Another ID martyr?

| 17 Comments

A Young Bush Appointee Resigns His Post at NASA New York Times - 9 hours ago George C. Deutsch, the young presidential appointee at NASA who told public affairs workers to limit reporters’ access to a top climate scientist and told a Web designer to add the word “theory” at every mention of the Big Bang, resigned yesterday, agency officials said.

NY Times

In an earlier email sent by Deutsch to Flint Wild, a Nasa contractor Deutsch stated:

Deutsch Wrote:

The Big Bang is “not proven fact; it is opinion,” Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, “It is not NASA’s place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator.”

It continued: “This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most.”

Keith B Miller explains in his paper titled “Countering Public Misconceptions About the Nature of Evolutionary Science”, published in the Georgia Journal of Science, Vol 63:3, 2005 why the word theory is often poorly understood by the public since it suggests to the public a speculation or guess rather than its more common scientific meaning.

Keith B Miller Wrote:

Theories are viewed as merely unsubstantiated guesses, rather than as the unifying concepts that give our observations coherence and meaning, provide us with a basis to make testable predictions, and ultimately to solve scientific problems. As a result, many people are unable to distinguish valid scientific conclusions from pseudoscience.

In other words, ID activists leverage this lack of understanding to further their argument that evolutionary science is inherently atheistic:

Keith B Miller Wrote:

For traditional creationists and most Intelligent Design (ID) supporters, the conviction that evolutionary theory and orthodox Christian faith are in irreconcilable conflict is fundamental. It is also a central part of the political strategy of the ID movement. As stated by Phillip Johnson, one of the founders and leaders of the ID movement: “The objective [of the Wedge Strategy] is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the nonexistence of God.”

Evolutionary science is ‘just a theory’ or the Big Bang is ‘just a theory’ does a disservice to how the public understands science and it is a crucial part of the political and religious movement known as “Intelligent Design”

Hint: THe big bang does not discount an intelligent designer…

But I digress:

Reed Cartwright has already commented on the Downfall of Deutsch

Deutsch got into the limelight when James Hansen told the New York Times that political appointees, include Mr Deutsch, “were pressing to limit Dr. Hansen’s speaking and interviews on the threats posed by global warming”. The same story also ran in the Washington Post

The problem is that the issue with Deutsch’s educational record distracts from the real problem, namely the Bush administration’s efforts to silence those who disagree with the president or the president’s policies.

James Hansen Wrote:

Yesterday, Dr. Hansen said that the questions about Mr. Deutsch’s credentials were important, but were a distraction from the broader issue of political control of scientific information.

“He’s only a bit player,” Dr. Hansen said of Mr. Deutsch. “ The problem is much broader and much deeper and it goes across agencies. That’s what I’m really concerned about.”

“On climate, the public has been misinformed and not informed,” he said. “The foundation of a democracy is an informed public, which obviously means an honestly informed public. That’s the big issue here.”

See also Bush versus Science in the Washington Post.

17 Comments

From the WaPo article you linked.

“White House officials don’t see that pattern of interference. ‘This Administration has been very supportive of science,’ Bush’s science adviser and respected physicist John Marburger told Time. ‘The President wants us to do it right, and doesn’t want us to do things that contradict the laws of nature.’

As if they could.

That’s funny.

Or is it sad that John Marburger said it?

I agree the credentials thing is a distraction, BUT… you have to ask yourself, what were the qualifications that recommended this guy to the appointment he had? And who did the appointing? I’m guessing it wasn’t Dubya hisself, so was it someone with a deep understanding of science, or perhaps someone downstream of Karl Rove on the White House flow chart?

Check out This blog for some history on Deutsch.

$20 Bush thinks cloning embryos “contradicts the laws of nature.”

Deutsch is advocating a Creationist position, NOT an ID one. In case you haven’t seen IDTF‘s “About This Site” sentence, it states:

Exploring issues central to the case for intelligent design, from the Big Bang to the bacterial flagellum and beyond. [emphasis mine]

Regardless of whether humanity truly evolved from blobs of jelly and monkeys, Creationists cannot prevail in the ongoing debate about our origins. Their position is fatally flawed. You see, the Creationist position fundamentally relies upon the premise that the Judeo-Christian Bible is the Word of God. If it’s not; if the Bible is just a book, then there is no Creationist position. Recently, a lawyer embarked upon a mission to become the greatest Christian on the planet. In his quest he made a profound discovery. He discovered that the Bible is unequivocally not the Word of God. His argument is compelling. After reading his thesis, I am both shocked and embarrassed that I spent my whole life as a Christian and a Creationist. And while his thesis does not invalidate the so-called theory of “Intelligent Design,” it absolutely dismantles the theory of Biblical Creationism. You can read his Thesis at http://www.InDefenseOfGod.com/

Recently, a lawyer embarked upon a mission to become the greatest Christian on the planet. In his quest he made a profound discovery. He discovered that the Bible is unequivocally not the Word of God.

I guess this is the anti-Lee Strobel. The only difference I see is that the “In Defense of God” guy isn’t going to convince anyone who actually understands the Bible and its historical context.

what really gets to me is

It is not NASA’s place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator.

because it seems to me, that is EXACTLY NASA’s place.

I do not see how the Big Bang Theory contradicts ID in any way. YEC is definitely being favored here. Evil.

Re Gil, no biologists say humans evolved from monkeys.

I have insider info from an actual A&M person about the young pup (names deleted as necessary): ================================================================== “Well, of course, the Batt is not the Times, so there was nothing in today’s issue. However – you will love this! talk about your “Aggie Network”… – sitting across the hall from me even as I write is a former editor of said rag. She now works for the college, doing publicity and updating our website.

According to XXXX, this guy “gives Republicans a bad name”. A friend of hers used to date him. XXXX called him “a stereotype Young Republican”, and described him as very over the top; very “histrionic” in all his reactions.

XXXX also knows the Nick Anthis mentioned in the article. He is a Rhodes scholar who also used to work on the Batt. She said she was not surprised that he would be the one to ferret out this information.

XXXX can’t believe this. She was invited to, but did not attend, the Deutsch’s graduation party, which he apparently threw for himself. She started an email to the current Batt editor as I left her office.” ================================================== So the A&M paper will be jumping on this; late, as usual.

Bush and co. presumably hold the 13th century view that the universe somehow “embodies” a moral law. (Of course, in modern scientific understanding, even if this were true, this would be an equivocation on the meaning of “law of nature” vis-a-vis its use in science.)

Regardless of whether humanity truly evolved from blobs of jelly and monkeys…

This paragraph seems to be making the rounds, submitted as a comment under different names. Also up as a single post on a blogger site.

‘The President wants us to do it right, and doesn’t want us to do things that contradict the laws of nature.’

Homer Simpson: ‘We obey the laws of thermodynamics in this house!’

I didn’t know that blobs of jelly could reproduce.

Henry

Putting “A True Defense of God” in the same sentence as Lee Strobel’s book(s) demonstrates that the Intellectual_Ape isn’t very “intellectual.” Lee Strobel’s books are a joke. His so-called CROSS examinations were more like DIRECT examinations. While he obviously made a lot of money, he missed many opportunities to ask the really hard questions and actually learn something about Christianity.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on February 8, 2006 2:07 PM.

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