So much irony, so little time.

| 44 Comments

Expelled Exposed I normally do my evolutionary posts here at the Panda’s Thumb, but given the astronomical nature of this item, I’ve posted it over at Astroblog.

Kenv Miller is the screenwriter of the ID propaganda film Expelled. He’s been carrying on about how consensus in science is repression. Apart from the irony of quoting science fiction author and global warming denier Michael Crichton as an expert on the role of consensus in science, there is a complete lack of understanding of the history of science. Miller makes this jaw dropping statement.

By your logic, it was right for Galileo to be persecuted for his views, because the overwhelming majority of astronomers were certain that geocentrism was right and heliocentrism was wrong. The evidence was just so overwhelmingly obvious. The same goes for virtually any other scientist that revolutionized his discipline.

Can’t these people get their history right?

Read how ID supporters can’t even get basic science history right at Astroblog.

44 Comments

Speaking of getting things straight, you mean Kevin Miller, not Ken Miller. Authorship of the canonical high school biology textbook != scriptwritership of Expelled.

IDots and creationists are simply people who look the facts (and reality) straight in the eye… and make up whatever shit seems convenient for their current set of lies, even if it’s different from what they themselves said twenty minutes before.

What a bunch of evil-minded wankers

The real point was that Galileo was not persecuted by other scientists, regardless of whether there was a consensus. Galileo was jailed and subsequently put on trial by the Church. Miller’s statement confuses the reader into thinking Galileo was just another victim of Big Science.…..bull! He was screwed by Big Church!

Yes, please change “Ken” to “Kevin”.

Ian

I think that the screenwriter’s name is Kevin Miller, not Ken Miller.

But that would be interesting too!

Ken, Kev, what’s one letter between friends?

Ian:

There seems to a contention among Miller and others that the scientific community closes off possible discussion of ID before it can even make a case for itself. The SC responds that 1. Any hypothesis that is a non-mechanistic, nonmaterial(ie God) hypothesis is /in principle/just not useful and 2. any evidence that is offered has thus far fallen short.

Just a thought:

What biological structure, short of a signature written in human language, would convince you of design? A winged horse? A minotaur? A unicorn? It seems that even if the fossil record was topsy turvy and even if there were ‘pre-cambrian rabbits’ and other anomolies as such, science /by default/ has ruled out the possibility that /ANY/ biological structure is not explainable by mechanistic, non-intelligent, material processes. It seems that design is defeated before it even gets off the ground, because there is a predetermined attitude that a ‘Design’ hypothesis is just a gap argument and that some material mechanism must explain it, whether evolution or some process we cannot specify. Thus if scientists found unicorns without fossil antecedents, then unicorns would be classified as an evolved organism and no one would appeal to design. Even if we found rats in the precambrian or dinosaurs in the cenazoic, we might abandon evolution, or say that there is some unknown physical process at work, but we would never embrace design, because it is by default a gap argument.

The point is that if you simply rule ID as a gap argument, then you cannot say that ID is unconvincing on the basis of evidence. You have already decided beforehand that any evidence, in any form, no matter what, cannot make an ultimate appeal to intelligence.

What do you say?

Sorry for two posts, but to sum up, Ian, what biological structure, if found, would convince you of design?

What biological structure, short of a signature written in human language, would convince you of design? A winged horse? A minotaur? A unicorn?

It says a lot about the imaginary theory of ID that you would use imaginary creatures as evidence for it. :-D

Instead of asking “what would convince you” like you were selling a used car or something, how’s about producing an actual theory with *real* evidence for it?

Galileo could present a model and a testable hypothesis.

Creationst could present.…. ????

Oh wait, they never produce any research, testable hypothesis, or even a working model. Any statement in support of ID is often a criticism of scientific biology and even worse its just as often based on their own ignorance of actual science.

The problem with Expelled is not the discussions that take place here and in the main stream press. The problem is that a movie like this gives the uneducated and or reactionary’s some sort of cover. The Glen Becks, and Sean Hannity’s of the world will eat this up and repeat the lies over and over again.

What biological structure, short of a signature written in human language, would convince you of design?

For me, I don’t think there is any one single structure or organism that could convince me of design. If there were widespread borrowing of features so that organisms did not fall into a nested hierarchy, plus the absence of vestigial or useless features (not the same) then I would say that would be fairly convincing evidence for design. It is, however, far too late for there to be any possibility of finding these results.

Let’s turn it around. What possible evidence would convince you that there is no ‘intelligent design’?

From the OP,

Apart from the irony of quoting science fiction author and global warming denier Michael Crichton as an expert on the role of consensus in science, …

I have given a brief extract of one of Crichton’s books (Jurassic Park) to undergraduate students to see if they could spot the five blunders on the one page. His scientific background is not as good as he likes to think.

An interesting little footnote to the case of Galileo.

Galileo made the complaint about Tycho that Tycho had not formulated a full alternative theory to Copernicus.

Which I like to think of as a precursor to asking of the creationists, “What is your alternative explanation?”

ID has been around for 2,000 years. It that time, it has gone nowhere.

At some point, theories that fail get scrapped and people move on. Astrology, phlogiston, the Demon theory of illness, Apollow Helios dragging the sun across the sky, and so on, have all been dropped.

It is telling that virtually all ID advocates are religious fanatics of one sort or another. It is not a scientific theory, it is a religious belief and that has been ruled in court many times.

And their main strategy is simply to lie a lot.

I really despise “person” posing as a reasonable critic, when he clearly will never be swayed by any evidence, in any amount, after any amount of time. His greatest strength seems to be one he shares with the fraud posing as President of the United States: he is “stupid like a fox.” (Or is that “Faux”?)

Someone let me know if he ever gives a straight answer to Tom or Richard’s questions because I’ve wasted more than enough time reading his bullshit.

raven:

ID has been around for 2,000 years.

You mean, Christianity has been around that long. ID has only been around since creationists decided they needed a new pseudo-secular disguise to hide behind. And creationism as a reaction to evolution has only been around as long as evolution.

I think, in fairness to ‘person’, I should say that what science tries to do is find causal explanations for the data available. If our set of observations were totally different, we’d of course find a way to explain what we found. If we were to observe (whether through breeding, or molecular analysis, or whatever) that whole new complex biological structures tended to appear POOF apparently at random, then we would have huge well-funded research programs dedicated to discovering the mechanisms behind these observations - which would eventually coalesce into some theory.

And if there in fact WERE no causal explanations, if some whimsical supernatural forces forever beyond human insight were diddling with reality just for jollies, then science as we know it would never have been discovered, since it’s based on the sort of incremental predictiveness that wouldn’t be possible.

But the assumption that we live in a consistent, rational universe hasn’t been either arbitrary or unsupportable. In fact, we’ve been building good solid demonstrable consistent explanations for every phenomenon we can find, and using these explanations to solve very real important problems successfully.

And this implies that, IF there is some external Designer we can detect only by encountering His errors, then He doesn’t MAKE any errors. He has therefore, as far as we can tell, Designed a universe so seamless that we simply cannot find the welds and rivets. This doesn’t rule out theistic evolution - the notion that some deity is micromanaging reality in real time but doing so with such skill He remains indetectable in principle. But it does mean that we need no explicit appeal to the gods within our frame of reference; everything SEEMS to work without them.

Is there a law similar to Godwin’s but for Galileo? Something like: “As proponents of a pseudo-scientific idea encounter ever more thorough critiques of their position, the probability of comparing themselves to Galileo approaches 1”

To answer person, the following would indicate design (and/or redesign):

-Genetic discontinuities similar to what results when we conduct genetic engineering (cross-species gene splicing would be particularly telling, such as the true chimeras you mentioned before).

-Coded messages in genetic code.

-Artifacts left behind by the designer(s), such as an alien spacecraft, stocked with biotech equipment, found in the burgess shale (or any other evolutionarily interesting time for an intelligent redesign)

-Rabbits in the precambrian (This would be inexplicable by evolutionary models: The rabbits would have had to arrive via an extraterrestrial source, or a time-traveler could have dropped them off)

I’m not sure what you’re getting at with the whole discussion of material/nonmaterial. The vast majority of potential designers are material, and even a theological explanation should be measurable if said God is acting in a proximate way, ie directly on life forms. In this case, even if the agent is not material, the effects would be.

The only completely immaterial & unobservable explanation is a deist kind of God, who takes no direct hand in affairs apart from determining the initial state of the universe. Although interesting, this idea provides no predictions, no mechanisms, and is outside the realm of scientific inquiry, which can look only at observable evidence, regardless of that evidence’s origin.

You mean, Christianity has been around that long.

No, that isn’t what I meant.

ID has been around more than 2,000 years in one form or another. The Greeks used it as an indication that the Olympic gods existed and created the world along with the Titans.

The Paleyist modern form predates Darwin by 40 years. Darwin studied it in college.

The recent revival is just another in a long history of revivals. By now, ID is just a Zombie theory. It is dead but still lurching around in a parody of life. And looking for brains to eat with some success.

Global warming denier Michael Crichton? Isn’t that as morally irreprehensible as being a holocaust denier? Please don’t lump evolution in with global warming. They are independent ideas in science, it’s not a package deal. And please don’t lump anti-evolution in with political conservatism either. Some of us actually have a mix of opinions on these subjects!

“Ironically, it wasn’t astronomers who were persecuting Galileo (even though he did have some very vigorous arguments with some astronomers), it was the Church. A point Ken seems to have forgotten.”

And they were none other than .… !!!The Intelligent Design crowd of the 1600’s!!!

Flint:

I think, in fairness to ‘person’, I should say that what science tries to do is find causal explanations for the data available. If our set of observations were totally different, we’d of course find a way to explain what we found.

In the early 19th century many naturalists, most famously and rather appropriately in the astronomical context Sir John Herschel, sought the answer to “that mystery of mysteries, the origin of species”. Charles Lyell tried to explain species distribution and geological history by “centres of creation”, but these “theories” were shown to be inadequate by Darwin’s convincing evidence that evolution occurred and his proposal of natural selection as the mechanism.

Person,

The “supernatural hypothesis” issue is covered quite nicely here:

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/unfair.cfm

Jason,

Ah yes, rabbits in the Precambrian - hat tip to J.B.S. Haldane!

Finally, more info on Galileo and the Church from Ed Darrell:

http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/200[…]-the-church/

Ian:

Why don’t you save that question until precambrian rabbit fossils are discovered?

Miller’s statement confuses the reader into thinking Galileo was just another victim of Big Science……bull! He was screwed by Big Church!

Yeah really, what the heck has Kev been smoking? Jeepers!

Person yammers…

science /by default/ has ruled out the possibility that /ANY/ biological structure is not explainable by mechanistic, non-intelligent, material processes.

True, but that’s only because in the course of nearly 2500 years of investigation, not one single phenomenon has been documented that eventually wasn’t explainable through decidedly un-supernatural causes.

The sun and sky looping around the earth every day – eventually determined to be a natural event.

Lightning and thunder – eventually determined to be a natural event.

The Plague – eventually determined to be a natural event.

Bacterial infections and food spoilage – eventually determined to be a natural event.

And of course, Human existence itself – eventually determined to be a natural event.

I will repeat this point over and over – Science Does Not automatically exclude the supernatural. Science would be more than happy – and in fact, it has tried in earnest - to study a real supernatural event. The supernatural would be a hell of a lot more fun to investigate than one more obscure set of proteins mindlessly doing it’s job for the bajilionth time.

It’s just that in two and a half centuries the supernatural had never managed to put one single piece of evidence on the table.

The supernatural isn’t barred from the game, the supernatural just never ponies up the buy-in.

It seems that design is defeated before it even gets off the ground, because there is a predetermined attitude that a ‘Design’ hypothesis is just a gap argument and that some material mechanism must explain it,

Only for the pathetically petty reason that design has never shown any actual evidence. You know how persnickety science can be about all that pesky evidence stuff, picky bastards.

person wrote:

What biological structure, short of a signature written in human language, would convince you of design? A winged horse? A minotaur? A unicorn? It seems that even if the fossil record was topsy turvy and even if there were ‘pre-cambrian rabbits’ and other anomolies as such, science /by default/ has ruled out the possibility that /ANY/ biological structure is not explainable by mechanistic, non-intelligent, material processes.

I would like to point out that you are really asking two questions and setting up a false dichotomy which is very popular with cdesign proponentsists.

Question 1: What would be convincing evidence of design?

A set of common design schematics for each individual species. Instead of sexual reproduction, production of species based on these schematics accomplished by assembly line. The prevalence of unrestricted borrowing, completely interchangeable, replaceable and upgradeable parts. A readily identifiable, knowable designer who takes credit for the design, and who is amenable to investigation.

Question 2: What would be convincing evidence against modern evolution theory?

The existence of species with no discernible ancestry such as the mythical creatures you listed. The inexplicable appearance of species in geological strata inconsistent with the evolutionary tree of life. The presence of multiple types of chemically incompatible genetic codes among different species i.e. genes that are composed of something different than DNA or RNA. Completely unrelated protein and enzyme structures among each individual species. As well as many more that I am probably missing.

The reason I pointed out that you are really asking two questions is that even if MET were disproved it would in no way validate ID. ID has to stand on its own merits and none of the conditions mentioned in question one have been observed. I think you will find that none of the things I mentioned in question 2 support ID.

It seems that design is defeated before it even gets off the ground, because there is a predetermined attitude that a ‘Design’ hypothesis is just a gap argument and that some material mechanism must explain it, whether evolution or some process we cannot specify.

ID is only defeated by the lack of evidence in support of it. For one thing in order for ID to even be considered science it has to formulate a testable hypothesis. You can include a designer or God in your hypothesis, but the designer/God has to be amenable to testing. And yes ID does include gap arguments as well as many other logical fallacies. ID plays on our ignorance to garner support. Unfortunately it offers nothing in the manner of a real scientific explanation, otherwise it wouldn’t be compatible with any possible observable evidence (including evidence that supports MET).

Thus if scientists found unicorns without fossil antecedents, then unicorns would be classified as an evolved organism and no one would appeal to design. Even if we found rats in the precambrian or dinosaurs in the cenazoic, we might abandon evolution, or say that there is some unknown physical process at work, but we would never embrace design, because it is by default a gap argument.

Unicorns could certainly arise by evolution, since it is basically a horse with one horn. The other things you mention would be a problem for evolution, and you are correct that ID wouldn’t be embraced because it makes no predictions about what we expect to see if design were the case, and just asserts that everything we see is the result of design without a shred of supporting evidence.

The point is that if you simply rule ID as a gap argument, then you cannot say that ID is unconvincing on the basis of evidence. You have already decided beforehand that any evidence, in any form, no matter what, cannot make an ultimate appeal to intelligence.

Except ID isn’t ruled out because it includes gap arguments, it is ruled out because it has nothing in the way of evidence to support its claims. It is hardly fair to blame scientists or methodological naturalism for the cdesign proponentsists inability to do any actual research into their own proposition.

Cross-post from Astroblog:

Galileo’s observations of the phases of Venus were what really put the nails in the coffin of the Ptolemaic system. Brahe came up with an ad hoc save, wherein Mercury and Venus orbited the sun (like moons of the sun), while the sun and the other planets orbited earth. But that was far from elegant or otherwise preferable, hence his assistant, Kepler, didn’t buy it (the latter seems not to have liked Brahe overmuch either).

I know that Feyerabend and others have tried to argue that the Copernican model wasn’t preferable to the Ptolemaic system, especially prior to seeing the phases of Venus. It was, though. The reason is that it actually explains some observations, while Ptolemy’s system is only descriptive. That is to say, the Copernican model explains “retrograde motion” via a simpler means, which is that the planets were orbiting the sun–orbits were a known phenomenon, meaning that a known (science uses the known to explain the unknown) phenomenon explained the unknown in that model.

Of course there were still many questions remaining, including the epicycles in Galileo’s model. Yet the feat of actually explaining the more prominent and troubling retrograde motions by having the planets orbit the sun ought not to be considered trivial.

It’s a bit like the difference between evolution and ID. Both can accommodate biological information, but only evolution actually has an explanation, has empirical causes. You can say that it pleased God to put planets in epicycles, and that He desired that the planets (including the sun) orbit a point slightly offset from the earth (earth really wasn’t the center in the final versions of “geocentrism), but that’s just cheating. Actually explaining “retrograde motion” certainly beats merely modeling epicycles in a system that you prefer for religious and philosophical reasons (as late geocentrists did–early ones had physics objections, as one would if one accepted Aristotelian physics). Never mind that questions remained (as Feyerabend rather simplistically points out), explanations come out of the attempt to explain, and by building upon explanations–and note that Kepler built upon the actual explanatory model in order to meet the challenges remaining in that model.

Many academicians of the time didn’t really see things that way, though. Explaining the heavens wasn’t so much the point, as to merely have a good predictive model. They needed a predictive model for calendars and simply to have knowledge of the heavens, and the Ptolemaic system was as good as the Copernican for that. However, empiricists like Galileo, and his intellectual heirs in modern science, don’t want mere predictions, they want entailed predictions. It’s difficult to say just how entailed the predictions of the Copernican system were, considering that they didn’t know why planets were in orbit at all, but at least it explained the unknown by the known (planets do orbit), rather than assuming an unknown explanation (epicycles) for the not understood phenomenon.

There was one more advantage to the Copernican system, which is that without exception, each successively more distant planet from the sun moved in a slower orbit. Even though Copernicus and Galileo had no explanation for this, it was an intriguing and apparently important correlation that arose in that model, while distances were merely uncertain and accidental (like ID’s understanding of homologies and similar genes) in the Ptolemaic system. Even unexplained correlations matter to science (but not to pseudosciences like ID, which doesn’t even appreciate the correlations explained by inheritance plus mutation), so this correlation was intuitively understood to be important by those who preferred the Copernican model.

Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler were instrumental in overthrowing consensus, mainly because they correlated and explained phenomena which had not been explained or previously correlated. Kevin wants to make consensus itself out to be the enemy, mainly becaues he wants to replace the consensus model built upon correlation and explanation, with a “model” which dissolves correlation and voids explanation.

And of course, one really doesn’t have to go back to Galileo to show how a consensus on an incorrect model is overthrown by a more explanatory and correlative model. One need only observe that Paleyism, which was largely the consensus at the beginning of the 19th century in spite of its even-then apparent problems, fell to the Darwinian revolution (even if natural selection wasn’t well accepted at first). Explanation and correlation trumped the “Goddidit” of both Ptolemy’s and Paley’s system, and some still fight against explanation because they are enamored of non-explanatory models.

One last thought: If consensus itself is the enemy, why shouldn’t we doubt the heliocentric model of our solar system (no, I don’t want to get into the fact that we don’t exactly orbit the sun)? Kevin appears not to be bothered by consensus in astronomy, only that in biology. Yet he can’t actually use evidence to fault consensus in biology, so he merely complains about consensus itself, while oblivious to how hypocritical he’s being.

Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

person Wrote:

What biological structure, short of a signature written in human language, would convince you of design? A winged horse?

They all convince me of design. But design in the general sense is unfalsifiable, so my opinion is at best useless and at worst a waste of time better spent at determinimg what the designer did, when and how.

On that note, do you agree with the only chief ID advocate (Behe) that gave some detail as to how and when biological design was actuated, namely in conceding that mainstream science is correct with regard to common descent and a 3-4 billion year history of life?

person Wrote:

The point is that if you simply rule ID as a gap argument, then you cannot say that ID is unconvincing on the basis of evidence.

ID itself is a gap argument, but the common implied and inferred alternate hows, whats and whens of design actuation are unconvincing on the basis of evidence.

I wish that fellow “evolutionists” would stop taking the bait and get that straight.

Ian Musgrave Wrote:

Ken, Kev, what’s one letter between friends?

Ask Genie Scott about the late Gene Scott.

Responding to Person, if you want to convince me of design, you have to do five things. One: move ID from a vague idea to a testable hypothesis. Two: go out and test it yourself – none of this “I made the claim, it’s the world’s job to prove me wrong” baloney. Three: find some evidence that tends to support your hypothesis and which would not be expected by competing theories (i.e. evolution). Four: publish the results so that everyone can check to see you didn’t make a methodological mistake. Five: have one of your critics confirm your discovery.

Here’s some more detail on step 1, to help get you started. Your hypothesis should include, at a minimum, the who-what-where-when-how of the design event. Who did the designing. What did they design. When did they do the deed. Where. And what technology/technique did they use. Don’t stress over possibly being wrong; hypotheses get refined and retested all the time. Your hypothesis doesn’t have to turn out to be right in every detail. Heck, you can be way off! It wouldn’t be fatal to ID if you hypothesized technologically advanced humans, 10M years ago, in Gabon, and instead found advanced reptiles, 100M years ago, in Congo. If you find *anything* not expected in competing theories, and which is at least conceptually related to your original hypothesis, then you are on your way to convincing people your idea may hold water. You may have to do more research before anyone is really convinced, but you’ve made a start.

This shouldn’t need saying, but an ID hypothesis is worthless – both scientifically, and for convincing others – if it predicts you’ll find no evidence of your ID event. That is what Prof. Ken (NOT Kevin :) Miller termed a science stopper. You asked what it would take to convince someone that ID is right. I submit to you that a hypothesis that predicts research won’t find any evidence to support it is extremely unconvincing. “Design via supernatural agent” is such a hypothesis.

But eric, you gotta have faith.

person Wrote:

It seems that design is defeated before it even gets off the ground, because there is a predetermined attitude that a ‘Design’ hypothesis is just a gap argument and that some material mechanism must explain it, whether evolution or some process we cannot specify.

person Wrote:

The point is that if you simply rule ID as a gap argument, then you cannot say that ID is unconvincing on the basis of evidence. You have already decided beforehand that any evidence, in any form, no matter what, cannot make an ultimate appeal to intelligence.

This is the standard persecution argument of the cdesign proponentsists.

Not one cdesign proponentsist has ever offered a viable working alternative to the science of evolution.

You can’t avoid the issue by deftly evading the nature of your designer and leaving all the questions to be answered and all the work to be done by someone else. If you have a valid proposal, supply the evidence and show how others, even those who don’t hold to your sectarian dogma, can verify your claims.

What is the nature of your “designer”? Is it natural or supernatural? If it is natural, how does such a designer create the universe and itself at the same time?

If it is supernatural (outside the natural universe), how does one link phenomena in the natural universe to deities in the supernatural realm? Which deity do you link it to and how do you decide?

Can you define a bridge between the natural universe and a supernatural realm? What is the nature of that bridge? Is it natural or supernatural? If it is natural, how do you link it to the supernatural realm and then to deities within that realm? If it is supernatural, how do you gain access to it?

Making up hypothetical arguments that have nothing to do with the current scientific evidence is not an argument for considering “design”, nor is it an argument against the modern theory of evolution.

Cdesign proponentsists have continually evaded the important issues and have tried to leave all the hard work to others while they themselves try to ride on the backs of scientists and spread propaganda about being persecuted. They never do any research.

Place a scientist in the crucible of peer-review, and what emerges is better science and a better scientist. Expose a cdesign-proponentsist or other pseudo-science advocate to even a hint of this crucible and what emerges is a whining child with a persecution complex.

So, instead of complaining about how you and your cohorts are persecuted, it is your responsibility to answer all those questions about your so-called “designer”. Until you put forward a viable theory that can lead to fruitful research and confirmation by others besides true believers, ID is defeated by you yourself before it even gets off the ground.

As we will see, you will continue to evade these issues.

Mike Elzinga, Extremely well put!

Person seems to be the usual scientifically ignorant and intellectually lazy type who gets all their answers from their Wholly Babble.

Cross-post concerning my earlier cross-post, above:

Perhaps I should amend my comments to say that Brahe’s model did have one advantage, which is that it didn’t have the question of the lack of observed stellar parallax hanging over it.

However, when the distance to the stars is not known, you cannot insist that stellar parallax must be observable in the 1600s and earlier if we live in a heliocentric system. Thus the lack of observed stellar parallax did not much bother astronomers, especially after Kepler came up with his spectacularly successful model.

Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

person: Just a thought:

What biological structure, short of a signature written in human language, would convince you of design? A winged horse? A minotaur? A unicorn? It seems that even if the fossil record was topsy turvy and even if there were ‘pre-cambrian rabbits’ and other anomolies as such, science /by default/ has ruled out the possibility that /ANY/ biological structure is not explainable by mechanistic, non-intelligent, material processes.

Nice speculation on how scientists would respond to imaginary evidence, including the classic pre-cambrian rabbit. The trouble is, you haven’t actually found any of this evidence. Or anything remotely resembling it. You haven’t even been looking, have you?

It seems that design is defeated before it even gets off the ground

Here you’re correct for once, but not for the reason you think.

The reason design is defeated before it even gets off the ground is that it has no wings, no engine, no fuel, no landing gear, not even any means to taxi onto the runway. There is no pilot, there isn’t even a plane, just a pack of IDiots sitting out on the tarmac demanding free tickets and throwning junk at successful airlines. There is no scientific theory of design, and no one has even attempted to come up with one. It’s all worthless bullshit.

Cdesign proponentsists demand to be taken seriously as scientists, but they leave out the crucial part: SCIENCE.

No matter how many times they’re asked, creationists (and really, that’s all IDiots are, creationists without the courage or honesty to admit to being such) have never offered any evidence in support of their claims. None. Why would that be?

I’ve come up with five explanations for the creationist lack of evidence, which I will present as derisively as possible:

1. They have evidence, but refuse to show it to anyone, ever, presumably because they’re totally batshit insane. 2. There is a vast conspiracy, presumably involving the Illuminati, the International Bankers *wink wink*, and the Underpants Gnomes, which ruthlessly supresses the evidence for creationism, and this conspiracy has never once let anything slip by or left any evidence of its own existence. 3. Creationists are so lazy and arrogant that they haven’t even bothered looking for evidence, and demand that others do their homework for them. 4. Since creationists are too stupid to find their own butts with both hands and a map, all their efforts to find evidence have been miserable failures. 5. There simply is no evidence for creationism, never has been, never will be, they know it, they know they’re wrong, and they’re just lying their asses off.

I have actually seen people claiming explanation #1. They say they have evidence, but when asked what it is, they refuse to show it to anyone. This total rejection of any form of rational discourse is usually just one of many signs that these people are insane. If they can ever be coaxed to show their supposed “evidence” it is either utterly unintelligible, or a worthless steaming pile of creationist propaganda debunked decades ago.

Explanation #2 is absurd on it’s face, but that doesn’t stop people from using it. However, in this case the creationists not only can’t provide evidence for their own claims, they can’t provide evidence of the conspiracy supressing them. Attempts to do so end up being laughably inadequate and full of lies (much like Expelled *jazz hands*).

Now, with explanation #3, things start to get interesting. Creationists often come across as whiny schoolyard bullies who never grew up, so demanding someone else do their homework for them is entirely in character. And the Templeton Foundation once offered grants for ID research, only to find that no one even bothered to apply. Creationists do show a marked tendency to refuse to do the most minimal amount of work, crying persecution at even the suggestion that they might try doing a little science, while demanding actual scientists produce never-ending volumes of documentation, which the creationists don’t even bother to read except for purposes of quote-mining. But could simple laziness and the arrogance of ignorance really be the entire explanation for creationist failures?

Explanation #4 is another one that cretinists seem to love providing support for. These are, quite often, people PROUD of their lack of understanding of the very subject they’re commenting on. People who ask the same questions countless times, completely ignoring answers. People who present debunked arguments again and again, no matter how many times they’re shown to be wrong. It’s as if the creationists have deliberately turned off their brains. But could so many people really be so stupid as to be unable to find a single speck of evidence in thousands of years, even by sheer dumb luck? Well, when you ask if a creationist could possibly be that stupid, the answer is usually a resounding “YES”.

Still, I think explanation #5 is probably the best. It also has the advantage of being compatible with #3 and #4. Stupid people couldn’t be expected to find nonexistent evidence if they weren’t even looking for it, now could they? But the more times creationists fail to provide evidence in support of their claims, the more we come to the conclusion that there simply is no such evidence. These are people who lie constantly, without a hint of remorse, so assuming they’re simply lying about the evidence is no stretch.

If creationists want to be taken seriously, they need to start by providing some evidence of their claims. They haven’t done this. They haven’t even tried.

Does anyone have an explanation for the creationist failure to offer the slightest shred of evidence that doesn’t make them look lazy, dishonest, stupid, or insane?

I know! I know!

It’s Number 4, isn’t it?

Why do I have a feeling we won’t be getting a response from ‘person’? I’d really like to see what he has to say about having his ignorant ass handed to him over and over again on this thread.

(Maybe I should rephrase that. You know how politically correct these people can be … when it suits them.)

I think person is a hit and run troll. His only purpose was to derail this thread. And I would say he was pretty successful.

Just a point of note folks. If you’re looking to link on a blog in order to get the NCSE Expelled Exposed website a higher Google ranking, you should heed this advice…

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.ph[…]postcount=10

Bottom Line:

Do not use “Expelled Exposed” as your anchor text! (The anchor text is the visible text in a link). We need to get it moved higher in the Google rankings for when people search for the the movie. That means searches that have “expelled” in them but not “exposed”.

So, for example, like this: Expelled :)

Back to your regularly scheduled thread…

Trying to get this thread back to the subject here :-)

I’ve observed this tactic not just from creationists/IDists but also global warming deniers, Velikovskians, and HIV denialists. What happens is this:

1. Denialist claims that prevailing scientific consensus is wrong. 2. Scientist provides referenced evidence to back up prevailing scientific consensus. 3. Denialist, being unable to argue against (and often unwilling to even read) the evidence, goes for an Argument from Authority. “Well if that’s so scientific, how come Scientist X and Novelist Y and South African Health Minister Z say otherwise?” 4. Scientist points to evidence again. 5. Denialist points to dissenting authorities again. 6. Scientist comes to the conclusion that the Argument from Authority is the only way of convincing Denialist and says, “Well if you want to play that game, how do you explain the 200 Nobel Prize winners who agree with me as opposed to the two scientists and five Fox News weather reporters talking outside their field of expertise who agree with you?” 7. Denialist accuses scientist of invoking Argument from Authority, does not forget to include obligatory reference to Galileo being persecuted by the scientific community.

Phantomreader42, thank you for a succint examination of the potential explanations for the lack of evidence to support IDC. Now, all you need to do is get it funded…

People who present debunked arguments again and again, no matter how many times they’re shown to be wrong.

Strangly, that remark reminds of the second law of thermodynamics…

Henry

Henry J:

People who present debunked arguments again and again, no matter how many times they’re shown to be wrong.

Strangly, that remark reminds of the second law of thermodynamics…

Henry

What’s that, Henry? Creationist arguments can neither be created nor destroyed…? Or is that the first law?

What’s that, Henry? Creationist arguments can neither be created nor destroyed…? Or is that the first law?

Also, they’re not intelligently designed, but they evolve over time. :p

Henry

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ian Musgrave published on April 16, 2008 3:35 AM.

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