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ID is science, if you just don’t demand scientific results

August 19, 2008

This is just a short post, as I don’t wish to get into all of the issues of “materialism” and what-not that the Dishonesty Institute uses and confuses to its advantage. But here’s a howler direct from the DI:

Regarding the first hurdle, Lofaso advocates a materialistic definition of science that wrongly excludes intelligent design. She uses such a bloated definition of the “scientific method” in order to dogmatically exclude any alternative to evolution from the classroom: “If the scientific method is taught correctly, there is no confusion in presenting evolution as the dominant scientific theory, and there would be no confusion that evolutionary theories are anything but absolute […].” Yet as I discussed in Part 1, intelligent design meets any standard definition of the scientific method (that leaves off the dead weight of materialist requirements).

ID is science, no, really 😉

Suffice it presently to say that the “dead weight of materialist requirements” only amount in philosophical terms to the meaningful cause and effect explanations that science demands, rather than silly woo.

And one of the reasons this anonymous bozo insists that ID is science is that it makes falsifiable claims, one of which I discussed in part 5 (8-19-08~) of my Darwin’s Black Box post.  In that sense, I’d charitably allow that it is science, in the sense that other failed and falsified hypotheses are, even though I would hasten to add that the current manifestation of ID is by no means scientific as a whole, falsified or not.

The point has never been “materialism”.  If we go back to Kant, who was used heavily in the formalization of science, the issue is simply not to use metaphysical speculation in place of “practical reason” in science.  And because by no means do they leave metaphysical speculation (Behe is quite clearly pushing a “supernatural” designer in DBB), since they refuse to acknowledge the design principles (like evidence of rational thought) that would be used to identify alien designs, they completely fail the science test.

It’s still amusing to see them going on about how their “monopoly money science” should be understood to be legitimate science.


Intelligent Design Multimedia Course

August 18, 2008

Mostly I intend to keep adding one entry per day, Monday through Thursday, on the Darwin’s Black Box thread for the time being–and moving it to the current date each time.

However, I though this might be interesting to anyone who is concerned about ID, both friends and foes of ID:

The Intelligent Design Multimedia Course

Free online multimedia resources are now sufficiently available to present an extended audio/video seminar on intelligent design. High-quality files have been selected for their breadth and salience to give an overall view of ID and the issues surrounding it.



Here are the sources, many of which they want you to buy

There are no surprises, to be sure.  Berlinski, Dembski, Behe, the usual “leading lights” of a failed belief system.  Yet it adequately demonstrates the fact that ID does not intend to lie down and die, and that they will continue to feed nonsense about science to the public.

Know thine enemy!

Hello world!

August 11, 2008

I recently read Behe’s book Darwin’s Black Box (DBB), and I thought it was stunningly bad.  It struck me that much of what is so wrong about it hasn’t appeared in the blogosphere, either.  So I thought that I might work up a webpage, or make a blog, and I decided on the latter.  For one thing, commenters might add important information.

I am not a biologist, even though I had several biology courses in college and read the journals, so I won’t pretend to answer Behe directly on technical questions.  I consider that to be the wrong approach anyhow, since Behe’s insistence that we be able to explain in detail what happened over a billion years ago is ridiculous.  I intend to show how he’s all over the map in DBB on several crucial issues, how there are in fact fairly good (supported by evidence) explanations for some metabolic pathways, and how well evolution is demonstrated by the relevant evidence.

This is not meant to be a fast-moving blog, at least not at first.  What I am hoping to do is to create a comprehensive critique of DBB at first, to which I hope people will be able to refer (in a post kept at the top, for the duration).  That should take some time.  I will get around to reading Edge of Evolution when I can get hold of it (I do not wish to buy it new, since that directly supports his pseudoscience), and see how much I wish to comment on that. 

This is not intended to be restricted to Behe, understand.  However, he seems to make the strongest biological case for ID, so having a resource focused on criticisms of his seminal ideas seems worth providing.

I won’t even attempt to have much of a presence on the web until I have a body of criticisms that I deem worthwhile available.  So I likely am not writing this particular post for anything except a very occasional drop-in who is curious about what this will be.

I have never blogged previously.  It appears that the default is that I have to approve comments.  Right now I don’t know how to do so.  I’ll see what I can figure out about approval, and perhaps not requiring approval first, in the next few days.

A big reason for this blog is that I am becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the blogs that are out there, for they seem not to deal directly with ID much any more.  Books like DBB remain important apologetics for creationism, however, and I do not believe that many of the best criticisms have been made readily available on the web yet.  I hope to rectify that situation.

There will soon be a blogpost started that tackles many of the weaknesses of Behe’s claims, and particularly his approach.  My graduate training was in philosophy, so I intend to criticize DBB primarily with respect to epistemics/epistemology, without, however, using the jargon of philosophy.  I would rather write like a scientist with an understanding of the philosophy of science.  Future posts will determine whether or not I achieve that aim.

Glen Davidson