:: Running from the Thought Police ::

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:: Monday, April 17, 2006 ::

Once Again, With Feeling

John Bambenek is still trying to suggest that Intelligent Design should be taken seriously.

Here's a glimpse into why his logic makes everyone else's head hurt.

He starts out by admitting that Intelligent Design isn't science. He then goes on to say that it might be true anyway, and that open minds should be kept. He goes on further to state that our fair university should offer a class in it.

Thing is, offering a class in ID would require some determination of truth about Intelligent Design. Being mere mortals, all we have access to investigate the truth is... science and the scientific method.

John tries to get out of this by complaining that "Instead of trying to search out the truth free of presuppositions, science chooses arguments and theories that make the assumption that God must not exist." Basically, he's complaining about the methodological naturalism used by science, and regurgitating a line from William Dembski, an infamous proponent of ID/Creationism (Yes, that's a link to the Index to Creationist Claims, they really do cover everything. In fact, an entry more specific to John's complaint is here.) Thing is, because experimental methods are limited to the "natural," physical world, and scientific method can only accept things that can be tested, science is, and can only be, limited to natural explanations. It does not deny these explanations, it is merely silent on them. Creationism in all its guises, including Intelligent Design, holds just as much validity to science as Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, in that they can say whatever they want, as long as they don't pass it off as science.

And, really, herein lies the rub. Supporters of Intelligent Design (which John is, and I'll get to that in a moment) are bothered by the necessary agnosticism of science (which, for rhetorical effect, they label atheism). As revealed by the Wedge document, the Discovery Institute - the driving force behind the Intelligent Design movement - is to use the insertion of Creationism (and, by extension, support of religion and suppression of training rational thought) to destroy the "evils" of materialism. In a rather duplicitous denial of what they actually said, the Discovery Institute has denied (among many other rational implications of the document, including that they want to establish a theocracy,) that their crusade against "scientific materialism" as they call it is not against science itself. Thing is, they view materialism as an outgrowth of science, where we've already re-established that it's really the other way around - science is an outgrowth of methodological naturalism, and by removing the supposedly evil materialistic base of science, they actually intend to cripple scientific thought.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why this Intelligent Design stuff is dangerous and needs to be opposed. Not because it challenges scientific orthodoxies (which it doesnt, ID merely knocks on the door and dies after hemorrhaging from the bruises) but because it intends to destroy the intellectual basis of scientific investigation in this country by withholding the necessary knowlege and skills from our nation's children, the farm team for research universities across the nation.

From here, I could go all tinfoil-hat and demonstrate how this worldview meshes rather well with that of the premillenial dispensationallists, who think that since the world is ending soon we should feel free to trash the planet. I'd then go on to point out how the GOP is strongly influenced by the corporate interests who want to do just that (trash the planet in persuit of profits, that is) and wish to encourage attitudes to which such behavior is more permissible, but that'd detract from my point and I won't go into it.

As he's stated repeatedly by now, John denies that he actually supports this stuff, instead arguing for an "open discourse." Let's do one of my favorite things to do and look at what he does. He parrots verbatim Creationist/Discovery Institute talking points. He then goes on to claim that there are serious intellectuals behind Intelligent Design, but consistently fails to produce their work. As has become a recent refrain on this blog, what walks like a duck and quacks like a duck most likely is a duck. John talks like a Creationist, and argues like one, ergo he's a creationist.

I've been waiting for years to see the credible science produced by Intelligent Design. I'm still waiting. John's bluster aside, I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep on waiting for a long time. Think otherwise? Hit up the comments.

:: The Squire 4:04 PM :: email this post :: ::


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