These are not philosophical debates. “How old is this rock?” can be answered with different methods, and scientists reserve conditional conclusions until there is some solid ground for making a chain-of-evidence claim to a solid answer that other scientists could confirm. So the assumption you pose is one that is almost never made.

The correct way to phrase the scientists’ claim would be, “If we can’t detect it, we can’t study it using scientific methods.” That doesn’t carry the philosophical baggage you wish it did, but scientists try to travel light in the assumption department.

2. Science is one source of knowledge, and scientific methods are the ones that should be used in science classes, and in doing scientific work. Laws are another source of rules and knowledge, but law isn’t always open to scientific probing. A judge may change her mind; a seemingly similar case may have some different nuance. Scientists learn to discount claims that cannot be corroborated, and scientists prefer claims that are open to measurement. Do animals act differently prior to local earthquakes? How can that be measured? What is “different” for animals? If methods can be developed to measure animal behavior, the subject can be investigated other than simply post-event anecdotes.

3. Scientists accept genesis as fact, and hypothesize about whether it was abiogenesis or biogenesis for this planet. The evidence that stacks up so far points to a lot of preparatory events prior to the rise of life. How was it sparked?

Because the evidence is not present, scientists, especially Darwinian “fundamentalists,” reserve judgment. We’ll come back to that judgment issue.

Big Bang is what the evidence says. The Nobel was awarded to Wilson and Penzias (in 1977?) for discovering the background radiation that George Gamow and others had predicted would be present if Big Bang, but absent if Steady State. This observational result falsified Steady State, and put Big Bang in the running as the only explanation, even if no one particularly liked it. This is true Sherlock Holmesian reasoning: “Eliminate all the events that are impossible, and whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is the truth,” he explained to Watson.

But see my earlier post on “fact” versus theory. Most Big Bang facts also supported Steady State, but for that background radiation. Science lets the facts speak. What we observe in creation – God’s creation, to us Christians and other followers of Abraham’s god – we understand to be true and accurate, based on millions of separate tests that corroborate thousands of other tests. To assume, as you appear to wish to do, that Big Bang did not occur, requires us to assume also that whatever power created the universe did so with the intention of deceiving us about how it was created uppermost among purposes of creation. To us Christians, such an assumption is a blasphemous belief, and short of amazing and astounding evidence, we reject it as a matter of faith. That science rejects it as a matter of experience means that science and Christianity agree on that point. That leaves creationism the odd-idea out on that score. Of course, “odd” isn’t new to creationism.

4. No rational, educated person thinks all human behavior is dictated by genes put in place through evolution. Where in the world did you get that stinking fish of an argument? Certainly some things we do are the result of evolutionary processes – high blood pressure as a result of too-frequent triggering of the flight-or-fight instinct (without any subsequent fight or flight to use the excess adrenalin) could be counted as one. Type II diabetes in a society with plenty of food, and too much sugar, is another. These things can be measured, of course, in many different ways.

Behaviors are individual, however. Just as grasshoppers become locusts only under certain conditions, life experiences may change the behavior of organisms, even genetically-identical twins, a studious and careful biologist (which always includes “Darwinian fundamentalists”) knows.

So throw that one out. You don’t have any rational (or honest) basis to propose the claim, and no thinking person would accept it.

5. I’m a Christian. So were Darwin and Wallace, Gray, Dobzhansky, Collins, and probably at least 40% of the greats in evolution. When you are intellectually honest, do you consider Christianity to be nihilism? Who cares? If the results of the experiment can be replicated by kids at your local Christian academy, what does it matter the mood of the originating researcher? You’re grasping at imagined ghosts to find reasons not to like the creation God has laid out for you to see.

6. You claim to be an infidel? Make up your mind.

We persecute those who do bad mimicry of idiots when they fumble around and let their cyber-tongues wobble around in their cyber-mouths, who make really stupid arguments that an afternoon at a decent public library could fix. Do you think those who bring scorn on idiocy deserve any less?

We persecute those who keep trying to fuzz the lines between religion and science, making false and sometimes stupid claims that science is religion, or religion science. We recognize that screwdrivers are not the best tools to drive nails, nor are hammers the best tools to drive screws, and we resent your suggestion that we should misuse philosophical and science tools as much as a carpenter would resent your damning him for using a saw to cut wood and a hammer to drive nails. Why should you expect anything else from such an exhortation?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but for my own part, I deeply resent the hubristic, unjustifiably cocky, rude and unChristian way that you try to ascribe to me beliefs I do not hold. Your assumptions about science are wrong, and your assumption that most people who follow science hold the views you erroneously ascribe is fatuous prevarication on your part. Stop it.

To your last question, there is no natural selection event which leads you (or other creationists) to question macro-evolution. It is instead a failure of a natural selection event: Stupidity can’t be eliminated by natural selection unless it is selected against. Fortunately for you, science marches on despite your distaste of it – so if you are diabetic, you get the evolution-based diagnosis and treatment due to the altruistic nature of materialists who share their research results. You reap the benefits of the science you disdain, in other words, avoiding the natural selection event that would (justly, in your straw-model) cast your progeny into the phlogiston were you denied the medical care. You get to question macroevolution because such stupidity isn’t yet fatal. It’s not yet fatal because enough people are not stupid in that regard. You owe your life, and your children, to the work of those people.

And finally, let’s be clear about “Darwinian fundamentalism”: Among the strongest heritages Darwin left us is the modern science methods that include a review of the available literature, constant questioning of all assumptions, and hard testing of all the possible things to test, before making tentative conclusions. In short, Fundamentalist Darwinism is a true, fine, grand and noble path to finding the facts that lead to truth. Darwinian fundamentalists don’t suffer from over-judgmental behavior. If anything, they tend to follow Darwin, who held his tongue for 20 years of experiments trying to prove himself wrong, even after he found the answer. That sort of painstaking striving for accuracy is, sadly, foreign to creationism in most cases.

And as you probably have heard from some Christian who also supports Darwin, the truth can set one free.

Arise, creationists of the world: You have nothing to lose but your cackles.

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