ID rejection in Australia / DI response

| 15 Comments

Scientists in Australia have taken a stand against ID. The Weekend Australian reports:

Ban design theory in class: scientists Leigh Dayton, Science writer October 21, 2005

A COALITION of more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science educators has condemned the teaching in science classes of “intelligent design” - a creationist-like theory of the origin of life.

In an open letter published today in major newspapers, including The Australian, the group says it is “gravely concerned” that intelligent design is being taught in schools as an alternative to evolution.

“It’s important scientists take a stand on this because intelligent design is nothing more than creationism dressed up in a tuxedo,” says Mike Archer, dean of science at the University of NSW and the driving force behind the letter. “It’s the same mishmash of theology and science.”

The letter urges governments and educators to oppose the teaching of intelligent design in the nation’s science classes.

This morning both Casey Luskin, at the DI’s “news” blog and Dembski at his Uncommon Dissent blog posted extensive quotes from Austalian newspapers concerning this.

Casey Luskin concludes his post, cluelessly, on the DI blog by writing,

The bottom line is that this attack by “more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science educators” will make a lot of Australians sit up and take notice of ID, on the basis that if the science establishment are worried by it (as they have never been so worried before) and have to resort to such “extreme and puerile” arguments, then there must be something to ID!

Daniel Dennett had a statement in the New York Times on August 28 that helps explain Luskin’s statement:

The proponents of intelligent design use an ingenious ploy that works something like this,” writes Tufts philosopher Daniel C. Dennett, and author of Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. “First you misuse or misdescribe some scientist’s work. Then you get an angry rebuttal. Then, instead of dealing forthrightly with the charges leveled, you cite the rebuttal as evidence that there is a “controversy” to teach.

So ID strategy works something like this: they present theological arguments as science and then try to directly insert those ideas into science education. When people protest that this is bad science, bad theology, and bad educational policy, the IDists respond that they are being suppressed and censored by a dogmatic establishment. This is exasperating because every further effort to explain why they are so wrong is interpreted by them as more evidence that there “must be something to ID!”

It’s sophomoric and disingenuous, but it sells among their supporters.

15 Comments

70,000 signatures! Crikey!

Ha, I was the first with a phoney ‘Strine’ comment.

Luskin wrote

“The bottom line is that this attack by “more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science educators” will make a lot of Australians sit up and take notice of ID, on the basis that if the science establishment are worried by it (as they have never been so worried before) and have to resort to such “extreme and puerile” arguments, then there must be something to ID!”

What would make me “sit up and take notice” would be an equal or greater number of scientists and science educators supporting ID (meaning, enough research had been published that challenges the existing paradigm). Until then, it’s a fringe claim, and deserves as much place in science classrooms as Tarot readings, spoon bending and Nessie.

Casey Luskin Wrote:

The bottom line is that this attack by “more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science educators” will make a lot of Australians sit up and take notice of ID, on the basis that if the science establishment are worried by it (as they have never been so worried before) and have to resort to such “extreme and puerile” arguments, then there must be something to ID!

Well, I hear a lot of scientists are concerned about bird flu, too. I guess, by Luskin’s logic, that just proves there’s something good about it! Right?

Yeah, but how many are named Steve?

Yeah, but how many are named Steve?

I hear they’re all named “Mate”. Maybe the Aussie equivalent of the NCSE should start a “Project Mate”.

As an Australian its good to see Aussie scientists taking a stand against ID. As in the US the battle is to keep it out of the public schools - its already being taught in some religious ones.

The bottom line is that this attack by “more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science educators” will make a lot of Australians sit up and take notice of ID …

Attack? Self-defense.

Terrorists always claim to be oppressed by the innocents they injure and kill. Wackoes always blame the conspiracy against them.

I predict: Al Jazeera of the U.S., the TBN, will probably side with Luskin. I wonder what offensive film they will use?

I hear they’re all named “Mate”. Maybe the Aussie equivalent of the NCSE should start a “Project Mate”.

No, mate. They’re all called Bruce. And now to celebrate their stand, how about a cheery rendition of the Philosopher’s Song?

http://www.library.adelaide.edu.au/[…]os_song.html

Bruce Curtis

On a more serious note, the letter was signed by just four people, in their capacities as the heads of organisations that together represent some 70 thousand scientists and science educators.

The letter was co-ordinated with a report on ID in Catalyst, Australia’s premier (TV) science program. http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stor[…]s1486827.htm

There was also an article in the science section of the national broadcaster’s website. http://www.abc.net.au/science/featu[…]/default.htm

This is not, I believe, because of any serious threat of ID being taught in public schools in Australia, but because our brain dead Federal Minister for Education recently let his fundamentalism lead him into some stupid comments recently.

Posted By: Casey LUSKIN @ 10:40:05, Categories: CSC News & Views Top News: Smoking Causes Cancer; Unrest in the Middle East; 7000 Scientists Support Darwin

add to that “EvolutionNews fears comments and even trackbacks.”

“more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science educators”

I didn’t know there were that many scientist and science educators in Australia. I wonder how many philosophers, poets, english professors and social scientists there are? (Sigh).

Australia tends to be a very different place in these matters. Idiocy is called as such and is quickly booted out. Looks like that’s what happened. BillD must be smarting from the royal ignore. He isn’t even worth making fun of. Must hurt real bad. Right Bill?

It’s funny but an Australian blogger John Quiggin (link supplied) observed that creationism was getting a foothold amongst certain Australian Right wing groups I thought he was being hyperbolic. I always thought it was some American curiosity like mayonnaise on Pancakes.

Never underestimate the ability of stupidity to emerge.….…..

The DI (and Luskin) seem to still believe that there is a (growing) controversy. After all they have 400+ ‘scientists’ doubting Darwin. When it’s pointed out that the ‘other side’ has as many or more Steves who are all scientists and that 7000 signatures were collected objecting to ID in a period of 4 days, the response is predictable.… Appeal to authority… And yet that is what ID is desperately trying to do. Pretend that there is a scientific case for ID. We have seen with Behe how well ID fares in a court of justice. I’d say, it did as well as in the court of science.

Speaking of Evolve News, they neither replied to my email 4 days ago about how their Trackbacks are now unfunctional, nor have they fixed the problem. So I just emailed them again. We’ll see if anything changes.

My prediction: nothing will change. Trackbacks were showing their viewers what scientists thought of them, and it was seldom flattering. Since PR beats intellectual honesty with those guys, they had to find a way to stop that.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jack Krebs published on October 22, 2005 8:22 AM.

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