Wednesday, November 02, 2005
  ID, Dover, Derb

Intelligent design is being argued in a town in Pennsylvania, where the school board has taken a pro-choice position, giving the students a chance to see both sides of the dispute.

The "pro-science" fundamentalists are going wild, insisting that students must never be exposed to alternatives.

I notice that Derbyshire at NRO is taking the same fundy position, and mentions an article in the New Criterion.

New Scientist mag, the house organ for Prince Charles's Gaia-worshiping acolytes, ran a similar "let's all get along" article in the 10/29 issue. Discussing the Dover, PA school board case:

There is also a broader lesson for those who oppose ID... Almost everyone involved in the case against the school board is devoutly Christian, and they see no conflict between natural selection and their religion. Portraying evolution as an alternative to religion does no favours to the Darwinian cause. On the contrary, it hands supporters of ID the opportunity to portray the debate in terms of one religion (Christianity) against another (belief in evolution). It devalues science's claim to be a uniquely objective approach to gathering knowledge, and allows proponents of creationism to scare people of faith by telling them that science poses a threat to their society and their values. Atheists and believers should be able to agree that science stands above dogma. It follows where the evidence leads, something ID can never do.

Just fine until the last sentence.

Let's look at the basic question. ID theorizes that the complexity of life implies an intelligence of some kind. The science-ists theorize that there is no intelligence behind the complexity.

Which of those statements follows directly from the evidence? NEITHER ONE.

Basic logic: If statement P is outside the realm of provability, then Not-P is equally outside the realm of provability.

The science-ists are so blinded by their own religious fervor that they can't even see this basic point. Neither side is falsifiable, unless we find direct evidence of the intelligence. We haven't found such direct evidence yet, but it's not inconceivable that some kind of watermark or signature could be coded into DNA, or into some other pattern. If we deliberately blind ourselves to that possibility, or censor all thinking that could lead in that direction, we are profoundly anti-scientific.

Neither "It's God" nor "It's random" is a theory in the strict sense. Each is merely a mindset or teaching technique, and each may help some students understand reality.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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